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Newsletter Weekly Update

Happy Winter Bike Week!

Welcome to the Madison Bikes newsletter! It’s Winter Bike Week and we’re super excited to share some news and updates with you.

Winter Bike Week activities

On Tuesday morning from 7-9, Bike Fitchburg will be hosting a commuter station at the “Velo UnderRound” (where the Badger, Cap City, Southwest, Cannonball, and Military Ridge Paths intersect). Stop by to enjoy some hot coffee and bagels. There will also be minor mechanical adjustments and bike maps available. Come chat about what Bike Fitchburg is doing to help make a more fun and welcoming place to ride a bike, and how you can get involved!

Friday is International Winter Bike Day, and Madison Bikes and the City of Madison are hosting another commuter station on the Capital City Trail, just east of the Monona Terrace (near the bike elevator). From 7-9am we will have free coffee (courtesy of Cafe Domestique), donuts, and some one-of-a-kind MB Winter biking stickers!

An smiling individual with long hair, wearing a high-vis coat and a high-vis hat, celebrates their free Madison Bikes blue face buff with the sun rising on the frozen lake behind them. A sign reads "no motorized vehicles past this point".
A happy commuter at Winter Bike Day 2023 (Photo: Harald Kliems)

Finally, Friday afternoon from 4-6pm, we’ll be hanging out at Working Draft Beer. All are welcome to stop by, enjoy 10% off with your Bike Benefits sticker, and chat with us about why you love Winter biking. Working Draft has a large selection of tap beer and plenty of NA options! We look forward to capping off the celebration with you there.

Meetings: Passenger Rail and Pedestrian Safety

How exciting is it to imagine a passenger train station in Madison? On Tuesday from 6-7:30pm, the city will be hosting a public meeting on the Passenger Rail Station Study. The study aims to identify a location for Amtrak’s planned extension of the Hiawatha route. Tune in to hear about the study’s progress and where the station could be located.

Wednesday from 5-7pm, the city is hosting a virtual Community Conversation about pedestrian safety. The meeting, held by the Disability Rights and Services Program, is for learning and discussing how to reduce crashes and deaths and improve safety for anyone who walks, rolls, or rides for transportation.

Freewheel Bicycle Co. Update

Madison Freewheel Bicycle Co. is a local non-profit bike shop that focuses on education about biking for transportation. Their services include providing free and low-cost bicycles to individuals in need, bike building, low cost and DIY repair, and maintenance classes. While they had to leave their previous space at the Madison Bicycle Center in 2023, they are still going and exploring which direction to go in 2024. Along with looking for a new indoor shop space, they are planning fundraising, advocacy for better transportation, and events. To help them do those things, Freewheel is seeking new board members. If you are interested in helping the community through bicycle education and advocacy, you are encouraged to join the next meeting on Thursday, February 15th, 6-7pm on Zoom (More info) (Zoom meeting registration link).

Welcome to our new board members!

Speaking of board members, meet the newest recruits to the Madison Bikes crew!

Jacob Bortell, Katie Nash, Pratik Prajapati, Paul Lata, and Christina Lopez join the Madison Bikes Board of Directors. Please join us in welcoming them! We are delighted to have such a great group and we look forward to their contributions and effort to make Madison an even better place to ride a bike. To read more about the new (and existing) board members, check out our Board of Directors page.

That’s all for this newsletter. Enjoy the warmer riding weather and we hope to see you out there!

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.

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Newsletter Weekly Update

When Bike Advocacy Work Pays Off

Welcome to the Madison Bikes newsletter! It’s the time of year when we get the least amount of sunlight, so if you can, be sure to take some time for yourself during the day. A short walk or bike ride in the middle of the workday can be an effective energy booster. As I like to say, you’re only one bike ride away from a good mood! Anyway, here’s what you need to know about biking in Madison this week.

