Speaking of John Nolen Drive, last week the Transportation Commission approved the design for the intersection of Broom Street and John Nolen Drive. The new intersection will be a great improvement of the current design: The bike/pedestrian crossing will become much wider and have space for people queuing at the crossing; a slip lane from John Nolen Drive to Broom will be removed, and there will be a connection to the to-be-built bike path on the north side of John Nolen Drive. And in case you were wondering: Yes, the City is making sure that the placement of the path will be compatible with a potential underpass at the North Shore Drive crossing.
Atwood Ave almost done
In other good news: The Atwood Avenue project is getting close to completion. The street is now open to two-way traffic. The only big missing piece is the completion of the bridge approaches for bike path on the south side of the project. Here are some pictures from last weekend of the path on the north side:
Save the date: Car-Free Holiday Fantasy in Lights, Nov 14
After we had hundreds of people walking and biking through the holiday Fantasy in Lights at Olin Park in early January, the organizers granted us permission to have another car-free event this year. Unfortunately we were given only a two-hour window before the cars come roaring back, but at least it’s earlier in the season. So save the date for November 14 at 5pm. We’re still working out some of the details and will keep you posted.
In 2010, the small community of specialists who pay attention to US road safety statistics picked up on a troubling trend: more and more pedestrians and cyclists were being killed on American roads. In fact, pedestrian deaths have increased 51 percent since reaching their low point in 2009. In addition to the loss of human life, it is estimated that road injuries will cost the world economy $1.8 trillion from 2015–2030.
THE STREET PROJECT is the story about humanity’s relationship to the streets and the global citizen-led fight to make communities safer. Digging deep into the root causes of traffic violence, the filmmakers engage a diverse array of experts. These expert interviews are interwoven with the stories of real people working to make their communities safer.
To discuss what the movie’s lesson are for our work in Madison to make streets safer for everyone and to reduce all traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero, we invited a number of speakers for a panel discussion following the movie. On the panel will be
We’re breezing right into fall this week- and it’s time to bundle up. Here are your weekly updates.
Photo: Rico Bucci, Bike Path Closure sign at John Nolan Dr. and Lakeside St.
John Nolen Drive Reconstruction Project— Broom Street Segment
The city’s monumental reconstruction project on John Nolen Drive continues to make progress. On the Transportation Committee’s agenda for Wednesday, October 11, 2023 is the approval of the roadway geometry for the reconstruction of John Nolen Drive. This proposed transformation spans the North Shore Drive, S Broom Street and John Nolen Drive area and carries significant benefits for Madison’s cyclists and pedestrians. In particular, the proposal will remove a dangerous “slip-lane.” The type of lane at the John Nolen Dr-Broom St junction that allows motorists to change roads without actually entering the intersection. These dangerous lanes are certainly one factor in a number of high-profile collisions in Madison in recent years. It is about time these widely known issues with the lanes are addressed.
Upcoming Bike Path Closure
Attention riders! We’re still a week away, but it’s time to prepare for upcoming closures and chilly weather on the Capital City Trail, between October 16-20 and October 23-27. You can expect the detour to add approximately 1.3 miles to your commute, so plan accordingly. The path will be open for the weekend of Oct. 21-22.
“The Capital City Trail will be closed along the John Nolen Drive causeway for two consecutive weeks for bridge repairs. The path will reopen for weekends.
The closure periods will be: 7:00 a.m. Monday, 10/16 until 5:00 p.m. Friday, 10/20 7:00 a.m. Monday, 10/23 until 5:00 p.m. Friday, 10/27
A signed detour will be in place to route path users around Monona Bay using W Lakeside St, S Shore Dr, W Shore Dr, and N Shore Dr.
The work is to repair the steel expansion joints on the bike path portion of the bridge until the full reconstruction of the John Nolen Drive causeway, scheduled for 2025-2026.“
In the news
Madison’s Department of Transportation plans to revitalize Park Street, prioritizing pedestrians and cyclists by introducing protected bike lanes and increased greenery as part of the bus rapid transit project.
The reconstruction, contingent on $6.8 million in local funding and $10 million in state money, also involves dedicated bus lanes, improved sidewalks, and potential federal Small Starts funding. The project covers Park Street between West Washington Avenue and Badger Road, aligning with the city’s broader plans for growth and redevelopment in South Madison. The city council is set to vote on the mayor’s capital and operating budgets on Nov. 14-16. If you want to learn more, see the full story here.
