Probably the event this week that holds the most interest for bicyclists is the Atwood Reconstruction Public Information Meeting that will take place at Olbrich Gardens on Wednesday from 6:30-8:00. This is your opportunity to both find out what the plans are and also ask questions. If you are either curious about what’s going to happen or want to express your opinion, here’s your first chance.
Also happening this week:
On Monday, Sun Prairie Moves will host another Slow Roll, a fun, casual ride for all ages and abilities. The ride will start at Orfan Community Park and wil ride on paved city paths. For more information, check their Facebook page.
Tuesday the Madison Bikes Communication Committee will meet at Memorial Union Terrace. All are welcome to attend if you would like to help us out with getting the word out about not just our activities, but important meetings across the city.
Also on Tuesday the Common Council will consider the following for items:
Allowing bicyclists to ride on the 100 block of W Mifflin. Yeah! The cul-de-sac at the end of W Mifflin will finally be connected to top of State Street and the Square,
Allowing the Police Department to donate abandoned and recovered bikes to non-profits. Previously, if the bikes couldn’t be sold at auction, the were required by law to send them to the landfill.
The Council meetings in the City-County Building starting at 6:30. Anyone can speak on any item on the agenda. Just fill out a slip when you arrive. You will have three minutes to speak.
Wednesday brings the monthly meeting of the Transportation Planning Board (the body that does transportation planning for the entire metro and urbanized area. A lot of the biggest projects in the area are discussed here, so if you want to know what’s up with big highway projects down to the regional bike network, these are the meetings where those discussions happen. You can find the agenda and materials for each item this month here.
This month the meeting will take place in Verona because they will be considering land use and transportation plans for Verona this month. The Board tries to hold meetings around the region during the year to make things easier for people all over the affected area, but most regular meetings take place in Madison.
If you have a meeting or event that you would like to have included on the Madison Bikes Calendar, drop us an email.
Energized by the great success of our Annual Party, the Madison Bikes Events Committee met on Monday and started planning the next big Madison Bikes event: The Winter Bike Fashion Show. Mark the date–December 9, 1-4pm at the High Noon Saloon–and stay tuned for more details. Facebook event
The Wisconsin State Legislature finally adopted a budget, and unfortunately it contains bad news for people biking and walking: Local governments will no longer be able to use condemnation (also known as eminent domain) for sidewalks or bike trails. Many of you as well as the Bike Fed spoke out against this provision, but the Governor nonetheless signed the bill. It will remain to be seen just how damaging this will be to projects around Madison, but it seems safe to assume that it will be damaging. The new situation may also trigger a greater discussion about how we allocate scarce space for people in car, bikes, and on foot in a situation where “let’s just widen everything” is no longer an option.
The Common Council passed a resolution that fundamentally reorganizes how transportation projects are planned and decided on. Instead of having a department of transportation with with distributed leadership and multiple commissions, the city would hire a Director of Transportation and replace the commission with a Transportation Policy and Planning Board and a Transportation Commission. Stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis of what this means for biking and transportation in Madison in general.
The Judge Doyle Square Redevelopment was always supposed to include a bicycle center. However, when the city initially requested proposals operations of the center, nobody came forward. Eventually two applicants submitted proposals, and last week the city staff who scored the proposals recommended Freewheel Community Bike Shop (currently on Park Street) as the operator. You can read the city recommendation here, as well news coverage in the Cap Times. As the next step, the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Vehicle Commission will discuss the project at their next meeting (see below).
Mondays Around Monona has a double-celebration: It will be the final ride of the season, and it’ll also be the 10th anniversary of this leisurely loop around the lake. Come celebrate with India of We Are All Mechanics and Madison Bikes! You can also get a special event stamp for your Madison Bike Bingo card.
On Tuesday, the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission will have their monthly meeting. On their agenda are an update from Madison Bcycle and on the Crazylegs Triangle Plaza (part of the Monroe Street reconstruction). The Commission will also discuss how to handle abandoned bicycles and the city’s report on the Judge Doyle Square bike center, mentioned above. Full agenda.
On Wednesday, the Middleton Pedestrian, Bike, and Transit Committee has their meeting. Find the agenda here.
And on Sunday you can Ride with RENEWand learn more about renewable energy in Dane County.
