Photo courtesy of Matt DeBlass
Just when the less hardy bicyclists were thinking they could finally ride in comfort, Sprinter (as my friend in Minnesota calls the endless combination of spring and winter) hit us with a last, ugly hit of horrible weather. As I write this on Sunday night, the main roads are wet and slushy, with questionable riding in the bike lanes or outer edges. Local streets were never plowed, so they are just piles of semi-frozen mess. Yuck. (I haven't checked any of the bike paths, so maybe someone can post the conditions as they come in on Monday morning.)
Last week, when things were looking better, Matt DeBlass from Revolution Cycles took the above photo of the path being swept behind their shop.
Besides a short burst of pleasant weather to give us hope, there was one big meeting last week. A public meeting was held to discuss how Atwood Ave from Fair Oaks to Cottage Grove Road will be reconstructed. There's a big gap in the bicycle network there, if you don't want to detour over to the Cap City Trail. We mentioned this as an upcoming meeting last week. We'll try to get an update out on how the discussion went.
Coming up this week
The Winnebago rebuild project that we've been talking about will be before the Board of Public Works on Wednesday (see time and location below). A group supporting canopy trees in Madison has sent out an alert for this meeting. Option #2 would allow more space for trees as well as more space for bikes.
Also this week:
Monday is the Madison Bikes board meeting at 6:00 pm at the Central Library. As with all Madison Bikes committees, the board meetings are open to everyone. So if you want to know more about us or see how we work, feel free to drop by.
Wednesday is the Board of Public Works, 5:30 pm in Room 108 of the City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Blvd. All city files on the project can be found here. They will be considering options for rebuilding Winnebago. The BPW is the "lead" committee for this item, meaning they will be making a recommendation to the Council. How the BPW votes would be the default option if the Council decides not to discuss it further. (This is called being on the consent agenda, because the Council only discusses a handful of items at each meeting. All the other recommendations by cit committees are accepted and passed by the Council in one big vote. That's why city committee meetings and their recommendations are VERY important.
If you read this far, you've now had a lesson on how things work at the city.
Also Wednesday is the Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee, meeting at 6:00 pm at Bendy Works, 106 E Doty St, 2nd floor. All are welcome.
Saturday is the next Tour de la Familia Latina/Tour of the Latin Family, a casual and friendly ride at the pace where kids and inexperienced bicyclists can enjoy the day and the sights of Madison. All are welcome. Ride leaves from Olin Park at 1:00 pm. They've been riding all winter!
That's about it for this week on the Madison Bikes calendar. If you have an event you would like included, send it our way.
In Case You Missed It
There are always great contributions, opinions, comments, and updates from our members and on the Madison Bikes Facebook group, so if you aren't checking that out, here's what you might have missed:
Kierstin Kloeckner urges people to write to Capital Brewery and the Middleton City Council in support of extending bike lanes on High Point Rd from Greenway to Terrace Ave (those are the two local roads that go under the Betline
News comes that the Capital City Trail south of the Beltline -- through the E-way -- will get the first renovations since it opened in 2001. Look how long bike trails last! But some parts of the Cap City Trail are getting sort of rough, so despite the detours we'll have to endure, this is a good thing.
And a great article about how a Northern Virginia parking garage is used as a bike park after hours. Glad someone is using at empty structure at night!
Plus discussions about Atwood, the best bike racks for apartments, and lots of other fun and info.
It’s bitter cold, then it’s amazingly warm; it’s snowing, then it’s raining. There’s ice, and then the streets are bone dry. That’s winter in southern Wisconsin. But there are lots of activities and city meetings to think about and attend. So here we go with our weekly update of the goings-on.
The week ahead
On Monday, both Madison Bikes and Bike Fitchburg will be holding meetings. The Madison Bikes Board of Directors meets at the Madison Central Library at 6:00 pm. Fitchburg Bikes meets at the Fiitchburg Library at 6:30 pm.
Also on Monday, the weekly MEAThead ride leaves at 7:00 pm from Ford’s Gym, 2114 Winnebago St, for a Lake Monona Loop ride, with an optional loop through the Arboretum. This is a weekly ride from November through March, so just put it on your calendar.
Tuesday, the monthly Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission meeting (5:00 pm in Rm 201 of the City-County Bldg, agenda here) will take up a number of seemingly routine, but actually quite important matters. Remember that you can go to all city meetings to watch, and you can also register to testify on any item on the agenda. You can summit comments or your support/opposition via email or in writing in person. Your voice is important! To get more information on the items below, just click the agenda link and follow the attachments for each item.
The PBMVC will discuss the following items:
- Projects within the neighborhood Traffic Management Program (AKA traffic calming).
- Where new traffic signal will be installed.
- A number of general city engineering projects that affect bicycling, including the project at Winnebago and Riverside, a few short path connections, and the repaving of the path that leads to Memorial High School.
- Bicycle-specific projects coming up in this year, mosst of which are small items like flashing lights or curb ramps.
- The city’s policy of bike route maitenance policy.
Also on the agenda is a state law being considered that would add electric bikes to the definiton of “bicycle” in state statutes. You can see a staff review of the proposed state law by Traffic Engineering.
If you’re not I the mood for a city meeting on Tuesday, you can head over to Manna Café on N. Sherman to join up with Down With Bikes for their biweekly winter social ride and games night. Leaving from Manna at 6:30 pm, they will weave through the North Side to arrive at Player’s Bar for ping pong, pool, and board games.
