Categories
Weekly Update

Another Death on East Washington, Odana Restriping

New Odana bike lanes paired with reduced car travel lanes. Photo: Harald Kliems

Another week, another death on East Washington Ave, one of the busiest roads in Madison. This time, a driver struck and killed a 57-year old cyclist who was crossing in a crosswalk at Pawling St. Needless to say, there’s a lot of sadness, frustration, and anger at the escalating situation on E. Washington Ave.

In fact, while recently it’s been in the spotlight, E. Washington Ave has been a problem for decades. For example, two of Madison’s four high schools are next to major arteries (E. Washington Ave and Mineral Point Rd) and both schools have lost students to these roads and drivers over the past thirty years. The city’s Vision Zero initiative is intended to reduce these sorts of deaths, but exactly how effective it will be or whether recent changes (such as reduced speed limits) will make any meaningful difference remains to be seen. Both of these roads are also part of the proposed BRT route, so there is at least some medium-term chance of changes to traffic patterns along these corridors driven by that project. Expect to see more coverage of this issue from us as we process these tragedies and try to figure out what we do next.

In brighter news, Odana Rd between Whitney Way and Gammon Rd has been restriped to add a mix of buffered and unbuffered bike lanes, a single travel lane each direction for cars and a center left turn lane.

Eastern segment of Odana Rd showing new bike lane and center left turn lane + new pavement. Photo: Harald Kliems

This change has been long-rumored and is certainly long-overdue, as it reverses an infamous 1980’s era “midnight restripe” where bike lanes were quietly removed overnight (and apparently in direct opposition to the intention of the City Council!), in favor of two travel lanes in each direction. We were first tipped off to the imminent change by Jerry Schippa, who might just have an inside track on these things; he’s a Traffic Engineer for the City of Madison. In addition, these changes are paired with brand new smooooooth pavement extending from Research Park Blvd to Whitney Way.

Four cyclists/two bikes taking advantage of the Smart Toyota parking lot connector to the Beltline bike path. Photo: Harald Kliems

More good news, albeit temporary: the Atwood protected bike lane in front of Olbrich Park is back for the season. Get your (clockwise) Lake Loop on and maybe stop off and enjoy the biergarten.

Not much in the way of calendar updates this week, which is sort of expected as it’s a short holiday week for some.

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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Bike News E-Mail Weekly Update

East and West Side Plan Meeetings and a Stacked Transportation Commission

Cyclists riding on all lanes of John Nolen Drive under the Monona Terrace Convention Center
A scene from our Ride the Drive archives. It’s going to look different this year!

This week, a friend of mine asked me when “they” would be completing the path along the Beltline from High Point Rd to the new Gammon Rd underpass. The High Point Rd bridge was rebuilt several years ago with that path segment in mind, with a nice loopy ramp around heading back to the southeast that just dead-ends in frustration and bewilderment. He said, “Say, who do I have to call to get that done?!” It’s a fair question! The truth is, these things take time but if you’re paying attention you see constant improvement.

One great starting point for someone just dabbling in the idea of “paying attention” would be the Greater East Towne Plan and Odana Area Plan meetings in the upcoming weeks. Both sets of meetings will cover a very broad set of long-term plans for these larger areas. Then at your Memorial Day party, you’ll be well on your way towards answering questions like “Hey, what do you think about putting Odana Rd on a serious road diet?” or “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a shared-use path heading out towards East Towne, perhaps along the Wisconsin & Southern RR corridor?”

Oh, and my friend? I suggested he drop a note to his Alder and the Transportation Commission to let them know what was on his mind.

This Week

On Monday at 5:30pm (register) or Wednesday at 12:00pm (register), attend a virtual informational meeting discussing the Greater East Towne Area Plan. On the docket will be a wide variety of topics, including updated transit, bike, and pedestrian facilities. Registration required.

On Monday at 6pm you can join us at the virtual Madison Bikes Community Meeting (zoom link). We’ll be focused on planning for the Bike Week event coming up on the other side of summer, in September.

