Categories
Weekly Update

Plan Commission; Winter Riding

It’s a short week for many, but we have some interesting and timely stuff to discuss.

Last week we all got a taste of slippery, variable winter conditions. It’s a great reminder to consider your winter riding plans and experiences and if you have a Facebook account, our community is a great place to start. Look below for more details about our annual winter cycling forum, taking place next week Monday.

This Week

On Monday at 5:30 pm, the Plan Commission meets to discuss establishing a new Transportation Demand Management ordinance. As Harald writes in his post:

Heads-up that the new Transportation Demand Management (TDM) ordinance will be in front of the Plan Commission on Monday. What is TDM? “Transportation Demand Management” means that when a new building of a certain size/in a certain area is built, the developer has to take measures that reduce the number of car trips that the new building generates. E.g. by reducing the number of car parking spots, offering residents transit passes, or having a BCycle station at the building. Sounds great? Yes, but developers often don’t like these kinds of rules. So if you support or oppose the TDM ordinance, you can register in support/opposition, speak at the virtual meeting, or submit written comments.

You can register your support or opposition and/or ask to speak (Meeting: Plan Commission 11/21/2022 and Agenda Item: 2) or send comments by email.

Next Week

Heads up that next Monday, November 28 at 6pm we will host a virtual community forum discussing winter cycling in Madison:

For this month’s community meeting, join us to find answers to your questions about keeping warm and safe on your bike through the winter months.

Whether you need to know how to keep your face and extremities warm, how to keep fog off of your glasses, how to stay upright on ice and snow, how to find safe winter routes, how to keep rust off your bike, or anything else on your mind, we’ll help you find answers.

You can join using the zoom link. If you have questions you’d like to see answered, you can add them as a discussion for the event or email Connor directly.

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

Categories
Weekly Update

Bike to School Week for Some, Transportation Commission

A rider flies over the barrier at the Trek CX Cup in Waterloo over the weekend (Credit: Harald Kliems)

First, I’ll re-up two requests from previous weeks.

  • City of Madison District 18 Alder Charles Myadze is seeking input on improving cycling infrastructure on the north side. See last week’s update for more details on how to give feedback.
  • This week is the last week to get your application in to join the Madison Bikes Board. The deadline is Friday, October 14.

This Week

All week we’ve got Bike to School Week for Lapham Elementary, Marquette Elementary and O’Keefe Middle here in Madison. Thanks to board member Kyle for helping organize these events.

On Wednesday at 5pm the Transportation Commission meets virtually. You can check out the full agenda, but probably the most interesting discussions will be centered around two Vision Zero items. First, a discussion comparing safety data between the first six months of 2021 and 2022 (spoilers in images):

Crashes down 5%, Fatalities and serious injuries down 29%
Citywide Vision Zero 2022 vs 2021 (City of Madison)
Crashes up 6%, Fatalities and serious injuries down 33%
E. Washington Ave Vision Zero 2022 vs 2021 (City of Madison)

The second item of note is an update on the city’s application for vision zero grant from the federal government. Included in that update you’ll find a letter of support from Madison Bikes.

Coming Up

On Saturday November 19, be ready for the next bicycle collection drive supporting Free Bikes 4 Kidz. Last Saturday (October 8) marked the start of their season with a collection drive at six locations around Madison.

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

Categories
Bike News E-Mail Weekly Update

School’s Back, Vision Zero Action

UW band students on their bikes transporting their instruments
Expect to see a lot more of this (Cyclists of Madison)

This Week

It’s a quiet week on the schedule but I suppose that with school starting up many will be busy with new schedules and new bicycle routes.

Presumably the University will be wrapping up many of their summer-long projects and closures that have been so disruptive to navigating through campus. Of course, you still have a month-long closure of a segment of the path on the north side of University Ave to look forward to. Expect that in later September.

As part of the Vision Zero program, this week the city is reducing speeds to 35mph along the stretch of Mineral Point Rd from Whitney Way to the Beltline. This includes the location where Taylor Dunn was killed on his bicycle in early June.

Vision Zero is getting a lot of attention from Madison Bikes, the City of Madison, and the press. Now you can explore and visualize different aspects of the data driving these discussions with the Madison Vision Zero Dashboard created by Harald. This complements and expands upon his work in the Twitter bot sphere.

