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Bike News

Spring 2021 Elections: Candidate Questionnaire

On April 6, Madison will vote on a number of municipal offices, including on city alders. We reached out to alders in all districts. While we are not making endorsements in this race, we wanted to provide our Madison Bikes community with information about how the alders responded to our questions.

We thank candidates for completing the questionnaire. Please see their responses below, and remember to vote!

Benji Ramirez Gomez – District 2

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

YES! I love biking. I didn’t learn how to bike until I was ten years old, but once I did, my parents professed they couldn’t get me off it. I remember biking the 8-9 miles between Cottage Grove and Monona as an 11 year-old!

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

I do support it! I think we as a city need to make driving less accessible and prioritized, and expand our public transit options. The reality is concrete is expensive to maintain in bitter cold WI. BRT, more bike Blvds, electric scooter, public ride share programs, etc!

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

The existing network connects 200+ of trails, bike lanes, and bike Blvds. Yet, bike commuting has stagnated. A good road bike runs $200-1000+, leaving low-income neighbors out of the loop. I support expansion of trails, increased education, and more community partners!

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

Bike Boulevards should be strictly bus and bike lanes. If BRT is to succeed, we need dedicated lanes that are not congested by through traffic. It should be quicker to bus/bike somewhere in the city than to drive. Reduce the amount of cars in the city to reduce the accident rate.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

The US is one of the largest producers of C02 per capita, in part, because of our over reliance on cars. We need a vision that centers pedestrians and bikers, which is why we need to be working towards a car-free Isthmus. It starts with granting our pedestrians the right of way.

Patrick W. Heck – District 2

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I am a daily bike commuter, or at least I was before the pandemic closed the building on campus in which I worked. I own a car, but it often sits for months without being used, so most of my transportation needs are met by biking. I do use Metro transit in snowy weather. As for memories, just this past August I camped and rode on the Cowboy Trail in northern Nebraska. This was the one and only vacation I’ve taken during the pandemic and was a perfect getaway – no people (perhaps for a good reason) and surprisingly gorgeous scenery.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes. We should greatly expand bike infrastructure and disincentivize the driving of motor vehicles. We also should not simply replace carbon-emitting vehicles with electric vehicles; instead we should reduce our investments in infrastructure that facilitates vehicular driving and put it into bike and transit infrastructure and programs.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes, our low-stress bike facilities should be expanded to constitute a network. With regard to enabling biking for everyone and to every location, we should strive for that, but we should also adopt housing and planning policies that focus new housing, jobs, education, and food access at existing transportation nodes (transportation of all types), as well as assure that new developments have the strong potential for access to the same services and capabilities. The biggest barriers to equitable bike access in District 2 are (1) E. Washington Avenue and its having been designed as a highway that is very unfriendly and dangerous to bike on for even experienced cyclists; (2) the unfortunate decision many decades ago to convert E. Johnson and E. Gorham Streets from two-way streets to one-way streets, and (3) the lack of safe, low stress points to cross E. Washington.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

Yes, yes, and yes. I am fully supportive of Vision Zero and its implementation.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Yes, yes, and yes. I am fully supportive of Vision Zero and its implementation.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I have been a member of Madison Bikes for several years, although I’m not sure that my membership is current. If not, I will gladly renew. I have attended many Madison Bikes events in recent years and plan to do so in the future.

Lindsay Lemmer – District 3

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I grew up riding my bike everywhere. My bike was my gateway to play and fun as a child. As a young adult, I fell in love with how easily navigable our city is using the Capital City Bike Trail, and often rode my bike to school as a UW-Madison student even though I lived in the suburbs of Madison. As a less young adult now, I’ve re-fallen in love with biking as a way to enjoy the outdoors while getting some exercise.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes, absolutely. We need to increase our bicycle and pedestrian paths and invest in their maintenance. We need more, and safer pedestrian and bicycling paths and connections. We also need to prioritize accessible and high-quality transit service as part of the solution. I support BRT and also want to increase the frequency of transit service and the number of stops in my district. We have a lot of residential development and we need transit to catch up. The transit route redesign the city is undergoing is a critical opportunity to improve transit and transit accessibility.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes, I absolutely support this. Bicyclists in my district are forced to ride on some high stress and high risk streets in order to access paths. It’s critical to increase the path connectivity in my district that has been so lacking. I am also pleased that the State and County are working on connecting the Glacial Drumlin trail and I will do everything I can to support those efforts.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

I was proud to co-sponsor the Vision Zero amendment in the 2020 budget to add funding to this critical initiative. I support all of these measures, and am pleased at the speed reduction on Milwaukee Street, in my own district, as it’s already made things safer. I regularly received reports of reckless driving and speeding on this stretch, and pedestrians and bicycles being put at risk and those have declined since this change.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Safety must be the top priority in how we manage our roads and traffic. Thus, safe access will be the first criteria and the most heavily weighted in my decisions in this area.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I think creating more opportunities for children to fall in love with bicycling is an important part of what we can do at the city level, too. I’m so excited by the initiatives our city Parks Department has been undertaking in this area. In my own district, I have a brand new park that will be getting a “kid sized single track” this spring. This is a dirt surface biking trail looping up and down a hill with some curves and hills for little mountain bikers. These kinds of projects cultivate a love of bikes in kids, and that typically becomes a lifelong fondness for bicycling. These are also rather inexpensive especially when compared to other play investments we make into our Parks. I will advocate and budget for more of these biking opportunities for kids.

Charly Rowe – District 3

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

Some of my first childhood memories include cruising through Madison’s east side neighborhoods on my rainbow painted banana seat. By thirteen years old, I was peddling to work at KFC on Cottage Grove Road. Bicycling has been a mode of transportation, and an enjoyable escape for me for as long as I can remember. This is the first summer both of my children will be without training wheels- watch out!

