It was inevitable, winter weather has arrived! Its a good time to gear up for winter and install some studded tires. I have been a year round commuter for over 10 years and I have learned the hard way (twice) that studded tires only work when you install them. Don’t procrastinate! If you are new to winter biking, I highly recommend checking craigslist or stopping by your local bike shop and pickup a pair of studded winter tires. The studs don’t slow you down much and keep you upright on icy surfaces.
The Week Ahead
Starting at 5pm the Transportation Policy and Planning Board will meet to discuss a few items of interest. First, the Complete Green Streets presentation from October 24th will be brought back for further discussion. If you are unfamiliar, Complete Green Streets is an initiative to design our streets to accommodate all modes of transportation (like bikes!). This discussion will be followed by a Passenger Rail Introduction presentation. You can watch this meeting online here.
The World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims will be commemorated on Sunday November 20 this year in honor of the many people who have been killed and seriously injured on road ways. On Tuesday November 15th at 10:30am the City of Madison is holding a press conference to build support for road safety initiatives to change the design and operation of our streets. The Mayor, many city staff, alders and community members will attend to highlight this important issue. We encourage you to attend if you have been impact by traffic fatalities or are interested in traffic safety. Learn more…
Free Bikes 4 Kids is seeking volunteers this Saturday November 19th to help collect donated bikes. No bicycle experience is required and kids 10 or older can help too. Two shifts are available, tending a bike donation station in the morning and helping to haul bikes in the afternoon. Interested in volunteering? Email FB4K or go to their volunteering webpage to learn more.
Last week one of Madison Bike’s board members, Robbie Webber, took some of the participants of the Bike Fed’s Healthy Communities Summit on a bike tour around Madison. To show off some of our awesome bike infrastructure.
District 18 Seeking Input to Improve Biking Facilities
District 18 Alder Charles Myadze is seeking input to improve bike infrastructure on the Madison North Side. We offered to reach out to our community — you! — to collect input where in District 18 there are gaps in the low stress bike network, danger spots, or other areas for improvement. If you live in District 18 or ride there, please send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll compile it and share it with Alder Myadze. We may also do a bike ride with him to take a look at the conditions on the ground. Stay tuned.
Bike To School Week Guide?
Walking and biking are excellent ways to build healthy habits, a cleaner environment and promote accessible transportation options. This year, Madison Bikes board member Kyle Hanson has organized a Bike to School Week event for Lapham Elementary, Marquette Elementary and O’Keefe Middle schools from October 10th to 14th. This event will include hand decorated yard signs, surprise “bike fairy” gifts and biking information & resource table. Organizing a bike to school event in your community is a great low effort way to introduce families to bike commuting and build new habits which could last a lifetime. Please reach out to email@example.com if you are interested in hosting similar event in your community this spring and would benefit from a How-To guide for planning your event.
Lake Monona (John Nolen Dr) Waterfront Design Challenge Kick-Off
Monday, October 3, 2022 @ 6:00 pm
Madison Parks is hosting the first of three events to learn about and provide feedback on the proposed vision for the Lake Monona Waterfront along John Nolen Drive. Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge teams will introduce themselves and their team’s unique perspective on master plan development. The multi-use path through this park area is very popular and we hope to see this as a core part of new vision for this space. We encourage you to attend and show your support for maintaining or expanding cycling infrastructure in the new plan.
Walking Movement Leaders can be anyone who is interested in hosting walking (or rolling via a wheelchair or powered scooter) events to help peers, neighbors, colleauges, and community members make meaningful connections to one another, to the places you live and to oneself while moving at a 1-3 mile per hour pace.
This one-of-a-kind training encourages future leaders (YOU) to incorporate all your ideas for the kind of experiences you may want to host. You will be invited and supported to discern whether their one-time or recurring walking/rolling events are organized by local area/region, themes/topics, or various/shared interests. In our training we will cover each of these areas while providing additional support related to route creation, maximizing group connection, group safety, pedestrian accessibility/safety, community building, event promotion, and more.
Brittingham Park Shelter @ 6pm. Come join us to chat about all things bikes! This is an informal social event, all are welcome to join. We look forward to talking with you about bicycling, advocacy, repair and pedestrian safety, and more. Light food and refreshments will be provided and you are welcome to bring your own.
