Categories
Weekly Update

Bicycle Center News, Closures, Bike Wash Party (cancelled due to weather)

A Cyclist in Madison (Cyclists of Madison and Harald Kliems)

That wind!

This Week

On Monday, the paid membership portion of the downtown Madison Bicycle Center, managed by Freewheel, will be opening for the first time. Members can access bike storage, showers, lockers, changing rooms, and other core MBC amenities 24/7/365. If you work downtown, you should definitely give it a look-see. The facility and services are still available M-F from 9am-6pm for everyone and the semi-enclosed/well-lit bike parking is available 24/7 for everyone too!

On Wednesday at 10am there will be a Zoom event titled Advocating for Clean Transportation in Wisconsin. Speakers/panelists include representatives from the Bike Fed, WisDOT, City of the Green Bay, City of Madison and Greater Madison MPO. Free registration.

Due to a terrible weather forecast, the Saturday bike wash event has been cancelled. We’ll post when a new date is scheduled!

On Saturday from 1pm-4pm-??, come on down to the Madison Bikes Spring Bike Wash & Safety Checks event! It’ll take place right next to Brittingham Park on Clark Ct and there will be signage to help you find us.

Have you been riding all winter and still have a thick salt crust on your bike? Did you just get back on the bike for the season and your ride sounds a little creaky? Bought a used bike and want to make sure it’s safe? Either way, join us for our Bike Wash on April 30. We’ll have cleaning supplies, tools, lube, and volunteers from Madison Bikes, Dream Bikes, and Wheels for Winners on site who can check your bike for basic safety.

Even if your bike’s already sparklingly clean, stop on by to socialize and chat about bikes and bike advocacy. After the event, the party will continue as an informal community meeting where we’ll discuss all things Madison Bikes including Bike Week 2022!

You might be interested in reading some national coverage of the rising rates of pedestrian and cycling deaths in this opinion piece from the New York Times.

Finally, a Madison icon is retiring (maybe paywalled, sorry about that). Crazy “TV” Lenny, or now Crazy “Bike” Lenny is wrapping up his career (at least until whatever he does next). You may also remember the “Firenze” 10-speed road bikes from the 80’s that often came free with any sizeable purchase of furniture or electronics. His most recent venture, the bike shop that specializes in E-Bikes on Odana Road, will remain open under new local ownership.

Construction and Closures

Starting Monday, Old Middleton Road will be largely closed from it’s eastern terminus at Eau Claire Ave to Old Sauk Rd for the entire season. Once school is out for the year, it will close even further west from Old Sauk Rd to Capital Ave. Technically, one travel lane westbound only will remain open throughout, but that will probably not be a great biking option so best get used to your alternatives such as the University Ave path and/or winding through the hills south and west of Owen Park (h/t Harald).

Maybe it would help to join the collective kvetch in the discussion on our facebook group? The good news is that once the project is completed, we should have a smooth surface and a bike lane in both directions for the entire length of the project.

Old Middleton Rd 2022 Closure Map (City of Madison)

The brand-new pump track at Aldo Leopold Park will be closed until July (again with the paywall) to install a new skills track around the pump track and to allow the grass to grow in. It will surely be worth the wait!

Finally, it’s worth mentioning the list of highway projects that Dane County has started or are in the works for this summer/fall construction season.

Upcoming

Bike Week in Wisconsin is June 5-11. The event calendar isn’t available yet, but if you want to run an event you can register it here.

Can you believe we’re almost to May? Bike Month will be all month, as declared by The League.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

Saris Gala, Comprehensive Plan, Biking Events

Be prepared for more Wisconsin spring weather this week. I plan to have my rain coat and pants close-at-hand in case I get caught in the rain (or snow!?).

Saris Gala

On Friday, April 22nd at 6pm, the Saris Gala will be held at the Saris headquarters in Verona with the goal of raising money for Madison area bike facilities.

Our mission is to invest in bike park projects in under-served communities worldwide and we are starting right here in our own backyard.

Learn more…

Tickets are available for $50 in advance and $60 at the door.

Atwood Avenue Reconstruction Project

After much deliberation and community input, the Parks Commission decided to implement Option 3a multi-use path through Olbrich Park. This option was considered a compromise which most people could live with, maintaining bike access through the park and leaving most of the lake shore path as-is. Another benefit is that option 3a doesn’t interfere with the sledding hill and can be plowed in the winter. Thank you to everyone who gave feedback as part of the Atwood Ave reconstruction project.