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

The benefits of increasing bike and transit mode share (sooner, rather than later) are many. To achieve our city’s commitment of zero net carb we must continue programs such as the new E-bikes and Bus Rapid Transit. Extending bike paths and public transport to communities on the east would be immeasurably valuable to the citizens; improving health and wellness, creating a sense of community, and improve workplace accessibility.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Absolutely, I am in support of such a bike network. Our District is one that clearly shows the racial and economic inequities of our on-going city planning. While my opponent advocates for a needed wider bike path on the Milwaukee Bridge; as Alder, I will advocate for safer bike paths and networking throughout the entire district. Many of our citizens bike on dangerous thoroughfares; children on open roadways, because the bike paths do not extend to us. The beautiful public paths end at Dempsey Road, the western border of our district. The injustices of inequitable access to the multiple benefits the city offers residents of other districts must come to and end. The city must stop minimizing the value of the essential citizens living on the east side.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

While in absolute support of measures to reduce injuries and death; measures to reduce speeds and the cause of these increasing crimes should be looked at carefully. Such discussions should be made known to the citizens for their input. East of Highway 51, the speed limit on Milwaukee Street was reduced from 35 to 25 m.p.h. recently. Law abiding citizens were angered that they now had to comply with this limitation; while those who sped through recklessly would continue to do so. Citizens expressed frustration with the lack of communication from the city in regards to letting them know and getting their input. They also wondered why there was no greater Police presence in such key speeding areas to curb the dangerous crimes. We need measures that address the underlying problems, not just those that legislate conformity.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

The very term “public right of way” implies that there is the ability for the larger public to use the space. Private car storage on public property is not an inherent right of the home occupants. Factors, such as: the type of housing, neighborhood density, and business needs, etc.; should be analyzed to make the best decisions for the communities. As Alder, it is my obligation to support in favor of the people’s expressed will. This is a great example of the type of civic issue that we must work more diligently on to educate and empower a greater portion of the citizenship.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like to share an announcement my friend, Kristie GoForth, recently posted at https://fb4kmadison.org/author/kristie/

This is the time of year children grow out of the bikes they used last summer; or families are just looking into getting their child their first bike. Covid has cloistered us all winter. We know our kids need to get out and get active this summer. Free Bikes 4 Kids Madison makes access to bicycling and all its benefits available to more families one bike at a time.

Regina Vidaver – District 5

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

In non-pandemic times, I commute to my job downtown by bike whenever weather allows (I commute by bus when it does not).

I still remember learning to ride a bike as a kid. For some reason, it didn’t “click” right away, so I remember being really frustrated each summer as my dad would take my training wheels off, I would fall, and he’d put them back on again. Finally (I think I was about 7) I was able to maintain my balance and successfully ride. That opened a new world of being able to bike around my neighborhood with my friends, and go on rides with my family.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Madison is overall a bike-friendly city, though there is always room for improvement. For example, the University Avenue reconstruction includes a bike and pedestrian overpass over University Bay Drive to increase safety and the speed with which bikes can travel on the path. Improvements in our built environment such as these, coupled with the city’s commitment to developing bus rapid transit, have the potential to significantly reduce car-initiated trips across the city, thereby reducing carbon emissions. Other initiatives, including car sharing services and expansion of B-cycle availability can further promote improvements to our city’s carbon footprint.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

We have not, as a city, made a commitment to ensuring access to biking for people with disabilities. We have the opportunity to engage people who want to be able to bike to identify the key barriers to their ability to do so. Areas of the city that could benefit from trails can be identified, and bike boulevards created to improve access and safety.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

Our city traffic engineers are tasked with assessing all needs of the community when revising, rebuilding, or building new roadways. There is a systemic effort to promote complete streets (making the street network better and safer for people walking, biking, driving, riding transit, and moving actively with assistive devices) within the city, however there are some roadways that, for a variety of reasons, may not be able to be upgraded as well as we might like. Intense study of options and public engagement are a couple of the tools available to ensure we are able to institute complete streets citywide.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Madison is constantly balancing the needs of pedestrians and bikes to safely maneuver our roadways and parking of cars. The city has invested significant resources in ensuring off-street parking options are available to many, though not all of our residents. The more we encourage bike and public transit, through prioritizing pedestrian and bike safety, and walkable communities with key services located therein, the fewer cars will be needed. All of these efforts must be coordinated and capitalized upon to serve our overlapping goals of increased accessibility of our sidewalks and streets, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and increased safety.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I appreciate your interest in and passion for ensuring Madison is a healthy community.

Brian Benford – District 6

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

Love this question! I love biking-no really I love biking. Too many favorite memories but I ill never forget cruising around Madison in 1079 riding a shared RED BIKE that was beat to crap but I will never forget falling in love with Madison as a 20 year old riding around.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes! As a Black man who has ridden for most of my life, I lament that there are not more BIPOC folks on bikes. I served on the City of Madison’s Platinum Bike Committee where I tried to advance biking within underrepresented communities, In order to increase ridership-we have to look at biking through a culturally competent lens.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Poverty, systemic racism, a tremendous disconnect with our natural environments are a few barriers to all biking. When people have to face trauma and marginalization daily, biking or transit alternatives are not placed as a priority. We have to create a program where there is free access to quality-again-quality bikes and have holistic educational opportunities that will allow for families and communities to build capacity through biking.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

I live on East Washington Avenue International Speedway where each day I see the perils and dangers offered to bikers on our busiest entryway into the city. This is telling! We need to create streets and paths that place people in direct contact with the places they frequent with enhanced safety measures like bike lanes, more paths, bumpouts, narrower streets and educating and facilitating more awareness on bike and ped. safety along with rerouting car traffic.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Yes! Yes!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I have biked since I was a wee lad living in Milwaukee during the 1960’s. I depend on my bike for not only transportation, but as almost a spiritual connection in being able to move my body through space on my own. As a father of five, a long time community activist, family advocate, I have tried to create pathways to get more BIPOC folks biking and connected with the environmental justice that biking offers.