Community Meeting Recap

Last week, some Madison Bikes Community members met to brainstorm and plan community meetings for 2024. Our goal is to have a meeting each month in the form of a get together, ride, learning opportunity, etc. and last Thursday we asked you for input and help. We got a lot of great ideas for meetings with themes like Spring bike cleaning and maintenance, restaurant hopping bike rides, dogs on bikes, and more!

Community meetings typically occur on the last Monday of the month, but you can see the complete schedule on our calendar. Sometimes we may combine the community meeting with other events, like during Bike Week in June. Keep an eye on this newsletter for details on all upcoming events. We look forward to seeing you there.

New Wilson and Broom St. Cycletracks

Some hot new bicycle infrastructure just dropped along Wilson and Broom streets! Two cycletracks were built as part of the city’s reconstruction and replacement of utilities along those corridors. This is a big win and important step towards connecting the Cap City Trail near Machinery Row to the Capitol area. We want to extend a huge thank you and congratulations for those of you who advocated for this improvement back in 2019.

Check out this video from Jerry Schippa for a tour of the new facilities!

Broom and Wilson Street Cycletrack 2023 | Jerry Schippa on YouTube

That’s not all. Last week, the Transportation Commission presented preliminary plans for even more improvements in this area. The plans included extending the cycletrack Eastward to King St, along with other changes. The construction is expected to begin in May 2024 and take 6 months. You can find more plan details in the full presentation.

This is proof that showing up to meetings or even sending emails can make a big difference in the way our city’s transportation is designed. Once again, thank you to those who pushed for this and hooray for reclaiming more space for people.

Alder Slack Resigns

On Friday, Alder Kristen Slack announced her resignation from the Madison Common Council due to family health issues. The resignation will take effect January 10th and the Council is looking for applicants to backfill that role. If you’re wondering if you are eligible, the city has a page to check which district you live in. If you are a bicycling ally, live in District 19, and want to become an Alder, now is the time to apply! Applications are due by January 9th. You can find more details on how to apply in the link at the beginning of this paragraph. The newly appointed Alder will serve the remainder of the current term which goes until April, 2025.

Mineral Point “Road Diet” Meeting

Last week, we talked about how Mineral Point Rd is due for resurfacing in 2024 and the city is considering a “road diet,” meaning they want to reduce travel lanes, eliminate parking, and add bike lanes. The project spans from Midvale to the Speedway/Glenway intersection. If you want to learn more, we encourage you to read this post from the city website. The page contains a link to attend the virtual meeting at 5pm on Tuesday, December 19th. If you can’t attend but want to show support, you can email Alder Tishler at district11@cityofmadison.com.

That’s all for this newsletter. Have a wonderful week ahead!

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.

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Weekly Update

Icy Trails, Warm Hearts: Mineral Point Rd action alert

An icy bike trail (generated on DALL·E by Daniel Villegas, 12.3.2023)

Attention, bike riders of Madison! Here are your updates:

Prepare for more cold weather this week out on the trails. Help do your part by reporting ice or snow-covered trails to keep all of our neighbors safe using “Report a Problem.”

Report a Problem

Report a Problem” is a non-emergency tool the City of Madison uses to collect reports of ongoing issues or concerns with city services.

Regular riders lately will have already taken note of the recent snowfall and exercised caution while navigating the bike trails. Our safety is of utmost importance, so it is crucial that we report any ice-covered trails to the city promptly. By doing so, we can ensure that the necessary measures are taken to prioritize the plowing and clearing of these trails as soon as possible.

Remember, icy bike trails can pose a significant risk to riders, potentially leading to accidents and injuries. To report an ice-covered trail, please visit the City of Madison’s Report a Problem page. By reporting the issue, you will be helping to maintain the safety and accessibility of our local biking network.

Stay vigilant, ride carefully, and remember to report any ice-covered bike trails to the city authorities. Together, we can contribute to creating a safer biking environment for everyone in Madison.

Mineral Point Road Path -Action Alert!

