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.

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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.

Categories
Weekly Update

Whitney Way Bike Lanes and a few September Meetings

Completed buffered bike lanes and new zebra pedestrian crossing markings at Langlois

Whitney Way

Late last week, work finally began on adding the long-discussed buffered bike lane improvements to Whitney Way. These changes extend from Old Middleton Rd to Tokay Blvd, which the city has identified as an important cycling transportation corridor to improve, connecting the Westgate and Odana Rd areas (and points south of that) with the Old Middleton Rd area (and points north and west). The project has undergone several public meetings, neighborhood meetings, council votes, it’s been tied to BRT and then severed from BRT and now here we are — it’s really happening!

Tom Lynch, Director of Transportation for the City of Madison, has often said that “paint is cheap” so you can see where it’s being used liberally attempting to separate bikes from cars.

An abundance of direction and paint, southbound on Whitney Way @ Tokay where the buffered bike lane ends

Work continues Monday morning, as you can see with from these fresh pics.

Paint crews completing buffered bike lanes northbound on Whitney Way

Not limited to the buffered bike lanes, new pedestrian striping and new green box indicators at the high-traffic intersections will help drivers and cyclists understand how traffic is intended to flow.

New zebra pedestrian crossing at Whitney Way @ South Hill, plus new green boxes indicating the continuation of the buffered bike lane across the intersection

Casual observations this morning show a bit of confusion on the part of drivers, probably wondering where their usual right turn lane has gone. It will take some time for all of the work to be completed, and, as we are creatures of habit, it will take even more time for traffic to adjust.

Additional components to the larger project include the removal of parking from Whitney Way and reducing the speed to 25mph north of Mineral Point Rd and 30mph south of there. It’s unclear if that’s happening as part of this particular set of work or a future effort. Eventually, dedicated BRT lanes and stations will be routed through most of this corridor, which will mean even more paint and construction projects too!

This Week

On Monday at 6:00pm, check out the monthly Madison Bikes Community Meeting via Zoom. Topics for discussion are still being worked out, but might include some combination of a brief Bike Week debrief and/or this year’s Winter Bike Fashion Show or who knows what else? After a summer of being focused on Bike Week, it will be nice to look forward to new projects and events.

On Monday at 6:30pm, Bike Fitchburg is having their monthly Board meeting at the Fitchburg Public Library. Over the weekend they held their Pick Me Up At the Border fundraiser/ride to the Illinois border, and during bike week they put on a great Bike Rodeo event for the community.

On Tuesday at 4:30pm, log in to the Forward in Energy Forum to “learn about initiatives in Wisconsin and around the world that are focused on making transportation equitable, clean, and safe.” Panelists from the Bike Fed, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin and the State Smart Transportation Initiative will be led by moderator and associate professor of planning and landscape architecture Carolyn McAndrews, from UW-Madison. Join via Zoom, registration required.

Next Week

On Monday, October 4, the Madison Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) will meet and on Wednesday, October 6, the Greater Madison Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will meet.

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

Storm Cleanup, August Riding, and Bike Week Events

Two cyclists on a tandem along the Monona Terrace bike path
Credit: Cyclists of Madison

It wouldn’t be August in Wisconsin without some severe weather interspersed among our beautiful late summer, sun-filled days. As discussed in our Facebook Group, sometimes it makes sense to bring your bow saw or even a battery-powered chainsaw (don’t forget your chaps!) on a ride if you can. Use sound judgement and keep it slow going through the debris fields; if you’re unlucky, even a small twig can take out a rear derailleur!

This Week

On Monday at 5pm, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board is meeting virtually. Nothing particularly earth-shattering going on, but some Odana Area Plan updates and a few transit updates might be worth checking out.

Also on Monday at 6pm sharp @ Orton Park, maybe you want to check out the Monday 40 “party pace” ride? This week they’re heading towards Kegonsa State Park and it looks like a lot of fun! This group has really taken off and there’s room for riders of all ability levels. Sounds like as the days get shorter, so too will the distances, so this might be last the last forty-miler of the season. In a couple of weeks, they’re hosting an 18-mile Lake Waubesa ride for Bike Week, so keep an eye out for that.

Events are starting to roll in for Madison Bike Week 2021, happening September 12-18! We’ll be having our end-of-week party on the 18th and we’re looking for a few volunteers for that. If you’re interested in being on that list, send us an email. And of course, if you’d like to host an event, you’ve still got a couple of weeks to register and get yourself on the schedule.

Finally, if you work in Dane County, teleworked at any time during the pandemic, and have 8-10 minutes to donate to the cause, Greater Madison MPO, Sustain Dane, and Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change are partnering to conduct a survey: Greater Madison Telework Survey 2021.

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

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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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.