Categories
Weekly Update

Your vote can help or hinder good transportation

Bicyclist receives a rear light as part of the Be Bright event. Photo: Chris Collins

In case you missed it

On Halloween Madison Bikes board members Harald Kliems, Robbie Webber, and Caitlin Hussey joined city Pedestrian and Bicycle Outreach Coordinator Colleen Hayes and representatives from other bicycle groups on the WORT Access Hour to talk about biking and walking in the winter. We talked about how to get started – if cold-weather biking is new to you. If you’d like to listen to the program, you can find it in the WORT archives (Monday, Oct 31 at 7:00 pm.)

One topic that came up on the Access Hour was the Round Trip program administered by the Madison Area MPO. Round Trip provides an emergency ride home via taxi vouchers. This allows people to choose to bike, take transit, carpool, or use the state van pool and not be worried how they will get home if a kid gets sick, there is a family emergency, or any of the other things that might make a quick trip home necessary.

If you would like more information, or you know someone that won’t try another commuting mode because of the “what ifs,” here’s where you can get more information. There are other aspects of the Round Trip program, like ride matching and a bike buddy program (coming soon.)

The city and the UW Police Department conducted a Be Bright event on Thursday. This involves officers stopping bicyclists that don’t have lights, but instead of giving them a ticket, volunteers attach a free front and/or rear light to their bikes. Getting stopped by the cops: sad. Getting a free set of lights: glad. 

The week ahead

Monday

If you are interested in what is going on with the design challenge for the Lake Monona Waterfront, there are a number of events to talk a out the progress. One is happening at 6:00 pm  (refreshments and music begin at 5:30 p.m.) at the Monona Terrace Lecture Hall. This is an in-person event, but you can also view a livestream here.

Tuesday 

In case you missed it, there is a big election on Tuesday. Please make sure to vote, if you haven’t already. The people on the ballot will be making important decisions about transportation funding and the types of transportation that are prioritized at the state and national level. Those things are not likely to be featured in the ads you see on TV or that pop up on your social media, but they are important to anyone who moves around by bike – or wants to make that easier for others.

If you have any questions about where to vote, what/who is on the ballot, where to vote, or how to register and vote on Election Day, you can find all the answers on myvote.wi.gov

Wednesday

The other big item on the weekly calendar is the public hearing on the transit network redesign. The public hearing will happen Wednesday at 6:00 pm virtually. Follow this link to register to speak, and find all the information about the transit network redesign here.

The city has been soliciting public input for several years as they decide how to change the transit network and also start the bus rapid transit system. It’s going to look very different than it does now, with different routes and frequencies. This is your chance to have your say about what you like and don’t like about the new system. Changes can still be make based on public input. 

Bicyclists may not think much about the transit system, but having convenient, easy-to-access transit can often make it easier to choose biking. New bike commuters often worry about weather, getting a flat tire, or some other reason that might mean biking home would be difficult or unpleasant. Having a back-up plan like a good transit system can make it easier to bike. 

Another reason that transit is important to bicyclists is that every choice that is not driving alone supports all the other modes. We have bike racks on buses to make your overall commute shorter or faster, and to provide that back-up to get home. But being able to bike to a bus or BRT stop that has frequent service also makes it easier to choose to take transit.

Also Wednesday, the monthly Queer Ride will leave Law Park at Blair St at 6:00 pm. Party pace. All bodies welcome. Follow on Instagram for details

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.

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Weekly Update

Community meeting – meet us and maybe run for board

Monday

Probably most important this week is the Madison Bikes monthly Community Meeting, Monday from 6:00-7:00 pm at Brittingham Park shelter. (In case of bad weather, we will move to Union South, so we’d appreciate an RSVP to keep you up to date.) This meeting will give you a chance to meet the current board and decide if you want to run for our board of directors. As an all-volunteer organization, the board does most of the work, although we love our super volunteers that help us out!

You can be one of those people that both runs the organization and helps decide what work we take on. Not sure if you want to be on the board? Want to know more about us and what being on the board means? Not sure if you’d be an asset to us? (Yes, we want you!) Come by to chat. 

Also on Monday Bike Fitchburg has their monthly meeting from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Rd. 

Wednesday

Transportation Commission meets at 5:00 pm online. One item that might be of interest is the list of roadway projects that will be discussed in 2023. The biggest one is the rebuilding of John Nolen Drive from North Shore Dr to Olin Ave. This project won’t be built until 2026, but it will come before the TC next year.

