Weekly Update

Summer rides, and detours

This week’s image is just a reminder that we see so much more when we are biking. I spotted this sandhill crane next to the Campus Dr Path. We watched each other from a distance of a couple dozen feet for about 15 minutes, until we both got bored. When we bike, we are more likely to see amazing sights such as this, and we can easily stop to enjoy them.

It’s been a quiet week, and the week ahead is pretty sleepy as well, if you don’t count construction that will either close or slow parts of two important trails. Ah, road construction even hits the paths we use.

The week ahead


Pedal and Paddle Community meeting

Do you like to bike? Do you like to paddle? Then July’s community event is for you. 6:00-7:00 pm at the Central Library on W Mifflin, Room 104. Beverages and snacks provided.

Local author and silent sports disciple Timothy Bauer will offer a fun and informative presentation on combining pedaling and paddling, along with helpful basics, tricks, and considerations to get things started. All are welcome, no experience necessary.

Wisconsin has oodles of dedicated trails throughout the state — most of which cross over or even run alongside beautiful rivers. In Madison, we have beautiful lakes visible on almost every bike ride. 

Bike Fitchburg monthly meeting

Also on Monday, Bike Fitchburg will hold their monthly meeting 7:00pm – 8:30pm, Fitchburg Senior Center, 5510 Lacy Rd


The Joint Campus Area Committee – a city committee comprised of UW entities and representatives from surrounding neighborhoods – will meet virtually at 4:45 pm. The committee receives various updates on campus projects, holes in the ground, and the buildings you see going up. The primary item of transportation interest will be an update on the survey and planning for updates to the Howard Temin Lakeshore Path – the subject of a recent public meeting and some discussion on the Madison Bikes Facebook discussion group – and improvements to the path where it passes the Limnology building. 

Construction and detours

Post Farm Path in Shorewood Hills to close

Also a reminder that the portion of the Post Farm Path from Marshall Ct to Perdue in Shorewood Hills – that’s the piece that runs between the pool and the RR tracks – will be closed starting Monday. You can still get through by using the old path north of the pool, but please be careful and yield to the many pedestrians, including lots of kids, that are in the area.

Sometime in August, the entire route from Shorewood Blvd to Marshall Ct will be completely closed, and the only option will be local streets through Shorewood Hills or crossing to the south side of University Ave. More on that as the time approaches. All this inconvenience is due to the need to replace a large sewer pipe that is directly under the path.

Cap City Trail

Sections of the Capital City Trail will be undergoing maintenance July 22 – Aug 2, 2024 from 6:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. The trail will remain open but expect to slow or stop when you see maintenance signs, vehicles on trails, or staff working. Staff will help direct trail users around areas where culverts are being installed. The sections of trail that will be impacted are: Syene Road to Verona Rd. and Syene Road to Glacier Valley

Request for participation in UW study

Students from the UW-Madison Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture are conducting research on bicycle habits and safety perceptions in the Madison area. Your participation will be greatly appreciated, and will be used with local partners to help improve bicycling in Madison. 

You can complete the survey here:

You are encouraged to share this survey with those around you, both riders AND non-riders, as this survey has questions for all people, regardless of how much riding they do. 

Community rides

Friday is the weekly e-bikes lunch ride from Machinery Row, although all types of bikes are welcome. It is described as, “a casual-pace ride starting at noon from Machinery Row Bicycles to a local eatery for lunch.” 

Sunday is the weekly Century Training Ride with two pace groups leaving from Machinery Row at 8:00 am. Routes vary.

For more information on both of these rides, connect with @machineryrowbikes on IG or FB for the route each week or contact to join the email list.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Weekly Update

Plans, Paths, and funding

map of Howard Temin Lakeshore Path study area on UW campus

Other than the blazing hot weather we’ve been experiencing, making biking a soggy and exhausting affair, things have been pretty quiet this last week. 

I had a friend visiting, and he wanted to go to the Fete de Marquette while I had an appointment. “Will there be bike parking?” he asked, since he’s bike touring. Well, there’s good news and bad news on that front. I assured him there was lots of bike parking, but finding an empty spot was like a game of “Where’s Waldo.” He took my suggestion and parked a few blocks away to find a relatively safe and clear spot for his Surly. 

Even after spending a few days cruising around Madison and seeing everyone on bikes, and knowing our reputation for being bike-friendly, I think he was taken aback by the shear volume of bikes parked at Fete.

