Categories
Bike News

We’re creeping into spring

Photo credit: Linda Larsen

If you were out over the weekend, you saw lots more bicyclists out and about. Not everyone ventures out by bike in the winter, but it seems that everyone is eager to get back on as the weather warms and the snow melts. And that also means that there will probably be more events on our calendar as we get into later spring and the summer. Remember, you can find all the events and meetings that we know about by checking out our Community Calendar. You can also drop us a line if you have something to add.

What happened last week?

Freewheel is starting a fundraising drive for their new bike center

On Saturday, Freewheel Bike Collective hosted a community meeting. Freewheel has been around in Madison for over 15 years, giving away free bikes to the community and teaching people how to build and repair bikes. Now a big expansion is on the horizon. As we have reported earlier, Freewheel was chosen by the city as the operator for the Judge Doyle Bicycle Center. The center, slated to open late this year, will provide secure bike parking, showers, a bike wash station, and space to repair bikes and teach bike repair classes. To make this expansion happen and raise money, Freewheel has started a big membership drive. You can check out the different membership options here. Stay tuned for a separate blog post about Freewheel and the Bicycle Center in the next few weeks.

Madison Bikes board and volunteers help out FB4K

Hard to believe, but not all the board members are good mechanics. Some of us just love bikes and want to help others get a bike and enoy the freedom we feel when we ride. So while some more experienced board and volunteers helped fix up bikes at Free Bikes for Kidz, the rest of us either cleaned the bikes or put training wheels on the smaller ones. We had a great time, and FB4K is a fantastic program. They always need help, so if you’d like to help, contact them. No experience needed!

Bike counter on John Nolen Path is working again!

Despite not displaying the numbers for passing bicyclists, the bike counter has been working all along. But some people worried that their cold-weather rides weren’t being recorded. Now you can once again see each and every rider be counted on the path. And if you are interested in seeing weather, day of week, or monthly trends, you can also see the statistics for the counters at both the John Nolen Dr Path and the Southwest Path — as well as some pedestrian counters on State St that you probably didn’t know existed — on this page.

What’s up this week?

Monday

The Madison Bikes board will meet at the Central Library at 6:00 pm. Everyone is always welcome. We’ll be talking about plans for Bike Week in early June as well as updates from all our committees.

Just upstairs from our board meeting at the Central will be a mayoral debate starting at 7:00 pm. Satya Rhodes-Conway will face Paul Soglin on April 2 to determine who will be our mayor for the next four years. Your vote is very important, so please make sure to make your voice heard. You can vote absentee—aka early vote—at any public library starting March 18. City offices and locations on the UW campus, Madison College, and Edgewood are also available. You can find all the locations and hours here.

Tuesday

Women’s “Get to know your bike clinic” will be held at the Trek store on the east side— 1706 Eagan Rd–from 6:00-7:00 pm. Join Trek Bicycle Madison East for a clinic led by our women’s advocate, Kelsey Walsh. We will discuss the anatomy of your bike and how to keep it well, clean and happy. Please bring your questions and your willingness to learn. This is FREE and open to the public. All attendees will receive 10% off maintenance supplies!

Wednesday

The Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee will meet at 6:00 pm at Bendyworks, 106 E Doty St #200. This is the committee that helps push for better conditions in the city. So if you want to help our, we’d love to have you.

Saturday

Neff Cycle Service is having a grand reopening after moving locations. (But not too far, just to a different space in the same building.) Enjoy food, drink, door prizes and lots of cool bikes and people! If the weather permits we will have a group ride in the morning before opening up the shop. 1:00-5:00 pm at 1490 Martin St, Madison.

Capital Goldsprints Series #1 GoldSprint Series returns for a THIRD season of BIKES, BEER, MUSIC and FUN! Hosted at Motorless Motion Bikes by MoMo Riders Club. Spin your fastest for great prizes or glory against your friends or fiercest rivals. This is a come-as-you-are event and all equipment is provided. No experience necessary, just come prepared to have fun. 7:00pm –⁠ 11:55pm at Motorless Motion Bicycles, 640 W Washington Ave.

What have we been talking about?

Over on the recently-renamed Madison Bikes Community Facebook group, here are a few posts from the last week that generated some discussion:

What paths are still icy? Or are they flooded now?