Madison Parks Commission selected the Option 3a multi-use path design for Olbrich Park.

Capitol Off-Road Pathfinders (CORP) Spring Fundraiser

CORP Annual Fundraiser returns to its rightful place at Machinery Row Bicycles on April 23! All the highlights you remember: beer, food, and the famous bottomless raffle! $20 at the door (kids free!).

1000 Friends of Wisconsin Webinar Series

If you are unacquainted, 1k friends of WI is a local group that promotes land use policies and activities that advance healthy communities, positive economic outcomes and environmental benefits in Wisconsin. They are hosting a four part webinar about street design and what we can do to reclaim public space. Registration is free!

Reclaiming the Streets for Living, Together – April 20, 2022 from 12pm-1pm.

Comprehensive Plan 2022 Progress Update

Updates to the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan is a 28 page document that will be presented at the Transportation Policy and Planning Board on Monday April 18th at 5pm. The plan provides an overview and current status of city wide initiatives in the following six key areas. It’s worth a quick readthrough to understand the long term vision of the Mayor and city staff have laid out for our city.

  • Land Use and Transportation
  • Neighborhoods and Housing
  • Economy and Opportunity
  • Culture and Character
  • Green and Resilient
  • Effective Government

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

Olbrich/Atwood Path – One More Committee

This past week

In case you missed it, there was a great article in the Isthmus about Dane County’s plan for paths to connect existing paths and some important destinations. It will be great to fill some of those gaps and have a real network all the way across the county – which actually would mean connections across the state. But although it’s great to see the map of planned connections, the article makes clear that some of these paths are years away, maybe even a decade. 

Coming up this week

Tuesday

At Noon, the Madison Area MPO will be holding the final public input session on the Connect Greater Madison: Regional Transportation Plan 2050. Learn more about the planning work to date and provide your comments on the draft plan goals, recommendations, and performance measures. The meeting will be recorded and available on their YouTube channel

Wednesday

Atwood/Oblich Path at Parks

The Board of Park Commissioners will be considering the path through Olbrich Park/along Atwood. Since this path is going through the park, this meeting is really critical if we want the best option to serve all ages and abilities. Comments at past committees and/or participating in the survey that went out were great, but we need one last push at this meeting. 

There is a well-organized neighborhood group that is pushing for keeping the bike route next to Atwood — essentially a wide sidewalk — and then using Oakridge and Welch to connect to the Lakeland. It will be very important for those who want a more-direct and less-steep option to contact the Board, or even better, to show up to testify. 

Although the Transportation Commission voted to recommend option #1 as the best for transportation – with option #3 as the second alternative – the Parks Board will be considering a different set of criteria, and they have the final say as to what to recommend to the City Council. The Board of Park Commissioners will be more likely to look at the best option for park users over the best option for those moving through or next to the park.

All the documents related to this matter as well as the comments that have already been submitted are at the link above. Here is the link to participate in the virtual meeting, watch the board meeting online, or send comments. 

Need an update on what the options are? The weekly update from March 21 has a good rundown. 

Transportation Commission

Also on Wednesday, the TC will be considering the reconstruction of the western portion of Lake Mendota Dr – from Baker Ave to the Madison city limits. This has been controversial in the immediate neighborhood because the city plan recommends adding sidewalks to one side of the street to improve safety and comfort for pedestrians. The street is already a low-stress biking street, but pedestrians need to walk in the road, including in winter. This includes kids walking to Spring Harbor Middle School. 

Save the dates for Bike Week June 5-11

And a reminder to save the date. Madison Bike Week will be June 5-11 this year. We are currently soliciting financial sponsorships, but we will soon be reaching out to groups, businesses, and individuals that want to plan events (commuter stations, discounts, classes, gatherings, rides, or other activities.) So mark it on your calendar and start to think what you or your group/business would like to do to celebrate. 

Freewheel is hiring!

From our friends at Freewheel, we received this announcement. If you are looking for a job, read on.