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Road-widening by JM Construction

Mineral Point path is in danger! Looking for something to do in Madison this week? On Tuesday there is an important opportunity for you to provide public input. The Common Council will make a final decision on the path/sidewalk along Mineral Point Road. This path, on the north side of the street, is part of the East-West BRT project and meant to replace the bus/bike lanes on the corridor.

As a reminder, this already was a compromise solution because the city insisted on keeping two car lanes in each direction. After the Transportation Commission recommended a continuous 8-10 foot path along the whole corridor (with the exception of a stretch along a park where a path will be constructed at a later point), the Board of Public Works watered down the recommendation and instead recommended having several sections where there won’t be a path at all- but only a 5-foot sidewalk. This recommendation is now what is on the table for the council.

As the staff memo says: “In the past 5 years, there have been numerous bicycle crashes. Summer of 2022 was the most recent bicycle fatality resulting from this deficient facility. Most recently there was a bus/bicycle collision in October of 2023 – highlighting the challenges associated with a lane shared by buses, bikes, and right turning vehicles.”

The city has a Vision Zero policy, which says that the only acceptable number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries is zero. And yet, here is a proposal that does not create a safe bike facility, sponsored by the mayor.

You can register to speak at the council meeting by signing up here: https://www.cityofmadison.com/city-hall/committees/meeting-schedule/register. The item is number 33 on the https://madison.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=1074577&GUID=8F285D82-6C2B-4981-8570-E6EE764B662C (Legistar 80605).

If you can’t make the meeting, you can alternatively provide written comments to the council by sending an email to all alders at allalders@cityofmadison.com and/or the mayor at mayor@cityofmadison.com.

North-South BRT meeting summary

If you missed our community meeting on the North-South bus rapid transit last week: Fret not! We have a post with the meeting recording, slides, and a full transcript up now: https://www.madisonbikes.org/2023/12/north-south-brt-and-bikes-a-summary-of-our-community-meeting/

Metro hits a ridership milestone with 1M+ riders in October

2020-2023 Monthly Ridership Graph by Metro Transit

In other city news, Metro has achieved a significant milestone in its ridership numbers, marking the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic that over 1 million rides were provided in a single month. During the month of October 2023, Metro recorded a total of 1,075,549 rides. This surge in ridership represents the highest monthly record since February of 2020, and reflects an impressive growth of nearly 20% compared to the same month last year.

One contributing factor to this remarkable achievement is the recent overhaul of Metro’s route system. The newly redesigned routes now provide longer journeys that span from one end of the city to the other. As a result, passengers are making fewer transfers, enhancing the overall travel experience. In the previous system, passengers often had to change buses at transfer points, which counted as two separate rides. With the current system, these same trips are now consolidated into a single ride, making it more convenient for commuters.

The significant rise in ridership numbers demonstrates the resilience of Metro and the trust that the community has placed in its transportation services. Despite the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, Metro remains committed to providing safe and efficient travel options for the residents of the city. By continuously improving its routes and adapting to the changing needs of commuters, Metro is dedicated to creating a reliable and sustainable public transportation system for all.

Let’s celebrate this accomplishment and continue to support Metro as it strives to meet the evolving transportation demands of our community.

Santa Cycle Rampage – Madison

Saturday, December 9, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Santa Cycle Rampage – Milwaukee by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Madison Santa Cycle Rampage is back for its third annual biking tradition! You are invited to come celebrate the festive season and support Dane County youth advocacy and education programs. This year’s ride will feature several feeder routes that converge on Breese Stevens Field and then head out on a 4-5 mile slow roll with kids at the lead.

It is highly encourage everyone to dress in festive attire or your favorite holiday-themed costume — you’ll be jingling all the way! More details on the registration site.

FEEDER ROUTES BEGIN by 9:15am (varies by site)
RIDERS MEET AT BREESE STEVENS AT 10 am
RIDE LEAVES @11am. RETURNS by NOON.
Santa Cycle Rampage Team
Tweet

Ride safely, and stay warm!

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.

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Newsletter Weekly Update

S. Park Street BRT; TC

Madison Bicyclist in front of the Monona Terrace. Photo: Cyclists of Madison

S. Park St. Redevelopment

Wednesday from 6:00PM – 7:30, join a virtual city meeting discussing S. Park St. redevelopment for BRT. Thursday from 5:30PM – 7:30 PM, there will also be an in-person meeting on the same topic in Fitchburg.

Madison Bikes board member Craig Weinhold mentioned these meetings two weeks ago in an in-depth blog post about the sacrifices bicyclists and pedestrians have had to make to avoid disruptions to single occupancy vehicle traffic as BRT is expanded. Bicyclist safety and accessibility on S. Park St. is key to overall safety and accessibility on the S. side. It is important to show up often to city meetings to ensure the city fully explores options to allow bicyclists and bus riders safe and convenient roadway access, instead of pitting bikes and buses against one another while refusing to prioritize safety over single occupancy vehicle convenience.

Transportation Commission updates

The Mineral Point Rd. “widened sidewalk” plans are going to TC this Wednesday. The compromised state of the bike facilities included in this project were also mentioned in Craig’s blog post (link above). Feel free to send a written comment on “Agenda Item 2” to share your thoughts on this, instructions on how to do this are always included in the TC agenda.

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.

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Newsletter Weekly Update

The Street Project; Midvale Bike Lanes; Atwood Construction

Welcome to the Madison Bikes newsletter! We hope you’re keeping warm this week as you pedal your way into November.

Remember, your hands and feet will be the first to feel the cold so make sure to have good gloves that keep the water out. If you don’t have waterproof gear and you have to cycle in some nasty conditions, try this. Hack #1: Layer your normal gloves with kitchen or latex gloves. To keep your feet warm, doubling up on socks can help, but if your shoes are already snug, you’ll want to avoid it because it can reduce circulation. I’ve also found that wind still goes right through even with a second pair which is why I prefer hack #2: Wrap aluminum foil or cling-wrap around your toes over your socks. It will provide a wind-resistant layer and help keep the heat in on longer rides and it shouldn’t cause well-fitting shoes to feel too tight. Plastic shopping bags can also work in a pinch.

With those tips out of the way, here’s what you should know about bike advocacy in Madison this week.

The Street Project Film Screening

Monday night, Madison Bikes along with The Congress for the New Urbanism and the Wisconsin Student Planning Association will be hosting a screening of The Street Project, a film about humanity’s relationship to the streets. The film features real stories about traffic violence and the fight to make streets safer for bikers and pedestrians. Shot with a 500mm lens, typically used for filming wildlife, the film is intended to give a fascinating, ground-level perspective of transportation and movement and capture real-life human behavior.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to gather with other members of the biking community and get your mind churning with ideas on how we can improve our streets here in Madison. We’ll kick things off with a happy hour at the Sett Pub at 5 PM, followed by the film screening at 6 at the Marquee Cinema, both located in the UW-Madison Union South. After the film, stick around for a panel discussion with the following members of the community at 7:

  • Alicia Bosscher, Organizer, Ride for Your Life
  • Baltazar De Anda Santana, Director, The Latino Academy of Workforce Development
  • Chris McCahill, President, The Congress for the New Urbanism – Wisconsin Chapter
  • Collin Mead, Wisconsin Bike Fed
  • Juliana Bennett, Madison Alder, Dist 2
  • Morgan Ramaker, Downtown Madison, Inc.

Midvale Blvd Bike Lane Meeting

Also on Monday at 6:30 PM, Traffic Engineering is hosting a virtual neighborhood meeting regarding Midvale Blvd Safe Streets improvements. A buffered bike lane has been proposed and would require removing some parking. The purpose of the meeting is to hear from residents, discuss impacts, and answer questions. If you bike on or near Midvale Blvd between University Ave and Mineral Point Rd, your support is needed! Check out the project page on the city’s website for more details and to register for the meeting.

