Categories
Weekly Update

Spring Bike Wash, 20 is Plenty

Image credit: Jim Wilson

Spring is in full swing with trees budding and flowers blooming. To help emerge from the winter season, Madison Bikes is hosting a Spring Bike Wash and Safety Check. This event will take place Saturday, April 24, from 1 PM to 5 PM at Clark Ct, near Brittingham Park. Volunteers from Madison Bikes, Down With Bikes, Dream Bikes, BikEquity, and Wheels for Winners will be on site to assist with safety checks. Cleaning supplies, tools, and lube will also be available for use. Learn more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/785154002417389/

Also this week, the Madison Vision Zero Initiative is bringing a presentation on the 20 is Plenty campaign to two city committees: the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB), and the Board of Public Works (BPW). 20 is Plenty is a campaign to reduce the default speed limit on city streets from 25 mph to 20 mph. Injuries that result from a crash grow exponentially more severe with speed, so lowering speed limits should help save lives. The 20 is Plenty slides can be seen here. TPPB meets Monday at 5:00 PM, and BPW meets Wednesday at 4:30 PM. Both meetings are taking place virtually.

This Monday’s TPPB meeting also has a presentation on Complete Green Streets. Topics for this presentation include pre-design engagement and gap analysis approach. Pre-design engagement in projects is about reaching out to communities where a project is proposed to get a sense of what that community wants. The gap analysis approach is how to approach gaps in the low stress pedestrian and bicycle network.

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

Advocate for Better School Bike Facilities, Transportation Commission

West high school bike racks.

Advocate for Better School Bike Facilities

High school may be a distant memory for many of us, but I want to bring your attention to an important high school and bike topic which I think is receiving insufficient attention. You are likely aware that Madison residents recently approved a $317M referendum to invest in MMSD school facilities, with most of the money earmarked for the four major district high schools. MMSD has drawn up project concepts and is in the process of turning these into firm requirements to send out for bid. You can view the project proposals and schematics here. Disappointingly, none of the MMSD project project call out any specific improvements to pedestrian or bike facilities.

Many bike facilities at MMSD schools are over crowded, in poor condition, and poorly designed (see image of west high above). This is unacceptable, we need to invest in enhanced bike, bus and walk infrastructure to make it safe, convenient and inexpensive for students to get to school! Relying on car transportation unfairly places the cost of transportation on families which can be a significant percentage of income for the underprivileged. At a minimum facilities should include functional, well lighted and covered bike parking, bus shelters and well lit walking paths around the school property, so kids feel safe walking home, unlocking their bike or waiting for a bus after dark.

Please help me advocate for better bike and pedestrian facilities at our schools by submitting comments to the Post Referendum Facilities Survey and/or sending an email to the MMSD school board. The comment period is nearly over, so please act soon.

Wednesday, April 14th

Transportation Commission meets at 5pm this week and can register for the meeting here. Agenda items include a few items of interest, the city staff is proposing to revert pedestrian/bike crossing signals back to pre-COVID timing phases (view list of intersections, agenda item #8). In its current form, this change means pedestrians and bikes will once again be required to press walk buttons to receive a signal to cross. I personally, have become accustomed to the automatic pedestrian phases and would like to see many of them stay. You should send the TC an email to advocate for an intersection in your neighborhood.

The second item of note on the TC agenda is #6 after many public input meetings and discussion the city is proposing the following changes on Whitney Way. This is a hard earned win for pedestrian/bike friendly infrastructure design and it would be great if you could show your support by attending the TC meeting or sending a quick email of support to the TC.

  • Adding a buffered bike lane from Old Middleton Rd to Tokay Blvd
    • This will require the removal of all the on street parking from Sheboygan to South Hill Dr
  • Pedestrian improvements including:
    • Old Middleton Rd – Adding high visibility crosswalks
    • Langlois St – Adding a pedestrian curb ramp and install a high visibility crosswalk
    • Door Dr  – Adding new crosswalks
    • South Hill Dr – Adding a rapid flash beacon crossing on the south side of the intersection and add a high visibility crosswalk
    • Tokay Blvd – Adding high visibility crosswalks
  • Lowering the speed limit on Whitney Way to 25mph

Free Bikes 4 Kids

Free bikes 4 Kids is a local nonprofit who is urgently seeking volunteers to help meet the overwhelming demand for bikes. Free bike requests were up 150% in 2020 and they are expecting high demand this year as well. If you would like to help, more information can be found at: https://fb4kmadison.org/pedaling-news/calling-nonprofit-partners-schools-community-centers-to-receive-bikes-in-may/

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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Weekly Update

Spring is (almost) here and that means local elections

A man riding a bicycle on the Southwest Path, towing a child trailer
@cyclists_of_msn

If you missed our Advocacy 101 event, you can catch a recording on Facebook. Thanks to all the folks that joined us, asked questions, and added to a great conversation about how decisions are made in Madison and how you can influence those decisions.

And speaking of advocacy, with the spring elections set for April 6 (note that we had a typo about the date in last week’s update), in-person absentee voting is now available around the city. Although far fewer people vote in local elections and the non-partisan statewide elections than big November elections, your vote actually counts more. For alder – your representation on the Madison City Council – your vote might be one of less than 2000. And we will also elect a new Superintendent of Public Instruction for Wisconsin. If you want to know how the alder candidates view bicycling issues, check out the answers to the Madison Bikes questions on our website. Need to know how and where to vote? The Madison City Clerk’s website has you covered.

The week ahead

It’s a pretty quiet this week. There are no city meetings of note. But there are a couple of opportunities to learn more about transportation issues in the county and trails outside of Madison.

Monday evening at 7:00 pm, the Madison Area Bus Advocates will host a Facebook meeting to discuss Vehicle Miles Traveled, transit, and the link to the Dane County Sustainability Plan. Although this will focus on transit, the idea of reducing VMT is one that bicyclists and anyone interested in sustainability and better transportation policy will find of interest. Sign up here.