Ayomi Obuseh – District 8

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I learned to ride a bike from my mom and it was a sense of independence for me. I in turn taught my younger brother and I was proud to share that experience with him. In essence, the freedom a bike brings is a really empowering experience for me.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Currently, about 5 percent of all trips in the city are done by bike and another 10 percent are by transit. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce crashes, and bring health benefits to our city, many plans and policies adopted by the city call for increasing the number of trips done by bike or transit.

We can reduce greenhouse emissions, reduce crashes, and bring more health benefits overall to our city by implementing more bike barns to keep bikes safe from the elements and investing to expand the reach of bike share programs such as Bicycle. I also want to support policies that invest in buses that run on renewable energy, such as electric buses, and free bus lines with priority given to bus lines with hospitals en route.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

We know that this past year has brought to the forefront Madison’s stark racial inequities, some of which directly relate to transportation. Low income neighborhoods and neighborhoods with a higher percentages of people of color often lack access to good transit, safe walking and biking, or to green spaces. Access to a car can often be the only way to reach jobs, but car ownership is a huge financial burden. In addition, people with disabilities, seniors, undocumented immigrants, and children have mobility needs that are often not met by driving. A bike network that serves people of all ages and abilities (rather just those who already are in the habit of biking today) throughout the whole city can provide an affordable and healthy transportation option.

I would fully support a bike network that would encourage increased bike usage, which would in turn lower our carbon footprint and promote healthy activities. If we look at cities with increased bike activity like Portland, Oregon, we see that their residents traveled 2.9 billion fewer miles and saved around $2.6 billion collectively. Increased bike usage is beneficial for the environment, the economy, and the overall well-being of residents. Currently, District 8 sees a decent amount of student bikers, but a large barrier that prevents bike usage is the lack of storage space. This is why I want to increase the amount of bike barns around District 8 to begin to combat this issue.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

Last year, the City of Madison adopted a Vision Zero policy. The core of this policy is a goal to eliminate all traffic fatalities and major injuries by building a “forgiving” system where human error does not lead to death or serious injury. During the COVID-19 pandemic, even though fewer cars have been on the road, speeding and dangerous driving have gone up. Speeding is the main factor in causing crashes, and the higher the speed, the more severe those crashes are, especially for people walking and biking. That being said,

With increased green transportation there will be more busing which will inevitably make the streets narrower. Ideally we should make state street a pedestrian zone which would send a message to the rest of the city on the inconveniences of having a car due to its impact on the environment. Overall, my goal is to increase public transportation, which is the safest option.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Background: Prioritizing of public right-of-way and Complete Streets: The public right of way is limited in our city. There are competing demands of what to use this right of way for: moving cars, moving buses, sidewalks, street trees, rain gardens, strategies, passenger and package pickup and delivery, car parking — and safe bike infrastructure. Madison has adopted a Complete Streets policy to “ensure that streets are designed to enable safe access for all users, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders, of all ages and abilities, to be able to move safely along and across the street.”

I would support more green transportation, particularly by foot and by bike. I want to be a huge advocate for electric buses for public transit so that we can transition from our heavy reliance on cars. I want to first get a better understanding from the community about what is needed, and I would gather this feedback from townhalls and outreach initiatives to come to a conclusion about how to move forward. In particular, I would work closely with the neighborhood association, of which I am currently on the steering committee for, to ensure that the needs of the community are being met but in an environmentally conscious, sustainable way.

Yannette Figueroa Cole – District 10

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I enjoy biking. It is not my main form of transportation; it is more of a recreational activity that allows me to relax and to see the City while at the same time being active. Under the right weather conditions, I love to bike and I have a number of memorable experiences biking. I have explored multiple times the Cannonball Path/Military Ridge State Trail from Dunn’s Marsh to Verona, the Southwest Commuter Path to the square but my most memorable experience was biking the perimeter of Madeline Island in Ashland, WI.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Biking is a way for many communities including District 10, particularly people who cannot afford a vehicle or access a driver’s license, to get around. Hence, I support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years. I think the steps in the “Complete Streets” policy could give us the tools we need to support and manage the changes. My recommendation is to ensure we are connecting the dots as to what is appropriate to ensure bike access and safety for all.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

The Southwest Trail cuts through my district and many families, particularly families of color, walk and bike it for recreation and exercise. It is important to create a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison. Some of the barriers to equitable access to biking in our district are owing an all-year-around bike, the understanding of safety in general, and bike path connectivity in some stretches of the path.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

I think reducing the number of people injured and killed on the streets takes educating, including hands-on training, those who are learning to bike about safety. Ensuring motorists are sharing the roads. And changing through traffic as appropriate to ensure biker safety.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

I think the “Complete Streets” policy makes sense. At my core, I believe in access for all. And so “ensuring that streets are designed to enable safe access for all users, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders, of all ages and abilities, to be able to move safely along and across the street,” makes sense to me. “Complete Streets” policy is a change of mindset and a change of culture. And as such, we need to support and manage the change with public information and other change-management tools to ensure the policy can be implemented with as much acceptance and understanding as possible.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

District 10 is rich in natural resources and have access to multiple bike paths and bike hubs. I would love to coordinate and collaborate to use biking events as a link/connection between the multiple neighborhoods in the district.