Freewheel seeks an eBay Sales Associate. We receive a lot of donations of high-end parts that do not sell quickly at the Madison Bicycle Center, but people online are interested in them – and the money we get from sales keeps our classes free for everyone. Our current staff doesn’t have the time in their workday to manage and develop our tiny little eBay store – but maybe you do? We’ve received a generous donation that’s earmarked for a limited-term, part-time position that would identify, photograph, list, pack, and ship the high-end, small donated parts we receive at our facility. Although this is a limited-term position, we hope it will pay for itself – in which case, this position will last much longer than the one month we currently estimate. You can read the full job posting here: https://www.facebook.com/jobs/job-opening/3039568626306232/ Or, if Facebook isn’t your thing, you can send your resume and cover letter by email to lang@freewheelbikes.org.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

Best and new bike shops, Vilas Park delays, regional transpo plan, and a new trail in Verona

Madison’s best bike shop? You decide

It’s that time of the year: Madison Magazine are running their Best of Madison 2022 competition. In the category of bike shops you can vote for:

  • Atkins Verona Bicycle Shoppe
  • Black Saddle Bikes
  • Budget Bicycle Center
  • Machinery Row Bicycles
  • Neff Cycle Service
  • Revolution Cycles

New bike delivery and repair co-op

The CycleWorks team (Image: Madison CycleWorks)

Speaking of bike shops: Madison has a new bicycle-focused business: Madison CycleWorks. Key facts about CycleWorks: They are organized as a worker-owned cooperative. They offer mobile bike repair, as well as pedal-powered delivery for wholesale distribution, business delivery, and direct-to-consumer delivery, for example for restaurants. CycleWorks are open for business, and they are also raising funds through Kiva micro loans.

Disclosure: Several worker-owners of CycleWorks are current or former Madison Bikes board members.

Olbrich Park survey still open

We have previously covered the Atwood Avenue reconstruction and the different options for the path alignment through Olbrich Park. The Transportation Commission recommended option 1 (with option 3 as an alternative) at their March 23 meeting, but it’s the Board of Parks Commissioners who make the final decision at their April 13 meeting. The survey about the different options continues to be open and you can still vote: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/olbrich

MPO regional transportation plan

The Greater Madison Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is hosting a final set of public meetings about their Regional Transportation Plan 2050. The MPO is a crucial player in shaping the transportation system of our metro area, as large amounts of federal transportation funding go through the MPO. The online meetings take place on April 7 at 5:30 and April 12 at noon. You can sign up here: https://greatermadisonmpo.konveio.com/upcoming-meetings More information about the plan and an interactive map where you can provide feedback is available here.

Vilas Park plan delays

Remember how the Parks Department agreed to implement a temporary plan to remove car through-traffic on Vilas Park Drive, back in May 2021?

Cars would no longer be able to use Vilas Park Drive as a cut-through route under the interim traffic management plan approved in May 2021 (Image: City of Madison)

Well, nothing much happened last year and cars continue to drive through the park. The updated timeline was: “first thing next spring.” Now we have learned that the project will be completed in mid-June at the earliest. The delays apparently are related to staffing and supply challenges, and the Parks Department not offering an earlier date to the pavement contractor because of “events/activities” at the park shelter. So keep watching out for cars when you walk or roll through Vilas Park.

A new trail in Verona

On a bike ride today I noticed new multi-use path in Verona. It runs from County Highway M along Badger Mill Creek to Arbor Vitae Dr. (the connection with Arbor Vitae wasn’t quite done yet). The path doesn’t provide a whole lot of new connectivity for people who don’t live nearby, but it definitely seemed busy with people walking, biking, and mono-wheeling today. Here’s some video footage:

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

Madison Bikes Community Meeting, Atwood Update, More Bike Jobs

A pair of Madison bicyclists on a tandem last Friday. Photo: Harald Kliems.

This Week

On Monday from 6:00-7:30 PM, Madison Bikes is hosting a virtual community meeting to discuss gaps in Madison’s low-stress bike network and how to fix them. Fixing these gaps is an essential step towards making Madison a place where anyone living in any area of the city can safely get around without a vehicle. After a deadly year for Madison’s pedestrians and bicyclists, momentum is building at the city level to close these gaps. Community participation is essential to keeping that momentum going. Zoom link here, Facebook event page here.

Transportation Commission updates:

  • TC recommended Option 1 for Atwood Ave. reconstruction around Olbrich park, with Option 3 as the preferred alternative! This is great news, as these two options are the safest for bike riders of all ages and abilities – kudos to everyone who responded to our messages to vote! Parks will announce their final decision soon. For now, the survey is still open if you haven’t yet voted.
  • Madison BCycle presented expansion plans, including utilizing federal Transportation Alternatives funding to reach underserved areas of the city. A large expansion of their e-bike share stations is planned for this year.
  • Buffered bike lanes were approved on Tokay Blvd. between Whitney Way and Segoe Rd.