Thursday there will be a Zoom meeting hosted by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) about the Southwest Savanna master plan, an area that covers the Sugar River and Badger Trails south of Madison. They are also taking comments on the master plan.

Although the master plan does not recommend allowing ATVs or other motorized uses to the trail, there is a vocal group that has been pushing for motorized access. It’s always useful to provide comment that you do NOT want to share the trail with motorized users. On the positive side of things, the plan does show a detour for the currently-closed Stewart Tunnel and mountain bike trails in New Glarus Woods.

“The DNR will host a public meeting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 1, 2021 via Zoom video conferencing. Pre-register for the meeting here. For those unable to attend, the meeting will be recorded and posted to the Southwest Savanna Draft Regional Master Plan webpage for viewing after the event.

“The meeting will include a brief presentation by DNR staff, followed by a public comment period. Those wishing to speak at the meeting are required to register online here by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31.”

More info, including the full master plan can be found here.

If you are looking for a job, the Wisconsin Bike Fed is hiring here in Madison. They have three positions posted: A Government Affairs Manager; an Education and Engagement Program Manager, who will spend 80 percent of the job working on a newly-revived Safe Routes to School program; and an Education and Engagement Program Assistant. More information, job descriptions, and deadlines to apply (April 15) can be found 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

Advocacy 101, Cap City intersections, Council questionnaires

What a beautiful weekend we had. The bike paths were busier than ever, as evidences by the City’s bike counters: On the Cap City Trail, Saturday saw the highest ever daily March count, with 2262 people riding past the counter. The SW Path saw a count of 1209, which isn’t quite an all-time March record (March 16, 2015: 1480 riders) but still very respectable.

Advocacy 101 tonight

Tonight from 6-7pm is the Madison Bikes Advocacy 101 community meeting. We often get asked what one can do to advocate for biking in Madison, and so this 1-hour Zoom meeting will provide some answers to that question. Our board member and former Alder Robbie Webber is going to do a brief presentation and then there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion. is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. For active participation, join the Zoom call, or you can watch the meeting on Facebook Live.

Common Council Candidate Questionnaire

A sign saying "vote" in front of a snow covered bike rack at the Memorial Union

Elections for the Madison Common Council are on April 16 April 6 (early voting has started already). Where do candidates stand on issues related to biking and transportation? We sent them a questionnaire to find out and now the answers are in! Don’t know which district you’re in? Enter your address here. Note that not all candidates responded to our questions, and Madison Bikes does not endorse or oppose any candidate. Independent from our questionnaire, you may also be interested in the one from 350 Madison.

  • District 1 (Barbara Harrington-McKinney)
  • District 2 (Patrick Heck, Benji Ramirez)
  • District 3 (Lindsay Lemmer, Charly Rowe)
  • District 4 (Mike Verveer)
  • District 5 (Regina Vidaver)
  • District 6 (Brian Benford)
  • District 7 (Nasra Wehelie): no response
  • District 8 (Juliana Bennett, Ayomi Obuseh)
  • District 9 (Paul Skidmore, Nikki Conklin): no responses
  • District 10 (Yannette Figueroa Cole, Mara Eisch)
  • District 11 (Arvina Martin)
  • District 12 (Syed Abbas, Tessa Wyllie de Echeverria)
  • District 13 (Tag Evers)
  • District 14 (Sheri Carter, Brandi Grayson-Tuck)
  • District 15 (Grant Foster)
  • District 16 (Jael Currie, Matt Tramel)
  • District 17 (Gary Halverson)
  • District 18 (Rebecca Kemble, Charles Myadze)
  • District 19 (Keith Furman, Aisha Moe)
  • District 20 (Christian Albouras, Erica Lee Janisch)

Cap City Yield Signs

If you’ve been riding the Capital City Trail between Blair and Dickinson lately, you may have noticed new yield signs on the path. This stretch of the path has always been a bit of a hodgepodge when it came to who had the right-of-way at the crossings, but over the years the City had installed more and more stop signs on the cross streets. Those are gone now, and you can thank the “Office of the Commissioners of Railroads.” This obscure-yet-powerful office has wide authority under state and federal law to regulate anything related to railroad crossings, and they didn’t like the stop signs — presumably out of a concern that cars on the cross streets would back up all the way into the railroad crossing, creating a safety issue. So watch out for the new configuration and be prepared for people in cars and on bikes to be confused by the changes.

Save the Date: Spring Bike Wash and Safety Checks

Event picture for the "Spring Bike Wash and Safety Checks" event. Picture of a rusty cassette and chain. The Madison Bikes logo in the upper left.

It’s still a bit out, but mark the date: On April 24, we’re partnering with BikEquity, Down With Bikes, Dream Bikes, and Wheels for Winners for a spring bike wash and safety checks events. We’ll have cleaning supplies to wash that dirt and salt off your winter bikes, and experienced volunteers to do basic safety checks on your bike to get you started into spring. The event will take place on Clark Court, right next to Brittingham Park. Stay tuned for more details and let us know if you’re going on the Facebook event page.

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

Spring 2021 Elections: Candidate Questionnaire

On April 6, Madison will vote on a number of municipal offices, including on city alders. We reached out to alders in all districts. While we are not making endorsements in this race, we wanted to provide our Madison Bikes community with information about how the alders responded to our questions.

We thank candidates for completing the questionnaire. Please see their responses below, and remember to vote!

Benji Ramirez Gomez – District 2

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

YES! I love biking. I didn’t learn how to bike until I was ten years old, but once I did, my parents professed they couldn’t get me off it. I remember biking the 8-9 miles between Cottage Grove and Monona as an 11 year-old!

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

I do support it! I think we as a city need to make driving less accessible and prioritized, and expand our public transit options. The reality is concrete is expensive to maintain in bitter cold WI. BRT, more bike Blvds, electric scooter, public ride share programs, etc!

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

The existing network connects 200+ of trails, bike lanes, and bike Blvds. Yet, bike commuting has stagnated. A good road bike runs $200-1000+, leaving low-income neighbors out of the loop. I support expansion of trails, increased education, and more community partners!