Mara Eisch – District 10

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I have many memorable experiences with riding a bike. I continue to use bike riding as a form of transportation today. I particularly enjoy the bike paths throughout the city. Biking has continued to be a family affair.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes I do support increasing biking and transit mode share. I would recommend looking at how feasible it is to ride the current paths especially through the isthmus as one travels from one side to the other. Bike paths that share the road need to be safe. In addition, I appreciate the bike path lighting, but again it needs to be perceived as safe to walk and ride. Perhaps every time we post an incident on a bike path we should also post how many uneventful trips have been made to put in perspective how safe our bike paths are. I would encourage a link between bike safety and our Neighborhood Resource Teams to build a sense of safety on our bike paths.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

I am very interested in how we can make the bike network a more affordable and healthy transportation method for those currently not using it. Identifying the barriers and addressing them is the first step. I also think the bus and bike network needs to be well coordinated.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

As we look at reducing injury and death of bikers on our streets, speeding is certainly one issue. We struggle with controlling speed for pedestrians safety also. Several streets in District 10 have residents complaining about the inability to cross due to speeding. While speeding needs to be addressed are there others ways to put more space between bikers and vehicles? I would prefer to look at ways to allow our bike paths to accommodate more bike and walkers that police for speeders.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

There are so many positions that want to be heard in this discussion. We also have competing city goals, ie, reducing parking to reduce traffic and encourage bus usage and at the same time wanting smoother, faster transit by vehicle through town, and then there is the Traffic Calming approach. It seems we are talking out of both sides of our mouth. What is the goal? Where will people be living and working? How will they get from one place to the other? What combination of transit is needed? How will this work for all ages, incomes and abilities? There are many questions to ask in the bigger picture if we are going to serve all means of transportation.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I would like to emphasize the imprtance of everyone feeling safe on the bike paths and sidewalks. I believe we are safer than we think we we are. But to get to the point of feeling safe requires some change. I do not support a policing attitude of fear. I support a neighborhood driven sense of safety, that includes neighborhood partnerships with police through resource teams and community driven support to ensure a sense of safety. We need to make our neighborhood identities stronger not weaker in their own sense of efficacy. (Sorry for any typos, this was not a self correcting form.)

Tessa Echeverria – District 12

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I love biking and have my whole life. A couple years ago I built up a longhaul trucker and biked from Vancouver BC to San Francisco. It was 30 days, just the bike and the road. I often think back to that summer. It was amazing to spend a month biking down the coast and through the redwoods. It brought home how important it is that we protect our environment. Seeing it all on a bicycle was especially eye opening, as you work for each mile and really get a chance to see the environment slowly change around you.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes! I strongly support the goal of doubling bike and transit mode share. I would like to push for that goal in the next 5 years, and believe we can. I would work to make sure new developments are linked into actual bike paths to increase access to the bike pathways, including adding new bike paths and bridges to make biking easier and safer. I know my path to work from my house makes me bike down the side of busy roads for a while and that isn’t safe during heavy traffic or after dark. I would also work with business to improve bike parking and showers/lockers for biking employees. I would also fight for more bus routes, and electric buses. I would love to push for and see light rail come to Wisconsin and Madison.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes, I think creating a solid bike network is important to increasing the number of bikers in our city. In district 12, we have good bike paths with bridges over E Washington and Aberg Ave. I would like to see a bridge over Packers Ave, having to cross Packers breaks up your ride and forces you to cross a busy road with lots of speeding.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

I support adding barriers between the cars and the bike lane to stop cars from using the bike lane to drive in. I support re-thinking our roads to be more bike friendly and to increase public transit. I think it is important to increase access and ease of use for non-car transportation. While doing this we do have to keep in mind lots of working-class people have no choice but to use cars, and when we are reimagining the road systems we have to account for that, especially in the transition time before bike safety is increased and public transit made more accessible.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

I do support the Complete Streets policy. When we talk about safety in this area it must be recognized that walkers and bikers are the most valuable to injury in the streets, we have to add extra safety measures. I understand at times that will slow down or be inconvenient to car traffic.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I want to develop a People First Transportation policy that puts people before cars, paving the way for free bus transit and a car-free isthmus by providing fare-free bus transit to Madison residents, prioritizing bus rapid transit options that favor buses over personal vehicles, ensuring easy bus accessibility to all members of the Madison community, including the disabled and elderly, and eventually expanding the State Street car-free zone to the entire isthmus when public transport works for everyone.

Brandi Grayson-Tuck – District 14

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I’m passionate about improving conditions for Madison because when I moved from the south side of Chicago to Madison, this was the first place I saw bike lanes and green spaces. I know we have a lot of opportunities, and I’m driven to make them equitably accessible for all Madisonians.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes – for both environmental and accessibility reasons, we should be moving away from individual cars as a city. For many of our lowest income residents, a city that is forcing car dependence is forcing them into unnecessary tickets as they struggle to maintain a car, a license, its registration, and insurance. All these fees add up and if one falls behind they can get trapped in the criminal justice system. Bicycling, one of many alternatives, is much more affordable in addition to environmentally sustainable.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes, but like any system, like public transportation, it must be implemented in a socioeconomically and racially equitable way. Our current bus system heavily centers young professionals, downtown residents, Epic employees, and the near east and west side. We need to make sure all systems of transportation are easy to access to everyone. In addition to infrastructure, the greatest barrier in D14 is the initial cost. We should find ways for residents to get access to bicycles and safety equipment at a price point they find reasonable.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

The most obvious answer is the right one: We need to move away from cars. Bicycles are part of this solution – other parts include increasing public transportation, which are driven by professionals, and expanding public transportation options to ideas like light rail.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Narrower lanes reduces speeding so ways to prioritize public right-of-way can not only improve accessibility of public transportation and bicycles, but it can reduce traffic incidents and speeding as well.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Visit the many businesses in D14, preferably on your bicycle!