The Street Project Screening October 30th
Save the date for this exciting event organized by Madison Bikes, the Wisconsin Student Planning Association, and the Wisconsin chapter of the Congress for New Urbanism: On October 30, we will show “The Street Project,” a story about humanity’s relationship to the streets and the global citizen-led fight to make communities safer. Before the screening at 6pm, join us for a happy hour at the Sett Pub, and following the movie, we will host a panel discussion with local experts and advocates on street safety.
Alicia Bosscher, Organizer, Ride for Your Life
Baltazar De Anda Santana, Director, The Latino Academy of Workforce Development
Chris McCahill, President, The Congress for the New Urbanism – Wisconsin Chapter
Collin Mead, Wisconsin Bike Federation
Juliana Bennett, Madison Alder, Dist 2
Morgan Ramaker, Downtown Madison, Inc.
The event will take place at the Marquee Cinema at Union South. Admission is free, but please RSVP here. We are super excited about this event and hope to see many of you there.
Wow. The weather has been really spectacular for fall riding. I hope everyone is enjoying the opportunity to get out , whether for a ride, whether it’s commuting, doing errands, longer rides after work and weekends, or just bopping around seeing friends on the street. Soon we’ll be talking about tips for dealing with snow, ice, and cold, so let’s enjoy these last days.
Two rides this last week were blessed with perfect conditions. We had a good-sized group for the second social ride in partnership with Madison Is For People, starting at Machinery Row and ending at Garver Feed Mill after a ¾ loop of Lake Monona.
Then on Sunday, around 700 people joined the Ride For Your Life on a slow roll through the near west side and ending at the Capitol to honor Sarah Langenkamp – killed in Bethesda, MD, two years ago, and whose sister lives in Madison – and Tom Heninger – musician and teacher who was killed crossing John Nolen Drive. The ride also honors and remembers all the other people who have died from traffic violence. We ride to bring attention to the need for safer conditions for those walking, biking, and rolling on our street. Thanks to Bike Fed, Trek, and the City of Madison for helping make the ride happen.
The week ahead
The upcoming week is pretty quiet as far as city meetings. Budget season is upon us at the city, but there aren’t any budget meetings this week.
However, we got some good news recently when it was announced that money to design an underpass of John Nolen Drive was added to the budget by Alder Mike Verveer. This is a big win, and we can thank the people that both pushed for the city to look at this possibility and then testified about how much it was needed. This underpass is an example of the power of your voice.
The design of John Nolen Drive from North Shore Drive to Broom Street – the area where this underpass will be located – will be coming before the Transportation Commission on October 11. We’ll have more on that meeting in next week’s Monday Update.
Wednesday, the October Ride for Joe will be leaving the Fitchburg Senior Center at 10 am. These rides are geared to seniors, but anyone is welcome. The rides are in honor of Joe Imilkowski, long-time Fitchburg resident and avid bicyclist and senior center patron. Each month there is a little bike education along with the ride. This month the topic is Wisconsin Bike Laws.
On Thursday, two local TV stations ran stories about bike theft in Madison, and then the Wisconsin State Journal ran an article on Friday morning. We’ve seen a huge uptick in theft, as anyone who has followed our Facebook community discussion has seen. If you want to check out the news stories, as well as tips for keeping your bike safe, here are the links:
Ride for Your Life Madison is finally here this Sunday, October first. The ride has been discussed quite a bit in previous blog posts this summer. It is being held in memory of the tragic death of Sarah Langenkamp, as well as countless other cyclists and pedestrians killed by drivers in a country that has long prioritized motor vehicle convenience over public safety.
The ride is Sunday, October 1, 2023. Bicyclists will ride 5-6 miles at a slow pace, and pedestrians will walk 1 mile through Madison to the steps of the State Capitol. A rally to raise awareness of the need for pedestrian and cyclist safety will then be held. Ride staging begins at 2:00pmat Brittingham Park, and riders will depart at 2:30pm. The ride will end on the steps of the Capital with the rally ending at 4:00pm.
