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Bike News

Monday Update: Volunteers Needed, Director of Transportation Nominated, Bike Week

Call for Volunteers

Madison Bikes is looking for volunteers for the following events preceding and including Bike Week:

Saturday, June 2, we are looking for volunteers to lead feeder rides to the Olin Park south parking lot for the Ride to the Parks and Trails Unite Festival. There are currently three feeder rides planned. On the east side, there is a feeder ride starting at the Olbrich Park Biergarten that leaves at 11:00 AM. On the west side, a feeder ride is departing from EVP at Shorewood Hills at 10:30. There is also a feeder ride starting from Cafe Domestique on Williamson St. for folks living on the near east side. The feeder rides will collect at Olin Park around 11:30 AM where Bombay Bicycle Club and Madison Bikes are co-hosting a ride to the Parks and Trails Unite Festival which leaves at 11:45 AM. If your neighborhood wasn’t listed and you want to lead a slow-rolling feeder ride, drop a comment on the event’s Facebook page with a location and a start time to be added to the list of feeder rides. It would be great if we could get feeder rides from all corners of the city!

Sunday, June 3, we are looking for volunteers to help out at the Madison Bikes ABC Quick Check tent. If you can at least identify basic maintenance issues then we could use your help. Sign up for a volunteer shift here. The two shifts are from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Please plan on showing up 10 to 15 minutes prior to your shift.

Tuesday, June 5, we are looking for a few volunteers to help run the Madison Bikes Bike Week booth at HotelRED from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM. We primarily need folks to engage commuters in conversation, and we would welcome your help even if you can’t stay the full two hours. If you can help in any way please send an email to volunteer@madisonbikes.org.

Last Week

This last week we had quite pleasant weather and a week full of events for Bike to Work Week. Hopefully you all got to take advantage of the nice weather and got out on your bikes.

On Tuesday, we saw Tom Lynch nominated as the city’s new Director of Transportation. The selection was praised by numerous current and former city council members and other members of the community who have worked with Mr. Lynch on various transportation projects, and we are certain he will make a good Director of Transportation. Another bonus is that Mr. Lynch is a year round commuter cyclist, so he will be able to bring to his position a viewpoint that we are hopeful will greatly improve transportation options here in the City of Madison.

This Week

On Tuesday, at 5:00 PM, the Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission (PBMVC) meets and will discuss the Blair St. corridor report which includes the two additional intersections of John Nolen Drive on the isthmus, and they are being asked to approve the geometry of the John Nolen/Williamson/Wilson/Blair intersection so Engineering can move forward with bids and construction as quickly as possible. City Engineering will also be present at the meeting to update the commission on projects they are pursuing, including for requests for proposal (RFPs) for two important multi-use path connections: one along Starkweather Creek behind the Garver property called the Garver Bike Path, and one that would create the first low-stress connection to the city’s bike network for residents living in the Burke Heights neighborhood called the Autumn Ridge Path.

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Proposed route for Phase 1 of the Garver Bike Path

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Proposed route for the Autumn Ridge Path

Also on the agenda is the adoption of the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is the result of two years of gathering public input through the Imagine Madison website and public meetings to create a guide that should help shape public policy around the future growth of Madison. This plan will also be at Thursday’s meeting of the Long Range Transportation Committee. Here is the link to the public PBMVC agenda.

On Wednesday, at 7:00 PM ,there will be a community meeting to discuss the April 27th crash on Midvale Blvd. that killed pedestrian Greg Nametz, and severely injured his wife, Patty. The meeting will be at Queen of Peace Gathering Space. Read more about it on Alder Arvina Martin’s web page.

The Long Range Transportation Planning Committee (LRTPC) meets this Thursday, May 31, at 5:00 PM. Adoption of the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan is also at this committee. The LRTPC will also be asked to adopt amendments to the Elderberry, Pioneer, and Junction Neighborhood Development Plans. Here is the link to the public LRTPC agenda.

Saturday is National Trails Day, and to celebrate, Dane County is hosting the Parks and Trails Unite Festival, which starts at 10:00 AM and runs into the night until 7:00 PM. There will be music happening at both ends of the newly completed segment of the Lower Yahara River Trail. The event is free and open to the public. As mentioned earlier, Bombay Bicycle Club and Madison Bikes will be doing a group ride to the festival with feeder rides from around the town. As a reminder, we are still looking for volunteers to lead feeder rides from their neighborhoods, so if you want to lead a feeder ride, leave a comment on the event’s Facebook page with the location and time of departure for your ride.

Sunday kicks off the start of Bike Week. The 10th annual Ride the Drive starts at 11:00 AM and lasts until 3:00 PM. The route is along scenic John Nolen Drive and North Shore Blvd. which will be closed to motor vehicle traffic for the public to enjoy. The ride is family-friendly, and there will be entertainment, food, and fun! Join the MadTown Unity Ride starting at 10:30 AM on a ride from the south side of Madison to Ride the Drive. Madison Bikes will have a tent at Ride the Drive that includes a basic maintenance ABC Quick Check. As a reminder, we are still looking for volunteers to help out at this event, so if you are available and can at least identify a basic maintenance issue, please sign up for a spot.

