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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 : 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 : 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.

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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.

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Newsletter Weekly Update

Transportation Commission; Parking Rant; Group Rides

A crowd gathers for Saturday's Free Bikes 4 Kidz Slow Roll
A crowd gathers for Saturday’s Free Bikes 4 Kidz Slow Roll | Photo by Harald Kliems

Hello and welcome to another weekly update! In case you missed it, Free Bikes 4 Kidz hosted a South Side Slow Roll on Saturday. The purpose of the ride was to give newer riders experience on group rides, explore our beautiful trails, and of course have some fun. Those of you who participated may see yourselves on the story from Channel 3000.

Transportation Commission

This Wednesday, August 9th the Transportation Commission will meet virtually at 5pm. Included in the agenda are:

  • A Complete Green Streets project checklist review
  • A public hearing regarding removing residential permit (RP3) parking on Sheboygan Ave between Whitney Way and Segoe Rd.

You can register to comment or tune in to the meeting here.

When it comes to removing parking spaces, I am a huge fan. We give away far too much of our public space for storing personal vehicles when we could be using it for more productive purposes. Not only do street-parked cars take up public space, but they also pose a risk because they block drivers’ ability to see cyclists and pedestrians. Depending on the street configuration, they can also be an issue when cyclists have to ride in the “door zone” and risk being hit by an opening car door. The city of Amsterdam is aware of these problems and in 2019 they decided to remove over 10,000 parking spaces from their city center. I realize we are not and will never be Amsterdam, but a person can dream, right? If we could take just a tiny portion of their ideas and implement them in our city, vulnerable road users like bicyclists would be a lot safer. Unfortunately, a lot of the way our city is configured prioritizes car throughput over pedestrian and cyclist lives. If that bothers you, take action by attending local meetings and and letting your representatives know how you feel.

Madison Queer Bike Ride

Also on Wednesday: the monthly Madison Queer Bike Ride will be taking place, starting at 6pm at Law Park. The route for this month will be the Cap City loop. It will be a casual party-paced ride with a stop along the way for food and socializing. Check out @madisonqueerbikeride on Instagram for more info!

Save the Date: August Community Ride

We haven’t had a community meeting in a while, but we have something good planned for you later this month. Mark your calendar for Friday, August 25th when we will be co-hosting a bike ride and social event with Madison is for People. Madison is for People is a group that wants to make housing more sustainable and affordable, and make car-free living possible for more people in Madison. The ride will meet at 6pm at Law Park, take the lake loop counterclockwise, and end at the East Side Club for food and beverages. Stay tuned for more information about the event in the coming weeks. We can’t wait to see you there!

Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading. If you want to hear more about how parking sucks, or if you just enjoy painfully long urbanist videos, you may like this one on minimum parking requirements from Climate Town. It’s a truly eye-opening deep dive into the laws that force builders to create way more parking than we actually need, the damage that causes to our cities, and what we can do to improve the situation.

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

Speak up about future plans

Row upon row of full bike racks at dusk at Fete de Marquette. Woman in a green shirt and black pants arrives on a blue bike.
Photo credit: Christo Alexander

One of our board members attended Fete de Marquette, and sent the photo above with the comment, “I haven’t seen this many bikes since Amsterdam!” That’s what we like to hear. 

What happened in the last week?

On Tuesday, the Madison Council approved the geometry of the reconstruction of John Nolen Dr from Lakeside to North Shore Dr. Although it is not in this portion of the project, the Council added a requirement that City Engineering study an underpass of John Nolen between North Shore Dr and Broom. Thanks to all who wrote in and/or testified to show support for this infrastructure. We need to continue to ask for what we want and show that bicycle and pedestrian connections across busy roads are important for the health and future of our community.

Although it is NOT open yet, the overpass of University Bay Dr is getting very close. I actually saw someone biking over the bridge on Sunday. Please wait until it is officially open, especially during the week when work is going on. The city reports that the Campus Dr Path should reopen the morning of July 19, and the overpass will probably be open by the end of the month. (All deadlines are estimates.)

If you would like more information about city construction, detours, etc., the city puts out a bike-specific update each Friday. That will have more information and/or construction news we’ve missed. On the city’s Bike Madison page (not Madison Bikes – very confusing), just look for the link to Bike Madison Updates from the city.

The week ahead

There aren’t any committee meetings this week that directly affect bicycling or transportation in the city. However, there are some planning/transportation meetings and events that might be of interest.

Tuesday

But if you live, work, play, shop, or travel through the west side – from Midvale Blvd to the west Beltline and Lake Mendota to the south Beltline – you may want to attend and comment on the city’s West Side Plan.  The plan will cover land use, transportation, parks and open space, and other elements of the City’s Comprehensive Plan for the next ten years. Two virtual meetings are available: July 18 at 6:30 pm and July 26 at noon. Then there will be an in-person meeting on August 2 in Rennebohm Park from 5:30-7:30 pm — including food as part of the Carts in the Park. You can find out more about the meetings and register on the city’s website. There is also a survey at that link, in case you want to give your thoughts that way.