A student is compiling a list of all the bike-only traffic signals in the city.

Streetsblog had a little film about the craziest excuses against bike lanes, and local commenters added their own stories.

And people are talking about the mayoral election.

Categories
Bike News

It’s winter, but that’s the time for planning

Mark your calendars for Winter Bike Week

We hope everyone has been enjoying the snow and cold weather (yes, it’s really cold, but you all have lots of warm clothes, right?) Many people don’t think about bicycling in weather like this, but between planning for our upcoming Winter Bike Week –⁠ Feb 1-8 — and the city planning for construction season, there is plenty on the calendar. If you are looking for the Winter Bike Week events, make sure to head over to the Madison Bikes Facebook PAGE instead of the group where discussions happen.

Upcoming elections and last week’s mayoral forum

There will also be a primary for alder and mayor on February 19. Everyone in the city will be able to vote for mayor, and there will be a primary for alder in your area if three or more candidates are running. Then, the two candidates with the most votes will run in the main election on April 2. Madison Bikes is a 501(c)3 organization, so we can’t endorse candidates, but we did co-sponsor a mayoral forum on January 15 at the Central Library. Two transportation-related questions were asked, and you can check out the candidates’ answers here. Thanks to Harald for transcribing the answers! If you’d like to hear all the questions and answers, there is a link to a recording as well.

We urge everyone to vote an ask questions of the candidates, if you get a chance. Madison Bikes has sent a longer set of questions –⁠ ones we didn’t get a chance to ask at the forum –⁠ to the mayoral candidates. We will post the answers when after the January 31 deadline to respond. Early voting starts January 29, so if you aren’t sure who you are supporting, we hope the answers can help you make a decision.

This week

Monday

Meathead Ride. Starting at 7:00 pm at Ford’s Gym, 2114 Winnebago St, join the group for the weekly no-drop social loop around Lake Monona. Bring your extra layers!

Tuesday

The Common Council has two items of interest to bicyclists. They meet at 6:30 pm in Room 210 of the City-County Building, the Council will be passing plans for rebuilding parts of E Wilson, Williamson St, and Blount. This is the project that has been under discussion for quite some time, has been through a bunch of public meetings, and shouldn’t be particularly controversial. It will involve some changes to the streets between Franklin St and Blount that should make biking this stretch and connecting with the Cap City Trail and Lake Monona Path easier. You can take a look at the documents here.

Also on the Council agenda is the final lease between Freewheel Bicycle Co and the city for the bike center that will be part of the Judge Doyle Square development. While the lease isn’t all that exciting, you can also see plans for what is going to be inside. Cool. A bike wash, showers, indoor bike storage of various sorts, a small bike shop, public repair station, lockers, and lots more.

You can also watch the meeting on your computer from home, and maybe you’ll hear a few other things at the meeting that interest you. Everyone should try to attend a city meeting or council meeting at least once to learn how decisions are made, but it sure if more comfortable on the couch. (Says the former alder, who sat through three Council meetings that lasted until 5:00 am!)

Wednesday

The Transportation Commission will meet in Room 206 of the Municipal Building, to consider the list of Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP, also known as traffic calming) projects. If you are interested to see which projects accumulated enough points to receive traffic calming measures, or whether your streets has ever been studied, you can find the list here. A studied location must receive 30 points to be considered for traffic calming.

Also on the TC agenda is an update on “Bicycle Facility Planning,” however there are no specific items under consideration, and no further information on line. This appears to be a standing item that will appear on each agenda, along with other transportation updates. However, if you are interested in this meeting on anything else on it, you can either attend the meeting or watch the meeting on line.

Also Wednesday, there is a meeting about planning for Burr Jones Field. City Parks will be holding a public input session at 6:00-8:00 pm at Festival Foods – Community Room, 810 East Washington Ave. If you aren’t familiar with Burr Jones Field, think about the big green space that is bounded by the Yahara River, E. Johnson St, E Washington, and the RR tracks behind the strip mall and city fleet services on First St. That’s it.

From the city: “You are invited to attend and provide comments on the project. If you have questions or comments but are unable to attend the meeting, please contact Mike Sturm at (608) 267-4921 or msturm@cityofmadison.com. More information visit Parks Projects: https://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/projects.”