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

Bike Boulevards should be strictly bus and bike lanes. If BRT is to succeed, we need dedicated lanes that are not congested by through traffic. It should be quicker to bus/bike somewhere in the city than to drive. Reduce the amount of cars in the city to reduce the accident rate.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

The US is one of the largest producers of C02 per capita, in part, because of our over reliance on cars. We need a vision that centers pedestrians and bikers, which is why we need to be working towards a car-free Isthmus. It starts with granting our pedestrians the right of way.

Patrick W. Heck – District 2

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I am a daily bike commuter, or at least I was before the pandemic closed the building on campus in which I worked. I own a car, but it often sits for months without being used, so most of my transportation needs are met by biking. I do use Metro transit in snowy weather. As for memories, just this past August I camped and rode on the Cowboy Trail in northern Nebraska. This was the one and only vacation I’ve taken during the pandemic and was a perfect getaway – no people (perhaps for a good reason) and surprisingly gorgeous scenery.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes. We should greatly expand bike infrastructure and disincentivize the driving of motor vehicles. We also should not simply replace carbon-emitting vehicles with electric vehicles; instead we should reduce our investments in infrastructure that facilitates vehicular driving and put it into bike and transit infrastructure and programs.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes, our low-stress bike facilities should be expanded to constitute a network. With regard to enabling biking for everyone and to every location, we should strive for that, but we should also adopt housing and planning policies that focus new housing, jobs, education, and food access at existing transportation nodes (transportation of all types), as well as assure that new developments have the strong potential for access to the same services and capabilities. The biggest barriers to equitable bike access in District 2 are (1) E. Washington Avenue and its having been designed as a highway that is very unfriendly and dangerous to bike on for even experienced cyclists; (2) the unfortunate decision many decades ago to convert E. Johnson and E. Gorham Streets from two-way streets to one-way streets, and (3) the lack of safe, low stress points to cross E. Washington.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

Yes, yes, and yes. I am fully supportive of Vision Zero and its implementation.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Yes, yes, and yes. I am fully supportive of Vision Zero and its implementation.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I have been a member of Madison Bikes for several years, although I’m not sure that my membership is current. If not, I will gladly renew. I have attended many Madison Bikes events in recent years and plan to do so in the future.

Lindsay Lemmer – District 3

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I grew up riding my bike everywhere. My bike was my gateway to play and fun as a child. As a young adult, I fell in love with how easily navigable our city is using the Capital City Bike Trail, and often rode my bike to school as a UW-Madison student even though I lived in the suburbs of Madison. As a less young adult now, I’ve re-fallen in love with biking as a way to enjoy the outdoors while getting some exercise.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes, absolutely. We need to increase our bicycle and pedestrian paths and invest in their maintenance. We need more, and safer pedestrian and bicycling paths and connections. We also need to prioritize accessible and high-quality transit service as part of the solution. I support BRT and also want to increase the frequency of transit service and the number of stops in my district. We have a lot of residential development and we need transit to catch up. The transit route redesign the city is undergoing is a critical opportunity to improve transit and transit accessibility.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes, I absolutely support this. Bicyclists in my district are forced to ride on some high stress and high risk streets in order to access paths. It’s critical to increase the path connectivity in my district that has been so lacking. I am also pleased that the State and County are working on connecting the Glacial Drumlin trail and I will do everything I can to support those efforts.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

I was proud to co-sponsor the Vision Zero amendment in the 2020 budget to add funding to this critical initiative. I support all of these measures, and am pleased at the speed reduction on Milwaukee Street, in my own district, as it’s already made things safer. I regularly received reports of reckless driving and speeding on this stretch, and pedestrians and bicycles being put at risk and those have declined since this change.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Safety must be the top priority in how we manage our roads and traffic. Thus, safe access will be the first criteria and the most heavily weighted in my decisions in this area.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I think creating more opportunities for children to fall in love with bicycling is an important part of what we can do at the city level, too. I’m so excited by the initiatives our city Parks Department has been undertaking in this area. In my own district, I have a brand new park that will be getting a “kid sized single track” this spring. This is a dirt surface biking trail looping up and down a hill with some curves and hills for little mountain bikers. These kinds of projects cultivate a love of bikes in kids, and that typically becomes a lifelong fondness for bicycling. These are also rather inexpensive especially when compared to other play investments we make into our Parks. I will advocate and budget for more of these biking opportunities for kids.

Charly Rowe – District 3

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

Some of my first childhood memories include cruising through Madison’s east side neighborhoods on my rainbow painted banana seat. By thirteen years old, I was peddling to work at KFC on Cottage Grove Road. Bicycling has been a mode of transportation, and an enjoyable escape for me for as long as I can remember. This is the first summer both of my children will be without training wheels- watch out!

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

The benefits of increasing bike and transit mode share (sooner, rather than later) are many. To achieve our city’s commitment of zero net carb we must continue programs such as the new E-bikes and Bus Rapid Transit. Extending bike paths and public transport to communities on the east would be immeasurably valuable to the citizens; improving health and wellness, creating a sense of community, and improve workplace accessibility.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Absolutely, I am in support of such a bike network. Our District is one that clearly shows the racial and economic inequities of our on-going city planning. While my opponent advocates for a needed wider bike path on the Milwaukee Bridge; as Alder, I will advocate for safer bike paths and networking throughout the entire district. Many of our citizens bike on dangerous thoroughfares; children on open roadways, because the bike paths do not extend to us. The beautiful public paths end at Dempsey Road, the western border of our district. The injustices of inequitable access to the multiple benefits the city offers residents of other districts must come to and end. The city must stop minimizing the value of the essential citizens living on the east side.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

While in absolute support of measures to reduce injuries and death; measures to reduce speeds and the cause of these increasing crimes should be looked at carefully. Such discussions should be made known to the citizens for their input. East of Highway 51, the speed limit on Milwaukee Street was reduced from 35 to 25 m.p.h. recently. Law abiding citizens were angered that they now had to comply with this limitation; while those who sped through recklessly would continue to do so. Citizens expressed frustration with the lack of communication from the city in regards to letting them know and getting their input. They also wondered why there was no greater Police presence in such key speeding areas to curb the dangerous crimes. We need measures that address the underlying problems, not just those that legislate conformity.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

The very term “public right of way” implies that there is the ability for the larger public to use the space. Private car storage on public property is not an inherent right of the home occupants. Factors, such as: the type of housing, neighborhood density, and business needs, etc.; should be analyzed to make the best decisions for the communities. As Alder, it is my obligation to support in favor of the people’s expressed will. This is a great example of the type of civic issue that we must work more diligently on to educate and empower a greater portion of the citizenship.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like to share an announcement my friend, Kristie GoForth, recently posted at https://fb4kmadison.org/author/kristie/

This is the time of year children grow out of the bikes they used last summer; or families are just looking into getting their child their first bike. Covid has cloistered us all winter. We know our kids need to get out and get active this summer. Free Bikes 4 Kids Madison makes access to bicycling and all its benefits available to more families one bike at a time.

Regina Vidaver – District 5

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

In non-pandemic times, I commute to my job downtown by bike whenever weather allows (I commute by bus when it does not).

I still remember learning to ride a bike as a kid. For some reason, it didn’t “click” right away, so I remember being really frustrated each summer as my dad would take my training wheels off, I would fall, and he’d put them back on again. Finally (I think I was about 7) I was able to maintain my balance and successfully ride. That opened a new world of being able to bike around my neighborhood with my friends, and go on rides with my family.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Madison is overall a bike-friendly city, though there is always room for improvement. For example, the University Avenue reconstruction includes a bike and pedestrian overpass over University Bay Drive to increase safety and the speed with which bikes can travel on the path. Improvements in our built environment such as these, coupled with the city’s commitment to developing bus rapid transit, have the potential to significantly reduce car-initiated trips across the city, thereby reducing carbon emissions. Other initiatives, including car sharing services and expansion of B-cycle availability can further promote improvements to our city’s carbon footprint.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

We have not, as a city, made a commitment to ensuring access to biking for people with disabilities. We have the opportunity to engage people who want to be able to bike to identify the key barriers to their ability to do so. Areas of the city that could benefit from trails can be identified, and bike boulevards created to improve access and safety.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

Our city traffic engineers are tasked with assessing all needs of the community when revising, rebuilding, or building new roadways. There is a systemic effort to promote complete streets (making the street network better and safer for people walking, biking, driving, riding transit, and moving actively with assistive devices) within the city, however there are some roadways that, for a variety of reasons, may not be able to be upgraded as well as we might like. Intense study of options and public engagement are a couple of the tools available to ensure we are able to institute complete streets citywide.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Madison is constantly balancing the needs of pedestrians and bikes to safely maneuver our roadways and parking of cars. The city has invested significant resources in ensuring off-street parking options are available to many, though not all of our residents. The more we encourage bike and public transit, through prioritizing pedestrian and bike safety, and walkable communities with key services located therein, the fewer cars will be needed. All of these efforts must be coordinated and capitalized upon to serve our overlapping goals of increased accessibility of our sidewalks and streets, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and increased safety.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I appreciate your interest in and passion for ensuring Madison is a healthy community.

Brian Benford – District 6

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

Love this question! I love biking-no really I love biking. Too many favorite memories but I ill never forget cruising around Madison in 1079 riding a shared RED BIKE that was beat to crap but I will never forget falling in love with Madison as a 20 year old riding around.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes! As a Black man who has ridden for most of my life, I lament that there are not more BIPOC folks on bikes. I served on the City of Madison’s Platinum Bike Committee where I tried to advance biking within underrepresented communities, In order to increase ridership-we have to look at biking through a culturally competent lens.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Poverty, systemic racism, a tremendous disconnect with our natural environments are a few barriers to all biking. When people have to face trauma and marginalization daily, biking or transit alternatives are not placed as a priority. We have to create a program where there is free access to quality-again-quality bikes and have holistic educational opportunities that will allow for families and communities to build capacity through biking.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

I live on East Washington Avenue International Speedway where each day I see the perils and dangers offered to bikers on our busiest entryway into the city. This is telling! We need to create streets and paths that place people in direct contact with the places they frequent with enhanced safety measures like bike lanes, more paths, bumpouts, narrower streets and educating and facilitating more awareness on bike and ped. safety along with rerouting car traffic.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Yes! Yes!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I have biked since I was a wee lad living in Milwaukee during the 1960’s. I depend on my bike for not only transportation, but as almost a spiritual connection in being able to move my body through space on my own. As a father of five, a long time community activist, family advocate, I have tried to create pathways to get more BIPOC folks biking and connected with the environmental justice that biking offers.

Ayomi Obuseh – District 8

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I learned to ride a bike from my mom and it was a sense of independence for me. I in turn taught my younger brother and I was proud to share that experience with him. In essence, the freedom a bike brings is a really empowering experience for me.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Currently, about 5 percent of all trips in the city are done by bike and another 10 percent are by transit. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce crashes, and bring health benefits to our city, many plans and policies adopted by the city call for increasing the number of trips done by bike or transit.

We can reduce greenhouse emissions, reduce crashes, and bring more health benefits overall to our city by implementing more bike barns to keep bikes safe from the elements and investing to expand the reach of bike share programs such as Bicycle. I also want to support policies that invest in buses that run on renewable energy, such as electric buses, and free bus lines with priority given to bus lines with hospitals en route.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

We know that this past year has brought to the forefront Madison’s stark racial inequities, some of which directly relate to transportation. Low income neighborhoods and neighborhoods with a higher percentages of people of color often lack access to good transit, safe walking and biking, or to green spaces. Access to a car can often be the only way to reach jobs, but car ownership is a huge financial burden. In addition, people with disabilities, seniors, undocumented immigrants, and children have mobility needs that are often not met by driving. A bike network that serves people of all ages and abilities (rather just those who already are in the habit of biking today) throughout the whole city can provide an affordable and healthy transportation option.

