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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.

Categories
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
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.

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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.

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.

Categories
Weekly Update

Spring primary, electric buses, and how to keep your route rideable

Well, in addition to the bitter cold, we now have some fresh snow. And because of the cold temperatures, salt won’t work to melt the snow and ice. Some roads are clear because they have been plowed and then exposed to sunlight, but many smaller streets are just one slippery mess. Ditto with the paths. So if you aren’t running studded tires and extra layers, it’s been pretty challenging the last week. But I still see people out on their bikes, and that makes me proud that Madison is the type of place that people ride in all weather, and the city and drivers expect it.

But if you are having trouble in a particular area – maybe a windrow at a path intersection or a street where all the snow has been pushed into the bike lane – you can use the Report A Problem link on the city’s website. Winter is challenging for everyone, especially when snow starts making the streets even narrower, and drivers park farther out into the street. But we do have a way to report especially bad spots.

If you missed the discussion on WORT on diversity (or lack thereof) in the Madison biking scene — with Baltazar De Anda-Santana (now leading the Latino Academy of Workforce Development) and Kristie Goforth, executive director of Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison – you can listen to a recording here.

The week ahead

Tuesday

Probably the biggest thing happening this week is the spring non-partisan primary. Depending on where you live, this might be a snooze or a big deal. Turnout is expected to be very, very low, so your vote is especially important. Fewer votes = each one counts more strongly than in high-turnout elections.

For everyone across the state, Tuesday will narrow the field for State Superintendent of Schools. There are seven people running, and the top two will go on to the April general election. You may also have a primary for alder (Districts 9, 16, and 18) and/or school board. (There are no primaries for Madison School Board, but if you live in a different school district, there may be one. I haven’t checked.)

To find out what will on your ballot, as well as where to vote and what you need to bring to re-register if you have moved (aka “changing your registration”), go to MyVote.WI.gov

Now if also a good time to think about talking to the alder candidates about what’s important to you, including both city and district transportation issues. Even if there is an uncontested race or the incumbent is running unopposed, your voice is important. Just a call or email to let them know that biking, transit, pedestrian safety, and/or other issues are important to you is a way to remind them that people are paying attention and holding them accountable.  

Thursday

If you are interested in the future of electric buses, WISPIRG will host a discussion from 5:00-6:00 pm. You can register (free) here.

Stay warm out there, and keep the rubber side down while riding. Later this week the temperatures will be in the teens, and it’s going to feel like spring!

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

Categories
Weekly Update

Bike lanes on W Wash, Metro hearing, Free Bikes 4 Kidz, Winter Cycling Congress

A group of people with bicycles on the Capital City Trail in Law Park. The lake is frozen and the ground covered in snow.
Winter Bike Day 2020, just before COVID hit

The cold is unrelenting. Are you still out and about on your bike? I myself am off the bike for health reasons, but on my walks through the neighborhood I still encounter people riding. Last night on the way back from the grocery store, a young woman rode past me, happily singing to herself. So yes, even in this weather biking can be not only a means of transportation but also a source of joy!

Biking and diversity on WORT

Tune in tonight for a conversation on biking on WORT’s acccess hour. Our former board member Baltazar De Anda-Santana (now leading the Latino Academy of Workforce Development) and Kristie Goforth, executive director of Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison, will talk about diversity (or the lack thereof?) in Madison’s bike scene. You can listen on 89.9 FM or online.

West Washington Ave

West Washington Ave between Bedford and Broom will be resurfaced. Right now the street has car parking on both sides and an overly wide travel lane in each direction — wide enough to regularly confuse people about whether there are two or four lanes. The City now proposes to add bus lanes and bike infrastructure to the corridor while keeping car parking in place. The plans are still in an early stage, but at a public meeting last week this design was presented:

Graphic: City of Madison

A shared bus/bike lane on one side, a buffered bike lane next to car parking on the other. The project will be in front of the Transportation Commission this Wednesday. More info about the project here. If you have thoughts about the design, you can submit written comment to transportationcommission@cityofmadison.com or provide a comment at the meeting: https://www.cityofmadison.com/clerk/meeting-schedule/virtual-meetings/register?meeting-id=51308

Metro public hearing

Related to the West Washington Ave project, Metro is holding a public hearing on proposed changes to bus service. Among them is a plan to move some routes (the 8, 12, 15, 70 and 72) off State St and onto West Washington Ave. Other proposed changes are to suspend the 10 and 27 and compensate for that by increasing service on the 2 and improving service on the 38. You can find all the relevant info here. The public hearing is this Wednesday, starting at 6pm.

Free Bikes 4 Kidz

Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison has opened their bike give-away season for the year. Here’s their pitch:

Calling Nonprofit Partners & Schools
to Receive Bikes!

 
Help us spread the news! We are excited to announce that we are ready for nonprofit partners to apply to receive bikes! This is our first call to nonprofits or school partners in Dane County who are ready to pickup bikes in FEBRUARY.
Due to unconventional times, we are doing things a bit differently this year. So, if you’re with a nonprofit or school that has the capacity to distribute bikes in FEBRUARY, please fill out our Apply for Bikes form on our website. If you have questions, please reach out to us at info@fb4kmadison.org. Let’s get rolling!
*Please note that FB4K does not give bikes to individuals. We give bikes to nonprofits or schools who are already working with area youth. If you’d like a bicycle, please reach out to a nonprofit that you receive services from.
APPLY FOR BIKES

Winter Cycling Congress

Speaking of winter biking: This Thursday and Friday, the international Winter Cycling Congress is taking place — of course all virtually. Madison Bikes is sponsoring Noelle Reading from Freewheel/Madison Bicycle Center to attend, and she’ll write up her experiences for our blog! Stay tuned.

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.