On Wednesday at 5pm, the Transportation Commission is meeting (watch) and the agenda has several items worthy of mention.

On Thursday at 5:30pm (register) or June 1 at 12:00 pm (register), attend a public meeting discussing the Odana Area Plan. While not cycling-specific, there are plenty of relevant transit, bike and pedestrian details to share. Registration required.

Upcoming

On Sunday, June 6, plan to Ride the Drive(s) between 9am and 1pm. There is a great need for volunteers for this event, so please consider including a volunteer shift in your agenda that day!

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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Bike News E-Mail Weekly Update

It’s Just That Normal Spring Weather Whiplash

Two differently-sized people riding a bike together along the SW commuter path
Two differently-sized people enjoying a ride together along the SW commuter path (Harald Kliems @ Cyclists of Madison)

If you do everything in this post, it might end being a very busy week in Madison for you! I think we have a nice blend of virtual and in-person activities to enjoy. While you’re out, enjoy that novel feeling of wind on your bare limbs. While you’re in, tend to that first, glorious sunburn of the year. In fact, you can share those #bikeshortburn photos over on our Facebook community and the “winner” with the “best” lines gets a bit under 1/4 of a bottle of last year’s Coppertone knock-off SPF 70, courtesy of me, redeemable at our bike wash event later this month. Please don’t try to win this competition though — really this is a just a friendly reminder that it’s legit sunscreen season for a lot of people out there.

This Week

On Monday at 5:00pm, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) will meet virtually. You can watch the stream online or use the full meeting link to register to comment and see other options. Of particular note, the agenda includes a review of a quite comprehensive Downtown Madison Bicycle and Moped Parking Study. This comprehensive report touches on all aspects of bike parking downtown — rack placement, costs, rack types, and more. All with colorful pictures and maps too. Did I mention it was comprehensive?

On Tuesday get out and vote if you haven’t already! You can still read the alder candidate responses to our questionnaire.

On Wednesday at 6:30pm, the Greater Madison MPO Policy Board will meet virtually and discuss a wide variety of items including a bit about the University Avenue reconstruction, changes to their project scoring metrics and new board member nominations. For registration to watch the online stream or other access, check the linked agenda.

On Thursday at 5:00pm, join our friend Pepe Barros (City of Madison’s Pedestrian Bicycle Outreach Coordinator) for a virtual event hosted by Dreambank titled “THINK & EXPLORE: Smart Cities and the Biking Economy”. Registration is required!

On Saturday starting at 8am, CORP is holding their Quarry Ridge Spring Work Day. These fun off-road trails are located between Madison and Verona just adjacent to the Military Ridge trail. If you’re biking out for the event (or any other reason!) remember to allow a couple of minutes extra to detour using the Badger State Trail/Cap City Trail, because segments of the Cannonball Path and Military Ridge Trail are closed due to a year-long sewer project.

Also on Saturday, between 12pm and 4pm, Free Bikes for Kidz is looking for some volunteer muscle to help relocate some bikes between two east and north-side sites. If you’ve kept up with your strength-training regime all winter, this is your chance to put it to good use! U-Haul trailer will be provided but it may take a dozen or so bikes to pull it. Check the event link for more information and a signup form for all of the ongoing FB4K opportunities.

Coming Up

Mark your calendars for the Spring Bike Wash & Safety Checks on Saturday, April 24! There will be volunteers from Madison Bikes, Down With Bikes, Dream Bikes, BikEquity, and Wheels for Winners to help clean up and safety-check those bikes and if you don’t have a bike yet, BikEquity will have their library on-site as well.

From the Bike Madison newsletter on Friday, we learned that Ride the Drive 2021 will be happening on Sunday, June 6 with a few significant changes to the format due to COVID-19. Expect to hear a lot more from the City of Madison and us on this classic event!

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

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Bike News E-Mail Weekly Update

Surveys and Routes (and Meetings)

A cyclists wearing a mask near the intersection of University Bay Drive and University Ave/Campus Drive.
Near the site of a proposed new pedestrian and cyclist overpass over University Bay Drive (Harald Kliems @ Cyclists of Madison)

This Week

As part of a referendum in the November 2020 election, Madison voters overwhelmingly approved a sizable continuing investment in the public schools. Continuing that work, there is a survey available to further guide the efforts. Bicycle facilities such as parking improvements aren’t yet represented, but maybe they should be if we want to encourage students to ride to school safely. If you’ve seen the state of the bike racks at West High, for example, well, you know what I’m talking about (class of ’94 here and I think the racks were old then).

On Monday at 5pm the Transportation Policy and Planning Board will meet with a deceptively light agenda. However, the bulk of the meeting will be spent workshopping the Metro Network Redesign. Watch along to get a sneak peak at Wednesday’s public meeting content and see what it’s like to be on a working board like the TPPB.

On Wednesday at 6pm, Metro will hold the first public meeting detailing the Transit Network Redesign that is expected to be layered on top of BRT. It’s not enough to just drop BRT on top of the current route map, we need to redesign the routes that feed BRT as well. While you’re there, think about participating in the city’s BRT station design competition. But do it fast — the deadline is March 31!

On Thursday at 7pm, participate in the Whitney Way Safety Improvements Neighborhood Meeting (registration required). This corridor will be seeing some major changes with the BRT routing along most of it, and there is a unique opportunity to make improvements that will benefit both cyclists and pedestrians.

On Sunday at 11am, check out a virtual screening of “Together We Cycle”, a film that “investigates the critical events that have led to the revival of Dutch cycling culture.” Pepe Barros Hoffens, Executive Director of Down With Bikes and Pedestrian Bicycle Outreach Coordinator for the City of Madison, will be part of the post-film discussion as a panelist. Tickets are free but absolutely consider the suggested $8 donation.

Finally, since we’re putting a very wintry February behind us, it’s gotten pretty sloppy out there on the roads. If you’ve got fenders on your ride, now’s the time to put them to use! If you don’t have fenders, you might find that you can hack something effective (and surprisingly durable) for next-to-nothing:

An orange bike with cardboard fenders secured with zip ties.

Check out the Madison Bikes Community Page on Facebook to share your ideas as we all get excited about warmer-weather cycling!

Next Week

On Thursday, March 11 at 6pm, pop in to hear the latest on the University Avenue reconstruction effort. The meeting will update us on the latest for the entire segment between University Bay Drive and Shorewood Boulevard, but a lot of us are keenly interested in the status of the option/plan to have an overpass over U-Bay.

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

Odana Area Plan, Winter Rides Again

A Winter Bike Week snapshot from a winter’s past [Liz Jesse]

So far this winter we’ve had some pretty nice weather for cycling: dribs and drabs of snow, but enough warm days to let the streets clear up. That changed towards the end of last week, and seems to be continuing with persistent small amounts of snowfall coupled with colder temperatures.

You might appreciate the ongoing efforts to keep the shared use paths clear. It makes a particularly big difference on long weekends like this, where the cleanup previously would have had to wait until Tuesday after 2-3 days of traffic, leaving an icy mess. For a great discussion of these efforts and more, check out the City of Madison’s Everyday Engineeering podcast episode titled “I Want to Ride My Bicycle”. The guest is our own Grant Foster, who dual-wields his Alder hat and his Madison Bikes Buff.

With residential streets ice and snow-covered from the 1-2 punch of the melting/refreeze cycle and these continual dustings of snow, we also take the opportunity to highlight the importance of safe cycling infrastructure on city salt routes. For the typical rider without studs, these routes may be the best way to get around safely on bike until another thaw. This is one of the reasons why we advocate for improvements to busier roads like Whitney Way, Winnebago Street, and East Washington Ave. It’s also worth mentioning that riding on sidewalks is usually an option as well; see our FAQ on the subject!

Finally, if you haven’t already, check out our second episode of Madison Bikes Winter TV: “Staying Warm”. It’s just under five minutes and has plenty of useful tips and lots of guest stars!

This Week

While it’s likely to be a big news week in many ways, it’s a relatively slow week for cycling-related meetings and events.

On Thursday at 12pm, the city will hold the first virtual meeting for public participation for the Odana Area Plan (registration required). This west-side area is a bit larger than it sounds — bounded by Mineral Point Rd to the north, Segoe Rd/Presidential Lane to the east and then following the West Beltline on the south and west. One specific item to check out is a map of the draft bicycle network plan, which reads like a long-term wishlist for bicycling facilities. You can see a lot of ideas for new both on-street and shared-use paths plus a few overpasses/underpasses for the Beltline. Look for the dashed lines on the map and lighter pink dots on the map.

Image: City of Madison Planning Division, December 2019

If you can’t make this one or prefer an evening session, there is a second meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 27 at 5:30pm.

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

Cannonball Detours, Several Big Meetings, Last Call for BCycle Season

Santas on the Bike Path during the Santa Cycle Rampage (credit: Cyclists of Madison)

It’s a busy week for meetings! With plenty of free content, who needs Netflix? You’ve got a real life Parks and Rec episode at your disposal.

Join us in congratulating Pepe Barros, who was awarded a Live Forward Award from Sustain Dane for his work with Down With Bikes, a free mobile bike repair non-profit! Pepe is the city’s Pedestrian Bicycle Outreach Specialist and a Madison Bikes board alumnus.

This Week

Starting today, a.k.a. Monday, a.k.a. December 7, the Cannonball Path and Military Ridge Path are closed between McKee Rd and Seminole Hwy. Sadly, this includes what we’ve crowned the best roundabout around, both southwest- and east-bound, but take the opportunity to look around at the detours that abound:

Cannonball Path and Military Ridge Path Detour (credit: City of Madison)

Hey, maybe explore the under-utilized Sprocket Drive option that passes by the Saris headquarters and give ’em a friendly wave!

While a closure of this length is never ideal, it’s evident that a lot of careful planning has gone into developing the alternatives for this popular section of path. Several major projects were completed in advance to help provide convenient and comfortable detour options:

  • New Badger State Trail bridge over McKee Rd
  • New trail segment linking Badger State Trail and Capital City Trail along Seminole Hwy
  • Rebuilt Capital City Trail between roundabout and Seminole Hwy
  • Widened sidewalk+multi-use trail along McKee Rd, connecting Badger State Trail and Military Ridge Trail

Also on Monday, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) will be considering the elimination of Madison’s mandatory bicycle registration program. It’s worth noting that this change is sponsored by Alder Grant Foster, who’s also on the Madison Bikes board. Check out the entire meeting agenda or just watch online at 5pm.

At this same TPPB meeting on Monday, an amendment to the plan for the development of the Triangle Monona Bay Neighborhood (bounded by S. Park St, W. Washington and Regent St.) will be discussed that changes a proposed new through-street for all traffic to just bikes + peds + emergency vehicles. If you’re interested, Tag Evers, the district’s alder, wrote an informative blog post discussing it.

On Wednesday, the Board of Park Commissioners will meet to discuss a variety of interesting items. Aside from the whether or not Madison Log Rolling LLC will continue to have permission to conduct their log rolling activities in Lake Wingra, the big issue is the Vilas Park Drive Winter Operational Plan: Will it be opened up to cars again after a successful summer closure? Register for the virtual meeting here and check out a related petition link.

Last Week

Last Thursday, there was a public meeting to discuss the West Side Roadway Refinements for the Bus Rapid Transit project. We covered this in detail in last week’s update and now you can watch the action-packed replay yourself (passcode: #xG*J8Gi). Gleaned from the meeting: The Mineral Point Road multi-use trail is slated to be on the North side of the road (CUNA, Garner Park, Memorial HS). One question we had was how wide would this new section of path be? The answer from Tom Lynch, the City’s Director of Transportation, was (paraphrasing): 10 ft where possible, as narrow as 8ft in certain areas where the right of way is restricted.