Thanks to all that came out to support another year of Madison Bikes! Good to see faces old and new in celebration of all things biking in Madison. Thanks especially to our great hosts, the High Noon Saloon and for the amazing food served up by Jonny Hunter and Underground Food Collective. Door prizes and other support for the party came from Planet Bike, REI, Madrax, People for Bikes, Fiskars, and Revolution Cycles. A big thanks as well to all our other sponsors, donors, and supporters that contributed and helped support our work throughout the year.
Our party also marked the official beginning of Bike! Bingo. If you were at the party, you’ve already got your card and the Special Events stamp. You’ve got until October 31st to fill your card(s). Check our website for a map of all participating locations, and go to the Bike Bingo Facebook page for more special events.
All those in attendance also enjoyed the privilege of being the first official Madison Bikes members. If you couldn’t make the party, stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for details on how you can join as well.
Madison Bikes has a great group of people on its Events Committee, but could always use a couple more passionate and creative people to help. This month’s meeting will recap our Annual Party and switch gears to focus on the upcoming Winter Bike Fashion Show. As an added incentive, this month’s meeting will happen by bike, coinciding with the Mondays Around Monona ride. Meet up at Fair Oaks and the Cap City path at 6:00p on Monday for a beautiful lake loop rolling meeting!
On Tuesday, there are a couple items of interest on the Common Council agenda for those that bike. The big one will be the updated recommendation from the Transportation Ordinance Review Committee to restructure our city transportation commissions/committees and to hire a Director of Transportation. The resolution has a number of cosponsors and looks to have broad support by the council. Another item of note is a permit for a railroad crossing for the planned Capital City Path extension east of Buckeye Road. This is the next step in eventually connecting the route all the way to Cottage Grove.
On Wednesday, the Board of Public Works will vote to recommend approval of an ordinance change that will permit riding on the State Street/Library Mall section known as Philosopher’s Grove. The curb cut that allows for improved access through this important connection was completed last week.
One public comment critical of the proposal is on file with the Board at this time. The Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission voted to recommend adoption at its last meeting and hopefully the Board of Public Works will do the same. Consider sending a quick email in support to the members of the Board before Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, the Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee will have its monthly meeting at 6:00p at Bendyworks and the Marquette Neighborhood Association will have a special meeting to review the recommended design coming from the Nolen/Blair corridor study.
On Saturday, bring the family out for the Tour de la Familia Latina at 10 am and then help support the Audubon Society with the Birds, Bikes, and Brews ride at 1 pm.
And finally on Sunday, there’s a action packed Bike the Art ride beginning at 1:30p. The ride will start at Promega’s BioPharmaceutical Technology Center and then head to Centro Hispano, the Edgewood College Gallery, and will end with Shakespeare in the Park at the Arboretum.
Oops, a little late this week. But the real fun starts on Tuesday anyway.
Tuesday is our 2nd Annual Party and Fundraiser takes place from 6:00-9:00 pm at the High Noon. Make sure not to miss that, as it will be one of the few opportunities to get a stamp for the center square (Event) on your Bike! Bingo card.
Speaking of Bike! Bingo, everyone who comes to the party will receive a card when they make a donation. You will also receive a ticket to win door prizes. Of course, you’ll be supporting Madison Bikes so we can help you make the city more bike friendly for all ages and abilities. And you can fill out a postcard to tell a business, elected official, or anyone else either what needs to be fixed or what you love about their efforts.
You can also purchase additional Bike! Bingo cards or bike Benefit stickers for your family and friends that missed the party. So come on by and join the fun. Families welcome! Food by Jonny Hunter or Underground Food Collective will be available for purchse, and all proceeds will be donated to Madison Bikes. Yummy!
On Thursday, 6:00-7:30 pm at the Wingra School Gymnasuim (first floor), 718 Gilmore Street there will be a design alternatives presentation of ideas for Crazy Legs Plaza and the Wingra Park entrance off Monroe St. Both of these will be important for bicyclists that use the SW Path or want to bike through Wingra Park as a connector at the other end of Monroe. Participants at several past workshops and meetings gave their ideas and opinions to the consultants, and now we are going to see the results. If these two locations are important to you, please attend.
Do you have something that should be included on our weekly calendar? You can email us events and meetings to us to include and also see what’s coming up by looking at our Madison Bikes Community Calendar.