The week ahead

In big and small ways, we are starting to see resistance to planning, funding and building bike and pedestrians infrastructure. In addition, with the looming budget deficit and possible referendum, a few folks have decided that even matching funds for federal grants are ill-advised, if the grant would improve walking and biking.

Take a look at the items coming up this week, and make sure to let your elected officials know if you think these are good investments in our community.


At the Council

Two city plans starting final review process

At the Council, both the Northeast Plan and the West Area Plan formal adoption process are beginning. These plans are the first of 12 that will be adopted over the next few years, and each area plan has transportation components as well as land use and zoning elements. 

The controversial proposal to build both a north-south and east-west paths through the Sauk Creek Greenway was one of the transportation recommendations in the West Area Plan. After neighborhood objections, the north-south path was removed by city staff from the West Area Plan. 

These two plans will  move through various committees over the next several months, and each committee can make final recommendations for what should be included in the plans. Then they come back to the Council for final adoption. The two plans will be at the Transportation Commission on July 31. 

Northside bike/ped facility grant application

City is applying for a federal grant to develop a plan and design for an all-ages-and-abilities facility from the north side. One comment was received saying that the city shouldn’t apply because local matching funds would be required. 

Curb management grant application

The writer of the above-mentioned objection to the federal money also objects to another item on the agenda that would apply to the Wisconsin DOT Carbon Reduction Program to begin a study of curb management. In this case, the local match would be paid from the Parking Utility funds, which are completely separate from the city general fund, so the matching funds wouldn’t affect the deficit one way or another.

Curb management is studying and laying out policies for the entire curb area based on surrounding land use and the needs identified. The curb area is most often used for car parking, but could also be used for street cafes, bike sharing kiosks, bike lanes, loading/drop-off zones (for deliveries or taxi/Uber/Lyft), street amenities like benches and trees, bus-priority lanes, or even additional personal vehicle movement. 

Many cities have studied curb management and developed policies that use this precious space efficiently and equitably. A study of needs and best use of the this limited resource in various areas of the city is the first step in developing a curb management policy that serves all in the community.

UW Lakeshore Trail survey and meeting

If you ride the UW Lakeshore Trail from Willow Creek east to the Limnology Building, you know that parts of it are unpaved and unlit. The unpaved areas can be wet, muddy, and/or icy, depending on the season and recent weather. And with no lighting, it’s hard to see the ice, puddles, and ruts during the long winter nights. (This was my commute to my UW campus job, and I had to find a new winter route, because I didn’t trust the surface when I got off work after dark. Even in the daytime, the trail was often very rutted and slippery.)

Now, the UW is considering paving and lighting the path. They will hold a meeting on Tuesday, July 16, from 5-8 p.m. at the Memorial Union. They also have a survey available online and a map where you can comment about specific locations of concern. 


Transportation Commission

The Transportation Commission will meet on Wednesday, but the agenda is fairly short. The one item of interest to bicyclists might be a report on the first year of the city Transportation Demand Management program and suggested modifications. The city TDM program requires that any new, or substantially-changed land use, as well as any request to increase parking, take measures to offset demands for driving and parking. It will be interesting to hear how the program is going after a year.

TDM aims to both increase transportation options and decrease [motor] vehicle miles traveled. The requirements of the program are reviewed as part of the standard land use approvals. Applicants are assigned a certain number of points to offset parking and driving and can earn these points by reducing or limiting parking, providing incentives to use transportation options other than driving, and educational efforts on transportation options for residents and commercial tenants. Examples in the bicycle realm might be classes on finding a comfortable bike route or how to be comfortable riding in traffic, providing BCycle memberships, bike parking and amenities above and beyond minimum requirements, providing showers and lockers, etc.

Community events and rides this week

Monday: Madison Bikes board meets at the Central Library at 6:00 pm. All are welcome

Friday: Lunch brunch e-bike ride leaves from Machinery Row at noon for a casual social ride to a lunch spot. All types of bikes welcome.

Sunday: Century Training Club leaves from Machinery Row at 8:00 am with two pace groups.

For more details on community events, including contacts for questions, see the Madison Bikes Community Calendar.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Weekly Update

Happy Madison Bike Week!