Atwood Ave Bike Bridge is Here

The new bridge along the Atwood Ave path
The new bridge along the Atwood Ave path | Christo Alexander

The Atwood Ave bridge over the Starkweather Creek is up and ridable. The bridge caps off a series of improvements to the bike infrastructure along Atwood on the North side of Lake Monona. The new multi-use path goes from Lakeland Ave, past Olbrich, and down Atwood Ave and is a great way to navigate the Northern section of the “Monona Lake Loop.”

That’s all for this week. Have a safe and spooky Halloween, stay warm, and keep biking!

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.

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Newsletter Weekly Update

Ride For Your Life, Bike Drive, Underpass Funding

Photo: Harald Kliems, Bike Parking at Great Taste of The Midwest at Olin Park

SUNDAY: Ride For Your Life

Ride for Your Life Madison is finally here this Sunday, October first. The ride has been discussed quite a bit in previous blog posts this summer. It is being held in memory of the tragic death of Sarah Langenkamp, as well as countless other cyclists and pedestrians killed by drivers in a country that has long prioritized motor vehicle convenience over public safety.

The ride is Sunday, October 1, 2023. Bicyclists will ride 5-6 miles at a slow pace, and pedestrians will walk 1 mile through Madison to the steps of the State Capitol. A rally to raise awareness of the need for pedestrian and cyclist safety will then be held. Ride staging begins at 2:00pm at Brittingham Park, and riders will depart at 2:30pm. The ride will end on the steps of the Capital with the rally ending at 4:00pm.

Please pre-register for the ride, and donate or volunteer if you can. All are welcome to join for the ride or the rally.

Underpass Funding

The city Finance Committee will vote on capital budget amendments on Monday. Alder Verveer has proposed two amendments that would significantly improve the John Nolen Drive project for bikes:

  • Amendment 6 would extend the project’s scope, allowing construction of a new multi-use path on the north side of North Shore Drive, from JND to Bedford
  • Amendment 7 would allocate $1M for design and another $4M for construction of a bike/walk underpass of John Nolen Drive at North Shore Drive, connecting to the path from Amendment 6, creating a safe route between downtown and the lakefront path that doesn’t rely on the bike elevator.

Send comments to financecommittee@cityofmadison.com

The Bassett neighborhood has several overlapping path projects, all of which create a network much more connected to downtown. See a map of all existing and proposed projects below, courtesy of board member Craig Weinhold.

FB4K Bike Drive

Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison is hosting its first Fall bike drive Saturday, September 30 from 9am-2pm, with a goal of 400 bikes donated. They will spend the winter refurbishing them before giving them to folks unable to access their own. Please also volunteer to help unload bikes at the drive if you can. Gently used bikes of all sizes and styles are accepted. Bikes that cannot be saved can be dropped off with a $20 disposal donation. Bring bikes to 354 Coyier Lane, Madison, WI 53713 near Rimrock and the Beltline Highway. If you are unable to donate on the 30th, drop off Monday-Friday between 9:30-3pm at the same location. If you live in an apartment complex and see unused bikes at your bike rack, FB4K suggests asking your property manager to donate them before throwing them away!

Madison Is For People Ride

After a very well-attended first event, Madison Bikes is again co-hosting a group ride with Madison is For People. Both of our organizations believe in a Madison where safe and equitable car-free transportation is accessible to all. See the event page for more details.

The ride is roughly 7.5 miles, starting at Law Park off John Nolen Dr., near the B-Cycle station at 6pm. We’ll go counter-clockwise along the Lake Loop and end at Garver Feed Mill where we can hang out, chat, eat and drink. The pace will be leisurely, around 10 mph. Nobody will be left behind. This is a great opportunity to meet your fellow housing and bike advocates and have fun!

Sunset will be at 6:45pm, so you must bring bike lights!

