It’s winter, but that’s the time for planning

 

Mark your calendars for Winter Bike Week

We hope everyone has been enjoying the snow and cold weather (yes, it’s really cold, but you all have lots of warm clothes, right?) Many people don’t think about bicycling in weather like this, but between planning for our upcoming Winter Bike Week – Feb 1-8 -- and the city planning for construction season, there is plenty on the calendar. If you are looking for the Winter Bike Week events, make sure to head over to the Madison Bikes Facebook PAGE instead of the group where discussions happen.

Upcoming elections and last week’s mayoral forum

There will also be a primary for alder and mayor on February 19. Everyone in the city will be able to vote for mayor, and there will be a primary for alder in your area if three or more candidates are running. Then, the two candidates with the most votes will run in the main election on April 2. Madison Bikes is a 501(c)3 organization, so we can’t endorse candidates, but we did co-sponsor a mayoral forum on January 15 at the Central Library. Two transportation-related questions were asked, and you can check out the candidates’ answers here. Thanks to Harald for transcribing the answers! If you’d like to hear all the questions and answers, there is a link to a recording as well.

We urge everyone to vote an ask questions of the candidates, if you get a chance. Madison Bikes has sent a longer set of questions – ones we didn’t get a chance to ask at the forum – to the mayoral candidates. We will post the answers when after the January 31 deadline to respond. Early voting starts January 29, so if you aren’t sure who you are supporting, we hope the answers can help you make a decision.

This week

 

Monday

Meathead Ride. Starting at 7:00 pm at Ford’s Gym, 2114 Winnebago St, join the group for the weekly  no-drop social loop around Lake Monona. Bring your extra layers!

Tuesday

The Common Council  has two items of interest to bicyclists. They meet at 6:30 pm in Room 210 of the City-County Building, the Council will be passing plans for rebuilding parts of E Wilson, Williamson St, and Blount. This is the project that has been under discussion for quite some time, has been through a bunch of public meetings, and shouldn’t be particularly controversial. It will involve some changes to the streets between Franklin St and Blount that should make biking this stretch and connecting with the Cap City Trail and Lake Monona Path easier. You can take a look at the documents here.

Also on the Council agenda is the final lease between Freewheel Bicycle Co and the city for the bike center that will be part of the Judge Doyle Square development. While the lease isn’t all that exciting, you can also see plans for what is going to be inside. Cool. A bike wash, showers, indoor bike storage of various sorts, a small bike shop, public repair station, lockers, and lots more.

You can also watch the meeting on your computer from home, and maybe you’ll hear a few other things at the meeting that interest you. Everyone should try to attend a city meeting or council meeting at least once to learn how decisions are made, but it sure if more comfortable on the couch. (Says the former alder, who sat through three Council meetings that lasted until 5:00 am!)

Wednesday

The Transportation Commission will meet in Room 206 of the Municipal Building, to consider the list of Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP, also known as traffic calming) projects. If you are interested to see which projects accumulated enough points to receive traffic calming measures, or whether your streets has ever been studied, you can find the list here. A studied location must receive 30 points to be considered for traffic calming.

Also on the TC agenda is an update on “Bicycle Facility Planning,” however there are no specific items under consideration, and no further information on line. This appears to be a standing item that will appear on each agenda, along with other transportation updates. However, if you are interested in this meeting on anything else on it, you can either attend the meeting or watch the meeting on line.

Also Wednesday, there is a meeting about planning for Burr Jones Field. City Parks will be holding a public input session at 6:00-8:00 pm at Festival Foods - Community Room, 810 East Washington Ave. If you aren’t familiar with Burr Jones Field, think about the big green space that is bounded by the Yahara River, E. Johnson St, E Washington, and the RR tracks behind the strip mall and city fleet services on First St. That’s it.

From the city: “You are invited to attend and provide comments on the project. If you have questions or comments but are unable to attend the meeting, please contact Mike Sturm at (608) 267-4921 or msturm@cityofmadison.com. More information visit Parks Projects:  https://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/projects.“

Grant, outgoing Madison Bikes Board President, provides this comment: “There are some paths through the park today, but it's really important that we think about improving the connection from the Yahara bridge to connect with MIfflin/First. A new ped/bike RR crossing is needed there (there is none technically, but there very much is a well-worn desire path). Dealing with the RR is tricky business, but the park planning should include a good connection to this future RR crossing. There should also be a path along the east side of the river.”

What have we been talking about?

Here are some of the lively discussion from the Madison Bikes Facebook group:

Now that we have snow, there have been a few discussions about winter maintenance. To brine or not brine. How to report a problem to the city.

If you want to see what the city says about their winter maintenance of bicycle facilities – in more detail than you probably want – check out this video from a meeting on that topic. The portion of the meeting on winter maintenance is about an hour long!

Lots of questions about how to keep warm and safe while riding in winter.

Ideas from other cities on reforming their transportation system.

And lots more.

Remember, if you have an event for our Madison Bikes Community Calendar, send it to us so others can find it. And all the details about all the events are up on, or linked from that same calendar, so make sure to visit often.

 

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