Other projects are smaller, but it’s interesting to see what is coming up.

What are we discussing on the Facebook Community?

  • An article by Wisconsin Watch explains why it’s so hard to make some large roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians in cities: They are also state highways, and WisDOT prioritizes motor vehicle traffic flow over pedestrian and bicyclist safety and comfort. 
  • A hit and run crash involving a bicyclist at the Seminole Hwy entrance to the Arboretum. Why is there no sidewalk or bike path connecting the Arb Dr to Manitou Way? There is a clear desire line worn by pedestrians and bicyclists avoiding busy traffic on Seminole Hwy. 
  • Bicyclists are being refused service at “drive-throughs” despite Madison ordinance requiring businesses to serve bicyclists via exterior service windows. 

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.

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Weekly Update

Peak summer means great biking… and construction

What we’re talking about this week

McFarland BCycle station

The new BCycle station in McFarland’s McDonald Park has gone live. This is right at the other end of the Lower Yahara River Bridge from Lake Farms Park, so it will provide an important connector for those who want to commute into Madison or just borrow a BCycle to enjoy a ride on the bridge and around the parks on either end. 

Stewart Tunnel
Letter from Department of Natural Resources (Image: Friends of the Badger State Trail)

Some great news came out about the currently-closed Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail. The DNR has chosen an alternative for fixing the tunnel based on considerable public input and analysis of cost alternatives. While we don’t have a date for when you can avoid the hilly detour caused by the closure of the tunnel, funding will be requested in the next DNR budget. 

City wayfinding survey

And a reminder to take the city survey about which style of wayfind sign you prefer on the multiuse paths. On our Facebook Community, many people have questioned why these signs are needed or if the information will be useful. Don’t pedestrians and bicyclists already know how far things are and how long it takes?

Not necessarily. 

We get a lot of out of town visitors, new residents, and people just trying out the paths for the first time. Cues as to where you are don’t always exist on the paths, especially parts of the SW Path, Cap City, or Cannonball Trail that have fewer cross streets or are in less developed areas. If you didn’t know how close Monroe St was — with all the amenities it offers — you’d never guess riding on the SW Path. And studies have shown that giving people a time reference to nearby destinations encourages walking and biking. They may see the sign and think, “Oh, it’s only ten minutes to walk there? It would take me that long to find a parking space!”

The week ahead

Monday

The Transportation Planning and Policy Board meets at 5:00 pm online. They will be discussing the Complete and Green Streets plan for the city. This plan will eventually create a modal hierarchy that will change the transportation planning assumptions for the city to prioritize walking, then transit, then bicycling, and finally driving. Parking is even below driving in use of the public right of way. Needless to say this is very different from the conventional way transportation decision making has been in most U.S. cities. The plan will also create street typologies to recognize that a neighborhood residential street will function differently than a street where offices and big box stores are the dominant land use.

The TPPB will also be discussing the Transportation Demand Management plan for the city, which will require new developments to offset their predicted traffic generation with actions and amenities that incentivize not driving (providing transit passes, bike share stations or memberships, improved connections for walking, paying for parking separately from rent, etc.)

The TPPB will not be making a final decision on these, but the discussions should be interesting.

Construction updates

The intersection of North Shore Drive and John Nolen Drive will be closed later this month so that the railroad tracks can be replaced. Bicycle access through the area will be maintained either by the path (with possible delays or brief closures) or via a lane on the road. The work doesn’t start until Aug 26, but it might be a good plan to start thinking of alternative routes. 

Also, towards the end of this month a more significant closure will happen. As part of the ongoing University Ave reconstruction, the Campus Dr Path will be entirely closed for about a month from Marshall Ct to Highland. This includes the crossing of University Bay Dr as well as the portion of the path that runs next to the VA Hospital parking lot. There will be no way to get through on the path, so plan your detour now. There will be a marked detour starting at Shorewood Blvd (if you are headed east), but depending on your destination, you may want to choose a different route. 

We’ll keep you updated when the closure will actually happen.

In order to keep up with construction, subscribe to the city’s Bike Madison updates.

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.

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Weekly Update

Everybody’s out riding

Black Saddle Bike Shop bike camping trip to Blue Mounds rolls out from Madison
Photo credit: Chris Collins, Isthmus Portrait

That must be why the calendar is so empty: everyone is out enjoying summer.