I would fully support a bike network that would encourage increased bike usage, which would in turn lower our carbon footprint and promote healthy activities. If we look at cities with increased bike activity like Portland, Oregon, we see that their residents traveled 2.9 billion fewer miles and saved around $2.6 billion collectively. Increased bike usage is beneficial for the environment, the economy, and the overall well-being of residents. Currently, District 8 sees a decent amount of student bikers, but a large barrier that prevents bike usage is the lack of storage space. This is why I want to increase the amount of bike barns around District 8 to begin to combat this issue.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

Last year, the City of Madison adopted a Vision Zero policy. The core of this policy is a goal to eliminate all traffic fatalities and major injuries by building a “forgiving” system where human error does not lead to death or serious injury. During the COVID-19 pandemic, even though fewer cars have been on the road, speeding and dangerous driving have gone up. Speeding is the main factor in causing crashes, and the higher the speed, the more severe those crashes are, especially for people walking and biking. That being said,

With increased green transportation there will be more busing which will inevitably make the streets narrower. Ideally we should make state street a pedestrian zone which would send a message to the rest of the city on the inconveniences of having a car due to its impact on the environment. Overall, my goal is to increase public transportation, which is the safest option.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Background: Prioritizing of public right-of-way and Complete Streets: The public right of way is limited in our city. There are competing demands of what to use this right of way for: moving cars, moving buses, sidewalks, street trees, rain gardens, strategies, passenger and package pickup and delivery, car parking — and safe bike infrastructure. Madison has adopted a Complete Streets policy to “ensure that streets are designed to enable safe access for all users, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders, of all ages and abilities, to be able to move safely along and across the street.”

I would support more green transportation, particularly by foot and by bike. I want to be a huge advocate for electric buses for public transit so that we can transition from our heavy reliance on cars. I want to first get a better understanding from the community about what is needed, and I would gather this feedback from townhalls and outreach initiatives to come to a conclusion about how to move forward. In particular, I would work closely with the neighborhood association, of which I am currently on the steering committee for, to ensure that the needs of the community are being met but in an environmentally conscious, sustainable way.

Yannette Figueroa Cole – District 10

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I enjoy biking. It is not my main form of transportation; it is more of a recreational activity that allows me to relax and to see the City while at the same time being active. Under the right weather conditions, I love to bike and I have a number of memorable experiences biking. I have explored multiple times the Cannonball Path/Military Ridge State Trail from Dunn’s Marsh to Verona, the Southwest Commuter Path to the square but my most memorable experience was biking the perimeter of Madeline Island in Ashland, WI.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Biking is a way for many communities including District 10, particularly people who cannot afford a vehicle or access a driver’s license, to get around. Hence, I support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years. I think the steps in the “Complete Streets” policy could give us the tools we need to support and manage the changes. My recommendation is to ensure we are connecting the dots as to what is appropriate to ensure bike access and safety for all.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

The Southwest Trail cuts through my district and many families, particularly families of color, walk and bike it for recreation and exercise. It is important to create a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison. Some of the barriers to equitable access to biking in our district are owing an all-year-around bike, the understanding of safety in general, and bike path connectivity in some stretches of the path.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

I think reducing the number of people injured and killed on the streets takes educating, including hands-on training, those who are learning to bike about safety. Ensuring motorists are sharing the roads. And changing through traffic as appropriate to ensure biker safety.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

I think the “Complete Streets” policy makes sense. At my core, I believe in access for all. And so “ensuring that streets are designed to enable safe access for all users, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders, of all ages and abilities, to be able to move safely along and across the street,” makes sense to me. “Complete Streets” policy is a change of mindset and a change of culture. And as such, we need to support and manage the change with public information and other change-management tools to ensure the policy can be implemented with as much acceptance and understanding as possible.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

District 10 is rich in natural resources and have access to multiple bike paths and bike hubs. I would love to coordinate and collaborate to use biking events as a link/connection between the multiple neighborhoods in the district.

Mara Eisch – District 10

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I have many memorable experiences with riding a bike. I continue to use bike riding as a form of transportation today. I particularly enjoy the bike paths throughout the city. Biking has continued to be a family affair.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes I do support increasing biking and transit mode share. I would recommend looking at how feasible it is to ride the current paths especially through the isthmus as one travels from one side to the other. Bike paths that share the road need to be safe. In addition, I appreciate the bike path lighting, but again it needs to be perceived as safe to walk and ride. Perhaps every time we post an incident on a bike path we should also post how many uneventful trips have been made to put in perspective how safe our bike paths are. I would encourage a link between bike safety and our Neighborhood Resource Teams to build a sense of safety on our bike paths.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

I am very interested in how we can make the bike network a more affordable and healthy transportation method for those currently not using it. Identifying the barriers and addressing them is the first step. I also think the bus and bike network needs to be well coordinated.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

As we look at reducing injury and death of bikers on our streets, speeding is certainly one issue. We struggle with controlling speed for pedestrians safety also. Several streets in District 10 have residents complaining about the inability to cross due to speeding. While speeding needs to be addressed are there others ways to put more space between bikers and vehicles? I would prefer to look at ways to allow our bike paths to accommodate more bike and walkers that police for speeders.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

There are so many positions that want to be heard in this discussion. We also have competing city goals, ie, reducing parking to reduce traffic and encourage bus usage and at the same time wanting smoother, faster transit by vehicle through town, and then there is the Traffic Calming approach. It seems we are talking out of both sides of our mouth. What is the goal? Where will people be living and working? How will they get from one place to the other? What combination of transit is needed? How will this work for all ages, incomes and abilities? There are many questions to ask in the bigger picture if we are going to serve all means of transportation.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I would like to emphasize the imprtance of everyone feeling safe on the bike paths and sidewalks. I believe we are safer than we think we we are. But to get to the point of feeling safe requires some change. I do not support a policing attitude of fear. I support a neighborhood driven sense of safety, that includes neighborhood partnerships with police through resource teams and community driven support to ensure a sense of safety. We need to make our neighborhood identities stronger not weaker in their own sense of efficacy. (Sorry for any typos, this was not a self correcting form.)