Next Week

We’re just a week away from the end of the BCycle bike share season on December 15. The good news is they will probably be around for at least another ten years because the city and BCycle have signed a new long-term operating agreement. After more than doubling in 2019 due to the introduction of e-bikes system-wide, ridership was pretty flat this year due to the pandemic. If you used the service, you might grace them with your end-of-season thoughts in their 2020 Rider Survey.

On December 16 at 6pm, there will be a virtual public meeting discussing phase 2 of the Demetral Park Path (registration required). “Phase 2 completes the off-street, shared-use path (bicycle & pedestrian) connection from the Yahara River Parkway Path to Commercial Ave, linking the surrounding Eastside neighborhood to downtown and the future Public Market.” It’s a small section of path, but it should make a big difference for the people in that neighborhood.

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

MadBAT, Parking and Some Long-term Planning

Photo: Cyclists of Madison

This week

On Tuesday at 5:30pm, attend a virtual meeting discussing the plans for the Park St/Cedar St/Wingra/Fish Hatchery project. There are several options detailed for Fish Hatchery and Cedar St with varying bicycling facilities, so check out the plans and register for the meeting here.

On Wednesday from 6:00-7:30pm, attend the third in a series of virtual meetings to learn more about the Madison Bicycle Adventure Trail (MadBAT) Network.

MadBAT is a natural surface trail, optimized for biking yet allows for walking and running. It is a citywide network of nodes and arms connecting parks and greenways to neighborhoods. The network would be implemented much like the existing paved bicycle facilities Madison enjoys, over the course of years and in many different phases.

On Thursday at 5:00pm listen in on a special meeting of the Madison Plan Commission where an overview of two different options for residential parking will be presented. Learn about the costs and benefits of the RP3 (“Time-limited parking except for residents with permit”) and RPO (“Resident parking only”) plan options. The meeting will be livestreamed.

Also on Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm, participate in an online workshop discussing the future of Law Park including the John Nolen Drive bike path.

Looking Forward

On November 3, Election Day, BCycle will offer free day passes all day. Just enter promo code 110320 at any kiosk or online to access free 60-minute trips.

Free Bikes 4 Kidz is organizing a fall donation drive on November 7! From 12-3pm at nine locations around the city you can donate your gently-used bicycles, or this is a great time to offer some direct financial support. Also, check out a great article in the WSJ profiling Kristie Goforth, the new Executive Director of FB4K.

On November 16, a community input meeting will be held to present the new Draft Vilas Park Master Plan. The new draft includes recommendations for “closure and removal of Vilas Park Drive along the peninsula (Lagoon and Lake Wingra), between the existing bridge and the southern zoo entrance” (emphasis ours) to be replaced with a multi-use path. For a discussion of all the major recommendations and the rationale behind them, there is a detailed decision matrix that will answer a lot of your questions. 

Draft Vilas Park Master Plan (October 2020)

Did You Miss It?

Last week there was an informative kickoff meeting for the next phase of the Madison Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and you can watch a recording of it here. Think you know everything you need to know about our BRT? It’s evolved a lot over the past year so it might be worth catching up! A few bicycling-related highlights:

  • Will the buses have bike racks on the front or will we be able to roll bikes right onto the bus? That’s not yet been decided, so there’s still time to comment.
  • The bike lane plan for East Washington and Whitney Way is still being ironed out, but all of the likely solutions proposed seem to be better than what we have now. The street layout options for these segments are discussed in detail at the meeting.
  • When possible, center-running is being proposed which keeps buses further away from bicycle lanes and offers a number of other benefits to riders.
Potential BRT routing (October 2020)

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

Bike Week Continues!

BikrLiz inspects the Madison Bike Week signage at Vilas Park. Have you seen them around in any new locations?