Wednesday – Military Ridge Trail Input
The Madison Metropolitan Sewer District (MMSD) is planning a sanitary waste facility upgrade near Verona which could temporarily close the Military Ridge Trail during construction. On a positive note, one of the proposed options for reconstruction after the upgrade, includes connecting the Badger Mill Creek Path and the Military Ridge Trail. If this is a path you use, please make an effort to attend this meeting and ask that the Military Ridge Trail be kept open during construction and voice support for connecting the trails. MMSD is seeking public input Wednesday, Aug 24th at 5:30 held via Zoom; register here.
Thursday – Hawthorne Truax Neighborhood Plan Dialogue and Night Out
August 25, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Hawthorne Elementary School. The City of Madison invites community members to review initial concepts and recommendations for the Hawthorne-Truax Neighborhood Plan covering future land use, new street connections, pedestrian and bike improvements, parks and open space enhancements, partnerships for community programs and services, and more. This is a perfect opportunity to advocate for long term bike facility investments at a relaxed family friendly setting.
Bike Theft on the Rise
Many community members on the Madison Bikes Facebook group have recently posted reports of attempted or successful bike thefts. In particular, e-Bikes are frequently targeted due to their high resell value. The likelihood of theft can be minimized with a few reasonable steps like investing in a good bike lock, registering your serial number on BikeIndex and storing your bike in a secure area (when possible). In addition, e-bike owners can remove their battery to make their bike less attractive to theft.
TC and MPO meetings cancelled
Both the Madison Transportation Commission and Greater Madison Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meetings on August 24 are cancelled.
Tyranena Oktoberfest Ride Cancelled
Unfortunately, the annual Oktoberfest Ride hosted by Tyranena Brewery in Lake Mills was cancelled this year and probably indefinitely. A number of factors lead to increasing costs and dropping participation, made this event non-longer viable.
The Transportation commission will be meeting at 5:00pm to discuss a variety of items including the proposed redevelopment on Olin Ave and the MPD quarterly Traffic Safety report. You can view the full TC meeting agenda here and live stream the meeting on the City of Madison YouTube channel.
Regrettably, East Washington Ave continues to be one of the most hazardous roads in Madison. The following charts from MPD show the number of serious & fatal crashes on East Wash are increasing compared to other parts of the city and are becoming more lethal!
The crash increase has occurred despite MPD allocating nearly 1/3rd of their traffic enforcement resources to East Wash. This underscores the necessity of comprehensive initiatives like Vision Zero to safely accommodate all transportation users, because traffic enforcement alone is inadequate.
Introduction to Jumping Clinic
On Wednesday, Capital Off Road Pathfinders, Inc. is hosting a Learn to Jump Clinic with local legends Mike McGarry & Matt Yerke. Intro to getting both wheels off the ground on purpose. We’ll focus on learning the basics of a solid bunny hop and progress to tabletops and a small gap jump. 100% of your workshop fee will go towards the CORP trail fund which is currently MATCHED by the Friends of Blue Mound in support of the trail work to start this fall.
Saturday July 16th
Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County is excited to host our 20th annual MOVE4BGC. This event will be a fun, in-person experience with a virtual option. You can participate in a team or as an individual to bike, run, walk, or for the first time ever, yoga!
We are busy preparing for our major event of the year, Madison Bike Week! With only two weeks away there is still time for local businesses or non-profits to sign up and host a Bike Week event or discount. You can follow this link to register you event…
Bike Week Calendar
Once again, this year you can use Sched to keep track of your calendar of bike week events and discounts. This tools includes many useful features including personalized event calendars and a map view. The Sched bike week calendar and map can be found on our Bike Week 2022 page.
Plus, you can register for a free account to create a personalized bike week calendar and receive notifications for specific events you plan to attend.
We have 25 events registered for Madison Bike Week, including 12 food and 11 ride events! The map view, shown below, is a great way to find events in your area. It’s not too early to start planning your stops and coordinate with your riding buddies.
Tickets are available for $50 in advance and $60 at the door.
Atwood Avenue Reconstruction Project
After much deliberation and community input, the Parks Commission decided to implement Option 3a multi-use path through Olbrich Park. This option was considered a compromise which most people could live with, maintaining bike access through the park and leaving most of the lake shore path as-is. Another benefit is that option 3a doesn’t interfere with the sledding hill and can be plowed in the winter. Thank you to everyone who gave feedback as part of the Atwood Ave reconstruction project.
Capitol Off-Road Pathfinders (CORP) Spring Fundraiser
CORP Annual Fundraiser returns to its rightful place at Machinery Row Bicycles on April 23! All the highlights you remember: beer, food, and the famous bottomless raffle! $20 at the door (kids free!).