The past week, in case you missed it

There were a few interesting news stories that the Madison Bikes community might find interesting. 

Saris is being sold by its owners. This is a big deal for the Madison cycling community because Chris Fortune, who owns the company with his wife, has been a big supporter of improving the bicycling environment. Chris has donated to many groups, pushed for many improvements in infrastructure and policy, and funded education programs for kids. He’s also been a driving force to build bike parks for kids. 

It’s also great to have manufacturing jobs that can be reached by bike. I hope all the jobs –  design, marketing, sales, and manufacturing – stay at the current location. We’d hate to lose such a great company. 

WORT ran a long piece about the crashes that have happened over the years on Williamson St – not just people hitting other people or vehicles, but crashes into buildings. Willy is an important corridor for bicycling, walking, and retail, but the amount and speed of traffic on the street, especially when parking disappears on one side of the street during peak hour, makes it both difficult to negotiate on foot and bike and also tough to cross.

There have been efforts to make Willy St more pedestrian and bicyclist friendly, usually by doing away with the rush hour parking restrictions that turn the road into three through lanes, but each time local advocates and neighbors have tried to improve the situation, the city has pushed back, saying they need the traffic capacity.

The week ahead

It’s going to be a fairly slow week in city meetings. There aren’t any meetings that we need to pay attention to, but if you want to see what’s going on in other matters, you can always find the full list of city meetings for the week on the city website.

There are a few things that came in from people in our network. 

Info needed on bike crash on Rimrock Rd

A post on the Madison Bikes Community page mentioned that there bike crash on Rimrock Road south of the Alliant Center entrance. The Town of Madison Police are seeking anyone who may have either witnessed what happened or has other information. The post and photo of the contact info are below. The officer handling this is Todd C Dart.

Today (7/2), around 8-8:15, a team member of ours was in a bike/car accident along Rimrock Road on the “stick” (by the coliseum, before you cross over the beltline). Thankfully, other than some broken bones, she’s going to be ok.

We think some folks may have seen it happen, and some cyclists may have stopped but left before giving a statement to a responding officer (he said he saw some take off as he pulled up).

It would be helpful to report anything you saw to help verify the events. This is the card the officer gave me.

Contact Officer Todd C Dart if you have information

Bridge out on the Badger Trail north of Monroe

Also in the news, a truck hit the Round Grove Rd bridge on the Badger State Trail north of Monroe, so that bridge is closed. It’s probably going to be awhile before it gets fixed, and the detour around the bridge is rather hilly. So be forewarned. 

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.

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Weekly Update

Are you ready for Bike Week?

Have you seen the Bike Week signs around town?

Hopefully, you are aware that Bike Week starts next week. Are you excited? We are. 

Help us spread the word!

You can help us out by making sure that your friends and neighbors know about Bike Week as well. Just send a quick message to your neighborhood list, NextDoor, or post on your personal social media account.

Many of our friends and neighbors would love to know about the great events we have, but they aren’t on our list or don’t follow our social media. Or maybe they haven’t been biking in awhile, but just need a nudge to pump up the tires or dust off the bike in the back of the garage. You can even offer to go for a ride with them or attend a nearby event to help them get back on their bikes. More bicyclists = more fun!

Take action to protect those outside of vehicles as well as those driving

For years, vehicle safety regulations have emphasized protections for those driving and riding in cars and light trucks (SUVs, pick ups, etc.) Air bags, seat belts, crumple zones, and autonomous features like lane departure warnings make sure drivers and passengers are safe.

But what about those walking and biking? As vehicles have gotten bigger and heavier, they have become more dangerous for those outside the vehicle. (I wrote an article about this at my previous job. The evidence is frightening.) 

Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is finally considering the safety of those outside the vehicle. America Walks is asking for our help providing input. We can all stand up for the safety of non-motorized users of the public rights of way. 

The week ahead

Aside from getting psyched for Bike Week and taking action on safety for non-motorized users of the public space, there is one important meeting happening this week.

Tuesday

If you ride the bus – or care about how our bus system operates and who it serves – plan to attend the Transit Network Redesign Public Hearing at the virtual 6 pm meeting. You can also watch the meeting without participating. This is the last input session before the Transportation Planning and Policy Board – the lead committee – votes on the redesign on June 6. You can speak at the meeting or submit comments in advance. All the details are at the link above. 