Sunday is Bike (and Bus) the Barns, featuring live music, farm tours, and a spectacular day of biking fueled by gourmet and local food. Pledges raised support Partner Shares, which helps low-income households afford to join a CSA farm. Bike the Barns features area CSA farms & tours, gourmet local food, craft libations, and live music – all to raise funds for fresh food for all! There are 3 routes to choose from, depending on your interests and capabilities, as well as a bus option for those who don’t wish to bike! Start and end location is Lake Farm Park, in Madison, Wisconsin. After the ride, join us for an after party in the park with more food, drinks, and live music! NEW: Bus the Barns! Space is limited. Bus tour registration includes all meals (breakfast snack + coffee, snack stop, lunch, and after party meal & beer ticket), farm tours and activities at three farms, and bus transportation. It all starts at Lake Farms County Park and runs from 7:00am – 6:30pm
Also on Sunday is the September Kidical Mass. This month will feature a ride-decorating party so the bikes can be part of the Willy St Fair Parade. Meet at the Cargo Bike Shop at 1404 Williamson St at 10 am.
A few weeks ago I saw in the paper that the new bridge across the Beltline on High Point Road had re-opened after seven months of construction. This Sunday I happened to be in the area anyway and checked it out. The old bridge was not particularly nice for people on bikes. While it had an on-street unprotected bike lane, both bike and general lanes were narrow, with heavy and fast car traffic. The new bridge has been widened to carry two general travel lanes in both directions, on-street bike lanes on both sides, a sidewalk on the east side, and a nice, wide two-lane protected multi-use path on the west side.
Approaching the bridge from the south. Smooth pavement and a widened bike lane.
Two-way protected multi-use path on the west side of the bridge
The path will eventually connect to the West Towne Path parallel to the Beltline. A little connection stub is already in place, but for now dead-ends just past the bridge. It’ll still be a couple years before this segment of the West Towne Path will be built, but once it is in place, it will be an important connection in that part of town.
Our big news is that we are preparing for the Madison Bikes Annual Party and Fundraiser . Join us on September 12, 6:00-9:00 pm at the High Noon Saloon. Madison Bikes is turning two and we’re celebrating our growing community, which is now over 925 Facebook followers strong. Let’s see if we can get to 1000 by the end of the party!
At the party you’ll find useful and fun door prizes, a super-stylin’ membership bonus package with your $20 suggested donation at the door, food to purchase from the Underground Food Collective (all proceeds benefit Madison Bikes!), the kickoff of our fall Bike! Bingo event, Bike Benefits stickers for sale, great people, and good vibes. The center of the Bike! Bingo card needs a stamp for a special event, and the Madison Bikes party is the easiest way to get that stamp.
Bring a friend and help us celebrate! Here’s the party flyer.
Before we celebrate, here are a couple of meetings to tune in to this week.
On Tuesday, Sept 5, the Common Council Executive Committee Meeting will consider the recommendations of the Transportation Ordinance Rewrite Committee (TORC). The meeting will take place in Room 108 of the City-County Building. [Agenda, with links]
What is TORC? It is a committee that was charged with examining whether the committees that currently oversee the transportation business of the city — including the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission, the Parking and Transit Commission, the Long Range Transportation Planning Committee, and various other smaller committees and sub-committees —should be restructured.
On top of rearranging the city committee structure, TORC also recommended that the city hire a Transportation Director. This is something that Madison Bikes has also been advocating for, and here’s why we think it’s important: Madison needs someone at the helm to oversee all modes of transportation and to assure that the policies and plans that the committees and Council vote into place are actually carried out. Without a Transportation Director, there are too many missed opportunities in our transportation planning and implementation process.
Wednesday, Sept 6, the Transportation Planning Board — which oversees transportation funding and plans for the entire metropolitan area, not just Madison — will hold a public hearing in Room 354 of the City-County Building on the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for 2018-2022. This is a good way to see what major projects will be funded for the next five years. There are quite a few bike projects planned, and many road projects in the TIP may also affect your cycling comfort and safety. The full TIP can be found here. Public comments, letters, and other communications will be taken at the meeting or may be sent to: MPO@cityofmadison.com
For some of you this is just normal blog post, some may not have heard from us in a while, and others may be seeing something from us for the first time ever (Welcome!).
So, what changed? What is going on?
It’s easy. Madison Bikes is rolling out a new email system. Instead of having to manually check our blog or rely on social media to get updates, you can now also receive updates by email to make sure you never miss a thing, while giving you the power to choose how often you get emails from us.
If you’re seeing this on our blog but didn’t get an email, you can sign up here.
If you’re seeing this in your inbox: By default, emails will be sent to you every time we post on our blog, which is usually once or twice a week (and definitely not more than once a day). If that seems like too many emails for you, you can just update your preferences to receive emails weekly or monthly.