1000 Friends of Wisconsin Webinar Series
If you are unacquainted, 1k friends of WI is a local group that promotes land use policies and activities that advance healthy communities, positive economic outcomes and environmental benefits in Wisconsin. They are hosting a four part webinar about street design and what we can do to reclaim public space. Registration is free!
Updates to the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan is a 28 page document that will be presented at the Transportation Policy and Planning Board on Monday April 18th at 5pm. The plan provides an overview and current status of city wide initiatives in the following six key areas. It’s worth a quick readthrough to understand the long term vision of the Mayor and city staff have laid out for our city.
We received a taste of spring this week and the city street sweepers were out clearing the grit off the roads, but it looks like we have at least one more snow in store. It might be time to start getting your bike tuned-up and cleaned for spring, particularly if you’re a winter rider!
Hammersley Road Reconstruction
The current proposal to include a multi-use path along Hammersly Road will be up for discussion again at the Transportation Commission meeting on Wednesday at 5pm – Item #5 (see previous MB blog post for background). The multi-use path could really use a boost of community support to ensure its included in the final design. Please register to voice your support at the TC, particularly if you live in this area and would love to walk or bike on a low-stress path.
Proposal to Add Buffered Bike Lanes to Tokay Blvd
Good news! The proposal to add buffered bike lanes on Tokay Boulevard from Whitney Way to Segoe Road (Item #7) will also be discussed at the Transportation Commission Wednesday at 5pm. View street geometry PDF.
2021 Madison Transportation Operation Report
This twenty page report is a treasure trove of data about the modes of transportation we use and Madison transportation priorities for next year. The report contains a lot of graphics and easily digestible facts comparing usage trends over the past three years. My brief synopsis is that both car, and unfortunately, bike counts are down compared with pre-pandemic levels. A Greater Madison MPO Tele Work survey indicates this trend is likely due to a greater number of people working from home on a full or part time basis. Of course it’s difficult to predict if this trend will continue.
The report also shows traffic crashes and fatalities in Madison have increased significantly since 2019, matching the national trend. Notably, East Washington Ave alone accounted for one third of all Madison traffic fatalities and all victims were vulnerable users (pedestrians and cyclists)! This is very alarming and is a tragic example of why we urgently need to put more resources into to efforts like Vision Zero.
For a second year in a row the city Parking Division reported a budget deficit which required them to pull $3.3M from reserves. The loss was attributed to loss of revenue and weak demand for parking garage spaces. Unlike the majority of this report, which has a progressive vision supporting all modes of transportation (car, bike, walk, bus, etc..), the parking division is hoping for a “stronger recovery and increase in parking demand…”. This statement makes me ponder how the incentives for the “car” Parking Division (to increase car parking demand) is at odds with the transportation departments overall goals and priorities (Vision Zero, Complete Green Streets, BRT, transportation equity, etc…). Do we really want to “increase parking demand”?
Traffic Engineering Accomplishments
The city has a long list of accomplishments from 2021 and most are focused on improving our transportation infrastructure to support all modes of transportation. It’s a respectable list and shows all the hard work accomplished by the city staff and leadership. I think we are moving in the right direction as a city and the rate of improvement has accelerated since 2019. Lots of work remains, but I’m proud of Madison and happy to call this my home. Thank you!
University Avenue Bike Path Detour Ended
The bike path is completely open [..]. All path closures have been removed. Any detour signs that remain will be removed soon. The detour across University Avenue will be required one more time for the final path restoration. The final restoration will take place this spring after the asphalt plants open up in approximately 2 months. [..] Other work in the area will include replacement of a chain link fence between the RR and the path and landscape restoration.
Eric Hjellen – MMSD Project Engineer
Bike Lanes to be Added Under Troy Drive Railroad Bridge
The new bridge proposed would span the entire right of way, allowing for two vehicle lanes, bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the road. This is a much-needed improvement to facilitate safe travel for all modes of transportation. Read more…
This is a perfect time of year to catch beautiful sunrises over lake Monona along the cap city path at approximately 7:20am. The crisp cold air and clear blue sky’s have made an impressive display, the image above, just about every day last week. This week I am looking forward to a muted ride through the snow dusted landscape. These are joyful surprises which make winter biking worth all the effort.
Lip Balm Trick
Do you struggle to keep your nose and cheeks warm on cold blustery days when the windchill drops below zero? Scarves and neck gators work for a short while but quickly become frosted up. My recommended solution is to apply a thin layer of chap stick or lip balm to your nose and cheeks to keep them warm. Counterintuitively, the lip balm does not insulate your skin from the cold instead this trick works by creating a wind barrier. The lip balm wind barrier decreases the windchill factor and thus helps keep your face warmer. This is particularly important for cyclist because biking effectively increases the windchill.