Group Rides

Tuesday evening is Madison Women’s Cycling Club or the Slow Roll Ride. Friday is the Bi-Weekly Ride for Trans Rights. Saturday you can check out Brazen Dropouts’ morning Row Ride.

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.

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Newsletter Weekly Update

Bicycle Friendly University; Future Rides; Join the Board

The boardwalk bike path on Lake Waubesa
The Lower Yahara River Trail – A great place to ride a bike | Christo Alexander

Welcome to this week’s update! Here’s what you need to know this week about bike advocacy in the Madison area.

Campus area commuters needed

If you bike around the Madison campus, your help is needed to evaluate how bike friendly it is! UW-Madison has applied to renew its status as a Bicycle Friendly University and The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) is sending out the survey to students and any other users of the bike infra around campus. If that’s you, please take the survey here! The input received will help the LAB award their final decision and will anonymously be included in feedback to the university. Your feedback is appreciated. To learn more about what it means to be a Bicycle Friendly University, check out the LAB website. Note: the survey closes Tuesday, Oct 10th at 11:59pm PT.

September Community Ride

Not this week, but next Friday, September 29th, we will be co-hosting another community ride with Madison is for People! The ride will meet at 6pm at Law Park near the BCycle station, take the lake loop counterclockwise at a casual pace, and end at Garver Feed Mill for food and beverages. The days are getting shorter so remember to bring lights!

In addition to riding your bike and having a great time, it’s a good opportunity for anyone interesting in joining the Madison Bikes board (see below) to chat with current board members and get your questions answered. Check out the event on Facebook and let us know if you can make it. We’d love to see you there!

Ride For Your Life

rideforyourlife.org

Looking ahead to October 1st: The “Ride For Your Life”, a 5-6 mile advocacy ride will be taking place. The ride is in memory of Sarah Langenkamp, and any cyclist who has needlessly lost their life on the road. It’s long overdue that everyone stands up and demands safer places for biking and walking. The ride will meet at Brittingham park at 2pm, with a departure time of 2:30 and end at the Wisconsin State Capitol, to rally for congress to fund safer infrastructure. If you can make it, be sure to register on the website. The ride is free and open to all. Volunteers are also needed to help with crossings and other support. We hope you can participate. If you do, you’ll be helping make biking safer in Wisconsin and standing up for something you believe in, which is pretty cool.

We want you to join the board!

Yes, you! If you enjoy biking infrastructure, advocacy, volunteering for a good cause, or you just want to see fewer cars in your life, consider filling out an application. The application is not a commitment. It’s just to let us know you’re interested in getting involved.

We’re seeking members from all areas of the Madison community. We want your perspective and ideas on how to make Madison a more comfortable and safe place to get around!

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.

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Newsletter Weekly Update

School and UW back

There are no big meetings this week, but there are some interesting events happening. Classes start at the UW on Tuesday, so the streets, sidewalks, and paths should be back to their busy state. 

One member of our Facebook community was surprised by the massive crowds of Badger fans around Camp Randall as she returned from a ride on Saturday. Those of us who have been here awhile know not to attempt to use the SW Path before and after games, but it’s kind of a shock for newcomers!

And kids are back at K-12 classes as well, so we will probably see younger kids riding to and from school with their parents, and older kids riding in groups and going to after-school activities. Be patient if you see these less-experienced bicyclists sharing your route. Slow down and give them a little extra space. We had requests from kids during Bike Week to please slow down near the schools, yes even on your bike. 

Monday 

You can enjoy dance on several area bike paths via the Shifting Gears Festival that will take place in Brittingham Park, McPike Park, Wirth Court Park, and the Timekeeper Sculpture at the Monona Terrace from noon-6:00 pm. 

Tuesday 

The Council will consider an experimental closure of the 400-600 blocks of State Street to motorized traffic. Presumably, this won’t impact bicycling in the area, except that there will probably be more pedestrians in the street. You can read the discussion of the Downtown Coordinating Committee for more details. 