Tessa Echeverria – District 12

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I love biking and have my whole life. A couple years ago I built up a longhaul trucker and biked from Vancouver BC to San Francisco. It was 30 days, just the bike and the road. I often think back to that summer. It was amazing to spend a month biking down the coast and through the redwoods. It brought home how important it is that we protect our environment. Seeing it all on a bicycle was especially eye opening, as you work for each mile and really get a chance to see the environment slowly change around you.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes! I strongly support the goal of doubling bike and transit mode share. I would like to push for that goal in the next 5 years, and believe we can. I would work to make sure new developments are linked into actual bike paths to increase access to the bike pathways, including adding new bike paths and bridges to make biking easier and safer. I know my path to work from my house makes me bike down the side of busy roads for a while and that isn’t safe during heavy traffic or after dark. I would also work with business to improve bike parking and showers/lockers for biking employees. I would also fight for more bus routes, and electric buses. I would love to push for and see light rail come to Wisconsin and Madison.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes, I think creating a solid bike network is important to increasing the number of bikers in our city. In district 12, we have good bike paths with bridges over E Washington and Aberg Ave. I would like to see a bridge over Packers Ave, having to cross Packers breaks up your ride and forces you to cross a busy road with lots of speeding.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

I support adding barriers between the cars and the bike lane to stop cars from using the bike lane to drive in. I support re-thinking our roads to be more bike friendly and to increase public transit. I think it is important to increase access and ease of use for non-car transportation. While doing this we do have to keep in mind lots of working-class people have no choice but to use cars, and when we are reimagining the road systems we have to account for that, especially in the transition time before bike safety is increased and public transit made more accessible.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

I do support the Complete Streets policy. When we talk about safety in this area it must be recognized that walkers and bikers are the most valuable to injury in the streets, we have to add extra safety measures. I understand at times that will slow down or be inconvenient to car traffic.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I want to develop a People First Transportation policy that puts people before cars, paving the way for free bus transit and a car-free isthmus by providing fare-free bus transit to Madison residents, prioritizing bus rapid transit options that favor buses over personal vehicles, ensuring easy bus accessibility to all members of the Madison community, including the disabled and elderly, and eventually expanding the State Street car-free zone to the entire isthmus when public transport works for everyone.

Brandi Grayson-Tuck – District 14

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I’m passionate about improving conditions for Madison because when I moved from the south side of Chicago to Madison, this was the first place I saw bike lanes and green spaces. I know we have a lot of opportunities, and I’m driven to make them equitably accessible for all Madisonians.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes – for both environmental and accessibility reasons, we should be moving away from individual cars as a city. For many of our lowest income residents, a city that is forcing car dependence is forcing them into unnecessary tickets as they struggle to maintain a car, a license, its registration, and insurance. All these fees add up and if one falls behind they can get trapped in the criminal justice system. Bicycling, one of many alternatives, is much more affordable in addition to environmentally sustainable.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes, but like any system, like public transportation, it must be implemented in a socioeconomically and racially equitable way. Our current bus system heavily centers young professionals, downtown residents, Epic employees, and the near east and west side. We need to make sure all systems of transportation are easy to access to everyone. In addition to infrastructure, the greatest barrier in D14 is the initial cost. We should find ways for residents to get access to bicycles and safety equipment at a price point they find reasonable.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

The most obvious answer is the right one: We need to move away from cars. Bicycles are part of this solution – other parts include increasing public transportation, which are driven by professionals, and expanding public transportation options to ideas like light rail.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Narrower lanes reduces speeding so ways to prioritize public right-of-way can not only improve accessibility of public transportation and bicycles, but it can reduce traffic incidents and speeding as well.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Visit the many businesses in D14, preferably on your bicycle!

Jael Currie – District 16

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

I fortunately learned to ride a bike as a child and have usually always had my own bike or access to one to ride. My riding has increased tremendously during the last year due to being home with limited safe entertainment options as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been introduced to wonderful community orgs such as Free Bikes for Kidz and Madison B-Cycle which have provided opportunities for myself and children to bike more. It has also increased my awareness of the plethora of beautiful bike paths, parks, and conservations. I was even blessed enough to receive a gift of my very first Trek road bike a couple months ago!

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes, I support the use of alternative transportation methods that will assist in the reduction of our carbon footprint. As Alder, I would recommend continuing the collaborations between the city, county, and individuals, organizations, and systems that support comprehensive bike ridership and public transportation options. I would preface this however with making sure to be intentional about providing robust, accessible, and equitable bike and transit opportunities before decreasing options to travel by personal car etc. We must ensure that we do not in turn, create increased barriers and inaccessibility to the city by increasing alternative transportation options.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes, absolutely! Through my professional work, I have been in touch with local organizations and community leaders about creating partnerships to develop solutions that will increase ridership and awareness of citywide resources (such as Madison B-Cycle), especially among disenfranchised and/or marginalized communities. In fact, 2 summers ago, YWCA Madison and Madison B-Cycle partnered to provide free memberships to YWCA residents. I would like to deepen partnerships like this as a Council member and do all that’s possible to provide city support and resources to improve equitable access. District 16 has many parks, bike paths, and natural resources. In full transparency, I will need to ask accessibility specific questions as I continue engaging with D16 residents and neighbors since lack of access & equity, in this regard, has not yet come up during preliminary campaign conversations. I would assume financial burden and lack of awareness of biking resources are barriers to equitable access.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

I think continued education about statistics of traffic and/or biking accidents, transportation safety, and resources can assist with this endeavor. I do support measures that promote overall safety such as lowering speeds on streets, especially those with “on street (bike) routes,” placement of speed control bumps, and eliminating slip lanes. Safety of all commuters is paramount but given our cities desire to utilize alternative transportation methods and sustainability efforts, we should look into every effort to increase safe commuting options for cyclists and pedestrians.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

I support plans that will help policy makers assign priorities in the public right of way. Priorities from my perspective include analyzing connectivity for various travel modes, surveying parking and loading needs, maintaining terrace space, space for city services (such as leaf/brush collection and snow storage), and opportunities for rain gardens/stormwater treatment. I also seek to gather feedback and perspectives from residents in my district and throughout the city to help inform my decisions. In addition, one of the city committees I would like to sit on is the transportation policy and planning committee.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you for your work and commitment to making Madison a city where anyone can ride a bicycle conveniently and comfortably year round!

