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Bike News

Wisconsin Bike Fed is Hiring

Want to work in bike advocacy? Our friends from the Wisconsin Bike Fed are hiring for some cool (paid) positions, including a membership director and a membership coordinator. More details here.

2016-05-18_09_07_08-Jobs___Wisconsin_Bike_Fed.png

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Bike News

May 18: Monona Sustainable Transportation Meeting

I just received word that there is an ongoing effort in Monona to improve cycling and walking. Tomorrow (May 18) at 5:30pm there will be a kick-off meeting at Monona City Hall.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Monona+City+Hall/@43.0633561,-89.3416618,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x880653b616867f17:0x848a557221558c4a!8m2!3d43.0633561!4d-89.3394731?hl=en

For more information, contact Brad Bruun (bbruun@ci.monona.wi.us, 222.2525×7402).

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Bike News

Bike commute share in Madison

Bike to Work: Cycling Commuters[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

May is National Bike to Work Week, and May 16-20 is National Bike to Work Week (not to be confused with Madison Bike Week…). To celebrate that occasion, the Census Bureau released a nice visualization of the 20 cities with the highest proportion of people riding their bikes to work. With 5.3 percent, Madison makes seventh place overall and first in the Midwest!

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Bike News

Building the Lower Yahara River Trail

As several news outlets have reported, construction has begun on the new segment of the Lower Yahara River Trail. This trail will connect Madison to McFarland and, in a later stage, Stoughton. Once completed, the trail will provide a convenient, safe, and scenic link between those communities, likely attracting a lot of recreational as well as transportation cycling. Dane County Parks published two aerial videos of the location of the trail, one before construction started and one after. Definitely worth watching.

[edit: they’ve since been removed from YouTube — enjoy the trail!]

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Bike News

Public Meeting: East Johnson Street Reconstruction, 4/28

A stretch of East Johnson Street, between Baldwin and First St, is going to be reconstructed in 2018. The first public involvement meeting is tonight (4/28), 6-8pm at Lapham Elementary School, 1045 E. Dayton Street, Madison, WI 53703

Stretch of Johnson Street to be reconstructed

Despite it’s relatively short length, this stretch is an important piece towards a complete network of high-quality bike facilities.  Please attend the public meeting and make your voice heard. The current plan provides only for unprotected on-street bike lanes, and even those will disappear in some places:

“On-street bicycle accommodations in both directions will be provided as part of the project. The exception being between Marston Avenue and the Yahara River (adjacent to Tenney Park), where an outbound on-street bike lane will be provided but an inbound bike-lane will not. Inbound bicyclists and pedestrians will utilize the existing multi-use path within Tenney Park.”

More information on the project can be found from the City of Madison: https://www.cityofmadison.com/news/public-involvement-meeting-for-east-johnson-street-reconstruction

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Bike News

New Traffic Incident Reporting Tool for near west side neighborhoods

If you’re riding a bike or walking your neighborhood, every once in a while you’ll have an encounter with another road user that is less than pleasant. In a few cases, there will be an actual collision and a police report will be filed. But many, more minor incidents, near misses, or rude behavior will go unreported. The Regent Neighborhood Association has created a tool to keep track of these incidents in order to collect data that might pinpoint trouble spots or bad infrastructure.

Screen shot of traffic incident reporting tool

Writes Charlie Peters, chair of the Streets and Transportation Committee:

“There has been a rash of accidents involving pedestrians and automobiles in the neighborhood recently. Between February 11th and March 15th there were 5 reported cases of pedestrians being hit by automobiles. These were at several locations and due to a variety of circumstances, but in general reflect a serious problem. As you may have read in recent Regent Neighborhood Association newsletters we have formed a streets and transportation committee that has been meeting to develop plans for improved pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

One tool that we have developed is an on-line Traffic Incident Report which provides an opportunity for Regent neighbors to note concerns involving negative, or potentially negative, interactions between pedestrians and/or bicyclists and automobiles. These concerns may include close calls witnessed, infrastructure issues, speed violations, accidents witnessed, etc. In short, if there is anything regarding transportation in the neighborhood that you regard as troubling, please report it using this tool. Results of this tool will be a database that can be used to support improved safety.

This is meant to provide information in addition to, not instead of, concerns reported through more formal means – 911 calls, Alder communication, and use of on-line city of Madison reporting tools.