Ride the Drive cancelled for 2022. We are sad to hear that parks superintendent Eric Knapp notified the city last week that Ride the Drive is being cancelled for 2022, as Parks prioritizes other city projects due to staffing shortages. Blog post here. We will keep you updated with other kickoff event plans for Bike Week!

Bike jobs! DreamBikes is hiring a bicycle technician. DreamBikes is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that works with local youth organizations to provide hands-on paid job training in the bike industry to Madison-area teens. Job posting here.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

Atwood Ave, Olbrich Park at TC

Atwood Ave with a makeshift protected bike path. Photo Credit Harald Kliems.

This Week

Madison’s Transportation Commission meets this Wednesday at 5:00 PM, and there’s a fair number of agenda items related to Madison Bike’s goals. The biggest of these agenda items relates to the Atwood Avenue project, with Madison Bikes working towards getting an all-ages and abilities facility for the entire length of the project, and ensuring the lake loop route is accessible all year round.

Current conditions along Atwood Ave at Lakeland.

The Atwood Avenue project has two components that are under discussion this Wednesday. The first is how to route a potential path through/around the park in order to fill a substantial gap in the Lake Monona Loop trail, including enabling year-round access to the route. The second is a proposed modification to the plan on the east end to continue the side path to Cottage Grove Rd, creating an all ages and abilities connection along the entire eastern portion of this project. With respect to the first component, there are now four options being considered for the routing from Lakeland to the path along Atwood. Madison Bikes has endorsed Option 1 and Option 3 for this segment. These options both create a safe, all ages and abilities access to and through the park, and provide a more direct, year-round route for commuters. Option 2 would continue the route largely as it exists today, which means it would not be able to be plowed for year-round use, as the park is a popular sledding hill, and the path would be left snow-covered to act as a run-out for the sledding hill. Option 4 would completely bypass the park, and require people following the lake loop to climb up a larger hill than they are currently being asked to, which makes it a worse option when considering all ages and abilities connections.

With respect to the second component of the Atwood Avenue project, there is a proposal to modify the east end of the project to continue an off-street path to the project’s eastern terminus at Cottage Grove Rd. The existing proposal has the off-street facilities ending at Dennett Drive, with buffered bike lanes continuing to the project’s eastern terminus. While buffered bike lanes are a major improvement over the current nothing that exists today, they are not an all ages and abilities facility. This proposed change would create an all ages and abilities facility to Cottage Grove Rd, which is more in line with Madison Bike’s mission to promote a city where anyone can ride a bicycle conveniently and comfortably to any place year round.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

BCycle Kicks Off, Olbrich Park Path and TC recap

Two cyclists on BCycles dressed for cool weather
Two BCycle riders dressed for cool weather (Cyclists of Madison)

Can you believe that just seven days ago we were digging out from a wet messy snow storm? What a difference a week makes!

In addition to great bicycling weather, warmer temperatures mean that the street sweepers can get their brush on at night. Spring street sweeping keeps a lot of sand and salt out of the storm sewers (and the lakes!) and of course makes for safer and cleaner bicycling. According to the street sweeping site, shared-use paths are cleared using lighter equipment several times per year, so expect to see those vehicles out as well and if there are any major problem areas, use Report A Problem to let the city know.

This Week

On Monday at 5pm, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board will meet (agenda) and it looks like you’ll be able to enjoy a presentation about the Transportation Improvement Program, which discusses a whole cargo bike-full of bicycling improvements from 2023-2028.

On Tuesday, BCycle season officially kicks off. This year you’ll find a bunch of new stations (eight announced to be available at launch with more to come) and 75 new bikes in the system. The prices are increasing slightly, but until March 15 you can still lock-in last year’s annual rate and save yourself $15. I’m not sure if that includes tomorrow, March 15, or not, so best do it ASAP using the code BACKTOBCYCLE.

Atwood Avenue is being reworked from Cottage Grove Road to South Fair Oaks Avenue and there will be many bicycling improvements. The biggest change is routing of a new multi-use path through Olbrich Park for which the city has an open survey. In case you are unfamiliar, this area is part of the iconic Lake Loop around Lake Monona.