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.

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Weekly Update

Olbrich/Atwood Path – One More Committee

This past week

In case you missed it, there was a great article in the Isthmus about Dane County’s plan for paths to connect existing paths and some important destinations. It will be great to fill some of those gaps and have a real network all the way across the county – which actually would mean connections across the state. But although it’s great to see the map of planned connections, the article makes clear that some of these paths are years away, maybe even a decade. 

Coming up this week

Tuesday

At Noon, the Madison Area MPO will be holding the final public input session on the Connect Greater Madison: Regional Transportation Plan 2050. Learn more about the planning work to date and provide your comments on the draft plan goals, recommendations, and performance measures. The meeting will be recorded and available on their YouTube channel

Wednesday

Atwood/Oblich Path at Parks

The Board of Park Commissioners will be considering the path through Olbrich Park/along Atwood. Since this path is going through the park, this meeting is really critical if we want the best option to serve all ages and abilities. Comments at past committees and/or participating in the survey that went out were great, but we need one last push at this meeting. 

There is a well-organized neighborhood group that is pushing for keeping the bike route next to Atwood — essentially a wide sidewalk — and then using Oakridge and Welch to connect to the Lakeland. It will be very important for those who want a more-direct and less-steep option to contact the Board, or even better, to show up to testify. 

Although the Transportation Commission voted to recommend option #1 as the best for transportation – with option #3 as the second alternative – the Parks Board will be considering a different set of criteria, and they have the final say as to what to recommend to the City Council. The Board of Park Commissioners will be more likely to look at the best option for park users over the best option for those moving through or next to the park.

All the documents related to this matter as well as the comments that have already been submitted are at the link above. Here is the link to participate in the virtual meeting, watch the board meeting online, or send comments. 

Need an update on what the options are? The weekly update from March 21 has a good rundown. 

Transportation Commission

Also on Wednesday, the TC will be considering the reconstruction of the western portion of Lake Mendota Dr – from Baker Ave to the Madison city limits. This has been controversial in the immediate neighborhood because the city plan recommends adding sidewalks to one side of the street to improve safety and comfort for pedestrians. The street is already a low-stress biking street, but pedestrians need to walk in the road, including in winter. This includes kids walking to Spring Harbor Middle School. 

Save the dates for Bike Week June 5-11

And a reminder to save the date. Madison Bike Week will be June 5-11 this year. We are currently soliciting financial sponsorships, but we will soon be reaching out to groups, businesses, and individuals that want to plan events (commuter stations, discounts, classes, gatherings, rides, or other activities.) So mark it on your calendar and start to think what you or your group/business would like to do to celebrate. 

Freewheel is hiring!

From our friends at Freewheel, we received this announcement. If you are looking for a job, read on.

Freewheel seeks an eBay Sales Associate. We receive a lot of donations of high-end parts that do not sell quickly at the Madison Bicycle Center, but people online are interested in them – and the money we get from sales keeps our classes free for everyone. Our current staff doesn’t have the time in their workday to manage and develop our tiny little eBay store – but maybe you do? We’ve received a generous donation that’s earmarked for a limited-term, part-time position that would identify, photograph, list, pack, and ship the high-end, small donated parts we receive at our facility. Although this is a limited-term position, we hope it will pay for itself – in which case, this position will last much longer than the one month we currently estimate. You can read the full job posting here: https://www.facebook.com/jobs/job-opening/3039568626306232/ Or, if Facebook isn’t your thing, you can send your resume and cover letter by email to lang@freewheelbikes.org.

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.

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Weekly Update

Slow season for biking

Winter cyclist in Crazylegs Plaza

With the chilly temperatures and no big city meetings this week, it’s a little slow for the Monday update. So most of this is a recap or the past week and some posts from our Facebook discussions.

The past week in review:

Several projects came before the Transportation Commission last week. We received a briefing on the results of surveys and meetings with community groups about a future reconstruction of John Nolen Dr from Olin Ave to North Shore Dr (the city portion of that road.) There was strong support for improvements to the path, with near unanimous support for more space for non-motorized traffic and separation of pedestrians and bicyclists. Improved crossings, a slower speed limit, and more green space were also widely supported.