Wednesday

The city Street Use Staff Commission will meet at 10 am. One topic is Park(ing) Day, which takes place on September 15. The UW student chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects has requested that they be allocated two stalls on Langdon St next to Memorial Union to turn them into a parklet. Park(ing) Day used to be a big deal here in Madison, but now it seems that everyone has forgotten about it. Maybe because we are indeed reallocating parking spaces for other uses, such as outdoor seating for restaurants in commercial districts, bike parking corrals, and bike lanes.

Also Wednesday, the Parks Commission will meet at 6 pm, and on the agenda is authorization to apply for a grant from Dane County to build a recreational biking project in County Grove Path. It’s unclear to me what this would be, but it looks like there are mountain bike trails planned for the park. (See pages 9 and 17 of the document for the meeting.) 

Wisconsin Bike Fed is holding a training from 12:30-4:30 pm at Oak Park Manor for those who would like to help with the Cycling Without Age program. Although their website says that you need to register by Sept 3, maybe they will still accept registrations if you call. 

The monthly Ride for Joe will meet at the Fitchburg Senior Center at 10 am. These are ride-and-learn events that cover basic bicycling topics and then go for a leisurely ride. They are geared to seniors, but anyone can join.  

These rides are in memory of Joe Imilkowski, long-time Fitchburg resident and avid bicyclist and senior center patron. These rides are geared for seniors, but all are welcome. At the request of those riding in previous months, two longer distances will be offered, about 12 and about 20 miles, principally on multi-use paths. Helmets are required. Rides will start with the topic of the month, short safety briefing, and ABC Quick Checks of bikes. The topic for September will be cool weather riding. On line registration and liability waiver are required, but can be done at ride time.

Sunday

The Bi-weekly Ride for Trans Rights will meet at Law Park at 9 am. 

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.

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Newsletter Weekly Update

Get out and ride

People gather before the Madison Bikes and Madison is for People social ride on Friday, August 25, 2023
Photo by Beth Skogen

In case you missed it last week…

Social Ride with Madison is for People

After a stretch of weather that made any physical activity — or even being outside — extremely uncomfortable, if not dangerous, the weather cooled just in time for our social ride in partnership with Madison is for People. It was a great ride, with more than 50 people joining us, far more than we expected. After meeting at Law Park by Machinery Row, we rode counterclockwise around the lake and ended at the East Side Club for socializing and beverages. 

Madison is for People has geared up in the last year to push for more housing and better, denser land use in the city. This makes walking, biking, and transit use easier as well, and gives more people an opportunity to live where car-free or car-lite living is practical. There is a lot of overlap in our messages, and it was great for the two groups to learn a bit more about what the other was doing.

In addition to learning about each other and enjoying a relaxed ride, this event made clear that there is a real desire for rides that make everyone feel welcome, rides where we take it slow and just enjoy the company.

What else should we do at community metings?

We’ve been looking for ideas on what we should do at our monthly community meetings, and these rides are one idea. What else would you like to see at the community meetings, especially when the weather is less accommodating to being outside? Talks and information? Movies? Social opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to see, or maybe if you have an idea that you’d like to present. You can email us at info@madisonbikes.org

The week ahead

There aren’t any city meetings that directly affect bicycling, but if you are ever interesting in seeing what committees are doing, you can access the weekly city meeting schedule and then click through to agendas on the city’s website. For instance, you might want to know what the Plan Commission or the Sustainable Madison Committee is up to this week. 

There are a couple of bike-related events this week. We won’t be holding our usual community meeting, because we just had the social ride. 

Monday, Bike Fitchburg will be meeting on at 7 pm at Oasis Café, 2690 Research Park Dr E, Fitchburg. 

Friday, the Bi-weekly Ride for Trans Rights will meet at 6:00 pm at Law Park. More information can be found at their Facebook event.