Jael Currie – District 16

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I fortunately learned to ride a bike as a child and have usually always had my own bike or access to one to ride. My riding has increased tremendously during the last year due to being home with limited safe entertainment options as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been introduced to wonderful community orgs such as Free Bikes for Kidz and Madison B-Cycle which have provided opportunities for myself and children to bike more. It has also increased my awareness of the plethora of beautiful bike paths, parks, and conservations. I was even blessed enough to receive a gift of my very first Trek road bike a couple months ago!

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes, I support the use of alternative transportation methods that will assist in the reduction of our carbon footprint. As Alder, I would recommend continuing the collaborations between the city, county, and individuals, organizations, and systems that support comprehensive bike ridership and public transportation options. I would preface this however with making sure to be intentional about providing robust, accessible, and equitable bike and transit opportunities before decreasing options to travel by personal car etc. We must ensure that we do not in turn, create increased barriers and inaccessibility to the city by increasing alternative transportation options.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes, absolutely! Through my professional work, I have been in touch with local organizations and community leaders about creating partnerships to develop solutions that will increase ridership and awareness of citywide resources (such as Madison B-Cycle), especially among disenfranchised and/or marginalized communities. In fact, 2 summers ago, YWCA Madison and Madison B-Cycle partnered to provide free memberships to YWCA residents. I would like to deepen partnerships like this as a Council member and do all that’s possible to provide city support and resources to improve equitable access. District 16 has many parks, bike paths, and natural resources. In full transparency, I will need to ask accessibility specific questions as I continue engaging with D16 residents and neighbors since lack of access & equity, in this regard, has not yet come up during preliminary campaign conversations. I would assume financial burden and lack of awareness of biking resources are barriers to equitable access.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

I think continued education about statistics of traffic and/or biking accidents, transportation safety, and resources can assist with this endeavor. I do support measures that promote overall safety such as lowering speeds on streets, especially those with “on street (bike) routes,” placement of speed control bumps, and eliminating slip lanes. Safety of all commuters is paramount but given our cities desire to utilize alternative transportation methods and sustainability efforts, we should look into every effort to increase safe commuting options for cyclists and pedestrians.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

I support plans that will help policy makers assign priorities in the public right of way. Priorities from my perspective include analyzing connectivity for various travel modes, surveying parking and loading needs, maintaining terrace space, space for city services (such as leaf/brush collection and snow storage), and opportunities for rain gardens/stormwater treatment. I also seek to gather feedback and perspectives from residents in my district and throughout the city to help inform my decisions. In addition, one of the city committees I would like to sit on is the transportation policy and planning committee.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you for your work and commitment to making Madison a city where anyone can ride a bicycle conveniently and comfortably year round!

Matthew Tramel – District 16

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

Both myself and my wife are avid bikers. For most of the year, Heather rides from our home in Glendale, to UW Hospital downtown. I have a home office, but love exploring Madison on long rides. So we’re excited to be a one-car family, which is possible because Madison is a bike-friendly city. I’ll share a powerful memory from this past fall. Daylight was getting shorter, so Heather was frequently leaving for work in the dark. I was up early walking our dog, and we happened to leave the garage at the same time. She was absolutely weary from battling Covid with her patients, and I encouraged her to take the car – which would afford her another hour of sleep. She said that the enjoyment of riding to the hospital was the only thing keeping her going through such a terrible time. I’ve never been prouder of her than in that moment.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

That is an important and realistic goal. To achieve it, we’ll need to work hard to eliminate gaps on our bike paths that lead to dangerous interactions with street traffic. And we’ll need to expand bike sharing programs, particularly with more e-bikes that make navigating Madison’s terrain more accessible to every citizen. It was recently announced that the City signed a 10-year contract to expand the Trek E-Bike program with 100 new bikes, but all of those commitments are only for the downtown area. That’s disappointing. We deserve that same amenity on the East Side. In particular – E-bike stations could be used to connect neighbors to the proposed Bus Rapid Transit Line, which is foundational to doubling the transit mode share. Unfortunately the current BRT plan doesn’t include the 16th District or the greater East Side – which is something I’ll work hard to address in upcoming planning discussions.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Absolutely. And we can start by clearly understanding current barriers within our own communities. Without going through this ‘discovery’ process, however, we risk failing to act in a meaningful way. For instance, we understand that to create more equitable access, citizens need a bike network that is safe and reduces friction with car traffic. As Alder, I would bring the community together to identify and inventory specific locations that constrain ‘bikeability’. This can be achieved by meeting with each neighborhood association for direct input from local neighbors, and establishing a shared understanding of the places that we can transform to improve the overall environment. Let’s identify the areas where bike trails are interrupted, and as a result reduce bike safety and equitable access in general. Once interested stakeholders identify these common areas for improvement, we can develop a strategy to work with the City to address the issues.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

Madison’s adoption of the Vision Zero policy is an important step in the right direction. Certainly I am supportive of reducing speeds on our roads wherever practicable. But we also need to continue to find ways to separate bike lanes from street traffic and connect parts of the bike path that are currently disconnected from the system. I need to further study issues like eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower and prohibiting through traffic on some streets, but we have to find creative solutions to make biking safer in general. One important step we could take immediately is to develop a public awareness campaign – using social media, digital marketing and roadway signage – that raises awareness of bikers and encourages safe driving practices.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

In Madison we have an opportunity to create a smarter transportation future. We should be advancing public policy that prioritizes public safety and equitable mobility. Reducing car trips whenever possible is an important step in that direction. To do that, however, we need efficient, affordable and accessible bus service that connects all communities. We also need a more expansive bike sharing program that extends beyond the isthmus. Let’s also think creatively about new multi-family development across the city. Can our developers and architects find unique design solutions that reduce car parking and incentivize tenants to remain ‘carless’? Today’s ride sharing platforms are also significantly reducing reliance on car ownership, which is something we can embrace to reduce traffic while also increasing mobility.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I look forward to working with Madison Bikes – and the entire community – to create a safer, healthier and more equitable future for mobility in Madison!

