Weekly Update

Pedaling Progress: A Spring Roundup of Bike Advocacy Wins and Woes

A lone cyclist rides on the University Ave Bike Path in Madison.
A cyclist on the University Ave Bike Path | Photo by Christo Alexander

Another weekly update is here! It’s time to talk about our favorite delightful, radical, and sustainable transportation method. Here’s what you need to know about the Madison biking world this week.

Spring Election

Tuesday, April 4th is the Spring Election! The results can impact biking, walking, transit, and housing, so it’s really important to get out and make your voice heard. If you haven’t voted by mail yet, you still can still vote in-person on Tuesday. The city website has a page to help you find your nearest polling place.

Waucheeta Bike Trail

In March, Dane County donated $913,000 to construct a new trail between Lake Farm County Park and Waucheeta Tr., West of Lake Waubesa. The trail will connect the Lower Yahara River Trail to the Waubesa Beach neighborhood. The estimated completion is in late 2024 or 2025. While a full bike-friendly or low-stress loop of Waubesa is still a long way off, this is a great step in the right direction.

The approximate location of the trail for which the money has been donated, West of Lake Waubesa in Madison.
The approximate location of the trail for which the money has been donated, West of Lake Waubesa in Madison.

Madison’s Everyday Engineering Podcast

Have you ever wondered what Safe Streets is about? The Madison’s Everyday Engineering podcast has an episode with Traffic and City Engineers to explain how the project works. Take a listen to learn about the feedback from the community and how the city plans to implement the life-saving designs. You can also listen to their most recent episode about the John Nolen redesign project for information on the proposals and next steps. Listen for free here!

Freewheel Closing Sale

Freewheel bike shop in downtown Madison will be closing its doors on June 16th. The shop was truly dedicated to transportation equity and sustainability, and it’s really sad to see it go. Until then, you can still visit for some really good deals on tools, parts, accessories, and complete bikes. The first sale day was Saturday, April 1st, and is scheduled to continue again this Saturday and Sunday from 12-5pm. It’s always best to check their social media for updates.

That’s all for this update! Thank you for being a part of the many individuals and organizations working tirelessly to promote sustainable transportation options in our city. Let’s continue to work together to build a more equitable future for all.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Bike News E-Mail Weekly Update

Advocacy Aplenty

A cyclist rides and waves near the John Nolen Dr/North Shore Dr intersection (Cyclists of Madison)

Last Week

madisonforall produced an excellent video detailing and commenting on the city’s four proposed design alternatives for John Nolen Drive @ North Shore Dr. This one of the busiest bike/ped/car intersections in the city and there are several components of its current design that can make it rather treacherous for bicyclists and pedestrians. Spoiler: Several of the proposed alternatives are just as bad and there’s important work to be done!

Seairra Sheppard posted a thoughtful article to discussing the state of the city’s Vision Zero initiative. If you’ve not been keeping up with all the ways Vision Zero is affecting development around the city, this is a great way to catch up. Also, Madison Bikes board member quoted in the article? Check!

This Week

On Monday, Bike Fitchburg is hosting their monthly meeting from 7pm-8:30pm at KL Engineering, not too far removed from Military Ridge Trail @ McKee Rd.

The city posted an update regarding planned bike boulevard improvements to W Main St and there’s good and bad news. The beacon and median island at Proudfit St/W Main St are on track for construction this summer but the remaining work will be delayed with no concrete ETA at the moment.

Bicycle Benefits organizers are looking for ambassadors who would be willing to “ride around the area to see if they have signage up, BB stickers stocked and employees [that are] in the know.” If this sounds like your jam then hit up

Next Week

Transportation Policy and Planning Board is meeting next Monday, April 3 @ 5pm. No specific agenda posted yet, but they will probably cover items from the last meeting that was cancelled.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Weekly Update

Spring is Here, Cap City Extension, BCycle Launch

Spring is officially here! To start off the season, we can expect mild weather this week and the disappearance of the remaining snow. This is a good time of year to tune up your bike and perform an ABC (Air, Brakes, Chain) check.

TC and TPPB Cancelled

The Transportation Commission (TC) meeting on Wednesday and the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) meeting on Monday were cancelled this week.