We also heard about plans for reconstruction of Lake Mendota Dr within the city and Hammersly Rd both east and west of Whitney Way. And on a bright note, there was strong support for improved walking and bicycling infrastructure, even if that means loss of parking or adding curb and gutter where there are none now. 

As a long-time watcher of and participant in city meetings, this is a real change from past years, when any discussion of losing parking on a residential street would rile neighbors, even in areas where houses have ample driveway parking. In past years adding curb and gutter also seemed controversial because residents claimed it would, “change the character of the neighborhood.” In truth, many worry about the assessments that come with adding sidewalks and the responsibility of shoveling them in the winter. 

However, the project on Hammersley Rd will feature an 8-10 foot wide multi-use path on the north side of the road, but no sidewalk on the south side. The multi-use path was warmly supported by residents who said they needed a place to walk and bike, especially with children. The fact that the city will pay to construct and maintain the path surely helped ease concerns about cost and maintenance. 

The week ahead

There aren’t any city meetings affecting bicycle interests this week, so no need to prepare comments for anything. And we have nothing on the Madison Bikes calendar for the week as well. But this might be a good time to remind people that any events you’d like to see on the calendar can be sent to Info@MadisonBikes.org with the subject like “Madison Bikes Calendar.” 

What we’re talking about

A few items from other groups and what we are talking about on our Madison Bikes Community Facebook group:

Bicycle mechanics are sick of seeing bikes come in that are made to fail and cannot be repaired. We’ve all seen sad “bicycle shaped objects” that look like transportation, fun, or recreation, but are just cheap junk that will break a child’s (or novice adult’s) heart and steal their money. Vice and Bicycle Retailer, as well as other outlets ran stories. 

Wisconsin Bike Fed sends a reminder that you can be included in their annual Ride Guide if you get your submission in by February 7. Rides, fundraisers, club events, races, classes, and other events are listed for free. Advocacy groups, businesses, clubs, and other organizations can also request a listing.

On Facebook community members engaged in a debate about, “What’s up with the flashing red light that means it’s “safe” for bicyclists and pedestrians to cross Highland on the Campus Dr Path?” (And is it actually safe to cross when that light is flashing?)

And a national economic media site suggests Baraboo for a letter writer who asks, “Can you suggest some walkable small towns (3,000-10,000 population) that are county seats and/or college towns, politically liberal, and have easy access to rivers and bike trails?” 

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.

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Weekly Update

December brings flurry of activity

We don’t have any snow yet, but it’s coming!

After a slow couple of weeks, what with Thanksgiving and then few meetings afterward, we are going to see a bunch of activity before the end of the year. We are also seeing the first snowfall/freezing temperatures, so I hope everyone has figured out their winter biking options. If not, swing on by the Madison Bikes Community Facebook group, where there will be plenty of discussions of how to cope with/enjoy winter on a bike.

The week ahead

Monday

A reminder that a portion of the Blackhawk Path through Shorewood Hills will be closed starting today. The portion that will be closed runs from Tomahawk Trail to about where the path crosses under University Ave. The closure is expected to last six weeks. More information on the project, as well as maps of detours, can be found here

The Transportation Planning and Policy Board meeting was cancelled, so nothing to report for that. 

Tuesday

The University Bicycle Resource Center will have an in-person class from noon-1:30 pm: Bike Through Winter. The UBRC is located in the parking garage under Helen C White Library, across Park St from Memorial Union. You can also check out recordingings of all their past classes on YouTube.  

Wednesday

The Transportation Commission will virtually meet at 5 pm. You can view the agenda, watch online, or comment by email or during the meeting here. On the agenda are a few items of interest to bicyclists. 

  • An update on the buffered bike lanes that were passed at the last TC meeting. Not sure what the update is about, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a few comments in support. I think staff were surprised how easily it went after the difficulties getting the lanes on Whitney Way. 
  • Update on reconstruction of St Paul Ave on the east side. This project will include raised crossings for the Cap City Trail at Ohio Ave and Jackson St, so fewer bumps riding that section of path!
  • If you are interested in how the new system to allocate funding for traffic calming, Vision Zero, bike/ped improvements, and school zone safety is coming along, there will be a discussion and a review of a list of projects under the title of Safe Streets Madison. 
  • The committee will also review the signal priority list, deciding where new traffic signals should be placed. 
  • Finally, the committee will review the crash report from 2020 and discuss what it shows us. The report shows the most common crash types and locations for motor vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles, and mopeds. There’s a lot to learn in this report. 