Harald Kliems and Laurie Lata at the Vintage Bike Ride on Sunday

I hope everyone reading this already knows that it is bike week. If this is the first you’ve heard, then we have been doing a really bad job at communication.

Have you marked your calendar with the events you want to attend? When I counted last Thursday, there were 80 events listed, and it’s possible that more have been added at the last minute. There are events all over town:

  • Commuter stations all across the city to pick up yummy treats, including the ever-popular Bacon on the Bike Path, Bratcakes on the Bike Path, and a Cheddar-Bacon Waffles event.
  • Bike check-ups and repairs
  • Discounts at businesses
  • Social rides of all kinds – a great place to meet new people or try a different type of biking
  • Demonstrations of different types of bikes, like the family show and share to learn about cargo bikes
  • A chance to learn about or practice your skills at the pump track near Leopold School
  • An infrastructure tour to see all the cool new paths, connections, and signals to improve your ride
  • Lectures and learning opportunities
  • A chance to pick up freebies, try using the bike racks on the buses, ask questions about BRT and the transit redesign, and learn about the RoundTrip program
  • Rides to other events, like the Mallards game
  • A big party at Brittingham Park on Friday
  • And so, so much more

There is something for every type of bicyclist and every age and ability, so bring your neighbors and friends that might need some incentive to get the bike out.

Media coverage

We’ve also been getting good coverage in the media, which is great, since Bike Week is meant to encourage new people to get out biking or try a new type of ride. 

Inaugural E-Bike Expo: Electric bike riders group kick off Madison Bike Week (NBC15)

More speed limit reductions coming after Madison announces new Vision Zero projects (NBC15)

Madison BIke Week 2024 Begins Saturday (Channel3000)

Trinity Lutheran Church holds first Blessing of the Bicycles event (WKOW-27)

City of Madison Celebrates Bike Week (WKOW-27)

Destination Madison

And just out Monday morning, the CityCast Madison podcast will have an interview with Madison Bikes board members Harald Kliems and Eleanor Conrad on Monday.

Wednesday: City budget discussion on north side

Also on tap this week is a city budget discussion and public information meeting Wednesday 6:00 pm at Black Hawk Middle School on the north side. These have been going on around the city for about a month, but if this one is convenient for you, it’s worth it to check out the information and opportunity to give input.

Although many of the infrastructure projects we want are either funded by grants or funded via the capital budget – borrowing to be paid back over years – the operating budget has a projected deficit next year of $27 million. If a referendum doesn’t pass in November, things are going to get cut. That might be traffic enforcement, paint for the streets, filling potholes, maintenance of paths, clearing brush, or even plowing in the winter. 

The link asks you to register, but that’s mostly so the city can anticipate the crowd and you can receive information in advance of the meeting. You can just drop in without registering. 

Thursday: West area plan: Transportation and Sauk Creek Greenway

In person meeting at High Point Church, 7702 Old Sauk Rd, 6:00 pm.

There has been a lot of news and discussion in our circles about the West Area Plan — a plan for what Madison might look like in the next 30 years — including what new transportation infrastructure might be needed. A suggested north-south path through the Sauk Creek Greenway to connect Mineral Point Rd and Old Sauk Rd has been removed from the draft plan. We are concerned that neighbors are now targeting an even more important easy-west connector.

There is quite a bit of information at the link about about this plan, but if you want to read about the Sauk Creek Greenway specifically, Craig Weinhold wrote a detailed blog post on the subject in early May.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Weekly Update

Get Ready for Bike Week

Bike Wash and Safety Check

The Madison Bike Week 2024 webpage is up! Events are starting to come in, and soon the calendar will start filling in as groups, businesses, neighborhood associations, non-profits, and individuals start submitting their plans. Do you want to host an event? The form to let us know what you’d like to do is on that page as well. There are some pre-approved locations from the city in public parks and rights of way (streets), but you can also add events on private property or get city permission for additional locations. Let us know if you have questions.

Updates from the past week

The nasty, cold weather cleared away for a great Bike Wash and Safety Check on Sunday, thanks to board member Pete Taglia. We saw familiar faces – and many new ones too – and got a chance to wash off the road grime or salt, check to be sure our bikes are ready for warm weather riding, and talk about Madison Bikes and our plans for the coming months. We had a some people drop in because they saw chalked announcements on the Brittingham Path and signs near the closed street. Thanks to Freecycle for helping us out. WMTV channel 15 had a nice piece on the evening news.