Although the Middleton Pedestrian, Bike, Transit Committee is listed on the Madison Bikes calendar as meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 pm at the Middleton City Hall, no evidence of it can be found on the City of Middleton meetings website. If you are interested in upcoming issues, it might be worth a call to the city to see if a meeting is scheduled.
Finally, on Thursday, the Long Range Transportation Planning Committee will be meeting (5:00 pm in Room 108 of the City-County Bldg, agenda here.) The principal item on the agenda will be continued work on the transportation component of the Imagine Madison planning process, which is the update to the city Comprehensive Plan.
And some reminders:
If you have an event, meeting, or ride that you would like us to list on the Madison Bikes calendar, please drop us a note.
And don’t forget to mark your calendars for Feb 3, when we will be at the Frozen Assets Festival and Fundraiser for the Clean Lakes Alliance. It’s happening on the lake behind (or would that be in front of?) the Edgewater. Drop by and see us and enjoy all the activities, including a fat bike race on the ice on Friday, and on Saturday our popular fat bike sled pull. (Sorry, kids only.)
Richard Castelnuovo of Wheels for Winners introducing the project
We had a great ride last week with Bombay Bicycle Club that brought in a lot of donations for Wheels for Winners, a non-profit that refurbishes donated bikes and gives them out to local youth who have done community service. Check them out online and consider getting involved or donating!
Also last week, the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association Steering Team finalized recommendations for improvements on and along the Mifflin Street Bike Boulevard. These recommendations will be going to the TLNA board and then on to the city for review and implementation.
As the end of summer takes hold, Mondays mean Mondays Around Monona. And then at 7:00, the Madison Bikes Events Committee will meet at Cafe Domestique to finalize plans for our Annual Party on (Tuesday, September 12th). Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to attend.
On Tuesday, Madison’s Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission holds its monthly meeting. On the agenda are some major road projects including: Blair/Nolen, the Public Market and E. Johnson/First Streets, and Buckeye Road. You can attend in person at the City County Building or watch online on Madison’s City Channel. Also on Tuesday, is an important public hearing on some major projects in Fitchburg that need support. Check out Bike Fitchburg’s action alert for all the details.
On Wednesday, Middleton takes it’s turn and will hold it’s monthly bike infrastructure meeting at city hall. Edit: The Middleton bike meeting has been moved to next week.
Thursday through Sunday would be a great time to grab your friends and family and pedal down to the Orton Park Fest for music and food in support of the Marquette Neighborhood Association.
Editor's note: This guest post is crossposted from Kierstin Kloeckner's blog. Kierstin is a cyclist and bike advocate who lives and works in Middleton. Last week she she organized the Middleton Bike Infrastructure Ride to highlight the significant gaps in cycling infrastructure in Middleton, especially when it comes to accommodating people commuting and kids getting to and from school. And some concrete results have already started to materialize.
Once in awhile, an experience is presented to us when something really bad can be turned into something possibly good. It's usually a split second decision that will tip it in one direction or another. This past week, I was given a chance to prove, not to anyone else but myself, that this can sometimes happen.Read more
The week started out with an event in Middleton: Local cyclist and bike advocate Kierstin, who the week before had been forced off the road by a person driving aggressively, organized a Middleton Bike Infrastructure Ride on Monday evening. The ride showcased some of the significant gaps in the bike network in Middleton and brought together both local advocates and supporters from Madison (and Madison Bikes...). Kierstin will publish a guest post about her the ride and her efforts on the Madison Bikes blog later this week.
It turns out all the traffic at Warner Park on Thursday was actually there to watch the Mallards play and not to carry in hundreds of participants for the Regional Transportation Plan 2050 Public Involvement Meeting. In fact, I’m not sure if there was anyone in attendance who wasn’t a staff person, transportation committee member or reporter. I didn’t stay for the whole slide deck, but I did look at all of the maps that depicted current and future bike routes. I think there’s a lot of work needed on these maps to make them meaningful sources of information. On the pedestrian side, there are clearly marked Tier 1 and Tier 2 priority gaps that are prioritized for improvements. On the bike side, there’s no way at all to tell where the most important gaps are currently or how we should go about prioritizing. Until we start clearly identifying our current All Ages and Abilities/Low Stress bike network and the missing links, we’re going to continue to struggle to make any real headway. These maps aren’t up yet, but should be available online soon.
Protected intersection design in Chicago (Source: John Greenfield (https://www.flickr.com/photos/24858199@N00/26125689470)
Monday: The Madison Bikes Events Committee meets to continue planning for the Winter Bike Fashion Show slated for Saturday, November 19 at the High Noon Saloon.
Wednesday: On Wednesday, City of Madison Traffic Engineering is hosting a Webinar & Chat: Safer Intersections for Peds & Cyclists at the Madison Municipal Building at 2:00pm. The event is open to anyone, but please RSVP on the linked Facebook page.
At 5:00, the Transit & Parking Commission meeting begins and will include an informational presentation on a potential bus route move from Jenifer to Williamson Street.
Also at 5:00 will also be another chance to see the Regional Transportation Plan 2050 presentation, this time at Middleton’s city hall.
Thursday: Madison in Motion Oversight Committee meets for the first time since June. They’ll be reviewing the public input received to date and discussing next steps.
Also on Thursday will be your last chance to catch the Regional Transportation Plan 2050 presentation, this time in Fitchburg.