Thursday

The Plan Commission will hold a special session to discuss a proposed Transit-Oriented Development overlay zoning for the BRT route and surrounding areas. TOD zoning specifically calls out improvements in bicycling and walking connections to facilitate both access to high capacity transit and to discourage auto-oriented land use. Although this is not bicycle-specific, it will be an interesting discussion to hear and will give us some insights into future non-auto development that is likely to happen along the BRT routes. The meeting starts at 5:00 pm, and you can stream it or watch it later here.

Saturday

Finally, it’s time for the Santa Rampage! Starting at 9:00 am at various locations to converge on Library Mall at 11:00 am, make sure to wear your holiday finest — don’t show up without a costume, but it doesn’t have to be Santa — and ride the streets of Madison spreading cheer and raising funds for Bike Fed’s efforts across the state. This is a slow roll, family-friendly event, so bring everyone.

This year, there will also be a clothing drive for kids that may not have warm stuff for winter. More details, timing, routes, and registration can be found at the event page or by contacting Caitlin Hussey at Caitlin@wisconsinbikefed.org.


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.

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Weekly Update

As cool weather approaches… Monday updates

Yes, we finally have real fall weather, and a reminder that we will soon have winter as well. We’re all digging out the layers that we haven’t used since April and trying to remember what is appropriate for 45 degrees and breezy. We’ve got you! 

Mark your calendar

Although we won’t have an indoor Winter Bike Fashion Show this year, we will have some events and opportunities to learn from others who already bike all winter. Mark your calendars, because Saturday, November 13, from noon-2 pm at the Tenney Park Shelter, we’ll have a meet-and-greet, lunch-and-learn, share-your knowledge event to get you excited about biking in colder weather. More details to follow, but we do know that Metro will be bringing a bus by, so you can try out those bike racks. 

It’s nice to have the bus as a back-up plan for nasty weather, and too many people have told me they are worried about trying to get their bike on the bus when the driver and a bunch of people are waiting. If you come to our event, you can see how easy it is to use the rack, and you’ll be ready to rack-and-roll in no time.

The week ahead

We have extended the deadline to apply to be on the board until Oct 29. We have several vacancies, and we just know there are great people out there who can bring ideas, energy, and a new perspective to our board. If not you, then maybe you know someone that would be perfect. Here’s the form to fill out (or forward to someone else.)

Monday

At 6:00 pm we will hold our monthly Community Meeting on line. It will be devoted to hearing about, discussing, and asking questions about Bus Rapid Transit and bikes. You’ve heard that the city will have a new BRT line with larger buses, all-door boarding, level-boarding off a raised platform, pre-boardinging ticketing, fewer stops, and dedicated lanes. All this will make this line — planned to run down E Washington, then University, south on Whitney Way, and then out Mineral Point Rd. — able to travel faster along its route and carry more people. 

But what does this mean for us as bicyclists? Transit and bicycling compliment each other, and adding bike facilities at transit stops makes it easier to transition between the two. But they can also compete for space on the road. This is a special session just to address these questions and give input to the city staff and consultants working on this project. 

Will we be able to roll our bike right onto the BRT vehicles? What are the plans for bike parking? How will current bike lanes on the BRT route change? What’s planned to make getting to BRT stops easier? The Zoom link is https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84007649429?pwd=Qys5YjdLUnFQRlJFTEo5cTZMcDk1QT09. If you have trouble getting in, it’s Meeting ID: 840 0764 9429 Passcode: 648703

Wednesday 

Madison Transportation Commission meets at 5 pm online, and they will receive and update on Public Works projects for 2022. A note on the agenda says they discuss Old Middleton Rd, the Cannonball Path, and Cedar St. There are some technical drawings attached to the item on the agenda, but not much detail. I guess we’ll have to tune in to see what these projects entail, but each one could be very important connections in the bike network. You can watch online or register to speak on any agenda item here

Thursday

Another BRT community meeting will take place on Thursday at 6:00 pm. This time the topic will be plans for the downtown portion of the route. The city and consultants have already held meetings about the east side and west side portions of the route. These meetings go into more details about where the stations will be located, what they will look like, what streets the BRT will run on, and what lane configurations will be. The Zoom link and more details about the downtown route can be found on the city’s BRT project page.

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

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Weekly Update

It’s Bike Week 2021!