Coming up this week

North-South BRT public meetings starting Monday. Just a reminder from last week’s newsletter that the city is hosting a barrage of public meetings about the proposed North-South BRT Line. On Monday April 22, you can go virtual, on Tuesday it’s at the Urban League on S Park (South Side), on Thursday it’s at the Warner Park Community Center (North Side) and on Monday April 29 it’ll be in Fitchburg.

On South Park St, there will probably be some changes that affect bicycle infrastructure – some good, some not so great. There will be fewer changes on the north side, but there might be opportunities to improve connection. 


The Transportation Commission agenda has several items that may be of interest. You can watch and/or comment on any agenda item at 5:00 pm online

The Safe Streets Madison project list contains relatively small projects that are meant to make streets, paths, crossings, and other infrastructure safer for all users: pavement markings, flashing beacons, small sidewalk and path connections, and signal changes. Safe Streets Madison replaced the previous neighborhood traffic calming program. For this year, Traffic Engineering is proposing 29 projects for a total cost estimate of $1,108,000. 

The Traffic Signal Priority list reports on locations where changes were considered to lights and stop signs. If you have a [least] favorite location for crossing, you may be interested to see why things are or are not changing. 


The Joint Campus Area Committee – a committee that coordinates projects between the UW, the city, and adjacent neighborhoods – will be discussing a possible bypass of the Limnology Building.

If you are one of the 15,000 pedestrians or bicyclists that uses the UW Lakeshore Path every day, you know how frustrating it can be to negotiate the tight quarters at the eastern end of the path where we have to pass between the Limnology Building and Bascom Hill. It is narrow, people are entering and exiting the building, sightlines are very bad, and sometimes equipment and vehicles are stored close to the path, making it even narrower. No one is happy with the situation, but a new project will make it much more comfortable. You can see the slides to be presented at the meeting, but the short version is that the entire area south of the building will be widened by cutting into the hillside and building a retaining wall. This will create a better/safer entrance to the building, a dedicated delivery area, and a wider path for bicyclists. Pedestrians will still use a path on the north side of the building. This one is in person at 4:45 pm in room 132 in the WARF building on campus


Blackhawk Trail Spring Work Day. If you use this mtb trail, or would like to meet others, come out and help get the trail into shape. Meet at the east chalet on 10118 Blackhawk Road, Middleton at 9:00 am for instructions and to enter your name in the raffle.

Celebrate Trails Day! with Bike Fitchburg 10 am-1 pm at the Velo UnderRound (where the Military Ridge, Cannonball, and Cap City Trails all meet.) Enjoy non-alcoholic drinks from national sponsor Athletic Brewing and snacks, pick up bike maps, and learn how we advocate for biking and walking that’s safer, easier, more fun, and more equitable in Fitchburg.


Capital Bike Club 2024 Membership Party, 3-5 pm at Capital Brewery in Middleton. Come say hi to your cycling friends new & old. Snacks and beverages will be provided to paid members of the bike club. And if you aren’t a member, but would like to join, head over to their webpage.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Weekly Update

Spring in February

Event poster for "Know your rights: biking and the law." Monday, Feb 25, 6pm, Madison Public Library, Room 104. 201 W Mifflin St

I hope everyone has been able to get out and enjoy the (weirdly) warm weather recently. Although the riding has been very pleasant, it’s a bit unnerving that we have weather this warm in February.

The week ahead is somewhat slow, but we have a great community meeting coming up Monday (today, if you are receiving this by email.) In the fall, we invited our members and friends to brainstorm about what they would like to see as event, talks, rides, activities, and information in the future. This Monday’s topic came out of that meeting. See below for more details.


Our Community Meeting at 6:00 pm at the Central Library will be on the topic of “Know Your Rights: Biking and the Law” with Clayton Griessmeyer, Bicycle Injury Lawyer. If you have questions about what to do if you have a crash, or important aspects about biking on paths or roads, this will be an event you don’t want to miss. 

Also Monday, Fitchburg Bikes will meet at the Fitchburg Senior Center, 5510 Lacy Rd at 7:00 pm.


Transportation Commission will meet virtually at 5:00 pm. On the agenda are a number of projects scheduled for both this year and planned for in the future. (See items on 5, 6, and 9 on the agenda. Under item 9, items marked TAP are pedestrian/bicycle improvements.)

