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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 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 Traffic calming, bike boulevard, new bike lanes on frontage road
  3. Badger Rd – N Rusk Ave to Overpass (phase 1) Shared-use path along E Badger Rd to connect Rusk to beltline overpass
  4. West Towne Path – Gammon to Zor Shrine Shared-use path
  5. West Towne Path – Zor Shrine to High Pt 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.

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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.

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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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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.