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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!

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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.

Categories
Bike News

Weekly update: our letter to the City and of course, more COVID-19

Person riding family cargo bike in front of Wisconsin State Capitol

We might be social distancing, but Jake Foley sent us this photo of his family enjoying an Easter ride downtown.

COVID-19 and social distancing continue. Because I worked at the polls, I’m currently completely quarantined in my apartment. My biking activity is limited to sadly looking at my locked-up bike from my fire escape – but for those of you allowed to leave the house, stay safe out there and read our updates below!

Madison Bikes letter to the City of Madison on creating space for people during COVID-19

Madison Bikes sent a letter to the City of Madison supporting the idea of opening some lanes and roads to pedestrians and bicycles during the pandemic. These proposals are not meant to encourage group rides or group walks. Across the city, there are severely reduced traffic volumes and a need for folks to be able to safely exercise, as well as for essential workers to get to work across the city, especially with restrictions placed on buses. We believe the City should follow in lead of other cities like Oakland in opening roads to people. Consider, for example, that the average sidewalk is less than 6 feet wide; without opening streets to people, it is impossible for folks to walk to work, the grocery store, or walk their dog without passing close to others.

Transportation Commission

The Transportation Commission will meet virtually at 5 pm on Wednesday. If you have never been to a Transportation Commission meeting (or any other City meetings), this is a great opportunity. Expect to hear updates from the staff about the work that has been done thus far to address COVID-19 impacts. The Commission will also discuss the Garver Path and the proposed University Avenue reconstruction, which includes a multi-use overpass. We’ve written about this project before.

You can register to speak at this virtual meeting.

If you enjoy being able to access these meetings from your home, consider letting the City know that you would appreciate this service after the pandemic. Virtual meetings are great for parents, folks who live far from the Capitol (especially those dependent on bikes and buses for transit), people with disabilities, and more.

Staying safe while riding

More vulnerable riders, such as those with children, may feel more comfortable on the bike paths. If you are a more experienced rider, consider riding on streets when possible, as paths have at times been crowded. If you usually feel intimidated by riding on the road, we recommend giving it a try – lower car traffic means a lower-stress ride! If you’re looking for tips and tricks, we recommend joining our Facebook group.

Governor Evers has closed 40 state parks, forests, and recreational areas due to “unprecedented crowds, litter, vandalism and the need to protect the health and safety of…visitors and staff.” Trails and other areas that are maintained by Dane County and the City of Madison remain open, but your help is needed to keep these places available. When you ride or walk in these areas, give people at least 6 feet of space. Only pass when you can pass everyone near you with at least 6 feet of space. Wear a cloth mask, stay home if you or someone in your household feels sick, and remain patient. Remember that many of us are cooped up inside, including those with kids. If you are riding recreationally or for mental health, try to choose times that are less busy.

Need a bike or a tune up?

As a reminder, bike shops are deemed essential businesses. Before turning to your local shop, refer to our map for more information. We appreciate any updates you may have about the status of bike shops. Please keep staff safe by washing your hands, disinfecting your bike before dropping it off, wearing a cloth mask, and keeping your distance. We encourage you to give your business to these shops.

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: transportation meetings & more

Thank you to the volunteers who came the Free Bikes 4 Kids event on Saturday!

This Week

Monday

Transportation Policy and Planning Board will meet at 5 pm in Madison Municipal Building, 215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd in room 215. The Board will discuss the future of the city’s bike registration program. Currently, bikes are required to be registered with the City; the Board is discussing repealing the program, expanding enforcement/engagement, and other options. If you can’t make the meeting, submit comments to the members here; read the presentation here.

Wednesday

The Madison Area Transportation Planning Board will meet at 6:30 pm in the Water Utility at 119 E. Olin Avenue in Room A-B. You can read the agenda here. They currently have a survey out about their rebranding efforts – it only takes 5 minutes!

The Board of Public Works will meet at 4:30 pm in Room 108 in the City- County Building at 210 Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd. On the agenda is the Anderson St. project. It looks like the board prefers option 3 which would have no eastbound bike lane but a multi-use path along the south side of the road. It is unclear if this would include any improvements to the Stoughton Rd intersection.

Saturday

Revolution Cycles (2330 Atwood Avenue) will host French New Wave/ Ands/ Threadmaker. From the Facebook description:

The French New Wave makes their first Madison appearance in 18 years! Members of Dramatic Lovers, CONTROL, ASUMAYA, Heller Mason, etc. making twisting, bossa-nova-inflected, slow-core tunes.

Ands rolls in from Chicago to bring their mathy, angular mayhem to the bike shop. From the fine folks who brought you Space Blood, Cut Teeth, & As Hell.

Threadmaker makes all their thread from scratch each night. Find them at the intersection of noise rock and free improv.

Sunday

Sponsored by the Sierra Club and from the Facebook event:

Transitioning Transportation – Clean, Just & Resilient.

Come to this workshop to learn about transportation and its influence on climate change. How can we transition our transportation system in Dane Co? Presenters will provide information on:

– The amount of greenhouse gases from the transportation sector

– Areas in which we can build resilience and reduce emissions

– Examples of projects already in progress.

And we will have small group discussions to gather your ideas. What can we do as a community to reduce emissions that result in a clean, just and resilient transportation system?

We need your input as we implement Dane Co’s Climate Action Plan!

For the Future

If you, like me, have been obsessively checking the weather calendar for the next few months, you might be excited for spring (or, more accurately in Wisconsin, the sudden shift to summer after that last blizzard). However, you can get in a great last winter ride before the spring equinox! We’re hosting a Mural Ride on March 15 – longer and shorter routes available, with free pizza at the beginning generously provided by Ian’s, and discounted drinks & food at Working Draft after the ride!

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.