Also on the agenda is an item about safety, crowding, and speed concerns on the paths. There is a good presentation from city staff that lays out the issues with both crowding and any conflicts. We’ve had a discussion about this recently on our Facebook Community, and it comes up every couple of years, including in a recent letter to the media. Basically, we rely on everyone to be polite and aware of other path users, but that’s often a big ask.

Ongoing opportunities to comment:

The UW has a new master plan for the Lakeshore Natural Area. There was quite a bit of publicity about a new visitors center to be built near the entrance to Picnic Point. This would involve some changes to both University Bay Dr and the parallel Lakeshore Path, but mostly just relocating them closer to the marsh.

Much of the master plan involves landscaping, prairie and woodland restoration, and changes to some pedestrian paths within the area near Picnic Point, but the Lakeshore Natural Area also includes the Lakeshore Path all the way down to the Limnology Building near Memorial Union. There isn’t much information in the current master plan about the path in this area, but we have the chance to weigh in on future needs for this critical connector.

The intrepid may be able to navigate the path in all conditions, but winter makes the path quite treacherous, with rutted ice, repeated freezing and thawing, and most of the path completely dark during our short days. Thaws in the spring just mean huge puddles — with ice still present underneath — mud, sand, more ruts, and all users trying to navigate the dry areas, so moving side to side on the path to find dry ground.

If you would like to see changes to the path in the future (lighting, surface, width, improved maintenance, stabilizing areas near the path, etc.) you can comment by contacting the UW via the contact information here.

Dane County is accepting comments until March 15 about a proposed bridge across the Wisconsin River near Sauk City and a trail to Walking Iron County Park near Mazomanie. Information – including slides and a recording from a January public meeting – and a link to comment can be found here

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Weekly Update

Welcome to winter biking

Now that we’ve had our first real snowfall — with more to come — I hope that everyone has figured out or remembered how to bike in the winter.

The city Bike Madison page (as opposed to this Madison Bikes page…. confusing…) had a nice set of suggestions about biking in winter. It’s really great to have supportive partners at the city, even if we sometimes want them to do more or go faster. We also had a nice call out from the City Traffic and Parking Facebook account that linked back to Harald’s end-of-year roundup. And they even suggested that people subscribe or follow us to keep up to date.

By the way, subscribing to the city Bike Madison page helps you stay up to date about construction, detours, and other official information. That’s why we try to put a link at the bottom  of our update each week. 

Unfortunately, we also saw two examples of “bike lash” in the paper this past week. First was an article in the Cap Times about the loss of urban trees, but also took aim at both the new wider sidewalk along Mineral Point Rd and the proposed multiuse path through the Sauk Creek Greenway. Then later in the week, a letter to the editor claimed that bicyclists don’t pay for the new infrastructure we are seeing. (This is untrue in multiple ways, but it’s a common misconception.)

This week

Things are still pretty quiet this week, with no big public meetings and not a lot of rides scheduled. Madison Bikes has been planning some exciting topics for our community meetings in the coming months, but those will be featured in future updates. There are a few items of interest coming up this week.


At 5:30 pm, Board of Public Works will be discussing two projects of interest to bicyclists, although there doesn’t seem to be much controversy around the projects, so no need to testify. (Unless you want to.) Agenda and Zoom link here.

The reconstruction of E Wilson St and E Doty St will add a two-way cycle track to E Wilson and new buffered bike lanes to E Doty St. This will complete the two-way bike facility on Wilson that Madison Bikes pushed for as one of its first projects. 

The final piece of the Lake Mendota Dr project will be also before the board, but the plans were already approved last year. This stretch from Spring Harbor Dr to Epworth Ct will add sidewalks, some bumpouts, space for a rain garden, and a traffic circle.

The monthly Queer Bike Ride meets the second Wednesday of the month at 6:00 pm. You can follow on Instagram for more details. All bodies are welcome.


Freecycle will hold another Zoom meeting about what may be in their future. It looks like they’ll be doing this monthly after they started the conversation before the holidays. If you would like to join the conversation at 6:00 pm, you can get more information and sign up here.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Weekly Update

What a week!

It was quite a week for events involving Madison Bikes. I hope everyone had a chance to attend one or more of them.