Grant, outgoing Madison Bikes Board President, provides this comment: “There are some paths through the park today, but it’s really important that we think about improving the connection from the Yahara bridge to connect with MIfflin/First. A new ped/bike RR crossing is needed there (there is none technically, but there very much is a well-worn desire path). Dealing with the RR is tricky business, but the park planning should include a good connection to this future RR crossing. There should also be a path along the east side of the river.”

What have we been talking about?

Here are some of the lively discussion from the Madison Bikes Facebook group:

Now that we have snow, there have been a few discussions about winter maintenance. To brine or not brine. How to report a problem to the city.

If you want to see what the city says about their winter maintenance of bicycle facilities –⁠ in more detail than you probably want –⁠ check out this video from a meeting on that topic. The portion of the meeting on winter maintenance is about an hour long!

Lots of questions about how to keep warm and safe while riding in winter.

Ideas from other cities on reforming their transportation system.

And lots more.

Remember, if you have an event for our Madison Bikes Community Calendar, send it to us so others can find it. And all the details about all the events are up on, or linked from that same calendar, so make sure to visit often.

Categories
Bike News

Will you help us make Madison better next year?

Year end brings quiet time for city meetings

There aren’t any city meetings this week, and many people are out of town, off work, or involved with family activities. There are a few activities coming up, both this week and in the months to come, and we’ll get to those in a minute.

But first I want to take this opportunity to ask everyone reading this to think about ways that you can help us in the coming year. That may be by volunteering at one of our events, coming to a meet to speak or contacting your elected representatives, serving on a Madison Bikes committee, writing a blog post for us, or making a financial donation to Madison Bikes. We are an all-volunteer organization, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have expenses. We run a lean organization, but we could really use your help, whether that is by your money, your voice, your ideas, or your hands.

We are starting to make progress in improving the city for you as bicyclists. But even better, we are starting to move forward toward a city where people who may not feel comfortable biking now can enjoy the freedom to move by bicycle that some of us already do. Imagine if your family member, colleague, friend, or neighbor could finally stop worrying about that bad intersection or the gap in the network that keeps them from biking to work, restaurants, social activities, or shopping. Imagine if you didn’t have to hear, “I’d bike, but‚Ķ.” That’s what we’re working toward. Donate or sign up to volunteer on our website.

So what’s coming up?

The Monday Meathead rides are still on the calendar for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. Meet at Ford’s Gym at 7 pm for a no-drop ride around Lake Monona.

Friday, January 4 at 6:00 pm at HotelRED, we will be hosting an event with Downtown Madison, Inc. From Madison to Berlin and Back: Civic Activism For a More Livable City. This isn’t just about bicycling, it’s about becoming more involved in your city and making it more sustainable and livable. We hope you can join us for a discussion with Dirk von Schneidemesser, who is on the board of the Berlin based Organization Changing Cities. More information at the link above.

We are also gearing up for the Winter Bike Week, starting Feb 2 with the Frozen Assets Festival on Lake Mendota. Madison Bikes will again have a table out on the ice and will offer fat bike-towed sled pulls. Here’s a great event where we can use your help.

During the week following the festival, there will be commuter stations and other activities to encourage everyone to keep biking al winter long. Keep your eyes out for the full list of activities and opportunities to help out.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has been there for us the past year, and we all hope you have a safe and joyful biking year to come.

In case you missed it on our Facebook group:

Christmas Tree by Bike

Dane County announces funding for local bike projects

People for Bikes names their best new bikeways of 2018

Categories
Bike News

The snow missed us, and there are meetings!

What? No snow?

(Your intrepid weekly-update reporter is in California this week, so I have only remote reports about the weather, so forgive me if I get that wrong.)

With the first major storm of the year becoming somewhat of a bust, and our Winter Bike Fashion Show behind us, we are fully into winter bicycling season. For some, that may mean putting your bike in the basement or on a trainer in the living room to pedal during a Netflix binge. But we hope you will get out there and embrace the season. There are lots of knowledgeable people on our Facebook page to help you stay warm, dry, and safe during the cold, dark months ahead.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of important meetings coming up. While it may not be peak biking season, it is the season to plan what will be built next year (or beyond.)