The tool can be accessed on-line at:
http://goo.gl/forms/R5c5NOK5ww
or you can email me at capeters53@gmail.com and I will provide you an email copy.

If you would like to work more closely with the Streets and Transportation Committee please email me.
Thanks for helping us make our neighborhood safer.

While this tool was developed for The Regent Neighborhood Association Members, I’d be happy to work with other local neighborhood associations on this effort and have included Dudgeon Monroe and Vilas neighborhood selections at this time.”

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Bike News

Planning for 2050: Public meetings for the Regional Transportation Plan 2050

Three open houses will be held to discuss the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan for the Madison metro area.

Madison: Wednesday March 2, 4:30-7:00 pm, Urban League of Greater Madison, 2222 S Park St
Verona: Thursday, March 3, 2016 4:30-7:00 pm. City of Verona Fire Station, 101 Lincoln Street
Sun Prairie: Monday, March 7, 2016 4:30-7:00 pm. Sun Prairie Municipal Building (City Hall), 300 E Main St

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Bike News

State Board: No Contraflow Bike Lane on Mifflin

Getting across the Capitol Square on a bike can be a big hassle, and it’s not going to get better any time soon, given the decision by a rather obscure committee against a contraflow bike lane on Mifflin Street.
 The circuitous route across the Capitol Square (Image: Google Maps)
The circuitous route across the Capitol Square (Image: Google Maps)
To get across the Capitol Square on your bike is not that great. Probably the worst case scenario is going from West Mifflin Street to East Mifflin Street: If you want to obey all rules and ordinances, first you have to walk your bike through Philosopher’s Grove (it’s a sidewalk; no cycling allowed). Then you’ll wait at the light on State Street to turn right onto Carroll (which is all uphill). Six traffic lights later, you’ll finally be able to turn off onto Hamilton and then East Mifflin. In reality, of course, most people just ride on the sidewalk or, more dangerously, on the road against traffic to get to their destination.
To improve this situation, the City of Madison proposed a contraflow bike lane. IN a first stage, the lane would only be on Mifflin, with the potential of eventually going around the entire Capitol Square. Because the State has jurisdiction over the sidewalk, the parking lane, and the innermost traffic lane on the Square, the proposed solution already was a compromise: On-street parking would remain, and the contraflow lane would be squeezed in between a travel and the parking lane (with a painted buffer on both sides). Conflict with cars entering and exiting the parking lane or with opening car doors are certainly an issue. But at least as a short-term solution, the contraflow lane would still have been a marked improvement over the status quo. This position was also the canon of a number of local bike advocates who cautiously spoke in favor of the proposed configuration at a Board of Public Works meeting in December 2015. With the understanding that it was a compromise and further improvements would be not be prevented by it, the City decided to move forward.
Planned_contraflow_lane_on_Mifflin.png

Planned contraflow lane (Source: City of Madison)
Well, not so fast: As the Isthmus reports, the rather obscure “State Capitol and Executive Residence Board” unanimously vetoed the project, supposedly over safety concerns. Senator Risser, a member of the board is quoted asking, “Why do bikes have to go against traffic? […] I don’t see why we have to develop a procedure to exempt bikes from going with the traffic.” Statements such as these show a lack of understanding of the value of a complete grid of bicycle facilities that allows everyone to safely, conveniently, and comfortably get to their destination by bike. And it is hard to take safety concerns seriously when the State had made it very clear that a better solution such as a protected bike lane involving the loss of on-street parking was not in the books.

The way forward from here is unclear. Given the Capitol Board’s jurisdiction over much of the Square involved, the city’s options are limited. If you want to let the members of the board know how you think about the issue, here is their contact information:

Sen. Risser: sen.risser@legis.state.wi.us (608) 238-5008
Sen. Olsen: Sen.Olsen@legis.wisconsin.gov (608) 266-0751
Sen. Roth: Sen.Roth@legis.wisconsin.gov (608) 266-0718
Rep. Born: Rep.Born@legis.wisconsin.gov (608) 266-2540 (888) 534-0039
Rep. Loudenbeck: Rep.Loudenbeck@legis.wisconsin.gov (888) 529-0031
Rep. Hesselbein: Rep.Hesselbein@legis.wisconsin.gov (608) 266-5340