To make the change, scroll to the bottom of any email from us, and choose “update your preferences”. This will take you to a second page, where you will see your current setup, and make any changes you would like.
Bike projects in Fitchburg: Paved shoulders on Whalen Road and a bike hub on the Badger State Trail
The power of advocacy: Our friends from Bike Fitchburg had sent out an action alert. The Fitchburg Common Council was deciding on two important bike projects, and the comments that you and others sent in made a difference. Matthew Jones, president of Bike Fitchburg, reports:
HUGE THANK YOUS go out to Alders Aaron Richardson, Tony Hartmann, Tom Clauder, Dorothy Krause, and Anne Scott for voting in favor of these crucial items to be included in the city’s 2018 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).
As the clock neared midnight last night, the Fitchburg Common Council took up and voted 5-3 on two bike-related proposals:
#4 approved the proposal of shouldering Whalen Road, a route heavily used by cyclists traveling between Fitchburg and Verona and used as a route for the annual Ironman competition. Under the CIP the city has committed to spend $897,990 for paved shoulders on Whalen from Fish Hatchery Road to Fitchrona Road.
#14 was approved to reconstruct the 1890s depot at “Old Fitchburg” as a facility serving users of Badger State Trail and as the centerpiece of an historical city park. Area planning ($15,000) in 2018 and construction ($300,000) beginning in 2019.
Thank you to everyone who testified in favor of these items and for all the folks who took the time to write a quick note of support—it made all the difference!!!
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi at the opening ceremony (Photo credit: Kevin Hikes)
Just yesterday, the Lower Yahara River Trail opened! A project many years in the making, you can now ride from McFarland to Madison and Fitchburg on a beautiful trail instead of busy roads. Also to note: This is the first project in which the new Dane County bicycle wayfinding guidelines have been implemented. You can see the signs all along the trail. The next phases of the trail will continue it from McFarland to Lake Kegonsa State Park and eventually Stoughton.
Related, Dane County Parks has a survey about their 2018-23 Parks and Open Space Plan. The survey only takes 5 minutes to complete and is great opportunity to voice your support for biking facilities like the Lower Yahara River Trail. (h/t to Joe Schubert)
Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission
There was a good discussion about the planned public market at East Washington Avenue and First Street. With a projected volume of 500,000 visitors a year, it will be crucial to make the market conveniently accessible for people biking and walking. Two key connections will be the Mifflin Bike Boulevard and also First Street, which currently is being planned for reconstruction.
Blair Street and John Nolen Corridor
City Engineering presented the plans that were previously shared at the public input meeting, with a special focus on the intersection at Machinery Row. Getting this intersection finalized is the main priority at this point, as it will be the one where construction will begin soonest. As we have previously reported, there is a lot to like about the plan: Moving the driveway to the Machinery Row parking lot; a widened and better separated space for people walking and biking in from of Machinery Row and the Fauerbach; a diagonal bike crossing at Blount Street; and a better alignment of the Cap City path in front of the Gateway Mall. All these will make the intersection work better for those on foot and bike. Of course, the devil is in the details, as some of the public comments and questions from members of the Commission showed. But hopefully those can be sorted out in the near future.
In contrast, the plans for the rest of the corridor, specifically the intersections of John Nolen with Broom Street and with North Shore Drive, seemed less well developed, lacking significant short term improvements and mostly leaving everything as is.
We will keep you updated.
On Monday, come to the Bicycle Mixer at HotelRED. The hotel, which has supported many bike-related events in the past has partnered with Madison BCycle and Bicycle Benefits Madison to for a party. First drink is free if you bring your helmet, and there will be prizes.
A public meeting about Vilas Park is happening on Tuesday. Two “pedestrian bridges” over Vilas Lagoon are slated for replacement, and it would probably be a good idea to remind the Parks department that these bridges are also used by people on bikes.
The Madison Bikes Communications Committee is also meeting on Tuesday for the final push in preparation of our Annual Party and Fundraiser on September 12.
Wednesday will see the Middleton Bike Group meeting (rescheduled from last week).
And on Sunday, join Bombay Bicycle Club for the their Wright Stuff Century, this year run as a limited-support event with ride options from 32 to 125 miles. The longer routes will take you all the way to famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin complex near Spring Green.