Capitol City Path Extension

The city of Madison has submitted plans to the Transportations Alternatives Program (TAP) to extend the Capital City Path to connect with the Glacial Drumlin State Trail. This state trail currently runs 52 miles between the cities of Waukesha and Cottage Grove, stopping short of Madison. Recent permission from the Wisconsin DOT to share the rail corridor passing under the 39/90 interstate highway has cleared the final major barrier to accomplish this project. However, only part of the trail lies within Madison city limits and action by Dane County is needed to complete the final connection to Cottage Grove.

Madison Bikes Election Questionnaire

The Madison mayoral and alder election on April 4th is quickly approaching. If you are unsure how to cast your vote, I recommend reading candidate responses to the Madison Bikes 2023 Election Questionnaire. Who we elect to public office has a big impact on how the city prioritizes and supports biking, walking and transit. We need your vote to keep the momentum behind bike friendly initiatives like Complete Green Streets, Vision Zero and Transportation Demand Management.

Remember, Madison Bikes is a 501(c)(3) and does not endorse or oppose specific political candidates.

BCycle 2023 Launch

Madison BCycle stations reopened on March 15th for 2023. This year new stations were added in Fitchburg, the Sequoya Branch Library and many others. You can view a full map of available stations here:

The new Madison BCycle station at the Sequoya Branch Library

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Weekly Update

BRT, TC, TPPB, oh my

Winter isn’t quite done with us yet. [sigh] The coming week is very slow for activities. But a few things happened in the past week that may be of interest. And a meeting Tuesday will provide information on construction of the BRT, which might mess up a few bike routes during construction. More on that below.

What happened last week?

The Transportation Commission and the Transportation Planning and Policy Board voted to merge, and the Council confirmed that decision. Because many issues have been presented at both bodies, and members of the public were confused about the duties of each body, it made sense to merge them. This will mean a heavier workload for the consolidated commission, but will probably streamline decisions in the long run. 

The change will probably not take effect until May, after the new alders take office and are appointed mayor – whoever she may be – appoints alders. Some citizen positions are up for renewal, and obviously, not everyone will continue on the new commission, so we’ll see what the new body will look like.

The TPPB voted to eliminate some old ordinances that were unclear and outdated. One prohibited riding a bicycle across a footbridge, but didn’t indicate which bridges this might cover. So maybe we’ve all been riding illegally across the Jenifer Street bridge across the Yahara? Who knows, but we don’t have to worry about that now.

The TPPB also voted to eliminate the ordinance prohibiting “trick riding” on a bicycle. Again, what activities were prohibited was never defined. Wheelies? BMX tricks? 

Coming up – construction and planning

A reminder that Walnut St is closed between University Ave the Campus Dr and RR bridge. You can still access Walnut northbound from the Campus Dr Path, but cannot go under Campus Dr. The railroad is fixing the RR bridge, and no traffic of any kind – bikes, cars, pedestrians – are allowed until the work is done. The intended finish date is March 19, but that is subject to change.

Finally, looking forward a couple of months, the Madison Bikes board and volunteers are planning for Bike Week, happening June 3-10. If you would like to help us plan or execute the event, please email And if you are involved with a business, club, group, community organization, or non-profit that might want to put on an event during the week – a ride, commuter station, class, bike wash, discount, speaker, or swag giveaway (or anything else you can imagine), you’ll want to contact Liz as well. 

We’ll be sending out reminders about events for the week, but it’s always a good idea to start thinking and planning well in advance. 

Public meeting Tuesday on BRT construction and connected detours. 

Metro Transit will hold a public information meeting on Tuesday, March 14 at 6:00 pm to talk about construction updates. Please register in advance. 
There will be construction and closures of various durations from now through the summer as infrastructure for the BRT is built. Coming up right away, starting Monday, March 13, Sheboygan Avenue will be fully closed to traffic just east of Eau Claire Avenue. The city’s website says the closure will continue until mid-July. Sidewalk access will be maintained.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

Weekly Update

TC/TPPB merger; decriminalizing biking; equity for non-drivers; jobs

A person biking on Observatory Drive toward the UW Hospital. There are still remains of snow on the ground.

TC/TPPB joint meeting

The Transportation Commission (TC) and the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) are having a joint meeting on Monday. One of the main agenda items is a proposal to combine the two bodies into one. Currently, the TPPB is tasked with making higher-level policy decisions about transportation, whereas the TC’s job is to make sure those policies are implemented. However, what counts as a policy decision and what counts as implementation isn’t always neatly delineated, leading to duplication and friction between the work of the two bodies. If the proposal moves forward, the two bodies would be combined into a new Transportation Commission.