Friday Feb. 11th – International Winter Bike Day
Join us in a few week for the International Winter Bike to Work Day! This year Madison Bikes is partnering with local businesses to encourage people to brave the cold by offering discounts to winter cyclists. In addition, we will also have some refreshments and fire pit setup at the John Nolan Dr. bike path counter starting at 3pm. Check the link below for details and to follow the event on Facebook: https://fb.me/e/1NSqx5Wah
Today the Madison Bikes board met to discuss our strategic vision and goals for the future. It was our first indoor event in almost two years because of the COVID pandemic. Its exciting get a group of passionate people together to figure out ways to make our hopes and dreams for biking in Madison a reality. There are a few open board seats and we encourage you to join our board if you are passionate about biking and want to learn how to make a bigger impact.
Buffered Bike Lanes Planned for Old Middleton Road
There will be an opportunity to add buffered bike lanes to Old Middleton Road when it is scheduled to be resurfaced in 2022. A public meeting on this project is expected to be scheduled soon.
ALERT: Bike Thefts
A number of bike thefts have been recently reported in the Madison Area, including the theft of a bike from one of our very own board members! Police asked anyone with information to contact police at 608-255-2345, or Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 or P3Tips.com.
Bike to School Week a Success
Marquette and Lapham schools on the near east side held a bike and walk to school week event in October. It was great to see lots of families having fun commuting to school in a healthy, safe and environmentally responsible way. Madison Bikes is planning to create a planning guide to help others organize similar events at schools around the city. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more or plan an event at your school.
Monday, Nov. 1st
Transportation and Planning Board is meeting at 5pm and will receive status updates from the Madison Director of transportation. This includes a presentation on BRT bike accommodations, which was also presented and discussed at Madison Bikes’ last community meeting. Followed by the October Directors Report which includes the following feedback and planned actions to make progress towards Vision Zero (zero traffic fatalities) on East Washington St. These actions are in response to multiple pedestrian and cyclist deaths on East Washington this year.
East Washington – Streetlight data shows that speed reduction has made a difference reducing speeds exceeding 40 mph.
Piloted tubular marker threshold treatment for 4 hours on East Washington Ave and saw a 9mph mean speed reduction. Will pursue several more implementations.
Wednesday, Nov. 3rd
The Greater Madison Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will be meeting virtually at 6:30 to discuss a number of resolutions related to Federal traffic safety targets and future work plans.
I hope you were able to join in the Madison Bike Week festivities last week, including the end of week party on Friday and Tuesday ride with the Mayor. Its great to see so many people and businesses supporting biking in Madison.
There are many transportation meetings this week, because both the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) and the Transportation Commission (TC) are meeting this week.
Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) is meeting virtually at 5pm. The agenda includes a review of the Draft Greater East Towne Area Plan. The presented “street ideas” add generous protected bike boulevards and cycle tracks to East Towne, High Crossing and Zeier Road. I believe the City did a nice job on this and I look forward to seeing this plan move forward. The big topic for this week is the 2022 Capital Budget, which is dominated by the $166M BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) project (71% is federally funded). Plus, I am pleased to see the Mayor also included $2M for Safe Streets Madison (combination of Neighborhood Traffic Mgmt., Safe Routes to School, Ped/Bike Enhancement and Vision Zero) and $613k for the city wide 20 is Plenty implementation. This budget proposal clearly shows Mayor Satya’s steadfast support of non-automobile modes of transportation Madison needs to thrive and be an enjoyable place to live.
The Transportation Commission (TC) is meeting at 5pm virtually and you must pre-register if you wish to speak at the meeting. The beginning of the meeting is mainly focused around authorizations for the east-west BRT project. Followed by authorization for the Judge Doyle Square Development Project and an update to parking restrictions on 1080 Walsh Road. The item of most interest to cycles is likely the #10 2022 Public Works Transportation Projects List. The following list is a summary of the bike bike/ped projects planned for next year. The plan also includes numerous road construction, reconstruction, and resurfacing projects.
New Sidewalks 2022 (not sure where)
Safe Streets 2022
Old Middleton Underpass @ Craig Ave
Quiet Zone 2022 @ East Isthmus
Cannonball Path @ Fish Hatchery Rd to Wingra Dr
W Main Bike Blvd 2023 @ Proudfit
W Towne Path Ph 3 2023 @ Commerce to S Junction Road