So let’s take a look at the calendar for the coming week.

The week ahead

Monday

Bike Fitchburg is having a community open house. Opens at 5:30 pm, program starts at 6:30. Refreshments provided. This meeting is intended to help familiarize municipal planners and elected officials on the Bike Friendly Community application and our work in supporting communities to submit an application in 2019. Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Road.

Bassett Street Corridor Study Public Involvement Meeting. 7:00-8:30 pm at the Madison Senior Center, 330 W Mifflin St. The city will be rebuilding Bassett St because of some water main problems. But they want to take a look at making some improvements, especially where it intersects with the 400 block of W Wilson St. As the only street connecting Johnson and University directly to John Nolen Dr –⁠ and the Lake Monona Path –⁠ negotiating the last block of Bassett, the sweep onto Wilson, and the crossing of John Nolen Dr can be a nerve-wrecking experience.

This meeting is to discuss goals and objectives of the project. Following very quickly will be a meeting on the alternatives, which will be December 11, also at the Madison Senior Center.

Finally for Monday, we have some fun. The MEAThead ride has started up again. A no-drop loop of Lake Monona that leaves from Ford’s Gym every Monday at 7:00 pm from November through March regardless of weather conditions. That’s the way to stay active!

Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is the day non-profits remind you to send them some money in the midst of all the holiday spending. While Madison Bikes hasn’t made a big Giving Tuesday push, we’d be thrilled if you chose to send us a few bucks. We are an all volunteer organization, but there are still bills to pay, like to keep this website going. We are also trying to do some professional development for our board, so they know best practices for 21st century biking infrastructure. We join national organizations to see what others are doing and bring ideas home. You can donate to Madison Bikes this year and support our work.

Wednesday

The Transportation Commission is meeting on Wednesday at 5:00 pm in Room 354 of the City-County Bldg, and there is one item of interest to bicyclists, although it’s not very good news. Because of the state law that prohibits using eminent domain to acquire land needed to build pedestrian and bicycle facilities (we still don’t know who inserted that language into the budget in 2017), there will be a discontinuous path running next to Pleasant View Rd. The TC will receive a presentation on the plans for the road and then approve the geometrics (including the partial path.) If you would like to see the slides, you can access them here. You can also attend the meeting or watch it streaming on your computer.

Coming up

Bus Rapid Transit may not directly be a bicycle issue but we all benefit from improved transit. How the road is allocated and integrating bicycling into the road along with BRT, as well as making sure the stations and vehicles are bike-friendly is important. Roll-on/roll-off bikes on buses, anyone? Level boarding could make that possible, and many cities allow it.

The first public meeting about BRT is December 12, 6:00 pm at the Central Library, and there is already a website to learn more about BRT and keep up.

The Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (the MPO) will be receiving a presentation on the Fish Hatchery Rd project in Fitchburg at their December 5 meeting. The MPO does have some say over the plans, and they have adopted a Complete Streets policy, so maybe we can get them to make the design better for those traveling along and across the road by foot or bicycle. The meeting will be at the Water Utility Bldg, 119 E Olin Ave, at 6:30 pm. More on that next week.

ICYMI – what we are talking about on Facebook

The bike racks at Whole Foods are sub-optimal

Robbie talks about how roads are intentionally built to facilitate speeding

Madison police officers don’t ticket dangerous traffic offenses committed right in front of them

Categories
Bike News

Heads up: Plans for next year’s projects

Current intersection of Fish Hatchery and McKee Rd

Although road construction projects may seem to be wrapping up for the year, we now have to keep an eye out for what is going to be built next year. We can’t wait until the last minute to make sure there are safe and comfortable facilities for all users, so make sure to take a look at some of the upcoming meetings. Your voice at these early meetings are very important, but we’ll keep you posted on what’s up.

Although Election Day isn’t until November 6, you can vote NOW at any city library, the Clerk’s office, and both Memorial Union and Union South. Your vote is very important. We need people in office who will make sure that users of all modes of transportation are safe and have full access to everywhere they need to go. To find out hours for early voting, where you vote, or what’s on the ballot, check out the City Clerk’s website (assuming you live in Madison.)