Week in review

First up was our Car-Free Holiday Fantasy in Lights on Tuesday (check out the link for a great video from the evening.) The weather couldn’t have been better, and we ended up with about 900 people walking, biking, running, and strolling through. It seems that people spread the word via bike groups and clubs, neighbors, print and TV media, word of mouth, as well as our Facebook group and event. There were tons of families with little kids, a few dogs, friends chatting, bike and running groups going through together, and lots of smiles and laughter. 

After our two-hour car-free time slot, we headed over to the Sheraton on John Nolen Dr for socializing, special drinks, and even VIP indoor bike parking. Thanks to everyone who helped out, and to Wonderstate Coffee for hot beverages in Olin Park and the Sheraton for rolling out the red carpet and providing hot chocolate.

Wednesday evening was Be Bright with the UW Police Dept. and the City of Madison on W. Dayton St near Union South. At this event, the UWPD stops bicyclists without lights, but instead of a $150 ticket, they are escorted over to tables where volunteers provide them with a free set of lights and attach the lights to their bikes. Thanks to our volunteers for stepping up at the last minute the day after our big Olin Park event.

Tour of Atwood facilities. I also had an opportunity on Wednesday to join a tour with city staff to the new Atwood path. We learned about some of the innovative path, intersection, and signal treatments that the city has installed. I wish I had recorded the explanations each time we stopped, because there was just too much to remember. But Atwood should be much easier to cross — at least north of Walter Street — as there is only one lane southbound, the intersections are much narrower than before, encouraging slower speeds. Several intersections have green paint to draw drivers’ attention to where pedestrians and bicyclists are likely to be crossing. 

Thanks for for inviting me to ride along. It’s great that about a dozen city staff all traveled by bike to learn about how Madison is making this corridor safer and more intuitive for bicyclists.

Thursday I spoke at the World Day of Remembrance press conference at the top of State St. Shoes were painted white and hung up next to the Veterans Museum to honor the 68 people who died in traffic crashes in Madison over the last five years. You can watch the entire press conference online.

Unfortunately, if we have one more fatality in 2023, this will be the deadliest year in the last 15. Traffic fatalities have been up across the country since the COVID shut down. Fewer people may be driving to work, but with emptier streets, speeds are up, which has led to more dangerous roads. Over 46,000 people died as a result of traffic violence last year! In most years, between 30,000 and 40,000 people die on our streets due to motor vehicle crashes. As I’ve said before, any other consumer product with that kind of safety record would be pulled from the market in a week.

City budget. Among all the events last week, the city also passed a budget in one evening, which is highly unusual. Alder Isadore Knox introduced a last minute amendment to cut funding for the important Autumn Ridge Path project that will allow pedestrians and bicyclists to travel from Milwaukee St to Commercial Ave and provide a bridge over Hwy 30 east of Stoughton Rd. Presently, making that journey requires negotiating two roundabouts on Thompson Dr at Hwy 30 that tend to be very high-speed and unfriendly to all not driving. Fortunately, the motion failed. Thanks to those who wrote to support this project that has already received federal funding.

The week ahead

The week ahead will be fairly quiet because of a short week for Thanksgiving. 


The Board of Public Works will be discussing the Mineral Point Rd project. Although the Transportation Commission recommended that an 8-10 foot path be built the entire length of the project, the BPW could recommend something else before it goes to Council. It would be great if a few people drop them a note or testify via Zoom about why we need at least an adequate path along Mineral Point Rd. This is already a compromise over what was promised when BRT and changes to Mineral Point Rd was first discussed. The option that was proposed before the Transportation Commission meeting would have narrowed the sidewalk/path to only five feet in sections.

Reminders and announcements

Monday, Nov 27

Bikes and N/S BRT. This is just a save-the-date reminder that we will be hosting a focus group on the north-south BRT line and bicyclists’ needs for the corridor. More information and a registration link can be found here.

Cooperative Carshare Survey

A local group is trying to reduce car dependency in Madison by expanding access to carshare. Their goal is to help others make the leap to being car-free or car-light households, paving the way for the city to become an even more biking- and pedestrian-friendly place to live. They are interested in knowing how people might use car-sharing and what you do/don’t like about this option. You can take their survey and let them know a few things about your driving habits and needs for carshare.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Weekly Update

Slow week, great weather. Go ride your bike!

Welcome to summer part 2!