One of the four options for routing the multi-use path through Olbrich Park (City of Madison)

Here’s a quick cheat-sheet:

  • Design option #1 routes closer to the lake than the existing route.
  • Design option #2 is similar to what exists now but would not be a year round bike route because it crosses the bottom of the sledding hill. Parks would not clear the path in the winter, similar to some parts of the Garner Park and Elver Park path systems.
  • Design option #3 is similar to #2 except that it routes around the bottom of the sledding hill to allow for snow removal.
  • Design option #4 (submitted by local neighborhood groups) would take the path completely out of the park, making it a longer route and adding elevation and an additional conflict point at the parking lot entrance.

Expect to hear a lot more about this in weeks and months to come. The work is scheduled to be done in 2025 but the city is trying to move it up to next year.

Last Week

Last week had a stacked Transportation Commission meeting. Here are a couple of the highlights:

  • The commission unanimously approved the proposed design for Hammersley Road. The rebuild includes a multi-use path on one side, and it greatly improves the crossing of Whitney Way by turning a turn lane into a center island. The project still needs to go through the Board of Public Works and the Common Council. The district’s Alder, Yanette Figueroa Cole, spoke in favor of the project, despite the vocal opposition from some residents. Consider sending the Alder an email thanking her for the support of the project: district10@cityofmadison.com
  • Staff presented an option that will turn on-street parking into a buffered bike lanes on Tokay Boulevard between Whitney Way and Segoe. The project will come back to the commission again at a later point, but commissioners supported the overall design.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

Hammersly Road, Tokay Boulevard , Transportation Operation Report

We received a taste of spring this week and the city street sweepers were out clearing the grit off the roads, but it looks like we have at least one more snow in store. It might be time to start getting your bike tuned-up and cleaned for spring, particularly if you’re a winter rider!

Hammersley Road Reconstruction

The current proposal to include a multi-use path along Hammersly Road will be up for discussion again at the Transportation Commission meeting on Wednesday at 5pmItem #5 (see previous MB blog post for background). The multi-use path could really use a boost of community support to ensure its included in the final design. Please register to voice your support at the TC, particularly if you live in this area and would love to walk or bike on a low-stress path.

Proposal to Add Buffered Bike Lanes to Tokay Blvd

Good news! The proposal to add buffered bike lanes on Tokay Boulevard from Whitney Way to Segoe Road (Item #7) will also be discussed at the Transportation Commission Wednesday at 5pm. View street geometry PDF.

Proposed Geometry of Tokay/Segoe Intersection (City of Madison)


2021 Madison Transportation Operation Report

This twenty page report is a treasure trove of data about the modes of transportation we use and Madison transportation priorities for next year. The report contains a lot of graphics and easily digestible facts comparing usage trends over the past three years. My brief synopsis is that both car, and unfortunately, bike counts are down compared with pre-pandemic levels. A Greater Madison MPO Tele Work survey indicates this trend is likely due to a greater number of people working from home on a full or part time basis. Of course it’s difficult to predict if this trend will continue.

Weekday Traffic on Atwood (City of Madison)
Bicycle Count on Capital City Trail by Month (City of Madison)

Traffic Fatalities

The report also shows traffic crashes and fatalities in Madison have increased significantly since 2019, matching the national trend. Notably, East Washington Ave alone accounted for one third of all Madison traffic fatalities and all victims were vulnerable users (pedestrians and cyclists)! This is very alarming and is a tragic example of why we urgently need to put more resources into to efforts like Vision Zero.

Traffic Related Fatal Crashes by Year (City of Madison)

Parking

For a second year in a row the city Parking Division reported a budget deficit which required them to pull $3.3M from reserves. The loss was attributed to loss of revenue and weak demand for parking garage spaces. Unlike the majority of this report, which has a progressive vision supporting all modes of transportation (car, bike, walk, bus, etc..), the parking division is hoping for a “stronger recovery and increase in parking demand…”. This statement makes me ponder how the incentives for the “car” Parking Division (to increase car parking demand) is at odds with the transportation departments overall goals and priorities (Vision Zero, Complete Green Streets, BRT, transportation equity, etc…). Do we really want to “increase parking demand”?