Finally, on Sunday, maybe bisect your a long Labor Day weekend with a late summer classic, the Wright Stuff Century presented by the Bombay Bicycle Club. This year it’s free for everyone with route lengths ranging from 35-100 (hilly) miles.

Last Week

If you’re looking for more immediate engagement, there are plenty of discussions on the Madison Bikes Community forums. A quick glance over the last week and you’d find topics such as:

  • The increase in bike thefts in Madison and bicycle locking strategies
  • Repeated attempts to sabotage and (presumably) injure users of the Southwest path by stretching cables across at a bike bridge
  • A call to action to get the City of Monona to consider bicycle lane improvements on the Atwood/Monona Dr corridor

Something for everyone!

Other Stuff

You might be interested to read this article from Streetsblog USA titled “Three Common Types of Bike Laws That Are Overdue for an Overhaul.” As referenced in the article, much of the data from this sourced from this paper.

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

Categories
Bike News E-Mail Weekly Update

Bike Path Speed Limits, Community Meeting

How many shared path users can you find? (Cyclists of Madison)

It’s a very quiet week for bike news in Madison, but not for traffic out on our bikeways. Seems like everyone’s out biking somewhere — maybe for fun, maybe to get to work, maybe for exercise. Whatever your reason, enjoy!

This Week

On Monday at 5pm, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) meets virtually. You can read the full agenda here but probably the most interesting item to note is the discussion titled “Speed Policy on Shared Use Paths”. It’s a 27-slide deck that, if you are a user of any shared use paths, you absolutely must read. Then, after being reminded what an absolute mess we are in together, go out and ride our paths bringing your patience, awareness, and kindness.

On Monday evening at 7pm, join Madison Bikes and returning special guest (and friend of the show) Dr. Dirk von Schneidemesser for an informal social hour at the Memorial Union Terrace. Important note: This replaces next week’s scheduled Community Meeting!

This month, Dr. Dirk von Schneidemesser is in Madison again and will be joining us for an informal social hour. As a board member for the German nonprofit Changing Cities, Dr. Schneidemesser helped organize a grassroots ballot initiative that was instrumental in the 2018 creation of Berlin’s “bicycle law.” This law, the first of its kind in Germany, legally required Berlin to build certain types of infrastructure to improve bike and pedestrian safety. Similar laws have since been passed by local governments all over the world, and can be useful in shielding transportation safety initiatives from the whims of local politics.

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

Categories
Weekly Update

Madison Bike Week 2022 is Underway!

This Week

Aside from the dozens of Madison Bike Week events, this week there are a few city meetings we’ll mention up front.

On Monday at 5pm the Transportation Policy and Planning Board is meeting with a light agenda that includes consideration to adopt the Metro Network Redesign Plan. The outcome of this will be presented at the Common Council meeting on Tuesday. Watch online or in person.

On Tuesday at 8am, attend a Bike Week-themed press conference and, afterwards, a short ride led by the Mayor. It’s all happening in front of the Madison Municipal Building at 215 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, right off the square. Come on down and support Bike Week!

On Tuesday at 6:30pm the Common Council meets virtually (agenda). Lots of minor business items but the aforementioned Metro Network Redesign is on the agenda. Maybe a Bike Week proclamation too?!

On Wednesday at 5pm the Transportation Commission will meet virtually (agenda). On the agenda will be review and presentation of feedback on the West Towne Path Phase 3 and West Main St Bike Blvd Improvements projects that we’ve covered previously.

Bike Week is Underway!

Bike Week’s been going for a couple days and people have been out and about enjoying it already, with events like the Trek Pride Ride on Saturday and “Biscuits 4 Bikers” from GRiT on Sunday.

A T-Rex tries to entice cyclists on the cap city path
Biscuits 4 Bikers courtesy of GRiT and other supporters (image: Harald Kliems)

Bus Tracker

An annual tradition returns! Look out for the four city buses with our Bike Week ad on the side. You can track where they are in real-time using this map.

Madison Metro Bus with a bike week 2022 ad
Madison Metro Bus with Bike Week 2022 Ad (image: Harald Kliems)

Event Info

There are a bunch of ways to get at all of the upcoming Bike Week event information! Here are a few options, depending on your preferences:

And if that still isn’t enough for you, Harald has graciously written up a day-by-day summary of events still-to-come that you can read as well. Enjoy!

Monday, June 6

  • The City of Middleton is hosting a bike station with coffee and refreshments all week from 6:30 to 8:30 AM, Old Middleton @ Stonefield Rd.
  • Monday 40 will be hosting a fun, party-paced ride around Lake Monona. Meet at Orton Park, 6 PM sharp roll-out.

Tuesday, June 7: Numbers Don’t Go that High

  • The City of Middleton is hosting a bike station with coffee and refreshments all week from 6:30 to 8:30 AM, Old Middleton @ Stonefield Rd.
  • The Cargo Bike Shop once again is serving Waffles on the Bike Path. Cap City Trail at S Dickinson, 6:30 to 8:30 AM.
  • Madison Bike Week sponsor Slow Roll Cycles is joining forces with The Meat People Butcher and Crema Cafe for an eastside morning pit stop with coffee, breakfast, and bike checks. Lake Edge Shopping Center, 7 to 9:30 AM.
  • Bike Fitchburg is hosting their Commuter Station at the Velo UnderRound, 7 to 9AM.
  • At 8 AM, you can ride with Madison Bikes and Mayor Satya. Meet at the Madison Municipal Building and show your support for biking.
  • In the afternoon, at 3 PM come to Fire Station #9 on the west side for a bike station sponsored by Hill Farms Neighborhood residents and Madison Bikes.
  • Same time, but on the east side: The FairShare Coalition is hosting a snack stop on the Cap City Trail at Dickinson.
  • And yet another event starting at 3PM: Come to the Lussier Community Education Center for free bike repairs and education.
  • GRiT stands for Girls Riding Together, an initiative to get more girls and women involved in mountain biking. Come to Sheehan Park in Sun Prairie at 5:30 PM for a free clinic for girls and women to try out mountain biking.
  • The day closes with a Tuesday Night Ride by the Madison Women’s Cycling Club. Meet at the Olbrich Beer Garden at 6 PM for a beginner-friendly, all ages ride. Open to all WTFnB (women, trans, femme, non-Binary).

Wednesday, June 8: Another Overstuffed Day

  • The City of Middleton is hosting a bike station with coffee and refreshments all week from 6:30 to 8:30 AM, Old Middleton @ Stonefield Rd.
  • Donuts, donuts, everywhere: Madison Bike Week sponsor Schwinn Bikes will have a Donut Pit Stop at their HQ on the Southwest Path, 7 to 9 AM.
  • Also serving donuts is Machinery Dough-uh-Row Cycles. At Machinery Row on the Cap City, 7:30 AM until the donuts are gone
  • On the Starkweather Creek Park at Commercial, the Eken Park Neighborhood Association is serving breakfast to go from 7 to 10 AM.
  • Black Saddle Bikes invites you to have Coffee Outside at the Tenney Park Pavilion, 7:30 to 9:30 AM. Bring your own coffee-making gadgets, or just a cup.
  • Be a car-free superstar! On the Cap City at E Wilson/Ingersoll, RoundTrip, Metro Transit and Vision Zero are celebrating car-free travel with bike and bus giveaways! 3 to 6 PM.
  • The Boys & Girls Club is kicking of their Move4BGC campaign from 4:30 to 6:30 PM with a happy hour at LJ’s Sports Tavern.
  • It’s Pride Month. Join the inaugural Monthly Queer Bike Ride. Meet at the BCycle Station in Law Park for a ride down the Capital City Trail, a stop in Fitchburg for some food and fun. All Queer, LGBTQ+ people of any body type or ability are welcome!
  • And over in Sun Prairie, Bikes, Brats & Brews is back! Wheels down at 6pm for a 5-25 mile ride; brats start at 7 PM.

Thursday, June 9: Mix-and-match your faves from the 8 options

  • The City of Middleton is hosting a bike station with coffee and refreshments all week from 6:30 to 8:30 AM, Old Middleton @ Stonefield Rd.
  • Short Stack Eatery is teaming up with Wheels for Winners and DreamBikes for free bike safety checks and coffee. At Short Stack Eatery from 7 to 9 AM.
  • More 🍩🍩: Griessmeyer Law and RaceDay Events will serve coffee and donuts on the Badger State Trail at Sub Zero Parkway. 7:30 to 10:30 AM.
  • It’s Grand Opening Day for our friends at the Madison Bicycle Center! Take a tour of their awesome downtown space and enjoy some food and drinks. 4 to 7 PM.
  • Monona Bank is hosting a pit stop with free goodie bags on the Cap City at Amoth Ct. 4 to 6 PM.
  • Madison Bike Week sponsor Madison BCycle presents their 16 brand new Art Bikes at Garver Feed Mill. Talk to the artists, sponsors, and non-profits involved between 4:30 and 6:30 PM.
  • Watch out for Madison Bike sponsor Slow Roll Cycle’s tent at the Muskelle Lounge (Monona Dr and Buckeye). Happy hour tokens and swag from 4:30 to 6 PM.
  • And at 6 PM get out your tandem (or whatever you have) for Tandem Thursday, a social ride to the Hop Garden in Paoli.

Friday, June 10

  • It’s your last chance to enjoy the City of Middleton’s bike station with coffee and refreshments from 6:30 to 8:30 AM, Old Middleton @ Stonefield Rd.
  • Are you tired of 🍩 yet? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Free Bike 4 Kidz Madison will serve coffee, donuts, and (for kidz only) Culver’s coupons on the Lake Loop/Cap City junction from 7 to 9:30 AM.
  • FairShare CSA Coalition will have another snack stop on the Cap City at Paterson, 7:30 to 9:30 AM.
  • And once again: Madison Bikes is throwing a party in Brittingham Park. Join us for a celebration of Bike Week, with DJ, drinks, bike repair, tabling, and more. At and around Brittingham Park Shelter from 4 to 7 PM.
  • After the party is before the after-party: Madison Bike Week sponsor Madison Cycle Works is hosting an after-party bike ride, 9 PM at Brittingham Park.

Saturday, June 11: Camping, camping, and soccer.

  • Get our your ⛺️ and camping gear out and join Solarpunk Travel for an easy 11-mile bike ride to McCarthy County Park. Camp at the group camp site and ride back the next day. Meet at Willy Street Park (1002 Williamson) at 11:30 AM.
  • Your other camping option: Family Bike Camping with The Cargo Bike Shop. Bring the kids and ride 7 miles to the group camp site at Lake Farms County Park. Depart at the Cargo Bike Shop at noon.
  • Are you into soccer and/or want to support the work of our friends at DreamBikes? $5 of every ticket sold for the Madison v Greenville game will go to DreamBikes. Kickoff at 7 PM at Breese Stevens. Ticket link 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.

Categories
Weekly Update

Bicycle Center News, Closures, Bike Wash Party (cancelled due to weather)

A Cyclist in Madison (Cyclists of Madison and Harald Kliems)

That wind!

This Week

On Monday, the paid membership portion of the downtown Madison Bicycle Center, managed by Freewheel, will be opening for the first time. Members can access bike storage, showers, lockers, changing rooms, and other core MBC amenities 24/7/365. If you work downtown, you should definitely give it a look-see. The facility and services are still available M-F from 9am-6pm for everyone and the semi-enclosed/well-lit bike parking is available 24/7 for everyone too!

On Wednesday at 10am there will be a Zoom event titled Advocating for Clean Transportation in Wisconsin. Speakers/panelists include representatives from the Bike Fed, WisDOT, City of the Green Bay, City of Madison and Greater Madison MPO. Free registration.

Due to a terrible weather forecast, the Saturday bike wash event has been cancelled. We’ll post when a new date is scheduled!

On Saturday from 1pm-4pm-??, come on down to the Madison Bikes Spring Bike Wash & Safety Checks event! It’ll take place right next to Brittingham Park on Clark Ct and there will be signage to help you find us.

Have you been riding all winter and still have a thick salt crust on your bike? Did you just get back on the bike for the season and your ride sounds a little creaky? Bought a used bike and want to make sure it’s safe? Either way, join us for our Bike Wash on April 30. We’ll have cleaning supplies, tools, lube, and volunteers from Madison Bikes, Dream Bikes, and Wheels for Winners on site who can check your bike for basic safety.

Even if your bike’s already sparklingly clean, stop on by to socialize and chat about bikes and bike advocacy. After the event, the party will continue as an informal community meeting where we’ll discuss all things Madison Bikes including Bike Week 2022!

You might be interested in reading some national coverage of the rising rates of pedestrian and cycling deaths in this opinion piece from the New York Times.

Finally, a Madison icon is retiring (maybe paywalled, sorry about that). Crazy “TV” Lenny, or now Crazy “Bike” Lenny is wrapping up his career (at least until whatever he does next). You may also remember the “Firenze” 10-speed road bikes from the 80’s that often came free with any sizeable purchase of furniture or electronics. His most recent venture, the bike shop that specializes in E-Bikes on Odana Road, will remain open under new local ownership.

Construction and Closures

Starting Monday, Old Middleton Road will be largely closed from it’s eastern terminus at Eau Claire Ave to Old Sauk Rd for the entire season. Once school is out for the year, it will close even further west from Old Sauk Rd to Capital Ave. Technically, one travel lane westbound only will remain open throughout, but that will probably not be a great biking option so best get used to your alternatives such as the University Ave path and/or winding through the hills south and west of Owen Park (h/t Harald).

Maybe it would help to join the collective kvetch in the discussion on our facebook group? The good news is that once the project is completed, we should have a smooth surface and a bike lane in both directions for the entire length of the project.

Old Middleton Rd 2022 Closure Map (City of Madison)

The brand-new pump track at Aldo Leopold Park will be closed until July (again with the paywall) to install a new skills track around the pump track and to allow the grass to grow in. It will surely be worth the wait!

Finally, it’s worth mentioning the list of highway projects that Dane County has started or are in the works for this summer/fall construction season.

Upcoming

Bike Week in Wisconsin is June 5-11. The event calendar isn’t available yet, but if you want to run an event you can register it here.

Can you believe we’re almost to May? Bike Month will be all month, as declared by The League.

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

Categories
Weekly Update

BCycle Kicks Off, Olbrich Park Path and TC recap

Two cyclists on BCycles dressed for cool weather
Two BCycle riders dressed for cool weather (Cyclists of Madison)

Can you believe that just seven days ago we were digging out from a wet messy snow storm? What a difference a week makes!

In addition to great bicycling weather, warmer temperatures mean that the street sweepers can get their brush on at night. Spring street sweeping keeps a lot of sand and salt out of the storm sewers (and the lakes!) and of course makes for safer and cleaner bicycling. According to the street sweeping site, shared-use paths are cleared using lighter equipment several times per year, so expect to see those vehicles out as well and if there are any major problem areas, use Report A Problem to let the city know.

This Week

On Monday at 5pm, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board will meet (agenda) and it looks like you’ll be able to enjoy a presentation about the Transportation Improvement Program, which discusses a whole cargo bike-full of bicycling improvements from 2023-2028.

On Tuesday, BCycle season officially kicks off. This year you’ll find a bunch of new stations (eight announced to be available at launch with more to come) and 75 new bikes in the system. The prices are increasing slightly, but until March 15 you can still lock-in last year’s annual rate and save yourself $15. I’m not sure if that includes tomorrow, March 15, or not, so best do it ASAP using the code BACKTOBCYCLE.

Atwood Avenue is being reworked from Cottage Grove Road to South Fair Oaks Avenue and there will be many bicycling improvements. The biggest change is routing of a new multi-use path through Olbrich Park for which the city has an open survey. In case you are unfamiliar, this area is part of the iconic Lake Loop around Lake Monona.

One of the four options for routing the multi-use path through Olbrich Park (City of Madison)

Here’s a quick cheat-sheet:

  • Design option #1 routes closer to the lake than the existing route.
  • Design option #2 is similar to what exists now but would not be a year round bike route because it crosses the bottom of the sledding hill. Parks would not clear the path in the winter, similar to some parts of the Garner Park and Elver Park path systems.
  • Design option #3 is similar to #2 except that it routes around the bottom of the sledding hill to allow for snow removal.
  • Design option #4 (submitted by local neighborhood groups) would take the path completely out of the park, making it a longer route and adding elevation and an additional conflict point at the parking lot entrance.

Expect to hear a lot more about this in weeks and months to come. The work is scheduled to be done in 2025 but the city is trying to move it up to next year.

Last Week

Last week had a stacked Transportation Commission meeting. Here are a couple of the highlights:

  • The commission unanimously approved the proposed design for Hammersley Road. The rebuild includes a multi-use path on one side, and it greatly improves the crossing of Whitney Way by turning a turn lane into a center island. The project still needs to go through the Board of Public Works and the Common Council. The district’s Alder, Yanette Figueroa Cole, spoke in favor of the project, despite the vocal opposition from some residents. Consider sending the Alder an email thanking her for the support of the project: district10@cityofmadison.com
  • Staff presented an option that will turn on-street parking into a buffered bike lanes on Tokay Boulevard between Whitney Way and Segoe. The project will come back to the commission again at a later point, but commissioners supported the overall design.

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

Categories
Bike News E-Mail Weekly Update

Draft Transit Network Redesign; Hammersley Public Meeting and Winter Bike to Work on the Horizon

Winter riding on streets with juuuust enough ice (Image: Cyclists of Madison)

It’s another quiet week on the Madison cycling news front, but overall it’s been a pretty good stretch to actually get out and ride. The storms last week left a mess in their wake for all road, path and sidewalk users, but temps have warmed enough that the paths and thoroughfares are in pretty good shape.

This Week

On Monday at 5pm the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) is meeting virtually β€” an unusual day of the week for them. The agenda includes a presentation of the Metro Transit Network Redesign Draft Plan. There are several different maps presented, but I’ll include one here as a representative sample.

Metro Transit Network Redesign – Draft Plan (Image: City of Madison)

If this interests you, check out the web site, read through the slides, and maybe listen in on one of these meetings to get a more complete picture.

On Wednesday at 6:30, the Greater Madison MPO Policy Board has their monthly meeting (virtual). Nothing particular important to note on the agenda except for another stab at presenting the Metro Transit Network Redesign Draft Plan along with a BRT update.

Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison is looking for distribution partners for its spring bike giveaway. The deadline for applications is February 16. In addition they are looking for volunteers to help refurbish their vast stash of bikes. You can come in individually or as part of team and no experience is necessary!

Next Week

You can register for one of the Hammersley Road Resurfacing public meetings scheduled for next Tuesday, February 8 and Wednesday, February 9.

Proposed plan for Hammersley Rd (Image: City of Madison)

In short, the two-year plan removes bicycle lanes and on-street parking and adds a city-maintained multi-use path for cyclists and pedestrians. This stretch of the road currently lacks sidewalks, so this is a big improvement for pedestrians. This path will also connect up cleanly to the Southwest Commuter Path at the bridge across the beltline.

Property owners will not be responsible for snow removal and will not pay assessments for the construction of the path, nevertheless I’d expect quite a vocal minority in opposition.

You have until March 2 to respond to the city’s public survey about this project.

Finally, on Friday, February 11, join Madison Bikes and our partners as we celebrate International Winter Bike to/from Work (or anywhere) Day:

International Winter Bike to Work Day is a real thing…and we’re loving it! Join us on your way home from work or school and enjoy a warm beverage, a hot fire and some friendly winter biking conversations. Coffee donated by Lodgic Everyday Community.

In addition to various specials all day around the city, join us between 3pm and 5pm along the Capital City Trail — near the timekeeper between the convention center and the causeway. We’ll have treats, a hot fire, warm beverages and a lot of the enthusiasm!

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

Categories
Bike News E-Mail Weekly Update

Bye-bye BCycle, TPPB meeting

Cyclists of all ages doing some gift delivery. Photo: Cyclists of Madison/Harald Kliems

Last Week

The Wisconsin State Journal posted a profile of Ben Dickmeyer, the city’s newly-hired Bicycle Recovery Specialist. Find out what all goes into his work and read it for free with no paywall this week on articles from the madison.com site.

BCycle bikes are gone for the season. Maybe take the opportunity to complete their annual survey to help shape the future of BCycle in Madison. Did you know you can check out a BCycle pass from your local library? Well, you probably can’t right now, but you’ll be able to when they come back in March. We look forward to the day when we can enjoy them year-round!

On that note, revisit this 2013 article that describes a pilot program to leave some of the downtown red BCycle bike stations open for the entire winter. Clearly this wasn’t carried forward into the e-bike era, which I suppose makes winter operation trickier due to the need to do battery swaps, reduced battery efficiency in colder temperatures, and snow and ice removal around stations. If we can go to the moon, seems like this might be a solvable problem!

This Week

On Monday the city Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) meets at 5pm (agenda, watch). This is the last meeting of the calendar year and features a few interesting topics.

First, the board will approve the prioritization of the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) application to the federal government. This is a program where the federal government offers grants covering 60-80% of the cost of qualifying infrastructure projects. Cities can submit multiple applications, but they must prioritize them, thus this list.