Wow. The weather has been really spectacular for fall riding. I hope everyone is enjoying the opportunity to get out , whether for a ride, whether it’s commuting, doing errands, longer rides after work and weekends, or just bopping around seeing friends on the street. Soon we’ll be talking about tips for dealing with snow, ice, and cold, so let’s enjoy these last days.

Two rides this last week were blessed with perfect conditions. We had a good-sized group for the second social ride in partnership with Madison Is For People, starting at Machinery Row and ending at Garver Feed Mill after a ¾ loop of Lake Monona.

Then on Sunday, around 700 people joined the Ride For Your Life on a slow roll through the near west side and ending at the Capitol to honor Sarah Langenkamp – killed in Bethesda, MD, two years ago, and whose sister lives in Madison – and Tom Heninger – musician and teacher who was killed crossing John Nolen Drive. The ride also honors and remembers all the other people who have died from traffic violence. We ride to bring attention to the need for safer conditions for those walking, biking, and rolling on our street. Thanks to Bike Fed, Trek, and the City of Madison for helping make the ride happen. 

Rally and speakers at the Capitol after Ride for Your Life

The week ahead

The upcoming week is pretty quiet as far as city meetings. Budget season is upon us at the city, but there aren’t any budget meetings this week.

However, we got some good news recently when it was announced that money to design an underpass of John Nolen Drive was added to the budget by Alder Mike Verveer. This is a big win, and we can thank the people that both pushed for the city to look at this possibility and then testified about how much it was needed. This underpass is an example of the power of your voice.

The design of John Nolen Drive from North Shore Drive to Broom Street – the area where this underpass will be located – will be coming before the Transportation Commission on October 11. We’ll have more on that meeting in next week’s Monday Update.

Wednesday, the October Ride for Joe will be leaving the Fitchburg Senior Center at 10 am. These rides are geared to seniors, but anyone is welcome. The rides are in honor of Joe Imilkowski, long-time Fitchburg resident and avid bicyclist and senior center patron. Each month there is a little bike education along with the ride. This month the topic is Wisconsin Bike Laws.

Sunday, the biweekly Ride for Trans Rights will leave the Law Park boat launch at 9:00 am. 

In the news

On Thursday, two local TV stations ran stories about bike theft in Madison, and then the Wisconsin State Journal ran an article on Friday morning. We’ve seen a huge uptick in theft, as anyone who has followed our Facebook community discussion has seen. If you want to check out the news stories, as well as tips for keeping your bike safe, here are the links:

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Newsletter Weekly Update

School and UW back

There are no big meetings this week, but there are some interesting events happening. Classes start at the UW on Tuesday, so the streets, sidewalks, and paths should be back to their busy state. 

One member of our Facebook community was surprised by the massive crowds of Badger fans around Camp Randall as she returned from a ride on Saturday. Those of us who have been here awhile know not to attempt to use the SW Path before and after games, but it’s kind of a shock for newcomers!

And kids are back at K-12 classes as well, so we will probably see younger kids riding to and from school with their parents, and older kids riding in groups and going to after-school activities. Be patient if you see these less-experienced bicyclists sharing your route. Slow down and give them a little extra space. We had requests from kids during Bike Week to please slow down near the schools, yes even on your bike. 


You can enjoy dance on several area bike paths via the Shifting Gears Festival that will take place in Brittingham Park, McPike Park, Wirth Court Park, and the Timekeeper Sculpture at the Monona Terrace from noon-6:00 pm. 


The Council will consider an experimental closure of the 400-600 blocks of State Street to motorized traffic. Presumably, this won’t impact bicycling in the area, except that there will probably be more pedestrians in the street. You can read the discussion of the Downtown Coordinating Committee for more details. 


The city Street Use Staff Commission will meet at 10 am. One topic is Park(ing) Day, which takes place on September 15. The UW student chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects has requested that they be allocated two stalls on Langdon St next to Memorial Union to turn them into a parklet. Park(ing) Day used to be a big deal here in Madison, but now it seems that everyone has forgotten about it. Maybe because we are indeed reallocating parking spaces for other uses, such as outdoor seating for restaurants in commercial districts, bike parking corrals, and bike lanes.

Also Wednesday, the Parks Commission will meet at 6 pm, and on the agenda is authorization to apply for a grant from Dane County to build a recreational biking project in County Grove Path. It’s unclear to me what this would be, but it looks like there are mountain bike trails planned for the park. (See pages 9 and 17 of the document for the meeting.) 