Rebecca Kemble – District 18

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

Biking was freedom to me as a child and teenager. In a family of 5 kids in the 1970s if I wanted to go anywhere I was mostly on my own to do it. Biking was my primary mode of transportation to and from activities every day. Before having children I also biked as my primary mode of transportation. A general memorable experience about biking, especially in the late spring, summer and fall, is experiencing a rolling smorgasbord of aromas.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes. By investing in more and better infrastructure and supporting a public education campaign.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes. Northport Drive and Lakeview Hill are literally the biggest barriers in my district.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

Slowing speeds is the best way to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities. I have been a supporter of Vision Zero and shifting our public safety investments to places where rebuilding intersections and streets can make a significant difference.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Yes. I fought hard for this on the Winnebago St. reconstruction project in particular.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thanks!

Aisha Moe – District 19

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

While I have lots of memories related to biking leisurely and commuting on bike, one of my favorite memories was the first time I went mountain biking on a family vacation in Wisconsin. It was the first time I got to ride down hills on wooded trails at high speeds. And, yes, I walked away with a few bruises and scrapes, but nothing really ever matched that sense of pride and accomplishment my family and I felt at the end of that day.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

I absolutely support doubling bike and transit mode share. The biggest ways we will be able to reduce carbon emissions for the city will be by expanding our public transit system and the biking and pedestrian paths in the city.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes, I support creating a low-stress bike network that prioritizes equal access to everyone in Madison. The city can support equitable access to travel and commuting by expanding bike paths, bussing routes and pedestrian walkways in the city, but especially in the neighborhoods that have been historically underserved.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

In my district, I support initiatives that will reduce speeds on residential roads. For instance, on Gammon Rd, radar speed signs were introduced to lower speeds. Additionally, there are requests from neighbors in District 19 to introduce stop signs or traffic lights/circles on Old Sauk to lower the speed of cars. I support such measures. Slower speeds keep everyone safer.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

I will prioritize safe bike infrastructure over car storage in the city. One of the ways we can encourage residents of Madison to utilize environmentally sustainable modes of transit over cars is by making those modes of transit more attractive such as increasing the number of busing routes or biking paths. Additionally, we can increase the desire to use public transit or biking by making travel by car less attractive: for example, not increasing the number of parking spaces or charging fees for parking.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you for taking your time to read this!

Categories
Weekly Update

Well, that was false spring.

I have been thinking back to a year ago when the pandemic started. This year, will we see an expansion of the Shared Streets program, with more spaces for safe recreation? Will the program this year focus less on recreation and more on the need for all communities to get to work and other destinations safely and comfortably? How would the year have been different for parents with children in virtual school, if the streets were safe to play in? Photo credit: Marybeth McGinnis

I’m not a native Sconnie, but I’ve been around long enough to recognize that we just experienced false spring. A beautiful weekend, perfect for a relaxing ride on a cruiser; a day to bring out your bike from storage and remember the feeling of the sun on your face as you ride. Unfortunately, Monday has snow in the forecast, so don’t get too used to it. Still, beautiful riding weather is nearly here for keeps! (Although of course, all weather is riding weather with the right gear and safe infrastructure!)

Are you a member of our Madison Bikes Facebook community? If not, you’re missing out on great discussions like this one about the biking accessibility of the Alliant vaccine site.

This Week

BCycle returns! Madison’s electric bike share program returns today, March 15, with a special Art Bike program.

Thursday

Interested in spaces for recreational cycling for all ages and abilities? On March at 5:30 pm, there will be a meeting about the Aldo Leopold Pump Track. The proposed project would create an approximately 7000 square foot asphalt pump track near the shelter at Aldo Leopold Park. If you want to learn more and ask questions, this is a great meeting to attend.

Coming Up

Don’t miss Madison Bikes Community Meeting next Monday, March 22 at 6 pm for Bike Advocacy 101. Board member Robbie Webber will lead a presentation and discussion on advocating for biking in Madison. We’ll then dive into known (and unknown) bike problem areas in Madison. You can join by Zoom or watch the livestream on Facebook.

Are you voting in the April election? We will have answers from city alder candidates ready to view next week. Madison Bikes will not be endorsing candidates, but we look forward to educating candidates and the community through this process. Keep a lookout for more info on this blog and on the Madison Bikes Facebook group!

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

Spring Elections Coming Soon

Photo credit: Harald Kleims

This weekly is a relatively slow one on the bike events-and-meetings front. It’s as good a week as any to do your research about candidates running in the primary elections on February 16 for alder. For the April general election, the Madison Bikes Board will send out biking-related questions to those candidates running that pass the primary and make these available to our biking community. We’re always happy to hear from you about what you think are the highest priorities for safe biking for all in the Madison community, and where you would like to see our efforts focused.

