This time of year is always a little dicey for people on bikes. Lots of new people have just moved to town, parents are moving their kids into apartments, people are trying biking in a real city for the first time, and they are all confused by one-way streets and how we get around in Madison. Lots of the people driving have never seen bicyclists actual using the street, or they don't expect paths to be so crowded. The only thing anyone has taught the freshmen about biking is, "Stay of the way of cars."
Everyone is a little on edge. Now throw in flooded streets that redirect everyone to a few corridors on the east side, and it gets worse. My very-experienced and strong colleague, who commutes eight miles each way through the east side, told me that they worst part of his Madison Flood 2018 commute is that drivers are racing through the yellow (or red) light because they are so backed up and late.
Just take a breath, enjoy the ride, and be patient with all the confused newbies. Be happy that you are probably going the same speed as you normally do, and you can navigate around most of the flooding via side streets, sidewalks, and use of fenders.
And we should all give a big thanks to city staff for sandbagging the area around the Monona Terrace path so we could still use it. Not every city would care enough to do that. Everyone has probably seen this already, but just in case you've been away and wonder what's open and closed, you can find maps of conditions--including a crowd-sourced map of bike path closures--on the city's website.
The week ahead
The Madison Bikes Communications Committee will meet at Memorial Union at 5:30 pm. If the weather is nice, we be just outside the beer window of the Stiftskeller. If it's raining, we'll be inside the Stiftskeller. If you have enjoyed these updates and our Facebook group, consider joining us to talk about how we communicate with our members and friends. We now have over 1500 subscribers to the Facebook group!
Also on Tuesday, the Mayor will release his Capital Budget at the Council meeting, which will then go through all sorts of committees and hearing before being passed in October. There's no link to the budget right now, but the capital budget is for financing large projects--things that are financed to pay off. This is where things like roads, paths, buildings, big equipment, construction, and other large projects are seen. Keep an eye on this to see what the city's priorities are for transportation. Nothing else major on the Council agenda, but in case you're interested, you can see the whole thing online.
The new Transportation Commission meeting has been cancelled, but the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (the MPO) will meet at 6:30 pm at the City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Room 357. The MPO, which is the body that plans and allocates federal money for all the transportation projects in the entire metropolitan area--not just the city-- has been switching off its meetings between downtown and the Water Utility building on Olin Ave, so best to check their calendar to see where they are meeting. For this meeting, they will be holding a public hearing on the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for 2019-2023. That means they will be voting on what they plan to find for the next five years. This is revised every year, but gives you an idea what they are planning on doing. Want to see what's in there? Here's a link.
The September MadTown Unity Ride will leave from the Villager Mall at 10 am. MadTown Unity Rides are organized by local groups to celebrate the unity and diversity of Madison Southside and to connect our communities together. More information can be found on their Facebook event linked above.