Coming up with week

Monday the Transportation Policy and Planning Board meets at 5:00 pm in Room 201 of the City-County Building. Of interest is the Milwaukee Street Special Area Plan. The transportation overview can be found on page 4, with full transportation recommendations starting on page 18.

Tuesday Dane County will hold a public information meeting at 5:00 pm in the Westport Town Hall, 5387 Mary Lake Rd, Waunakee, on the Hwy M segment between Hwy Q and Blue Gill Dr –⁠ that’s almost to Hwy 113. This segment covers the top of Lake Mendota, so this will be an important project if you want to ride around the big lake. This is the first meeting on this project, so no decisions are being made at this time, but the announcement of the meeting includes the following: “Bike lanes, shared-use facilities and transit routes are also being considered throughout the length of this project.”

Also on Tuesday, the Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee will meet at 6:00 pm at Bendy Works, 106 E Doty St, 2nd floor. If you want to help us on our strategies to improve the bike infrastructure in Madison, or if you have any other projects you want to work on, come join us.

Upcoming events and meetings:

A little farther out in time, but things you will want to mark on your calendar:

Nov 8, 5:30 pm at Leopold Elementary School, 2602 Post Rd, will be the second community meeting to get public input on the reconstruction of North Fish Hatchery Rd in Fitchburg. This is a chance to tell oth the city of Fitchburg and the County that we need safer facilities for bicyclists on this road. And it would be nice if it was possible to safely and comfortably cross the road by bike or foot, even if it’s just to grab the bus or get going the right way on your bike.

Also Nov 8 will be a meeting about plans for Wilson St from Blair to Broom. We worked really hard to try to get eastbound lanes on E Wilson to facilitate access in this corridor. The Board of Public Works and the Council passed plans for the reconstruction of E Wilson without those lanes, but the resolution it include a guarantee that there would be safe and comfortable accommodations for all modes in entire corridor by the time the Judge Doyle Square was opened, including the Bike Center. So speak up at this meeting about the need for have two-way bike traffic.

This is from a budget amendment (the city is going through its budget process right now), so this a quick heads up. Here’s the language from the budget:

Wilson Street, from Broom Street to Henry Street, is scheduled for reconstruction in 2019. The City of Madison will use this opportunity to study the full Wilson Street corridor from Broom Street to Blair Street and how it functions for all modes of transportation. The first public involvement meeting on Thursday November 8 will present existing conditions as well as goals and objectives for the corridor. The second public involvement meeting, scheduled for Thursday December 6 will review alternatives for the corridor.

Wilson Street Corridor Study Public Involvement Meetings:

  • Thursday November 8, 7 pm, Madison Municipal Building, Room 260, 215 Martin Luther King Blvd. Madison, WI –⁠ Goals and Objectives
  • Thursday December 6, 7 pm, Madison Municipal Building, Room 260, 215 Martin Luther King Blvd. Madison, WI –⁠ Alternatives

Nov 17, 1:00 pm at the High Noon — Our Winter Bike Fashion Show is fast approaching. We are looking for volunteers to help with various aspects of the event. And there is still time to apply to be a model for the show. Email Pepe@MadisonBikes.org is you would like to help out or be a model.

Don’t forget, you can find times, locations, and more details of these meetings and events on the Madison Bikes Community Calendar. If you’d like to submit an event, send it to Grant@MadisonBikes.org

Categories
Bike News

Great annual party, on to the Winter Bike Fashion Show

Photo: Dan Stout

The past week

We had a wonderful Annual Party and Fundraiser at Starting Block on Saturday evening. It’s fun to see some of the members of the Facebook group in person and be able to talk to them directly about what we are doing. We want the thank Starting Block and American Family–the owners of the building–for allowing us to use their beautiful new space. Also thanks to everyone who came. You make Madison Bikes what it is.

If you missed the party–or even if you didn’t and still want more Madison Bikes fun– mark your calendars for the Winter Bike Fashion Show at the High Noon on Saturday afternoon, November 17. You’ll hear more about it, but here’s the link to the Facebook event.

Also last week was the Bike Fitchburg Pick Me Up At The Border, which started at the Capitol at 7:00 pm and rode all the way down to the Illinois State Line, and back, on the Badger Trail. Looks like they are doing it again, but this time during the day, on October 7.

The week ahead

Tuesday

The Madison Bikes Communications Committee will meet in the Stiftskeller at Memorial Union at 5:30 pm. If you would like to write blog posts, help us get the weekly update out, or otherwise work on communications for us, drop by and say hello.

Wednesday

The Madison Area Transportation Planning Board will meet at 6:30 pm at the Water Utility Building at 119 E. Olin Ave. They will adopt the Transportation Improvement Plan for 2019-2023. This plan is updated each year, but covers the next five years’ major projects for the entire metropolitan area. Click on the link above if you are curious what projects are getting built (and which are not.)

Categories
Bike News

Floods. New residents. Oh my!

This time of year is always a little dicey for people on bikes. Lots of new people have just moved to town, parents are moving their kids into apartments, people are trying biking in a real city for the first time, and they are all confused by one-way streets and how we get around in Madison. Lots of the people driving have never seen bicyclists actual using the street, or they don’t expect paths to be so crowded. The only thing anyone has taught the freshmen about biking is, “Stay of the way of cars.”

Everyone is a little on edge. Now throw in flooded streets that redirect everyone to a few corridors on the east side, and it gets worse. My very-experienced and strong colleague, who commutes eight miles each way through the east side, told me that they worst part of his Madison Flood 2018 commute is that drivers are racing through the yellow (or red) light because they are so backed up and late.

Just take a breath, enjoy the ride, and be patient with all the confused newbies. Be happy that you are probably going the same speed as you normally do, and you can navigate around most of the flooding via side streets, sidewalks, and use of fenders.

And we should all give a big thanks to city staff for sandbagging the area around the Monona Terrace path so we could still use it. Not every city would care enough to do that. Everyone has probably seen this already, but just in case you’ve been away and wonder what’s open and closed, you can find maps of conditions–including a crowd-sourced map of bike path closures–on the city’s website.

The week ahead

Tuesday

The Madison Bikes Communications Committee will meet at Memorial Union at 5:30 pm. If the weather is nice, we be just outside the beer window of the Stiftskeller. If it’s raining, we’ll be inside the Stiftskeller. If you have enjoyed these updates and our Facebook group, consider joining us to talk about how we communicate with our members and friends. We now have over 1500 subscribers to the Facebook group!

Also on Tuesday, the Mayor will release his Capital Budget at the Council meeting, which will then go through all sorts of committees and hearing before being passed in October. There’s no link to the budget right now, but the capital budget is for financing large projects–things that are financed to pay off. This is where things like roads, paths, buildings, big equipment, construction, and other large projects are seen. Keep an eye on this to see what the city’s priorities are for transportation. Nothing else major on the Council agenda, but in case you’re interested, you can see the whole thing online.

Wednesday

The new Transportation Commission meeting has been cancelled, but the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (the MPO) will meet at 6:30 pm at the City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Room 357. The MPO, which is the body that plans and allocates federal money for all the transportation projects in the entire metropolitan area–not just the city– has been switching off its meetings between downtown and the Water Utility building on Olin Ave, so best to check their calendar to see where they are meeting. For this meeting, they will be holding a public hearing on the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for 2019-2023. That means they will be voting on what they plan to find for the next five years. This is revised every year, but gives you an idea what they are planning on doing. Want to see what’s in there? Here’s a link.

Saturday

The September MadTown Unity Ride will leave from the Villager Mall at 10 am. MadTown Unity Rides are organized by local groups to celebrate the unity and diversity of Madison Southside and to connect our communities together. More information can be found on their Facebook event linked above.

Categories
Bike News

New transportation committees and new infrastructure

older_couple_by_Humanities.jpg

The past week:

It’s a slow week ahead, but it’s been an exciting past week. A number of new piece of infrastructure are either open or in place. Take a look at the video on the MB Facebook group to check out the new bridges in Vilas Park. The new version of the path through Crazy Legs Plaza –⁠ at the intersection of Monroe and Regent –⁠ is now open. Users report it is a good design and easy to negotiate. An improved curb cut at the Capital City Path and Dunning –⁠ by the Harmony Bar –⁠ will make the diagonal crossing better.