Looking for a way to help the biking community? Become a trail reporter for the Wisconsin Office of Outdoor Recreation! They need riders to report on the conditions of trails during the year. You can learn more here and sign up to be trail reporter here.

Additionally, as we get seemingly endless snowstorms, be sure to check out our second episode of Madison Bikes Winter TV: “Staying Warm”.

This Week

This week, several transportation-related commissions will meet. First, the Greater Madison Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Policy Board has its monthly meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 pm (info here).

The Transportation Policy and Planning Board will also meet Wednesday, at 5 pm. (info here). The agenda is light on biking items, but several items are focused on safety (through the lens of Vision Zero) and Complete Streets; we’ll continue to discuss these projects throughout the year on this blog. Folks following the BRT project might be interested in a report on the left turns on Mineral Point Road, which recommends keeping all turns with center-running buses due to potential delay for motorists.

On Thursday at 6 pm, there is another input meeting for the Vilas Park Master Plan. You can learn more about it here.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

No City Meetings, More Time for Winter Biking

Bike paths cleared near Atwood. Image Credit: Angela Richardson

This Week

Unsurprisingly, it’s a light week for city meetings, and there are no meetings on the calendar with bike-related items.

A few non-meeting things to keep in mind:

  • Vilas Park Drive is reopened to car traffic despite its Draft Master Plan recommending its closure to cars and a petition that collected hundreds of signatures.
  • Be the eyes of the city and report issues with snow clearing on streets or paths; additionally, report snow or ice covered sidewalks.
  • Since we have a few weeks light on meetings, start thinking about- and submitting – those ideas for Pedestrian Bicycle Improvements. This is a great program; you can see the 2020 funded project list here. You can email Renee Callaway with 2021 projects ideas.

Did You See?

West siders, rejoice! Have you used the new Gammon Underpass yet? It’s a nice present in time for the holidays, and we hope to see the city continue to close gaps in the biking network.

Coming Soon: More Madison Bikes Winter TV

As is apparent from a recent post in our Facebook community, how to ride safely and comfortably throughout the Wisconsin winter is one of the most popular questions we hear! We released our first video last month about riding in fall (check it out below). With a first major snow and temperatures expected below 20 this week, we’ll be releasing the next video soon. Thank you to our community for spreading the word: “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.”

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

City Budget This Week, Shared Streets Survey

As cases continue to climb in Wisconsin and beyond, be sure to wear a mask and reduce unnecessary trips.

What a wild week: yes, there was an election, but there was also 70 degree weather in November. A bit concerning, but I hope every Wisconsinite was able to get out on bike before the temperature dips down again.

Last Week

Madison’s Shared Streets program has ended for the winter. Early into the COVID-19 pandemic, the city restricted traffic on a number of streets Atwood Avenue, Mifflin Street, and Vilas Park Drive. This program was similar to many programs in other cities. On a personal note, I use the Mifflin Bike Boulevard nearly daily; amazingly, the simple ‘Road Closed’ barrier made such a substantial difference in not only my physical safety but in my mental health. We encourage every Madison Bikes community members to reply to the city’s survey (in English and in Spanish) and to consider what it means to riders – and not-yet riders – to have streets with slow-moving, safer traffic patterns.

This Week

Madison city budget discussions start this week, with a meeting held on Tuesday that includes public testimony, and meetings on Wednesday and Thursday without public comment. As we discussed at a previous Community Meeting, the Madison budget is relatively good for biking investment. However, we also discussed how city officials are most often used to hearing from members of the public who disagree with proposals. We encourage reaching out to your alder to support budget items such as Vision Zero and bike infrastructure – in a tough budget year, this helps to reduce the chances of these items being removed throughout the process.

Categories
Weekly Update

TPPB/TC Joint Meeting, and More

Have you ever tried putting your bike on a bus? It’s a great skill to have just in case! Photo credit: Harald Kleims

This Week

Portions of East Washington Ave. will have speed limits reduced to 25 mph. This is a part of the Vision Zero initiative. With a growing number of businesses and residences, East Wash is become a dangerous road – a highway through the heart of downtown. We’re excited to see this road transform into a transportation artery that is safe for cyclists, pedestrians, drivers, and bus riders (and eventually BRT riders!).

Wednesday is a busy night. First, the Transportation Commission and Transportation Policy and Planning Board will meet at 5 pm in a joint meeting. The agenda has quite a lot going on for those interested in policy and how the city can make biking more comfortable for all, including agenda points from the Traffic Calming Subcommittee and a discussion on equity. Nothing very specific to biking this week, but a useful way to see transportation more holistically.

Next, the Joint Campus Area Committee will meet on Wednesday at 4:45pm. For folks who live near campus, this meeting might be of interest, as the Village of Shorewood Hills’ sustainability plan has several plans to improve biking in the area.

Don’t Forget…

We promote a lot of road and mixed-use path cycling around here…but what about those of you excited for off-road travels? Check out the Madison Bicycle Adventure Trail Community Engagement Meetings, happening on Oct 13, Oct 15 and Oct 28 from 6-7:30pm. The meetings will be online with required registration. If you cannot attend, you can still email feedback. More Info.

Cycle September is still happening, too!

Categories
E-Mail

Announcing Madison Bike Week 2020!

Every year, Madison Bike Week is the premier biking event in town. Bike stations, food, Ride the Drive, and the end-of-week party – all are a part of the event we look forward to every year.

Of course, like everything else in 2020, this year is different. However, we’re still so excited to make a safe Madison Bike Week happen!

From September 12-20, enjoy fun events such as virtual events, deals & special offers for bike riders, physically-distanced rides, and more! Already planned are: 

  • A discussion for women, trans and femme folks about issues we face as cyclists
  • A UW-sponsored scavenger hunt
  • A food drive
  • Madison Bikes participation in Cycle September — we even have our own group in Love to Ride, if you’d like to join.

