The week started out with a meeting of the Madison Bikes Events Committee. Their big focus is the upcoming Winter Bike Fashion Show on December 9. Stay tuned for details and mark the date! Also keep in mind that Madison Bike Bingo is nearing its end. So go out ride, support local businesses, and collect stamps and prizes. If you still need that special events stamp, check the Bike Bingo Facebook page for announcements (and read below about the Spooky Roubaix ride).
Tour of the Latino Family/El Tour de la Familia Latina (Photo credit: Baltazar De Anda)
Saturday saw both good and disturbing things: The Tour of the Latino Family/El Tour de la Familia Latina had another successful ride, with over 30 people of all ages attending. However, the group was repeatedly harassed during the ride. You can watch the account of Ananda Mirilli, one of the participants, on Facebook.
If you can't watch the video, here is a transcript of what Ananda has to say:
I was disheartened by the rudeness, the impoliteness. I was reminded of how I am other, even though I’m a citizen, I was reminded of my status as an immigrant. This bike tour is intended to make black and brown folks, people of color, visible on the bike paths, and it was obvious to me that as we’re doing that, we were disturbing people. We had a group of 30+ folks from different age groups, mostly brown folks, a lot of children with us. And as we were biking to the east side, we had people tell us to move, being rude to our children, swearing at us. And those were not cyclists, they were just regular folks, mostly white older women and white older men, just swearing at us and our children, and telling us to get off the path. So if you’re surprised by this, check yourself and think about the times you have actually done something to disrupt Madison normative. And if for whatever reason you don’t belong or you don’t look like the people that you see everywhere—which is mostly white folks—the impact and then resistance for us to become visible. That is a real thing. I was just really sad […] that this happened in front of our children and with our group. We’re going to continue to do that; I’m going to continue to come to the rides. I encourage, if you’re a person of color, please join us. We need more of us, to really disrupt the image of the Madison bike paths. The bike paths are not only for white people, or for white folks who know how to bike. This is for all of us. We need to make sure that we’re visible. Please check yourself and think about the ways you can disrupt the Madison image of whiteness. Thank you.
This is unacceptable. Let us work together to make sure that this does not happen again and people of color can safely ride on Madison's bike paths and streets. As Ananda says: The bike paths are not only for white people, or for white folks who know how to bike.
Imagine Madison is an initiative to gather public input on the update to Madison's Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan encompasses things such housing, transportation, and parks, and is an important long-term planning tool that will "be an action plan that guides decision making and investment." This week marks the beginning of phase 3, which aims at prioritizing strategies, identifying ways to implement them, and determining where growth should be prioritized. You can make your voice heard at these three community meetings, each from 6-8pm
- Monday: the Atrium at Village on Park (2300 S Park St), Atrium Community Room
- Tuesday: Lussier Community Education Center (55 S Gammon Road)
- Wednesday: Goodman Community Center (149 Waubesa St)
The Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission has their monthly meeting on Tuesday. Some of the items on the agenda:
- The Bike Resource Center at the Judge Doyle Square Project. As we've reported previously, Freewheel Community Bike Shop is being recommended as the operator.
- Crazylegs Plaza and Wingra Park: As part of the Monroe Street reconstruction, Crazylegs Plaza and the entrance to Wingra Park are getting redesigned.
- Updates on the reconstruction of Atwood Avenue and South Gammon Road
- Reviewing the traffic signal priority list, which determines where the city is going to install traffic lights
- Presentation of the 2016 Traffic Report (bike count data starts on page 44)
Plan for a redesigned Crazylegs Plaza near Camp Randall
Both the Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee and the Middleton Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Transit Committee are going to meet on Wednesday. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to attend the Madison Bikes meeting.
On Friday night, join Cafe Domestique for the "Scary Roubaix" ride. Meet at 6pm at their shop and ride the Badger State Trail to the Stewart Tunnel south of Belleville. Spooky! This will also be an opportunity to get your Bike Bingo special event stamp. Check out the Madison Bike Bingo Facebook page later this week for details.
Friday also is the date of the Bike Fed's Saris Gala, their big annual fundraiser at Union South!
And on Saturday, it's time to Bike the Art again. Meet at 1:30pm at Union South or along their route. More info at https://www.facebook.com/BikeTheArt/.
Finally, People for Bikes, a national bike advocacy organization is conducting a community survey to assess how bike friendly cities are. Please participate and offer your opinions on biking in Madison.