The first meeting of both the new transportation committees happened when they met in joint session this past Tuesday. The Transportation Commission –⁠ which is the one that is supposed to deal with the implementation and day-to-day decisions for our transportation system –⁠ will meet again this coming week and then again on August 22. It is unclear if the two city committees will continue to meet jointly for awhile, or if they have set future meetings for the Transportation and Planning Board –⁠ the more long range-looking body. There are no meetings for that body on the city calendar at this time. Also, two if the committees that are no longer meeting –⁠ the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission and the Transit and Parking Commission –⁠ had their meetings televised on cable and streamed on the city website. No word if the city will stream the new transportation bodies’ meetings as well.

The week ahead:

Tuesday the Madison Bikes Communications Committee will meet at 5:30 pm at Memorial Union. We normally meet just outside the beer window by the Stiftskeller. If the weather is bad, we’ll be in the Stiftskeller. Come on by to say hello or to help out with outreach and communications.

Wednesday the new Transportation Commission will meet for the second time. Mostly, they will be going over basic business such as electing a chair and vice-chair. But they will also have a staff presentation about the structure of the various components of the city transportation divisions. So if you want to know who does what, you can attend at 5:00 pm in Room 201 of the City-County Building.

Saturday the August MadTown Unity Ride will take place starting at 10 am and leaving from the Villager Mall. This is a slow family ride through the south side of Madison. The distance will be between 7 and 10 miles. If you don ‘t have a bike or helmet, you can borrow one during the ride.

The target audience for these rides is Black, Brown, Indigenous people of color, LGBT+ community, the Senior community and other communities that have been affected by discrimination who live or work in a predominantly low-to moderate-income community in the Madison Southside. We use these rides as a vehicle to increase social cohesion at the neighborhood level, as well as highlight the assets and inequities which exist in neighborhoods across the Madison Southside.

Categories
Bike News

Weekly Update: The county giveth, and the county taketh away

Last week

On Saturday, a great group was Riding 24 Hours in Support of Immigrants and Refugees, some for a short time, some for longer. You can see the photos, on Baltazar’s Facebook page.

Cap City Trail closing, but new links might be in the works

About half of the Cap City Trail will be closed for six weeks starting Monday, so I hope everyone got one last ride in over the beautiful (and finally cooler) weekend. The county is repaving the trail from Nob Hill Road to Glacial Valley Road. In case you don’t know those cross streets, that’s more or less from just south of where the path crosses under the Beltine to just short of Fish Hatchery Road. It will be six weeks before it’s open again, but we’ll have a smoother riding experience.

One the other hand, the county also announced that they are soliciting projects from communities to connect local bike trails to the existing county system trails. This is a great program, because smaller communities otherwise may struggle to find funding for important connections. The county program will pay up to 50 percent of the cost of design, engineering, and construction.

The week ahead

Other than the inconvenience of a major bike route being unavailable, things are going to be pretty quiet this week.

Monday

The Madison Bikes Events Committee will meet at 6:00 pm at Barriques on S Park St. We would really love to have some additional volunteers help us plan our events. Right now, we are working on the annual party for September, but there are lots of events we could do with more help. So, if you are great at throwing parties, or just are a good organizer of community events, come by and check out the committee.

Tuesday

The Madison Bikes Communications Committee will meet at 5:30 pm at the Memorial Union Terrace. If you would be interested in helping us with blog posts, social media, or other outreach activities please feel free to stop by. We are usually near the outdoor beer window, but up on the level of the theater wing, but if you cant’s find us, shoot an email to Heather, the committee chair.

Also on Tuesday, the Council will be considering the Winnebago project yet again. This time the recommendation is for Option 1B. Harald sent out an action alert on Sunday, so check there for more information.

The council will also be confirming the new citizen members of the new Transportation Commission and the Transportation Policy and Planning Board. These two committees will replace the PBMVC, Transit and Parking Commission, and the Long Range Transportation Planning Committee. (There are two files, so there are two links above.)

A little Easter egg seems to be on the Council agenda, something that has been needed for a long time. It looks like an underpass of the railroad that runs parallel to Old Middleton Road is planned to connect Craig Ave to Old Middleton Rd. This would provide a pedestrian-bike route from University Ave to Old Middleton west of Whitney Way. Map/satellite image here (it takes a loooong time to load.)