Lots more events are planned, and you can RSVP to the Facebook event and follow our website for updates.

Bike Week celebrates riding to work, to the grocery store, to a park, to the library—or biking just to feel the warm wind blowing through your hair. Celebrating cycling is more important than ever, and we’re so excited to make Madison Bike Week possible.  

If you would like to have an event listed on our calendar, offer a deal/discount, or otherwise participate as an organization, please register your event here

This event is generously supported by our sponsors:

Categories
Bike News Weekly Update

Board Member on NPR, Cedar St. meeting

Did you see? Woodman’s East just added a bunch of new bike parking! Photo credit: Nate Smith

A member of our Board of Directors, Robbie Weber, was interviewed last week by NPR. If you’re new-to-biking or know someone who is, it’s a great starting point for advice. Although, as Robbie points out: “Believe it or not, people often are glad to share their knowledge. You may not be able to shut them up once you ask them for help.” What can we say- we love to see new people on cycles!

This Week

On the biking front, it’s a fairly light week. There’s a public information meeting about the Cedar Street construction, happening on August 20. There are some questions about the best path forward, with two alternatives listed. One of these involves road design and parking on the new Cedar Street. The city is deciding between a buffered bike lane for the entire stretch of the new Cedar Street or transitioning partway to standard bike lanes.

In notable construction: The Badger State Trail in Fitchburg is closed for construction of a bridge over Highway PD until mid-late September. Follow the marked bicycle detour.

It’s Madison in the summer, which means lots of construction. As always, make sure you receive the city’s Bike Madison update emails.

Next Week

A public information meeting for the the long-planned reconstruction of West Wilson Street is happening on August 25. Learn more and register here.

Now that the sun is beginning to set before 8, don’t forget your bike light. Keep getting in those great summer rides!

Categories
Bike News

Monday Update: Vision Zero at TPPB, new bike lane on Ingersoll

The Southwest Commuter Path will close today, July 6 through Friday, July 10 at Odana Road to Glenway Street; and Commonwealth Avenue to Prospect Avenue for resurfacing. Follow the detours!

Good news: there is a new counterflow bike lane on Ingersoll between Gorham and Sherman. While this is a short segment, it adds important infrastructure in crossing the isthmus safely.

This Week

On Monday, July 6, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board will meet. On the agenda includes the adoption and endorsement of a Vision Zero policy. Vision Zero is a framework that recognizes that humans will make errors and that all traffic deaths are preventable, specifically through better systems. Since the adoption of Vision Zero, cities such as Oslo, Norway eliminated all pedestrian and cyclist deaths.

Madison Bikes strongly supports Vision Zero, with the belief that police enforcement should not be a part of achieving this goal. Enforcement places BIPOC people at disproportional risk of violence at the hands of the police. Smart engineering and offering safe, convenient alternatives to driving is the best way to avoid the most common way Americans interact with the police – traffic stops – as well as to keep all road users safe. The Madison Bikes board will be releasing a statement about Vision Zero soon.

On Wednesday, July 8, the Board of Public Works will meet. A number of projects will be featured, including roadway geometry around Fish Hatchery-South Park Street; developments around McCormick Ave/Commercial Ave; Kipp Street; and 4003 E. Washington Ave. have new bike and pedestrian infrastructure proposed.

Future

One of our community members, Margie Franzen, is inviting everyone to join for a virtual book club on August 14 at 7 pm. The book is Cyclescapes of the Unequal City. A Look at Bicycles and Gentrification. The Facebook event is here.

New website

As you may have noticed, we recently launched our new website. This took a great deal of effort, including from a few super-volunteers, to make the back-end migration a success. This is one of many ways volunteers can help Madison Bikes with our mission – if you want to get more involved, sign up today!

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Bike News

Weekly Update: New Facebook groups; Urban Design Commission; Bookclub

Car-free Arboretum Drive - a safe place for kids to bike

This Week

No surprise – the week of Memorial Day is light in biking content, especially in the time of COVID. Get out on the trails, give distance, and enjoy the weather. If you’ve been able to enjoy one of the car-free streets like Arboretum Drive, send us a pic to share on our social media. (And don’t forget to tell your alder that you love that the city has opened streets to people!)

We’re sad to learn that DreamBikes West is closing. DreamBikes provides opportunities for teens to learn professional and bike skills, and its loss will be felt in that area.

We have two new Facebook groups for you to join: Haul it by Bike and Car-Free Madison. Join if you’re car-free-curious – as someone who sold my car a bit over a year ago, I can only recommend it.

The Urban Design Commission meets Wednesday, May 27 at 4:30 pm. The agenda, at first glance, is not bike-heavy; however, a number of the proposals on this list include massive increases in parking structures in downtown attached to offices, retail, and more. Consider speaking in favor of a more balanced approach to the transportation needs of who will use these future buildings, such as bike parking, bike lanes, safe crossings at intersections for cyclists and pedestrians, buses, and more.

Learn to Ride webinar, el 28 de mayo: Este seminario web está destinado a padres, madres, tutores, maestros u otros cuidadores que apoyan a los niños que aprenden a andar en bicicleta. También para adultos que deseen aprender a andar en bicicleta.

Coming up: Virtual Book Club: Join Us June 12 at 7 pm!

We moved the date of our virtual bookclub back a few weeks so more of you could join us. We are reading How Cycling Can Save the World by Peter Walker and will meet (virtually) on June 12, 7pm. Reach out to marybeth@madisonbikes.org for more info, or RSVP to the Facebook event.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.