Matthew Tramel – District 16

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

Both myself and my wife are avid bikers. For most of the year, Heather rides from our home in Glendale, to UW Hospital downtown. I have a home office, but love exploring Madison on long rides. So we’re excited to be a one-car family, which is possible because Madison is a bike-friendly city. I’ll share a powerful memory from this past fall. Daylight was getting shorter, so Heather was frequently leaving for work in the dark. I was up early walking our dog, and we happened to leave the garage at the same time. She was absolutely weary from battling Covid with her patients, and I encouraged her to take the car – which would afford her another hour of sleep. She said that the enjoyment of riding to the hospital was the only thing keeping her going through such a terrible time. I’ve never been prouder of her than in that moment.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

That is an important and realistic goal. To achieve it, we’ll need to work hard to eliminate gaps on our bike paths that lead to dangerous interactions with street traffic. And we’ll need to expand bike sharing programs, particularly with more e-bikes that make navigating Madison’s terrain more accessible to every citizen. It was recently announced that the City signed a 10-year contract to expand the Trek E-Bike program with 100 new bikes, but all of those commitments are only for the downtown area. That’s disappointing. We deserve that same amenity on the East Side. In particular – E-bike stations could be used to connect neighbors to the proposed Bus Rapid Transit Line, which is foundational to doubling the transit mode share. Unfortunately the current BRT plan doesn’t include the 16th District or the greater East Side – which is something I’ll work hard to address in upcoming planning discussions.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Absolutely. And we can start by clearly understanding current barriers within our own communities. Without going through this ‘discovery’ process, however, we risk failing to act in a meaningful way. For instance, we understand that to create more equitable access, citizens need a bike network that is safe and reduces friction with car traffic. As Alder, I would bring the community together to identify and inventory specific locations that constrain ‘bikeability’. This can be achieved by meeting with each neighborhood association for direct input from local neighbors, and establishing a shared understanding of the places that we can transform to improve the overall environment. Let’s identify the areas where bike trails are interrupted, and as a result reduce bike safety and equitable access in general. Once interested stakeholders identify these common areas for improvement, we can develop a strategy to work with the City to address the issues.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

Madison’s adoption of the Vision Zero policy is an important step in the right direction. Certainly I am supportive of reducing speeds on our roads wherever practicable. But we also need to continue to find ways to separate bike lanes from street traffic and connect parts of the bike path that are currently disconnected from the system. I need to further study issues like eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower and prohibiting through traffic on some streets, but we have to find creative solutions to make biking safer in general. One important step we could take immediately is to develop a public awareness campaign – using social media, digital marketing and roadway signage – that raises awareness of bikers and encourages safe driving practices.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

In Madison we have an opportunity to create a smarter transportation future. We should be advancing public policy that prioritizes public safety and equitable mobility. Reducing car trips whenever possible is an important step in that direction. To do that, however, we need efficient, affordable and accessible bus service that connects all communities. We also need a more expansive bike sharing program that extends beyond the isthmus. Let’s also think creatively about new multi-family development across the city. Can our developers and architects find unique design solutions that reduce car parking and incentivize tenants to remain ‘carless’? Today’s ride sharing platforms are also significantly reducing reliance on car ownership, which is something we can embrace to reduce traffic while also increasing mobility.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I look forward to working with Madison Bikes – and the entire community – to create a safer, healthier and more equitable future for mobility in Madison!

Rebecca Kemble – District 18

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

Biking was freedom to me as a child and teenager. In a family of 5 kids in the 1970s if I wanted to go anywhere I was mostly on my own to do it. Biking was my primary mode of transportation to and from activities every day. Before having children I also biked as my primary mode of transportation. A general memorable experience about biking, especially in the late spring, summer and fall, is experiencing a rolling smorgasbord of aromas.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

Yes. By investing in more and better infrastructure and supporting a public education campaign.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes. Northport Drive and Lakeview Hill are literally the biggest barriers in my district.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

Slowing speeds is the best way to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities. I have been a supporter of Vision Zero and shifting our public safety investments to places where rebuilding intersections and streets can make a significant difference.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

Yes. I fought hard for this on the Winnebago St. reconstruction project in particular.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thanks!

Aisha Moe – District 19

Q1: What is your personal relationship with biking? Do you have a memorable experience or memory related to riding a bike?

While I have lots of memories related to biking leisurely and commuting on bike, one of my favorite memories was the first time I went mountain biking on a family vacation in Wisconsin. It was the first time I got to ride down hills on wooded trails at high speeds. And, yes, I walked away with a few bruises and scrapes, but nothing really ever matched that sense of pride and accomplishment my family and I felt at the end of that day.

Q2: Do you support a goal of doubling the bike and transit mode share within ten years, and what steps do you recommend taking to achieve that goal?

I absolutely support doubling bike and transit mode share. The biggest ways we will be able to reduce carbon emissions for the city will be by expanding our public transit system and the biking and pedestrian paths in the city.

Q3: Do you support creating a low-stress bike network so that people of all ages and abilities have equal access to biking everywhere in Madison? What are the greatest barriers to equitable access to biking in your district?

Yes, I support creating a low-stress bike network that prioritizes equal access to everyone in Madison. The city can support equitable access to travel and commuting by expanding bike paths, bussing routes and pedestrian walkways in the city, but especially in the neighborhoods that have been historically underserved.

Q4: How do you think we should reduce the number of people injured and killed on our streets? Do you support measures that lower speeds on roads in your district to improve safety, for example by eliminating slip lanes, making roads narrower, or prohibiting through traffic, even when it may inconvenience some people that move by car?