Saturday

You can join the July Unity Ride at 10 am. MadTown Unity Rides are organized by local groups to celebrate the unity and diversity of Madison Southside and to connect our communities together.The target audience for these rides is Black, Brown, Indigenous people of color, LGBT+ community and other communities that have been affected by discrimination who live or work in a predominantly low-tmoderate-income community in the Madison Southside. We use these rides as a vehicle to increase social cohesion at the neighborhood level, as well as highlight the assets and inequities which exist in neighborhoods across the Madison Southside. This is a family ride, so they will be going at a very relaxed, slow pace. The distance will be between 7-10 miles. And if you don’t have a bike or helmet, The group can arrange to lend you one. For more information and a map of the ride, check out the Facebook event.

Send us your events

Remember, if you have an event that you’d like us to include on the Community Calendar, send it to us.

Categories
Bike News

What a [Bike] Week! Weekly update for June 11, 2018

We had wonderful weather for Bike Week and all the activities: not too hot, not too cold, and almost no rain! Thanks to all who came by, chatted at the commuter stations, threw a little into the donation box, and signed up to be on the mailing list. We had a great time and met some new people, many of whom didn’t know about Madison Bikes.

This brings me to a reminder to all current Facebook friends and email subscribers: If you know someone who would like to know what’s happening with bicycling in Madison, please send them over to us. They can follow us on Facebook, participate in our group discussions, and/or sign up to get our blogs and weekly updates emailed to them directly.

We are a stronger, more effective organization when more people join and participate. One of our goals is to keep bicyclists up to date with what’s happening on city committees, in your neighborhood, and when plans or votes are coming up that will affect bicycling. Your voice is very important, and you can help us by getting your friends to join as well.

On to the weekly update for this week. After all the activities last week, the coming week is pretty slow for meetings and activities.

Monday

Madison Bikes Events Committee will meet at 6:00 pm at Barriques, 127 W Washington. All the Madison Bikes committees are looking for additional volunteers and committee members, so if you are interested in helping plan events, we could really use your help. The Winter Fashion Show, Annual Party/Member Meeting, and Bike Week commuter stations are just some of the events that this committee has planned. Don’t know whether it’s for you? Stop by to say hello and ask a few questions. They’ll be glad to see you!

There will be a special meeting of the Plan Commission, at 5:00 pm in Room 103A of the City/County Building, to approve updates to the Comprehensive Plan. This will guide how the city grows, and where, for the next ten years. It’s been through a lot of work and discussed by almost every committee of the city –⁠ including several transportation committees — and now needs to be passed by the Plan Commission and Council. If you would like to see everyone who’d looked at it and what input they had, you can follow this link and click on the documents.

Tuesday

The Middleton Pedestrian. Bike, Transit Committee will be at 5:30 in the Council Chambers in Middleton City Hall, 7426 Hubbard Avenue. It looks like the city is taking the first steps to build a much-needed path along Century Ave. This has been a missing link in the metro area for quite some time, with none of the existing options –⁠ ride in the main lanes with fast-moving traffic or use the sidewalk — particularly safe or inviting. But it’s just the start of the process, because this is what is listed on the agenda:

The City of Middleton received three responses to its Request for Proposals for consultant engineering services to design a 10 ft. wide path along the north side of Century Avenue, between Old Creek Road and the eastern city limits (near Mendota County Park).

Saturday

There are two rides scheduled for Saturday.

The Clean Lakes Alliance will have its annual Loop the Lake ride and fundraiser, starting at Olbrich Park at 10:00 am. The ride is the familiar ride around Lake Monona (about 13 miles), but you’ll be doing it with a few hundred other people. Although most people will finish in about 75-90 minutes, the course will stay open until 2:00 pm. More information at the link about or at the Facebook event.

Tour de Familia Latina/Latino Family Tour will start at 1:00 pm at Quan Park, hosted by BiciClub Latino de Madison. They are meeting at bit outside downtown Madison to avoid all the other events going on downtown. Quan Park is right next to the Wingra Creek Path and behind the Alliant Center. From there, they will be biking to the Lower Yahara River Path, a beautiful ride. All are welcome, and the ride is geared toward families and riders of all ages and abilities.

All these events are also listed on the Madison Bike Community Calendar. If you would like to have an event listed, send it over to us.