After the joint meeting, the TPPB will have its own separate meeting, and there are several agenda items related to biking: First, a proposal to remove the prohibition of “trick riding” and riding on footbridges from our ordinances. What is “trick riding” and why is it prohibited? Well, that’s not really spelled out, and that’s part of the problem: Many municipalities have ordinances that make it illegal to ride no-handed, to engage in “fancy riding,” to ride without both feet on the pedals, and so on. These laws are rarely enforced, but when they are, research shows that they are almost always enforced in a racially discriminatory way. And in terms of safety they don’t have any positive impact. Is it a good idea to ride no-handed or pop a wheelie on a busy downtown street? Probably not. But an ordinance prohibiting it doesn’t improve safety. Madison already repealed the mandatory bike registration ordinance in 2020, and abolishing this ordinance is another step in the vein of decriminalizing biking. For a more in-depth perspective on this topic, I highly recommend this episode of the Arrested Mobility podcast and this BikeWalk Kansas City guide.

The other proposed ordinance changes are about bike shops: Did you know that if you want to open a bike shop in Madison you have to get a license first and then pay $100 a year to maintain that license? Or that you can be fined $10 for loaning a bike to a friend if it doesn’t have proper safety equipment? These ordinances are on the chopping block. You can register in support or opposition to any of the items here:

Transportation Commission

In addition to the joint meeting on Monday, the Transportation Commission is also meeting on Wednesday. The agenda is short and the only possibly bike-relevant item is a reconstruction of a stretch of Harvey St and Schmitt Pl. Harvey St runs parallel to University Ave, and as the University Ave reconstruction doesn’t include any bike facilities, this may be an opportunity for improving a parallel (but discontinuous) route.

Queer Ride

On Wednesday it’s time for the monthly Madison Queer Ride. 6pm, Law Park. “We will bike across Monona via John Nolen, take the Wingra path through to the SW Commuter and then make our way back to Law Park. Social hour and warmup at Garth’s.”

Advancing equity for non-drivers webinar

Did you know that 31% of the Wisconsin population are considered to be “non-drivers”? Some of us are too young or too old to drive, some have health conditions or disabilities that prevent us from driving, and some of us can’t afford to drive (or don’t want to). Nonetheless, everyone has mobility needs, and for non-drivers those needs are often badly met. The Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Board of People with Developmental Disabilities, and Disability Rights Wisconsin are hosting a “moderated conversation will consider what challenges exist and steps that can be taken in creating transportation equity for non-drivers in Wisconsin.” Tuesday, 11 am to noon on Facebook Live.


Over the weekend it’s time for Bike-O-Rama again. At the Alliant Center you’ll have an opportunity to look at and test ride hundreds (thousands?) of bikes from local retailers. Admission is free.

Fitchburg Bicycle Friendly Community survey

Fitchburg is going for gold. The League of American Bicyclist’s Bicycle Friendly Communities program previously awarded Fitchburg silver status, and now the city and advocates are hoping that they can level up. As part of the application and review, the Bike League is looking for input from local riders. So if you want to share your impressions of biking in Fitchburg, take a survey here. The feedback from that survey is aggregated and shared back to the city.

Madison Bike Week is coming! June 3-10

It’s only early March, but it’s never too early to put Madison Bike Week on your calendar. June 3-10 are the dates this year and we’ll soon start releasing more information. If you have any immediate questions or want to become a sponsor, shoot us an email.

Jobs, jobs, jobs

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

E-Mail Guest post

Governor Evers’ Biennial Budget:  It’s Time To Do The Right Thing

This is a guest post by Kirsten Finn, executive director of the Wisconsin Bike Fed. The article was originally published on the Bike Fed website.

View of the Wisconsin State Capitol from State Street. A group of people on bikes rides through the foreground.

In the overview of Governor Evers’ 2023-2025 budget he acknowledges that, with a $7 billion dollar state surplus, it is time to invest in Wisconsin’s future by addressing long neglected needs and “doing the right thing” instead of just getting by. One of the “right things” that the Governor’s budget addresses is addressing Wisconsin’s long neglected active transportation network.