In my district, I support initiatives that will reduce speeds on residential roads. For instance, on Gammon Rd, radar speed signs were introduced to lower speeds. Additionally, there are requests from neighbors in District 19 to introduce stop signs or traffic lights/circles on Old Sauk to lower the speed of cars. I support such measures. Slower speeds keep everyone safer.

Q5: Do you support this policy, and how do you weigh the competing demands when you make a decision about allocating space for different kinds of uses? As Madison takes on the question of modal hierarchy in our Complete Streets project this year, will you support prioritizing safe and accessible facilities for people moving by foot and by bike ahead of car storage within the right of way?

I will prioritize safe bike infrastructure over car storage in the city. One of the ways we can encourage residents of Madison to utilize environmentally sustainable modes of transit over cars is by making those modes of transit more attractive such as increasing the number of busing routes or biking paths. Additionally, we can increase the desire to use public transit or biking by making travel by car less attractive: for example, not increasing the number of parking spaces or charging fees for parking.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you for taking your time to read this!

Categories
Weekly Update

Well, that was false spring.

I have been thinking back to a year ago when the pandemic started. This year, will we see an expansion of the Shared Streets program, with more spaces for safe recreation? Will the program this year focus less on recreation and more on the need for all communities to get to work and other destinations safely and comfortably? How would the year have been different for parents with children in virtual school, if the streets were safe to play in? Photo credit: Marybeth McGinnis

I’m not a native Sconnie, but I’ve been around long enough to recognize that we just experienced false spring. A beautiful weekend, perfect for a relaxing ride on a cruiser; a day to bring out your bike from storage and remember the feeling of the sun on your face as you ride. Unfortunately, Monday has snow in the forecast, so don’t get too used to it. Still, beautiful riding weather is nearly here for keeps! (Although of course, all weather is riding weather with the right gear and safe infrastructure!)

Are you a member of our Madison Bikes Facebook community? If not, you’re missing out on great discussions like this one about the biking accessibility of the Alliant vaccine site.

This Week

BCycle returns! Madison’s electric bike share program returns today, March 15, with a special Art Bike program.

Thursday

Interested in spaces for recreational cycling for all ages and abilities? On March at 5:30 pm, there will be a meeting about the Aldo Leopold Pump Track. The proposed project would create an approximately 7000 square foot asphalt pump track near the shelter at Aldo Leopold Park. If you want to learn more and ask questions, this is a great meeting to attend.

Coming Up

Don’t miss Madison Bikes Community Meeting next Monday, March 22 at 6 pm for Bike Advocacy 101. Board member Robbie Webber will lead a presentation and discussion on advocating for biking in Madison. We’ll then dive into known (and unknown) bike problem areas in Madison. You can join by Zoom or watch the livestream on Facebook.

Are you voting in the April election? We will have answers from city alder candidates ready to view next week. Madison Bikes will not be endorsing candidates, but we look forward to educating candidates and the community through this process. Keep a lookout for more info on this blog and on the Madison Bikes Facebook group!

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

Warm Week Ahead

The path counter on John Nolen has been counting higher with the past few days of warmer weather. Photo credit: Jim Wilson

As the days get longer the temperatures are starting to go up. We’re seeing that this week with at least one day with a high of 60 degrees. A stark contrast from the bitter cold we had but one month ago. As temperatures go up, so do the number of people on bikes. At the very least it’s looking like a good week for fair-weather riders! Remember to be kind to other path users and give plenty of room and warning when passing.

This Week

Wednesday

At 5:00 PM, there’s a meeting of the Transportation Commission. One item of interest is the issuance of requests for proposals for redevelopment of the Lake Street parking garage. This site has been of interest to transit advocates for a potential intercity bus terminal. The Draft RFP indeed calls this out as a project requirement, along with improvements to Lake St to benefit bicyclists and pedestrians.

Also at TC is a presentation on the 2021 Public Works Transportation Projects. These are usually smaller projects that are done on shorter time spans to improve transportation conditions in the city. A number of projects on this list will affect biking, so take a few minutes to check out the plans. One notable is the Gorham Street Resurfacing, which will give the city an opportunity to add bike lanes to the east end of the street where it branches off from Johnson. Another notable is West Washington, which has the opportunity to add bus/bike lanes. Wednesday’s TC meeting is an excellent opportunity for the public to provide feedback on any of these projects.

Thursday

There’s an online meeting on the redesign of University Avenue at 6:00 PM. This project has been important to follow as the stretch of University under consideration is not the most bike or pedestrian friendly. One part of the plan is to construct a new bridge on the Blackhawk Path over University Bay Drive. This will help people cross U Bay without having to contend with traffic. While this part of the plan is good, it has been a struggle getting bike facilities along the south side of University. The current proposal includes a 7-8 foot sidewalk to help accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic on the south side of University, which is good, but there’s still time to ask for better, and this Thursday’s meeting is a perfect time to ask. Registration is required for the meeting, which can be done 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
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.

Categories
Weekly Update

Sheboygan and West Wash Bike Lanes

Cold weather family trip to the library.

Our family dubs cold days, in the single digits or below, “Double coat” weather. A single coat isn’t warm enough so, we double up by adding a fall jacket under our winter jackets. Two coats significantly increases the amount of time kids (or myself) will spend outside in the cold. Why not 3 coats? Well, we discovered two coats is our limit before becoming too puffed up to function, but go with what works best for you. Looks like warmer weather is in the forecast for next week (probably only one coat necessary). Expect the paths and roads to be very sloppy…

Wednesday

Transportation Commission meeting about a number of items including a proposal to add bike lanes on Sheboygan Ave and West Washington. Please take a look at the proposal and provide feedback particularly if you live in this area or commute along this road. You can easily provide feedback through the following methods:

  1. Written Comments: You can send comments on agenda items to:
    TransportationCommission@cityofmadison.com
  2. Registering for the meeting which will grant you the following options when you attend
    – Request to speak at the meeting for <2min
    – Submit a question via chat (can be anonymous)
    – Register support or opposition of an agenda item (without speaking or anonymously).

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.