Map of Potential TAP projects 2022-2024 – Image: City of Madison

The first five (of ten) are:

  1. School Rd – Troy to Wheeler β€” Safe Routes to School/Ped Improvements, Bike Boulevard
  2. East Wash alternative: Reindahl Park to East Springs Dr using local streets to East Washington frontage road β€” Traffic calming, bike boulevard, new bike lanes on frontage road
  3. Badger Rd – N Rusk Ave to Overpass (phase 1) β€” Shared-use path along E Badger Rd to connect Rusk to beltline overpass
  4. West Towne Path – Gammon to Zor Shrine β€” Shared-use path
  5. West Towne Path – Zor Shrine to High Pt β€” Shared-use path

Projects not selected by the feds may still move forward with support from the State or other funding sources.

Then, a discussion of proposed creation of a citywide Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program, which “is a package of information, policies, strategies and incentives designed to encourage users of the transportation system reduce the number and length of SOV [single occupancy vehicle] trips and consider alternative, more sustainable, forms of transportation.” According to the slide material, some of these techniques have been used before to guide development, but this formalizes it as a broad city policy.

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

Categories
Weekly Update

Be Bright, New Pump Track and Winter Bike Meet & Greet

A cyclist basking in the afternoon fall sunshine on the cap city trail.
A cyclist basking in the afternoon fall sunshine. Photo: Cyclists of Madison

It’s been a beautiful stretch of weather for fall riding! With the time change, you might find yourself unexpectedly biking home from work or school in the dark, so it’s good to be prepared and to be visible. Throughout the month of November, the city is promoting its second annual Be Bright at Night campaign. This includes free bike light and reflective gear giveaways at all Madison Public Library locations for walkers and cyclists (while supplies last).

Unfortunately these balmy temperatures won’t last forever but this year’s rendition of our classic Winter Bike Fashion Show is happening on Saturday! We’re partnering with Madison Parks and holding an outdoor Meet & Greet to show off your winter bike clothes, bikes and related gear. More details below in this week’s schedule.

Last Week

Right on schedule, the new pump track at Aldo Leopold Elementary opened up last week. Not sure what that is? I saved you a couple clicks with the Wikipedia link. Suffice to say, it’s unique in our region; the next-closest paved pump track is in La Crosse.

Several riders enjoying the new pump track at Leopold Elementary School.
Several riders enjoying the new pump track at Leopold Elementary School. Photo: Harald Kliems

This location is really great, right along the Cannonball Path, and there’s lots more to come next spring with a new skills track surrounding the pump track and even more of the Madison Bicycle Adventure Trail. For another take, you might enjoy this article + video (paywall from madison.com).

Also, last Thursday, the mayor held a press briefing that covered a variety of topics. One of those was a briefing on the Vision Zero project progress by City Traffic Engineer (and fellow cyclist) Yang Tao. His comments begin around the 10m 50s mark and take around six minutes.

This Week

On Thursday at 5:30pm, Greater Madison MPO is hosting a Connect Greater Madison 2050 public meeting. The plan presented and discussed at these meetings “will guide transportation planning in the Greater Madison area for the next 25 years.” If you can’t attend this one, there’s another chance next week Tuesday at noon.

On Saturday between 12pm and 2pm, Madison Bikes partners with Madison Parks to hold our Winter Bike Meet & Greet. The event is outdoors and will be held in-person at the Tenney Park shelter. We’ll have complimentary single-serve snacks, beverages supplied by Cafe Domestique and plenty of great info about riding in, *ahem*, cooler weather. Temperatures should be a bit more typical of the season so let’s see your flashiest, hottest winter gear. And yes, shout it from the rooftops: Continuing our annual tradition, Madison Metro is bringing a bus so you can practice putting your bike on the rack!

Further Out

On Tuesday, November 16 at 6pm (just in time for you to pull your winter ride from the deep recesses of your garage or storage unit) the University Bicycle Resource Center will be demoing how to overhaul a bicycle wheel hub. Not your cup of tea? They have nine classes from the last two years archived on YouTube. Something for everyone!

On Saturday, November 20 between 6pm and 10pm, the Bike Fed is holding their fall fundraiser in Waterloo, with a party + a behind the scenes tour @ Trek. Please RSVP by November 11.

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.