The city Finance Committee will vote on capital budget amendments on Monday. Alder Verveer has proposed two amendments that would significantly improve the John Nolen Drive project for bikes:
Amendment 6 would extend the project’s scope, allowing construction of a new multi-use path on the north side of North Shore Drive, from JND to Bedford
Amendment 7 would allocate $1M for design and another $4M for construction of a bike/walk underpass of John Nolen Drive at North Shore Drive, connecting to the path from Amendment 6, creating a safe route between downtown and the lakefront path that doesn’t rely on the bike elevator.
Send comments to email@example.com
The Bassett neighborhood has several overlapping path projects, all of which create a network much more connected to downtown. See a map of all existing and proposed projects below, courtesy of board member Craig Weinhold.
FB4K Bike Drive
Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison is hosting its first Fall bike drive Saturday, September 30 from 9am-2pm, with a goal of 400 bikes donated. They will spend the winter refurbishing them before giving them to folks unable to access their own. Please also volunteer to help unload bikes at the drive if you can. Gently used bikes of all sizes and styles are accepted. Bikes that cannot be saved can be dropped off with a $20 disposal donation. Bring bikes to 354 Coyier Lane, Madison, WI 53713 near Rimrock and the Beltline Highway. If you are unable to donate on the 30th, drop off Monday-Friday between 9:30-3pm at the same location. If you live in an apartment complex and see unused bikes at your bike rack, FB4K suggests asking your property manager to donate them before throwing them away!
Madison Is For People Ride
After a very well-attended first event, Madison Bikes is again co-hosting a group ride with Madison is For People. Both of our organizations believe in a Madison where safe and equitable car-free transportation is accessible to all. See the event page for more details.
The ride is roughly 7.5 miles, starting at Law Park off John Nolen Dr., near the B-Cycle station at 6pm. We’ll go counter-clockwise along the Lake Loop and end at Garver Feed Mill where we can hang out, chat, eat and drink. The pace will be leisurely, around 10 mph. Nobody will be left behind. This is a great opportunity to meet your fellow housing and bike advocates and have fun!
Sunset will be at 6:45pm, so you must bring bike lights!
Welcome to this week’s update! Here’s what you need to know this week about bike advocacy in the Madison area.
Campus area commuters needed
If you bike around the Madison campus, your help is needed to evaluate how bike friendly it is! UW-Madison has applied to renew its status as a Bicycle Friendly University and TheLeague of American Bicyclists (LAB) is sending out the survey to students and any other users of the bike infra around campus. If that’s you, please take the survey here! The input received will help the LAB award their final decision and will anonymously be included in feedback to the university. Your feedback is appreciated. To learn more about what it means to be a Bicycle Friendly University, check out the LAB website. Note: the survey closes Tuesday, Oct 10th at 11:59pm PT.
September Community Ride
Not this week, but next Friday, September 29th, we will be co-hosting another community ride with Madison is for People! The ride will meet at 6pm at Law Park near the BCycle station, take the lake loop counterclockwise at a casual pace, and end at Garver Feed Mill for food and beverages. The days are getting shorter so remember to bring lights!
In addition to riding your bike and having a great time, it’s a good opportunity for anyone interesting in joining the Madison Bikes board (see below) to chat with current board members and get your questions answered. Check out the event on Facebook and let us know if you can make it. We’d love to see you there!
Ride For Your Life
Looking ahead to October 1st: The “Ride For Your Life”, a 5-6 mile advocacy ride will be taking place. The ride is in memory of Sarah Langenkamp, and any cyclist who has needlessly lost their life on the road. It’s long overdue that everyone stands up and demands safer places for biking and walking. The ride will meet at Brittingham park at 2pm, with a departure time of 2:30 and end at the Wisconsin State Capitol, to rally for congress to fund safer infrastructure. If you can make it, be sure to register on the website. The ride is free and open to all. Volunteers are also needed to help with crossings and other support. We hope you can participate. If you do, you’ll be helping make biking safer in Wisconsin and standing up for something you believe in, which is pretty cool.
We want you to join the board!
Yes, you! If you enjoy biking infrastructure, advocacy, volunteering for a good cause, or you just want to see fewer cars in your life, consider filling out an application. The application is not a commitment. It’s just to let us know you’re interested in getting involved.
We’re seeking members from all areas of the Madison community. We want your perspective and ideas on how to make Madison a more comfortable and safe place to get around!