Parking Garage Occupancy by Year (City of Madison)
Parking Revenue by Year (City of Madison)

Traffic Engineering Accomplishments

The city has a long list of accomplishments from 2021 and most are focused on improving our transportation infrastructure to support all modes of transportation. It’s a respectable list and shows all the hard work accomplished by the city staff and leadership. I think we are moving in the right direction as a city and the rate of improvement has accelerated since 2019. Lots of work remains, but I’m proud of Madison and happy to call this my home. Thank you!

University Avenue Bike Path Detour Ended

The bike path is completely open [..]. All path closures have been removed. Any detour signs that remain will be removed soon. The detour across University Avenue will be required one more time for the final path restoration. The final restoration will take place this spring after the asphalt plants open up in approximately 2 months. [..] Other work in the area will include replacement of a chain link fence between the RR and the path and landscape restoration.

Eric Hjellen – MMSD Project Engineer

Bike Lanes to be Added Under Troy Drive Railroad Bridge

The new bridge proposed would span the entire right of way, allowing for two vehicle lanes, bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the road. This is a much-needed improvement to facilitate safe travel for all modes of transportation. Read more

City of Madison
Troy Drive Railroad Bridge (http://johnmarvigbridges.org/)

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

Military Ridge closure; Garver Path drainage trouble; City is hiring

Last week, the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) held a public meeting on the planned construction of a “force main” between Verona and Madison. This pressurized sewer line will move sewage from the area to the Nine Spring Wastewater Treatment Plant. Why is this relevant for the Madison Bikes community? Because the project potentially would severely impact the Military Ridge State Trail. At this point, MMSD is evaluating four alternative routes:

Map of the four alternatives for the relief sewer (Image: MMSD)

You can see that all alternatives would either run along the Military Ridge and Ice Age Trails, or at least cross it, potentially closing it for a long time. The Military Ridge State Trail is the only safe bike connection between Madison and Verona. For the sections impacted by Alternatives 3 and 4, there is no safe detour option. Maple Grove Road has heavy car traffic and only a narrow shoulder:

Conditions on Maple Grove Rd (Image: Google Street View

Alternatives 1 and 2 affect a different segment of the trail, but it seems that it would easier to create safe detours. You can provide feedback on the project with this brief survey. The survey closes on March 2, so please respond quickly. Here’s the alternatives analysis presented at the meeting:

MMSD alternatives evaluation (Image: MMSD)

Last chance to apply as Ped Bike Outreach Specialist

Today (2/28, 11:59pm) is the deadline to apply as the Pedestrian Bicycle Outreach Specialist for the City of Madison:

The City of Madison is looking to hire a Pedestrian Bicycle Outreach Specialist responsible for educating pedestrians, bicycles, motorists and other active transportation users on safe practices. The position performs community education, community outreach, and project coordination within the Pedestrian Bicycle Program of the Traffic Engineering Division. The position includes undertaking direct education to youth and adults, establishing and maintaining contacts within the school district and community, doing presentations, overseeing volunteers, coordinating with other education programs and evaluating program efforts. This position will work collaboratively with other staff in the division, the school district, community centers and local non-profits to coordinate education efforts throughout the City. This position works closely with under-represented communities.

Find out more and apply here.

Bike Fitchburg Board Meeting

As always on the 4th Monday of the month, Bike Fitchburg have their board meeting. The meeting will be online. Find more information on Facebook.

Garver Path drainage troubles

On our Facebook Community Group, there was a discussion about the paving quality of bike paths in general and the new Garver Path in particular: A member of our community slipped and fell in an icy puddle on the path. There was a thoughtful discussion in the comments, and the Alder for the district chimed in as well. The bottom line: Contractors sometime mess up, and the path will be fixed in the spring. And if you ever encounter drainage issues on a bike path, please let the city know.

Drainage issues on the Garver Path (Image: District 15 Alder Grant Foster)

Car free spaces: Yes, we have one

We’ll end this update with a video. YouTube channel City Beautiful explored what happens when US cities close streets to car traffic. One of the examples: State Street in Madison (skip ahead to 3:35 in the video to get to the Madison portion). Unfortunately the footage is from winter, and so State Street doesn’t look as bustling as it does in summer.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

Vision Zero, Hammersley, Safe Streets Madison; BCycle; Wheels for Winners

The Transportation Commission has a long agenda this Wednesday. Here are some items of interest to the Madison Bikes community. You can register to speak or email your comments to TransportationCommission@cityofmadison.com on any item on the agenda.