After last week’s rain, we’re thankful to have a beautiful week of warm fall weather on tap to help us celebrate Madison Bike Week. Kudos to those who braved the rain on Friday night to participate in the “Pick me up at the Border” ride. With the improved forecast, several new events have been added so check out the constantly updated calendar!

This Week

This week is all about biking in Madison, so here’s a sample itinerary for the week. This is only a small taste of the events this week so be sure to check the full calendar for the complete list.

While we have your attention, we’ve been collecting nominations for “Best of” cycling in Madison and now everything’s locked in. Today we start the final round of voting in six categories including “most improved street”, “best restaurant bike parking” and “best hill to bike down”. Vote here (no Facebook required)! The polls will be open until Friday evening and we’ll post the results on Saturday.

Speaking of collecting… if you’ve got an old bike collecting dust that you’d like to donate, this is the week to do it! Get yourself a discount on gear, free fun stuff, or a free beverage when donating at one of five locations around the city.

On Monday starting at 6pm, there is a virtual chat for Women, Trans and Femme individuals. “Throughout the U.S., women bike less than men for transportation, recreation, and sport. Why? Even in Madison, which has a better record than many cities, the disparities are very noticeable. What keeps you from biking? What keeps your friends, family, or colleagues from biking? There has been a lot of academic research and discussion on this topic, but we want to hear from you.” The event will be moderated by Robbie and Heather from the Madison Bikes board.

On Tuesday at 6pm, maybe check out the Bicycle Flat Fix virtual class, sponsored by UW-Madison Transportation Services. Registration required and space is limited.

On Wednesday at noon, learn more about the business uses of cargo bikes by participating in the bike week zoom sponsored by DMI and City of Madison. Also, check out a recent article discussing (with pictures!) the new electric cargo bike being tested by the city around town.

On Friday morning, maybe stop by the bike station along John Nolen drive, sponsored by Edward Jones Financial Services. Grab a pre-packaged snack pack and say hey! They’ll be out there Tuesday and Wednesday as well, if your schedule allows.

Next Sunday, September 20 between 2pm and 4pm, head over to Warner Park for the Pop Up Wheel Spots event sponsored by Capitol Off Road Pathfinders (CORP). Show your support for new off-road trail plans in Madison Parks.

Have a fun and safe week!

Categories
Bike News Weekly Update

Cedar Street: Take Action, Plenty of Virtual Meetings

Three cyclists enjoying State St with murals behind
Riders enjoying State Street. Photo: Harald Kliems

It’s been a beautiful week for cycling! Cooler temperatures have given us an early taste of autumn and people are taking advantage.

State Street is a very interesting destination right now, as it is ped/bike only and there are many beautiful and powerful artifacts of our times on display. Mifflin St from the Capital Square all the way to the Yahara River is closed to all but local automobile traffic, which makes for a relaxing, low-stress ride with plenty of room for physical distancing.

Last week

In our Facebook group, there was a lively discussion about why the Military Ridge Trail in Verona hasn’t been paved yet. (Spoiler alert: Largely snowmobile access, but do catch up for yourself, it’s interesting reading.)

On Saturday, Urban Triage helped organize the Voices of the Youth’s Ride & Grub. You can see photos and other info on their site.

We hosted a guest blog post from Sally Lehner, where she discussed a petition to keep a portion of the Arboretum drive car-free. The petition had over 850 signatures as of Monday morning. We’ve also had a spirited discussion on our Facebook group, if you’re into that sort of thing.

This Week

In last week’s update, we reported that the Transportation Commission approved a low-stress design for the new Cedar Street extension. Because of the projected number of cars on the street, the design features buffered bike lanes on both sides of the street, and on-street car parking in front of the to-be-built supermarket.

Proposed design of Cedar St, showing parking and buffered bike lanes
Proposed design of Cedar St, showing parking and buffered bike lanes

The design will get its final approval at the Common Council meeting on Tuesday night. Street space is always contested, and some registrants at the Transportation Commission meeting advocated for taking away the buffer from the lanes or even building a street without bike accommodations at all. Please consider registering in support of the low-stress design (use agenda item #60869). You can register your support or opposition without the need to speak at the meeting, and you can also send your comments by email to allalders@cityofmadison.com.

On Monday, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) is meeting at 5:00. The agenda looks relatively light this month!

On Tuesday, the Common Council meets at 6:30 with a stacked agenda, including the aforementioned Cedar St item tucked away in there.

On Wednesday, the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (MATPB) is meeting at 6:00. You can read the agenda here.

Far Out!

A gentle reminder that there’s still time to read the virtual book club selection for next Friday, August 14: Cyclescapes of the Unequal City: Bicycle Infrastructure and Uneven Development by John G. Stehlin. Event details here.

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

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Bike News

Monday Update: City Meetings and Advocacy Wins

What else is there to say, except that those are some sweet, sweet purple kicks? Photo credit: Harald Kliems

This Week

On Monday at 6:30pm the city will be hosting a Vilas Park Master Plan Public Meeting (virtual, registration is required). This promises to be a real humdinger of an event, so get involved in the process to evolve one of the crown jewels of the Madison park system! Several cycling-related issues are front-and-center including whether or not Vilas Park Dr should go car-free.

On Wednesday the city’s Transportation Commission will be meeting virtually. Check out the agenda, which looks to be stacked with a little something for everyone.

The Bombay Bicycle Club has restarted a limited selection of weekend group rides for current members only, with 12 ft spacing during the rides along with other common-sense restrictions. Check your inbox for your emails from them for the details. Not quite ready for a ride with a group? Remember that BBC has a great collection of area rides with full routes and cue sheets available for your perusal and you can ride these at your leisure (although there’s nothing leisurely about many of those routes!).

Capital Off Road Pathfinders (CORP) is organizing the CORP 100: a self-supported, fund-raising ride challenge that runs through the end of August. “Choose from routes of 100 km or 100 miles to experience as much Madison-area trail as possible. From urban jump lines & pump tracks, to old school tech-gnar, this ride connects nine different trail networks with a mix of urban bike paths, gravel and scenic driftless roads.” For all the details, check out their event page.

Finally, it’s worth echoing the advice and sentiment on the ongoing protests from this week’s Bike Madison email:

Please expect and respect disruptions to bicycle routes as people gather to exercise their first amendment rights here in Madison. If your route is blocked, please wait respectfully or take a different route to your destination.

Last Week

There was a discussion on the Facebook community about how the iconic Merrimac Ferry was closed to cyclists and pedestrians due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. As Robbie observed, this was problematic as it is part of the public state highway system and there were no similar restrictions on motorcycles or convertibles. The good news is that after a brief email campaign and investigation, the ferry has been reopened to everyone! Nice work!

Cyclist aboard the Merrimac Ferry
Madison Bikes board member Liz Jesse on board the Merrimac Ferry just a few years back. Photo Credit: Ben Sandee

BCycle opened up a new station on the near east side last week. This week also marks the one year anniversary of the Madison BCycle fleet going all-electric! Might be a good time to revisit one of our most popular blog posts ever, detailing first impressions of those bikes. How have those bikes been working for you? 

The Bike Fed posted an in-depth article about how the “Safe Routes Partnership no longer emphasizes enforcement and instead challenges us to improve our forms of engagement.” Definitely worth the read.

Next Week

Put it on your calendar! On Monday, June 29 the city will host #5 in the series of meetings about the Wilson Street Corridor Study (virtual, registration required). According to the page, “Addendum 2” to the interim recommendation is due to be published on Tuesday, June 23 (that’s this week!); many of us will be taking a close look and discussing it in advance of next week’s meeting. One likely spot for that conversation will be our Facebook group. You might also be interested in revisiting some of our previous coverage of the Wilson Street project here and here.

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