Watch out for your bike

There has been an uptick in stolen bikes posted on our Facebook Community page. Maybe this is due to all the new people in town and thieves taking advantage of people not locking their bikes, or maybe all the moving in and out has allowed unauthorized people into buildings and garages. Either way, be especially careful to lock your bike if you are in a new apartment or aren’t sure about the security of a location. And remember that you can register your bike or report a stolen bike at the BikeIndex, a national database. 

And watch out on the streets too

With all the new people in town, as well as dorm move-in Aug 30 and Sept 1, there are a lot of people that aren’t used to seeing bicyclists everywhere. And people may be lost, frustrated, tired, or generally unaware of how things roll (and walk) in Madison. Bike crashes go up significantly every year in late-August and early-September, so take it easy, and have some patience with all the new folks.

Join our board!

If you would like to help with our mission, consider joining the Madison Bikes board of directors. We are an all-volunteer organization, so the board both shapes policy and the activities we undertake as well as often doing the day-to-day work. We are always looking for people to join the board, as people step down, move, or need to change their time allocation. Everyone has a talent and skills we can use, but most important is probably enthusiasm to move bicycling and policy forward in Madison. Fill out the application by September 29. Terms start in January.

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
Newsletter Weekly Update

Ride For Your Life, MPO Updates, Move In/Out Season

Photo: Harald Kliems, Bike Parking at Great Taste of The Midwest at Olin Park

Ride For Your Life Madison

Sarah Langenkamp was a mother of two and a US diplomat. She provided assistance to Ukraine in the early days of the Russian invasion before being forced to evacuate to Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and two sons. Last August, Sarah was riding her bike home from her son’s elementary school when the driver of a flatbed truck struck and killed her.

In the wake of Sarah’s tragic death, her family organized Ride For Your Life in Washington D.C. to advocate for infrastructure, technology, and policy changes known to prevent crashes that kill vulnerable road users like bicyclists and pedestrians.

Sarah’s sister Alicia, along with the Wisconsin Bike Fed, Madison Bikes, and Trek Bicycles, are hosting Ride for Your Life Madison. The ride will be held in memory of Sarah and countless other cyclists and pedestrians killed by drivers in a country where transportation policy and infrastructure choices continue to prioritize motor vehicle convenience over public safety.

The ride is Sunday, October 1, 2023. Bicyclists will ride 5-6 miles at a slow pace, and pedestrians will walk 1 mile through Madison to the steps of the State Capitol. A rally to raise awareness of the need for pedestrian and cyclist safety will then be held. Ride staging begins at 2:00pm at Brittingham Park, and riders will depart at 2:30pm. The ride will end on the steps of the Capital with the rally ending at 4:00pm.

Please pre-register for the ride, and donate or volunteer if you can. All are welcome to join for the ride or the rally.

Madison is For People Ride

As mentioned last week, we are co-hosting a ride with Madison is For People. Both of our organizations believe in a Madison where safe and equitable car-free transportation is accessible to all. We now have a Facebook event page for this ride.

Move In/Move Out Days

Be careful riding this week, as tomorrow is the day leases end for many people in Madison, which means lots of traffic, including potentially many drivers unfamiliar with the area. This issue will increase once UW campus housing has its move in at the end of the month. Unfortunately, it’s best to assume drivers are totally ignorant of your existence when you are alongside, in front, or behind them. This is especially true at intersections. Be aware of your surroundings, ride defensively, and be sure to have lights at night.

MPO Updates

The MPO issued a press release last Wednesday with a list of approved funding for projects significant to safe and accessible bike transportation. Link here if you missed Ben’s MPO explainer for those not familiar. Exciting details include a new multi-use path on the West side of Rimrock from John Nolen to the Beltline slated for 2026, as well as funding for one of the last links connecting the Cap City to the Glacial Drumlin. Link here to look at all that was approved and timelines for implementation.

Group Rides

Tuesday evening is Madison Women’s Cycling Club or the Slow Roll Ride. Friday is the Bi-Weekly Ride for Trans Rights. Saturday you can check out Brazen Dropouts’ morning Row Ride.

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.