Bicycle Benefits has motivated many to take their feet from the gas pedal to the bike pedal for everyday transportation by creating incentives for cyclists and partnering with local businesses. You may have seen the ubiquitous Bicycle Benefits sticker in a store window or on a fellow cyclist’s helmet. The program is simple: You can buy a Bicycle Benefits sticker for $5 at participating locations and start reaping the sweet rewards right away.
In addition to the regular Bicycle Benefits, soon you’ll be able to get even more: Madison Bikes and Bicycle Benefits have teamed up for Madison Bike! Bingo this year. Get your bingo card at the Madison Bikes Annual Party (included in the admission) on Sept. 12th (all sales at the event benefit Madison Bikes!) or at participating businesses. The challenge starts on the 12th and you’ll have until October 31st to play and test how bikeable the local businesses are for you! No purchase is required to have your card stamped.
I did my first Bike! Bingo last year and learned some strategies to successfully completing the Bingo card which may be similar to the one on 벳센세이션. Here are my three top tips:
1) Gear up
To bike to these places you’ll of course need access to a bike. If you don’t own a bike and are thinking about investing in one, Bike! Bingo is the perfect challenge to find out if biking would improve your life. You can rent a bike from one of the many bike shops and test a few styles out before committing, or you can familiarize yourself with the B-Cycle stations that are found in all the best places in town.
You will also need a helmet. To get a stamp on your bingo card you’ll need a Bicycle Benefits sticker attached to your helmet. Find a helmet that is comfortable and looks good on you (you may be wearing it a lot) and then get your sticker!
2) Plan all your stops
This may seem obvious, but I did not do well on this last year. There was one stop on the Bike! Bingo card that was an event, and I didn’t plan my route out enough in advance and missed it. A row and a column, ruined suddenly and forever impossible to complete. Won’t be making that mistake this year! I plan to get my special events stamp first thing on September 12th at 6pm at the Madison Bikes Annual Party at the High Noon Saloon! Bike! Bingo kicks off that night at the Madison Bikes Annual Party where a $20 suggested donation will you can get you:
One of my favorite aspects of the Bike! Bingo game is that it is convenient by design. You’re playing a game just like w88, but you can also get a lot of errands done in the process. Is it your Mom’s birthday? Take her out to the fancy restaurant on the playing card and get a stamp! Need doughnuts for work? Go to the doughnut shop on the card and get a stamp on your card! Going out for a beer with coworkers? Get a stamp! Need a “Congratulations” card for your sister? Get a stamp! Have to restock the toilet paper? Stamp it up!
3) Enjoy the Game
Even though many of the places on the card will be convenient to your life, inevitably some spaces will seem too far, or too out of the way. Finding the time to bike to these places can be difficult and stressful, especially for naturally competitive people. If at the end of the month you have completed the entire Bingo card, congratulations! You have won the Bingo and a fantastic prize! But if you find that you can’t complete the Bingo card by the end of the month, don’t beat yourself up about it. You stayed true to the spirit of the game: You rode your bike more, supported local businesses, and hopefully took some fun pictures. #madisonbikebingo
Thanks to all the local businesses participating in Bicycle Benefits and Bike! Bingo!
Richard Castelnuovo of Wheels for Winners introducing the project
We had a great ride last week with Bombay Bicycle Club that brought in a lot of donations for Wheels for Winners, a non-profit that refurbishes donated bikes and gives them out to local youth who have done community service. Check them out online and consider getting involved or donating!
Also last week, the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association Steering Team finalized recommendations for improvements on and along the Mifflin Street Bike Boulevard. These recommendations will be going to the TLNA board and then on to the city for review and implementation.
As the end of summer takes hold, Mondays mean Mondays Around Monona. And then at 7:00, the Madison Bikes Events Committee will meet at Cafe Domestique to finalize plans for our Annual Party on (Tuesday, September 12th). Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to attend.
On Tuesday, Madison’s Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission holds its monthly meeting. On the agenda are some major road projects including: Blair/Nolen, the Public Market and E. Johnson/First Streets, and Buckeye Road. You can attend in person at the City County Building or watch online on Madison’s City Channel. Also on Tuesday, is an important public hearing on some major projects in Fitchburg that need support. Check out Bike Fitchburg‘s action alert for all the details.
On Wednesday, Middleton takes it’s turn and will hold it’s monthly bike infrastructure meeting at city hall. Edit: The Middleton bike meeting has been moved to next week.
Thursday through Sunday would be a great time to grab your friends and family and pedal down to the Orton Park Fest for music and food in support of the Marquette Neighborhood Association.