Look for more information on Bike Week events in next weeks blog post. You can also see what events are planned for Madison at the Wisconsin Bike Federation’s Bike Week website.

Categories
Bike News

Monday Update: Transit, Winnebago, Bike Summit

Editor’s note: Our weekly update team has a new contributor. Let’s welcome Jim Wilson, a Madison Bikes volunteer and co-chair of our advocacy committee!

Spring has sprung! The bike counters on the Cap City Path and on the Southwest Commuter Path show that ridership has jumped over 300% since the weather has finally gotten warmer.

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Last week

Last Tuesday, the Pedestrian Bicycle Motor-Vehicle Commission approved the inclusion of the Mifflin St. traffic half-diverter. The next step in the approval of the half-diverter is getting it approved by Board of Public Works this Wednesday.

City Engineering also gave an update on some of their projects including the big Atwood Ave. project. Of note, Engineering is now exploring a cross section of Atwood that would continue the on-street bike lanes on Monona Dr. north to where they can meet up with the multi-use paths on both sides of the street. This change was credited to feedback they received from the public at the last Atwood PIM on April 6, so thanks for turning up to make your voices heard! Other projects included an extension of the 8 ft sidewalk along the east side of Whitney Way south across the beltline intersections, and the installation of an off street pedestrian connection from the Cannonball Path to Todd Dr. along the beltline frontage road.

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Possible Atwood Ave. configuration just north of Cottage Grove Rd. through the pinch point in front of American Family.

City Engineering is also doing some good work overcoming several of the challenges it’s been facing such as the change in state law preventing cities from using condemnation powers for pedestrian or bike projects, and in the challenges they’ve had establishing new paths along rail corridors. In their presentation on the 2019-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), they have started to move forward with an alternate to the previously planned Goodman Path in what they’re calling the Garver Path and the Autumn Ridge Path. The Garver Path would connect the Cap City Trail to Milwaukee St. through the Garver lot and O.B. Sherry Park. The first section of the Autumn Ridge Path would connect Portland Pkwy with Ziegler Rd. and would include a new ped/bike bridge over Highway 30. Plans are also moving along for sections of the West Towne Path and the Cap City Trail connection with the Glacial Drumlin that they think they can get done without condemnation powers, however other sections have been postponed indefinitely because of the change in state law.

The discussion on the John Nolen Drive corridor wrapped up the meeting and several questions about the geometry of the Williamson/Blair/Wilson/Nolen intersection caused the acceptance of the report and approval of the geometry to be postponed until next month’s Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission meeting.

This Week

On Monday, the Wisconsin Transit Riders Alliance is having its annual meeting at the Madison Public Library from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting, which will include a discussion of the LaCrosse Area Planning Committee’s efforts to establish a regional transit program in the region, despite the state’s efforts to thwart the creation of Regional Transit Authorities since 2011.

This Tuesday, the final geometrics for the Winnebago St. reconstruction will be approved at the Common Council meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 PM in Room 201 in the City-County Building at 210 Martin Luther King Blvd., Madison, WI, 53703. This is the last opportunity to submit public comment about the project, so everyone interested in seeing a better Winnebago St. cross section should show up or write to their alder or both. Madison Bikes encourages support for the Option 2 cross section for the following reasons:

  • space for bigger, canopy-type street trees
  • better access for walking from southeast side of street, especially with the elimination of the current grade separation
  • better, shorter crossings for people on foot
  • buffered lanes for bikes instead of a door-zone bike lane on a bus route with narrow lanes
  • ADA accessible bus stop at Fourth St
  • narrower lanes for motor vehicles to encourage lower traffic speed

You can read the recent Action Alert for more information about this project. We could use as much public support as possible for Option 2 as it gives us buffered bike lanes and more space for trees, which would be an improvement to the corridor for both bicyclists and pedestrians over Option 1.

Also on Tuesday, Madison Bikes Communication Committee is having its monthly meeting at 5:30 PM. This meeting will be at the Stiftskeller in the Memorial Union and is open for anybody who wishes to attend.

On Wednesday, there will be a meeting of the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board starting at 6:30 PM in the Water Utility building at 119 E. Olin Ave. in Madison, Room A-B. On the agenda is the approval of a letter to WisDOT supporting the Village of Cottage Grove’s application for Stewardship funding for the Glacial Drumlin Trail connection. You can find the full agenda here.

Also Wednesday, the Mifflin-Blair half-diverter is in front of the Board of Public Works. The Board meeting begins at 4:30 PM in Court Room 354 in the City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Blvd., Madison.

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On Saturday, the Wisconsin Bike Fed is hosting its annual Bike Summit in downtown Madison. The event starts at 9:00 AM and will be a great opportunity to network with other bike advocacy groups around the state. The full schedule of events can be found here

Also on Saturday, the Capital Off Road Pathfinders are having their annual party/fundraiser at Machinery Row starting at 6:00 PM and running until 9. CORP has done some incredible work building and maintaining off-road mountain bike trails in the area.

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