Also Tuesday, the Lake Monona Waterfront Ad Hoc Committee will meet. This isn’t specifically about the path or any infrastructure, but if you want to see what they are discussing, you can head over to the in-person meeting at 6:00 pm at the new Parks office at 330 E Lakeside – right off the Lake Monona Path. They will be planning a public meeting on the revised plan scheduled for July 24.

Thursday 

July 20, WisDOT is holding its first public involvement meeting for the US 51 (Stoughton Road) South Study on July 20, 5:00-6:30 pm at St Dennis Church on Dempsey Rd. This is an open house, so you can drop in at any time to hear about the study’s purpose and need, existing issues and tour exhibits. If you want to be able to travel easily and safely along and across Stoughton Rd, this will be an important meeting. More information can be found here

Friday

Biweekly Ride to Support Trans Rights. Friday ride leaves at 6 pm from the Walter St entrance to Olbrich Park. The two-hour ride is a casual social loop of Lake Monona. All are welcome. 

Madison Bikes supports trans rights

If you don’t follow our Facebook Community Group, you may have missed some unfortunate nasty business this last week. Someone, or a group of people, have been posting anti-trans stickers and graffiti on area paths, and when a member tried to organize rides to support trans rights, several people ganged up to report the posts, and Facebook automatically removed them. (Automatic deletion of posts by Facebook is a side effect of tightening up security to keep spam and bots out of the group.) 

The posts have been restored, some changes in the deletion policy implemented, and the rides now appear on our weekly calendar. The rides will be held every other Sunday at 9 am and every other Friday at 6 pm. 

The Madison Bikes board issued a statement in support of trans rights:

We, the Board of Madison Bikes, have witnessed an escalating campaign of anti-trans graffiti in our city, including on our paths. Trans cyclists are valued members of our community, we affirm the right of trans people to bike in Madison (and everywhere), and we stand in solidarity with trans people asserting the right to enjoy biking.

The mission of Madison Bikes is to create a place where anyone can ride a bicycle conveniently and comfortably year round.

To be comfortable, one must first be free from harm. The disgusting stickers and graffiti harassing the trans community stand in direct contrast to our mission statement, and are an attempt to create an environment of fear and distrust within our community. We will not tolerate bigotry in this or any other form.

We, the Board of Madison Bikes, will work to ensure that our social media platforms, our events, and our paths and roads are safe and welcoming spaces for everybody, including trans people.

To the trans members of our community, you are welcome and you are wanted the way you are. We pledge to work with and beside you to achieve a better, more inclusive bike culture in Madison.

With respect and love,

The Board of Madison Bikes

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

Air Quality & Bikes

People biking on the University Path, photo: https://botsin.space/@cyclists_of_msn

Let’s Talk Air Quality & Bikes

The air quality forecast for this week is relatively good as smoke from this year’s record-breaking Canadian wildfire season is clearing from Wisconsin for now. It’s a good time to become familiar with the Air Quality Index and make a plan for outdoor exercise and transportation depending on the AQI number and your individual sensitivity to poor air quality, if you haven’t already done this.

AQI numbers don’t account for all differences in location and time of day. Outside of wildfire smoke, people on bikes grapple with pollution from motor vehicles, especially on busy roadways and intersections. Air quality in these locations can be significantly worse than on bike/walk paths physically separated from roadways. Being in a car does not prevent exposure to roadway pollution, either. There is evidence bike commuters can sometimes experience lower exposure to motor vehicle air pollution than drivers on high-traffic urban roads, as bike riders are less likely to spend significant time sitting in traffic.

Risks from exposure to poor air quality vary based on individual health circumstances, and one’s healthcare provider is the best source of individual advice on these risks. However, existing data support the idea that for most individuals, health benefits from biking outdoors outweigh risks even when air quality is fairly poor, with the exception being days with extremely high pollution levels (such as those associated with advisories to stay indoors) or very long-duration exercise (such as experienced by bike couriers in dense urban environments using no mitigation tools).

There are ways to mitigate exposure to poor air quality when biking. If you must be outside during an air quality alert day, you can use a well-fitted N95, KN95, or better respirator to significantly reduce exposure to harmful particle pollution. These respirators are not designed to handle non-particle pollution including ozone, VOCs, and NOx. N95+ options catering to people biking or running also exist.

Photo: Madison Bikes Board Member Craig Weinhold wears a respirator designed for outdoor activity

Fitchburg Festival Of Speed

It’s technically not in Madison, but if you’re looking for a good time this weekend either participating in a group ride, racing a criterium, or spectating this Saturday, Fitchburg Festival of Speed has something for you. The organizers encourage biking to the event, which you can do from Madison fairly easily on either the SW path or the Cannonball path.

Group Rides

Monday evening you can join the Monday 40 social ride. Tuesday evening is looking great for the Madison Women’s Cycling Club or the Slow Roll Ride. 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.