According to the League of American Bicyclists most recent Bicycle Friendly States Rankings, Wisconsin currently ranks 49th out of 50 states in the amount of money we spend on biking and walking at just $.85 per capita. Under the new federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, also called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL), there is significantly more money available for biking and walking.

Once stuck at $7.4 million dollars annually, the Governor’s budget calls for $18.2 million annually for the Transportation Alternatives Plan (TAP). The Bike Fed encourages WisDOT to appropriate even more of the available Federal dollars for TAP so that Wisconsin can match the national average of spending 2.2% of its transportation on biking and walking. However, this increase will allow us to address many critical bike/ped projects around the State.

Since the beginning of the year, Bike Fed has partnered with WisDOT to help small communities access TAP funding by providing technical assistance in developing proposals. We have learned that rural communities have a dire need for TAP dollars to improve safety for people biking and walking, but the required 20% local match often means they are unable to apply. 

Neighboring states are using Highway Safety Improvement (HSIP) dollars or toll revenue to address this issue, but Wisconsin has not previously provided support to small communities. The Bike Fed raised this concern with the Governor’s staff and, in response, Governor Evers has proposed $1.2 million annually to provide matching funds for TAP projects for small communities. Additionally, the Governor included $60 million for traffic calming grants to combat reckless driving and make biking, running and walking safer. 

The Governor’s budget also calls for two pieces of bike-friendly legislation that are critical to Wisconsin being a truly great state for cycling. A Complete Streets Policy prioritizes the safety of all roadway users over the speed of moving cars. In 2009 the Wisconsin state legislature passed a Complete Streets Law which in part stated that the Wisconsin DOT shall refuse to provide any state and federal funds to highway reconstruction projects that don’t include bicycle and pedestrian ways – i.e. sidewalks and/or marked or unmarked bike lanes. In 2015, the statute was altered to make Complete Streets a consideration, but not a requirement. Governor Evers’s proposal to make Complete Streets a requirement would eliminate the necessity of offering traffic calming grants to re-engineer streets that are built with no regard to cyclists and pedestrian safety in the future.

For the past two years, the Bike Fed has participated in the Wisconsin Non-Driver Advisory Council and Governor Evers’ budget provides further support for people who do not drive cars – including teens, the elderly and people with disabilities – to access employment, healthcare and recreation opportunities by increasing state support of mass transit by 4% each calendar year.

Finally, the Governor also recommends giving local units of government the authority to use eminent domain to purchase land for the construction of nonmotorized paths. Extending the same common sense policy to acquiring easements for sidewalks and bike paths that is used for building or expanding roads for cars, would enable Wisconsin to finish critical links in our State’s cycling network.

Cycling is good for Wisconsinites, and good for Wisconsin’s economy.  The University of Wisconsin 2019 study concludes that cycling contributes over $2.52 billion dollars to our economy each year. The Bike Fed supports Governor Evers’ proposed investments in programs that will improve the safety and convenience of Wisconsin’s cycling infrastructure. 

The Governor’s budget can be viewed on the State of Wisconsin website. The Bike Fed will hold an Advocacy Day at the State Capitol on Thursday, March 9th to support budget proposals that are favorable to biking and walking. Sign up to join us here

Weekly Update

Community Meeting, MPO on TAP, Autumn Ridge Path

Photo: Cyclists of Madison Mastodon

It’s looking relatively warm this week, but keep the studs on and watch out for freeze/thaw ice patches. For more pictures of people enjoying biking in Madison, visit our Mastodon page.

Last Week

Tuesday: Madison had a very strong turnout for the Spring primary election, a reflection of the critical importance of this year’s WI supreme court race. That said, kudos to all of you making your voice heard in local aldermanic and mayoral elections as well. Strong local political leadership is a key part of successful of bike safety and accessibility projects in Madison.

Friday: In case you missed it, Madison Bikes provided comments on the city’s Reconnecting Communities federal grant application. The city hopes to build an overpass connecting N. and S. Perry St. on the South Side. Currently, the Beltline cuts these two streets in half. Hopefully, this project could increase bicyclist and pedestrian access across the Beltline.

This Week

Monday: Join us on Zoom from 6:00 – 7:30 PM to discuss the three final proposals for the Monona Lakefront Design Project. We plan to assess how each proposal contributes to an all ages and abilities bike network, especially in relation to safe connections from the Cap City across John Nolen to access the Capitol. We’d love to hear what you like about the proposals, what you don’t, and any other ideas you have about the John Nolen Drive project. If you aren’t familiar, feel free to explore the links and join us to learn more.

Wednesday: Madison MPO meets at 6:30 PM this week. TAP project scoring for applications from February is on the agenda. Scores will be used to prioritize distribution of $3.5 million in TAP funds. Link here to the draft project scores plus a link to join the meeting.

In case you missed it, the WI Bike Fed recently discussed Governor Evers’ pledge to leverage more federal and state funds to support TAP projects, along with other important bike policies, in his biennial budget. Governor Evers acknowledged the state has a $7 billion budget surplus, and with Wisconsin ranking 49/50 in per-capita pedestrian and bicyclist spending, spending some of that surplus is long overdue.

Thursday: The city is hosting a public information meeting on the Autumn Ridge Path project. Plans include an enhanced crossing of Milwaukee St. east of HW51 and a bike/ped overpass for HW30 just west of Thomson Dr. The HW30 overpass would be the only low-stress crossing east of HW51, would link nicely with the HW51 overpass, and would serve as an important connection between residential and commercial areas on either side of HW30. Info and meeting registration here.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.

In The News

Madison seeks to reconnect south side neighborhood through federal funding


MADISON, Wis. — Hundreds of millions of federal dollars could make their way to Madison to bridge the divide between neighborhoods on the city’s south side.

Weekly Update

Spring Primary; Transportation Commission; John Nolen Redesign

A cyclist dressed for winter rides along the snowy Yahara River Bike path.
A cyclist riding along the Yahara River Bike Path

Welcome to this week’s update! We hope you have been enjoying the wide range of Winter cycling weather we’ve been having. If being on two wheels is bringing you half the joy it’s brought me this season, I’d say you’re doing great. Here’s what you need to know about bike advocacy in Madison this week.

Spring Primary

Get out and vote! Tuesday, February 21st is the Spring Primary to nominate non-partisan candidates to be voted for at the Spring Election. By casting your vote, you are helping to shape the future of your local government and make an impact on issues that matter to you, like the quality of biking in this wonderful city. Earlier this month, we asked the candidates about about their positions on transportation, housing, and sustainability. You can learn more and read the candidates’ responses to the questions here.

Transportation Commission meeting

Wednesday, the Transportation Commission will meet virtually at 5PM. The agenda includes a contract for analysis on pedestrian and bike infrastructure gaps near BRT stations and a TAP grant application for the Glacial Drumlin Connector and West Towne Path projects. The connector project aims to connect the Capital City Trail near I-90 to the Glacial Drumlin trailhead in Cottage Grove, which is a crucial missing link for cyclists heading East from Madison. Check out this link to watch the meeting or learn more.

John Nolen Redesign meeting

There will be a public information meeting on the John Nolen Drive Redesign project on Thursday at 6:30PM. The first phase of the project addresses the causeway from East Lakeside Street to North Shore Drive. The plans include some exciting improvements like expanding the multi-use path to separate bike and pedestrian traffic and a path underpass between North Shore Drive and Broom Street. The project is scheduled to run through 2026.

An aerial shot of John Nolen Drive and East Olin Ave, with Lake Monona and downtown Madison in the background
John Nolen Drive and Lake Monona |

Looking Ahead: Community Meeting

Finally, we want to hear your input on the Monona Waterfront Design challenge! Join us on Monday, Feb 27th for a community meeting where we will discuss the plans and what they mean for people on bikes. You can find more info on our Facebook event.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.


Spring 2023 Elections: Candidate Questionnaire Responses

A blue "Vote" yard sign in front of Memorial Union. The sign has an arrow pointing to the right, where there are a large number of bikes parked

Spring 2023 is election timeThe Spring Primary is on February 21; Spring Election is on April 4. The results of those elections can have a great impact on biking, walking, transit, and housing. Madison Bikes, together with Madison is for People and Madison Area Bus Advocates, reached out to all candidates for mayor and common council to ask them about their positions on transportation, housing, and sustainability.

Thank you to the 21 (as of this posting) candidates that took the time to respond. You can read all of their responses here:

Madison Bikes is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and does not endorse or oppose any candidate.