Wisconsin Bike Fed is holding a training from 12:30-4:30 pm at Oak Park Manor for those who would like to help with the Cycling Without Age program. Although their website says that you need to register by Sept 3, maybe they will still accept registrations if you call. 

The monthly Ride for Joe will meet at the Fitchburg Senior Center at 10 am. These are ride-and-learn events that cover basic bicycling topics and then go for a leisurely ride. They are geared to seniors, but anyone can join.  

These rides are in memory of Joe Imilkowski, long-time Fitchburg resident and avid bicyclist and senior center patron. These rides are geared for seniors, but all are welcome. At the request of those riding in previous months, two longer distances will be offered, about 12 and about 20 miles, principally on multi-use paths. Helmets are required. Rides will start with the topic of the month, short safety briefing, and ABC Quick Checks of bikes. The topic for September will be cool weather riding. On line registration and liability waiver are required, but can be done at ride time.


The Bi-weekly Ride for Trans Rights will meet at Law Park at 9 am. 

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Newsletter Weekly Update

Get out and ride

People gather before the Madison Bikes and Madison is for People social ride on Friday, August 25, 2023
Photo by Beth Skogen

In case you missed it last week…

Social Ride with Madison is for People

After a stretch of weather that made any physical activity — or even being outside — extremely uncomfortable, if not dangerous, the weather cooled just in time for our social ride in partnership with Madison is for People. It was a great ride, with more than 50 people joining us, far more than we expected. After meeting at Law Park by Machinery Row, we rode counterclockwise around the lake and ended at the East Side Club for socializing and beverages. 

Madison is for People has geared up in the last year to push for more housing and better, denser land use in the city. This makes walking, biking, and transit use easier as well, and gives more people an opportunity to live where car-free or car-lite living is practical. There is a lot of overlap in our messages, and it was great for the two groups to learn a bit more about what the other was doing.

In addition to learning about each other and enjoying a relaxed ride, this event made clear that there is a real desire for rides that make everyone feel welcome, rides where we take it slow and just enjoy the company.

What else should we do at community metings?

We’ve been looking for ideas on what we should do at our monthly community meetings, and these rides are one idea. What else would you like to see at the community meetings, especially when the weather is less accommodating to being outside? Talks and information? Movies? Social opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to see, or maybe if you have an idea that you’d like to present. You can email us at

The week ahead

There aren’t any city meetings that directly affect bicycling, but if you are ever interesting in seeing what committees are doing, you can access the weekly city meeting schedule and then click through to agendas on the city’s website. For instance, you might want to know what the Plan Commission or the Sustainable Madison Committee is up to this week. 

There are a couple of bike-related events this week. We won’t be holding our usual community meeting, because we just had the social ride. 

Monday, Bike Fitchburg will be meeting on at 7 pm at Oasis Café, 2690 Research Park Dr E, Fitchburg. 

Friday, the Bi-weekly Ride for Trans Rights will meet at 6:00 pm at Law Park. More information can be found at their Facebook event.

Watch out for your bike

There has been an uptick in stolen bikes posted on our Facebook Community page. Maybe this is due to all the new people in town and thieves taking advantage of people not locking their bikes, or maybe all the moving in and out has allowed unauthorized people into buildings and garages. Either way, be especially careful to lock your bike if you are in a new apartment or aren’t sure about the security of a location. And remember that you can register your bike or report a stolen bike at the BikeIndex, a national database. 

And watch out on the streets too

With all the new people in town, as well as dorm move-in Aug 30 and Sept 1, there are a lot of people that aren’t used to seeing bicyclists everywhere. And people may be lost, frustrated, tired, or generally unaware of how things roll (and walk) in Madison. Bike crashes go up significantly every year in late-August and early-September, so take it easy, and have some patience with all the new folks.

Join our board!

If you would like to help with our mission, consider joining the Madison Bikes board of directors. We are an all-volunteer organization, so the board both shapes policy and the activities we undertake as well as often doing the day-to-day work. We are always looking for people to join the board, as people step down, move, or need to change their time allocation. Everyone has a talent and skills we can use, but most important is probably enthusiasm to move bicycling and policy forward in Madison. Fill out the application by September 29. Terms start in January.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.