Hammersley Reconstruction

We have previously mentioned the upcoming reconstruction of Hammersley Road. One proposed option installs a multi-use path for people walking and biking on side of the street. The project is now back at the Transportation Commission for approval, after having gone through public meetings. What has changed since the previous proposal: Some on-street parking has been added back in. While this has no impact on the multi-use path, it appears to involve the removal of some mature trees. The other change is the crossing of Whitney Way. Crossing the road here has been very challenging, and the multi-use path on Hammersley makes a new design necessary. This is what is being proposed:

Sheboygan Avenue Reconstruction

This project has been at the Transportation Commission previously as well. Currently Sheyboygan Avenue does not have any bike infrastructure, an issue that will become more pressing once the Madison Yards project increases density in the area and bus rapid transit will bring additional buses on the street. No materials have been made available yet, so we don’t know what the latest plans are.

Vision Zero Action Plan

The challenging path to zero by 2030 (Graphic: Harald Kliems)

Vision Zero, the commitment to eliminate all traffic fatalities and injuries in Madison by 2030, now has an action plan. This long document outlines what steps the city is going to take to achieve our goal, and how it will measure progress. Madison Bikes has been on the stakeholder engagement group that provided input on the action plan. The document provides a lot of facts on where crashes occur, who is most affected by them, and what some of the challenges are in making our city safer. Is the action plan as written going to be sufficient to achieve Vision Zero by 2030? We will see. But any vision needs an action plan to have any chance of success. Go take a read!

Safe Streets Madison

Safe Streets Madison is a city program that combines previous traffic safety, bike and walk improvements, and traffic calming programs into one unified program focused on safety and equity. The program already was on the Transportation Commission agenda two weeks ago. That meeting focused on the overall program and how the ranking of projects works in general. This week the first batch of projects will be up for approval. The list of unsafe streets and of gaps in the walking and biking networks is long, and city staff are asking the commission to approve at least $500,000 worth of projects, with more to be approved later in the year. It appears that the proposed projects are the ones in this spreadsheet. They range from very cheap ones such as “yield to pedestrians” signs, to more involved infrastructure projects building sidewalks or installing median islands. One odd item on the list: $15,000 for laser-speed equipment for the police department.

Madison BCycle season starting March 15

The UW campus will have additional BCycle stations (Photo: Harald Kliems)

In just over three weeks, the 2022 Madison BCycle season will start! March 15 is opening day. And there are a number of changes this year: There will be more stations, more bikes, and more time for your rides. The annual subscription costs will increase too, but if you’re already an annual member you can lock in your renewal at the current rate (and discounted rates for UW and MATC affiliates will remain the same). Read the news release for more details.

Sewerage District project impacting Military Ridge Trail

The Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District is holding a first public meeting about a project that may have long impacts on the Military Ridge Trail between Madison and Verona. It looks like all proposed options will lead to a temporary closure of the trail, which does not have a safe detour option. Sign up for the public meeting on Wednesday and learn more about the project here.

A map of the four alternative alignments for the relief sewer (Image: MMSD)

Fat Bike Racing at Blackhawk

The fat bike season is nearing its end. On Saturday morning, you have the opportunity to race on the wonderful trails at Blackhawk Ski Club in Middleton. There are juniors, citizen, and elite race categories, and you get extra points for wearing flannel or Olympic Games-themed costumes. Sign-up at 9am; race at 11 am.

Volunteer at Free Bikes 4 Kidz

Our friends at FB4K Madison are in the peak of their volunteer season and are always in need of more people. Sign up for available shifts here.

Volunteer hours are available Monday – Thursday, 9am-3pm and on some evenings from 6-9pm. We like to have fun while we work and volunteering is a great social outlet during these limited social options.

NO EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY: We have a spot for everyone at the FB4K Workshop! Whether you come alone, as an individual, or with coworkers, friends or teammates, FB4K is sure to provide a valuable volunteer experience for anyone. 

Support Wheels for Winners fundraiser

Wheels for Winners are doing their big fundraiser for the year, to “help us with our most ambitious project to promote access to bicycling within Communities of Color.” They are very close to reaching their target — you can push them above with your donation.

We will enable 150 people to become bike owners through our well-established earn-a-bike program, (2) furnish a minimum of 100 bikes for bike rodeos, loan-a-bike programs, and similar riding events, (3) repair over 200 bikes at community events, and (4) co-sponsor over 10 community riding events

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.