The City of Madison just applied to have their Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community status renewed from the League of American Bicyclists. Platinum is the second highest level, and cities need to reapply every 5 years to maintain their status. As part of the process, the League is seeking your input to gain a better understanding of local bicyclists’ experiences in Madison. Please take a minute to complete this brief survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BFC_local_Fall23
Save the date(s)
A reminder that the Ride For Your Life Madison is coming up soon. If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so at https://rideforyourlife.org. Madison Bikes is co-organizing the event, and it would be great if we could get some additional volunteers to help.
Sarah Langenkamp was tragically killed by a truck while bicycling home from her sons’ elementary school in Bethesda, Maryland, on August 25, 2022. In the wake of her death, her family organized Ride For Your Life in Washington D.C. This event joined forces with activists across the country to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety on our streets.
This fall, Ride For Your Life is coming to Madison, WI! On Sunday, October 1, 2023, cyclists will ride 5-6 miles and pedestrians will walk 1 mile through Madison to the steps of the State Capitol for a rally to raise awareness of the need for pedestrian and cyclist safety.
There are no big meetings this week, but there are some interesting events happening. Classes start at the UW on Tuesday, so the streets, sidewalks, and paths should be back to their busy state.
One member of our Facebook community was surprised by the massive crowds of Badger fans around Camp Randall as she returned from a ride on Saturday. Those of us who have been here awhile know not to attempt to use the SW Path before and after games, but it’s kind of a shock for newcomers!
And kids are back at K-12 classes as well, so we will probably see younger kids riding to and from school with their parents, and older kids riding in groups and going to after-school activities. Be patient if you see these less-experienced bicyclists sharing your route. Slow down and give them a little extra space. We had requests from kids during Bike Week to please slow down near the schools, yes even on your bike.
You can enjoy dance on several area bike paths via the Shifting Gears Festival that will take place in Brittingham Park, McPike Park, Wirth Court Park, and the Timekeeper Sculpture at the Monona Terrace from noon-6:00 pm.
The cityStreet Use Staff Commission will meet at 10 am. One topic is Park(ing) Day, which takes place on September 15. The UW student chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects has requested that they be allocated two stalls on Langdon St next to Memorial Union to turn them into a parklet. Park(ing) Day used to be a big deal here in Madison, but now it seems that everyone has forgotten about it. Maybe because we are indeed reallocating parking spaces for other uses, such as outdoor seating for restaurants in commercial districts, bike parking corrals, and bike lanes.
Also Wednesday, the Parks Commission will meet at 6 pm, and on the agenda is authorization to apply for a grant from Dane County to build a recreational biking project in County Grove Path. It’s unclear to me what this would be, but it looks like there are mountain bike trails planned for the park. (See pages 9 and 17 of the document for the meeting.)
Wisconsin Bike Fed is holding a training from 12:30-4:30 pm at Oak Park Manor for those who would like to help with the Cycling Without Age program. Although their website says that you need to register by Sept 3, maybe they will still accept registrations if you call.
The monthly Ride for Joe will meet at the Fitchburg Senior Center at 10 am. These are ride-and-learn events that cover basic bicycling topics and then go for a leisurely ride. They are geared to seniors, but anyone can join.
These rides are in memory of Joe Imilkowski, long-time Fitchburg resident and avid bicyclist and senior center patron. These rides are geared for seniors, but all are welcome. At the request of those riding in previous months, two longer distances will be offered, about 12 and about 20 miles, principally on multi-use paths. Helmets are required. Rides will start with the topic of the month, short safety briefing, and ABC Quick Checks of bikes. The topic for September will be cool weather riding. On line registration and liability waiver are required, but can be done at ride time.
As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.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.
After a stretch of weather that made any physical activity — or even being outside — extremely uncomfortable, if not dangerous, the weather cooled just in time for our social ride in partnership with Madison is for People. It was a great ride, with more than 50 people joining us, far more than we expected. After meeting at Law Park by Machinery Row, we rode counterclockwise around the lake and ended at the East Side Club for socializing and beverages.
Madison is for People has geared up in the last year to push for more housing and better, denser land use in the city. This makes walking, biking, and transit use easier as well, and gives more people an opportunity to live where car-free or car-lite living is practical. There is a lot of overlap in our messages, and it was great for the two groups to learn a bit more about what the other was doing.
In addition to learning about each other and enjoying a relaxed ride, this event made clear that there is a real desire for rides that make everyone feel welcome, rides where we take it slow and just enjoy the company.
What else should we do at community metings?
We’ve been looking for ideas on what we should do at our monthly community meetings, and these rides are one idea. What else would you like to see at the community meetings, especially when the weather is less accommodating to being outside? Talks and information? Movies? Social opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to see, or maybe if you have an idea that you’d like to present. You can email us at email@example.com
The week ahead
There aren’t any city meetings that directly affect bicycling, but if you are ever interesting in seeing what committees are doing, you can access the weekly city meeting schedule and then click through to agendas on the city’s website. For instance, you might want to know what the Plan Commission or the Sustainable Madison Committee is up to this week.
There are a couple of bike-related events this week. We won’t be holding our usual community meeting, because we just had the social ride.
Monday, Bike Fitchburg will be meeting on at 7 pm at Oasis Café, 2690 Research Park Dr E, Fitchburg.
Friday, the Bi-weekly Ride for Trans Rights will meet at 6:00 pm at Law Park. More information can be found at their Facebook event.
Watch out for your bike
There has been an uptick in stolen bikes posted on our Facebook Community page. Maybe this is due to all the new people in town and thieves taking advantage of people not locking their bikes, or maybe all the moving in and out has allowed unauthorized people into buildings and garages. Either way, be especially careful to lock your bike if you are in a new apartment or aren’t sure about the security of a location. And remember that you can register your bike or report a stolen bike at the BikeIndex, a national database.
And watch out on the streets too
With all the new people in town, as well as dorm move-in Aug 30 and Sept 1, there are a lot of people that aren’t used to seeing bicyclists everywhere. And people may be lost, frustrated, tired, or generally unaware of how things roll (and walk) in Madison. Bike crashes go up significantly every year in late-August and early-September, so take it easy, and have some patience with all the new folks.
Join our board!
If you would like to help with our mission, consider joining the Madison Bikes board of directors. We are an all-volunteer organization, so the board both shapes policy and the activities we undertake as well as often doing the day-to-day work. We are always looking for people to join the board, as people step down, move, or need to change their time allocation. Everyone has a talent and skills we can use, but most important is probably enthusiasm to move bicycling and policy forward in Madison. Fill out the application by September 29. Terms start in January.
Last week’s update didn’t include the public information about the 2023 Bikeways improvements that took place on Thursday. The Bikeways program is a pot of money in the city budget to create small improvements to the bike network, or to repair parts of the existing network. This round there are four projects:
UW Arboretum Entrance: This is a 10’ shared use path connecting Manitou Way with McCaffrey Drive, which is the western entrance to the UW arboretum. This project is contingent on the granting of an easement from the University of Wisconsin. It includes an RRFB pedestrian crossing.
Odana Road Cycletrack: This is primarily an on-street, two-way protected cycletrack on the south side of Odana Road from Wedgewood Way to Charles Lane, where it connects with a spur of the Southwest Commuter Path. This project is adjacent to the Odana Hills Golf Course. It includes new curb and gutter and limited pavement replacements near Wedgewood Way as well as the Southwest Commuter Path spur.
Lakeside Cycletrack: This is an off-street, two-way cycletrack on the south side of Lakeside St connecting two sides of the Bay Creek Neighborhood in south Madison. It includes the removal of parking on the block, pavement replacement, and new curb and gutter. This project has been discussed in a public informational meeting for 2022 Bikeways.
Elver Park Path: This is a repair of an existing path in Elver Park between McKenna Boulevard and South Gammon Rd., and a section of the Greentree Park Path north of McKenna Boulevard. This project will include a new culvert at the north end of the path to improve drainage.
You can watch a recording of the August 17 meeting here and send any additional feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. The next step is that the city will take the input and then bring the projects to the Transportation Commission later this year. We’ll keep you posted.
Social ride this Friday
Remember: This Friday, Madison Bikes and Madison is for People are hosting their joint social ride. Start at the Law Park BCycle Station at 6pm and ride around the Lake Loop until we hit the East Side Club for a get-together. The weather forecast looks great, and so we hope to see many of you! Facebook event link.