Just in case you haven’t heard yet — in which case we’ve been doing a terrible communications job — Madison Bike Week 2021 is already underway! While technically it doesn’t start until Sunday, there were a few prologue events on Saturday.

Starting Sunday, there will be commuter stations, movies, bike check-up opportunities, fundraisers, classes, happy hours, social rides, and so much more. 

There is simply too much to list individually, but we wanted to highlight a few major events. To see what is happening each day, head on over to the Madison Bike Week 2021 page. The events are neatly color-coded by type of event, and there is even a way to bookmark your favorite events and sync them with your phone or calendar. 

Oh, and if you’re subscribed to our newsletter but not actually in Madison: Of course it’s also the Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Bike Week all across the state. Find out more here.

There is more infrastructure news, but we are concentrating this week on the Bike Week events. A good place to find out about Madison projects is the city link at the end of this blog post.

Madison Bike Week activities

Monday-Friday 

There are multiple commuter stations, where you can pick up some eats and/or beverages, have your bike checked out, and just generally hang out with other bicyclists. Motorless Motion will have an afternoon commuter station every — for the less morning-oriented among us — while others will be doing the regular morning bike commute station with coffee and such. 

Also, discounts are available all week at Pasture and Plenty, BCycle, and Bicycle Benefits. Information on these discounts and all the events can be found on the Madison Bike Week 2021 page

Tuesday

The Mayor will hold a press conference at 8:30 am in front of the Municipal Building on MLK Blvd downtown, and then go on a short downtown bike ride at 9:00 am. All are welcome to join us. 

There are also a ton of other activities on Tuesday, including an open house at the Madison Bike Center to see the beautiful new facilities, a bike maintenance check up and neighborhood ride at the Lussier Center, and a couple of no-drop social rides. Also not to be missed is the morning Cheddar Bacon Waffles commuter stop on the Cap City Trail at Dickinson.

Wednesday

At Lodgic Everyday Kitchen, Forward Madison will hold a fundraiser for Dream Bikes. The event runs from 5:00-7:00 pm, and there is a suggested donation. In addition to food and beverages, there is valet bike parking at the event, a silent auction and raffle, and bike safety checks and a complimentary bike wash. More info and tickets at the link above. 

Thursday

If you or any family or friends need a little refresher on bicycling — maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve been on a bike? — MSCR will hold a series of classes to get folks feeling comfortable on a bike. They are held at several locations around the city, and there is a nominal fee, but you can attend one or all the sessions for the same cost. 

In the evening, make sure to head over to Capital Brewery to see “A Bikers Ballad”, hosted by the brewery and Capital Off-Road Pathfinders. This movie is an ode to mountain biking of all sorts. Tickets and more information at the link. 

Friday

Friday, the big event is the Final Bike Week Party at Brittingham Park from 5:00-8:00 pm. There will be music, beverages for all ages (yes, beer too), food trucks, community groups, a bicycle-based mini library, bike check ups, and general fun and celebration. Family-friendly, and all are welcome. 

By the way, we still need volunteers to help us set up, run the event, and clear everything afterward. We are an all-volunteer organization, so we rely on you to get this done. You can sign up and see the shifts here: https://forms.gle/Yj7aczSCTxyftKbk6

Saturday

We aren’t done yet! 

Free Bikes 4 Kidz will be holding a donation drive at multiple locations. If you or a neighbor have an unused or unloved bike in the garage or basement, you can give it to Free Bikes 4 Kidz and help families experience the joys of biking. Kids come in all sizes, so even though we often think of this as collecting “kids’” sizes, older kids can use your bigger bikes. (Free Bikes 4 Kidz also takes financial donations.)

Finally, we want to give a big shoutout to a great organization and event — a chance to try out some adaptive bicycles for kids with special needs. Padres e Hijos en Acción will be holding Bicicletas y Jardinería event at Quann Community Garden, at the corner of Bram St and Koster St, 11:00am-1:00pm.

Phew. That’s a lot of celebrating bicycling. Thanks to all our sponsors and supporters, and to everyone who bikes every day, whether it’s to work, school, errands, meetings, the library, to see friends, or just because you love to go for a spin. This week is a celebration of you, too. 

Madison Bike Week sponsors: 

  • Trek/BCycle
  • MGE
  • Wheel and Sprocket
  • Black Saddle Bike Shop
  • Scwinn

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.