There’s a saying in the midwest. There are two seasons: Winter, and Road Construction. Winter is now officially over and the road construction season has begun.
This week two major road construction projects are starting here in Madison that will see major improvements for people getting around by bike: The E Johnson St. project, and the Williamson and Wilson legs of the John Nolen/Blair/Willaimson/Wilson intersection.
When finished, the E. Johnson St. project will include a new bike path on the south side of Johnson St. from the Yahara River Path to First St. to bridge an east-west gap along the Johnson St. corridor that has existed in the bike network for some time.
The Williamson-Wilson project is the first piece of the John Nolen/Blair/Williamson/Wilson intersection reconstruction that will take place. Unlike John Nolen and Blair which is the USH-151 corridor and maintained by the state, Williamson and Wilson are maintained by the city. This means the city can move forward with reconstructing these streets sooner than the state can with the 151 corridor. One major improvement along this corridor will be a new diagonal crossing at Blount St. to enable inbound cyclists on the Capital City Trail to avoid crossing Williamson at the John Nolen/Blair intersection. The driveway entrance at Machinery Row will be moved with the John Nolen-Blair project A bike detour will be provided for people inbound on Jenifer St. that will follow Blount St. to the Capital City Trail until construction of the new path along Williamson St. is complete. For the latest updates, the city is asking people to subscribe to the Bike Madison email list.
There was also some late breaking information on a closure of the Lower Yahara River Trail boardwalk from McFarland to Madison. The county will be closing the bridge as of April 1 to facilitate tree removal operations, and is telling people to find a different route using their online mapping tools. Fortunately, the closure should be done by the end of the day.
Monday, April 1
Don’t be fooled! Construction season is beginning, and if your regular route is impacted by one of the various construction projects, be sure to give yourself some extra time on your morning commute.
At 5 PM, Madison’s Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) will meet in the Council Chambers in the City County Building. There are quire a few items on the agenda, and you can read them all on the full agenda. One highlight of the meeting is the Bassett Street Corridor Plan, where the corridor study team is recommending a staged implementation of what will be Madison’s first ever parking protected bike lanes, and to continue those bike lanes on the Bassett corridor all the way to Broom St. The city will be reconstructing a stretch of Bassett St. from Dayton St. to West Wash this summer starting in June, and the first piece of implementation of the protected bike lanes will occur on that stretch as a pilot study to prove their effectiveness. The TPPB will also have a discussion on vision zero concepts, as well as CIP/TIP presentations from the city’s Engineering and Transportation departments. CIP refers to the Capital Improvement Program, and TIP refers to the Transportation Improvement Program.
Tuesday, April 2, Election Day
Don’t forget to vote! Polls will be open from 7 AM to 8 PM. On the ballot will be candidates for Madison’s mayor, city alders, and the state supreme court. To learn more about the mayoral candidates, you can read Madison Bikes’ Candidate Questionnaire. To learn more about what will be on your ballot, to check your voter registration information, or to find out where to vote, consult myvote.wi.gov. You may register to vote on election day at your polling place.
Madison Bikes Communications Committee will be meeting at 5:30 PM in the Stiftskeller at the Memorial Union. The Communications Committee oversees Madison Bikes public communications, including the Facebook Discussion page, the weekly update blogs, and other communication efforts.
Wednesday, April 3
The Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (MATPB) will be meeting at 6:30 PM in Rooms A-B of the Madison Water Utility building at 119 E. Olin Ave. Read the full agenda here. There will be a presentation on design alternatives for University Ave. from Shorewood Blvd. to University Bay Dr. and for Gammon Rd. from the beltline to Mineral Point Rd. The University Ave. project will include the construction of a new bike path that will fill the gap in the path between U. Bay and Marshall Ct. partly funded with the county’s PARC Grant. The Gammon Rd. project will include construction of an extension of the West Towne Path from the Struck St. beltline underpass to just west of Gammon Rd. with a new underpass to cross Gammon.
The City of Madison’s Board of Public Works (BPW) will be meeting at 4:30 PM in Room 108 of the City County Building. You can read the full agenda here. The BPW is in charge of approving final plans for road and bike path construction in Madison, and is the last step a project has to go through before spending is formally approved by the City Council. At this meeting, the BPW will look at path repaving at five parks: Bordner Park, Brigham Park, Reservoir Park, Sandburg Park & Woods, and Patriot Park.
Thursday, April 4
At 6 PM, Sun Prairie Moves, the local bike advocacy group in Sun Prairie, will be having their Spring Public Meeting. The meeting will take place at the Colonial Club at 301 Blankenheim Ln in Sun Prairie. At the meeting you will have an opportunity to learn about the best commuter routes from Sun Prairie to surrounding communities, local and state bike laws, and biking etiquette. Learn more about the event on their Facebook Event page.
Saturday, April 6
At 8 AM Madison will officially have a new bike shop. Slow Roll Cycles will open its doors at 4118 Monona Dr. in the Lake Edge Shopping Center.
Sunday, April 7
Freewheel Community Bike Shop needs volunteer help to turn "a big pile of bikes [into] a pile of useful parts and a pile of scrap metal. Come disassemble with us, there's lots to learn. Food and drink will be available, come for a few minutes or all afternoon, 11am-5pm."
And our friends from Bombay Bicycle Club are hosting their spring member meeting. Open to non-members, but you have to RSVP. 5pm Lussier Heritage Family Center.
As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at email@example.com to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes.