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.
Last week we had two public meetings about plans affecting major bike corridors in Madison. Crazylegs
John Nolen Drive/Blair Street
The second-to-last public involvement meeting about the study to finalize plans for the John Nolen Drive and Blair Street corridor happened last Wednesday. Our Action Alert has some background reading. The meeting was well attended, and I saw many Madison Bikes board members and supporters in the audience. I will report in more depth on this in a separate post, but for now let's say that the meeting was mostly encouraging. Strand Associates, the planning firm in charge of the project, and city engineering had clearly taken to heart some of the feedback they received at previous meetings. The plan that they presented as their final recommendation contains significant improvements for people walking and biking. Some aspects that need further work remain, and there is the larger issue that some of the biking and walking improvements such as an underpass under John Nolen Drive at North Shore will only happen many years down the road. But compared to many other major street reconstruction projects that we have seen in Madison in the recent past, I was quite happy with the outcome. Stay tuned for a more detailed analysis. In the meantime you can look at the presentation and exhibits from the meeting here.
Speaking of other street reconstruction projects, our board member Robbie has this to report from last week's Crazylegs meeting:
Urban Assets, a consulting company running the public involvement process for the Monroe Street reconstruction, held the first open house to gather ideas for the triangle of Breese Terrace, Monroe, and Regent Streets. The small street that cuts through the triangle – currently named Crazylegs Lane and an extension of Oakland that continues south towards Vilas Park – will be going away as part of the redesign. This will mean one less street to cross on the Southwest Path and less fragmentation of the remaining plaza. Most people riding bikes probably currently experience this area by biking past it or across it, especially if you use the Southwest Path. But it is also a crossroads of several neighborhoods as well as a transition between campus and neighborhood, commercial to residential, and downtown to west side.
Fortunately, everyone agreed that the path needed to be maintained or even improved, and various ideas to build on the existing use primarily as a bicycle corridors were offered. Another connection that was deemed important to maintain was the connection between the SW Path and Oakland, as this is a critical link for those living to the south of the Camp Randall area.
We went out and walked around the triangle and discussed what we liked, what we didn’t, and what we might like to see there. More green space, seating, a bike repair station, vending during football games and other events, a place for gathering or performances, artwork? Any and all are under consideration. Based on the discussion and input during the workshop on Tuesday, Ken Saiki Designs will come up with some suggested improvements and present them on September 14 at Wingra School. There will also be ideas for the entrance to Wingra Park, which we considered during a previous meeting.
If you are interested in what stays the same or changes in either of these locations, mark your calendar to attend. The link above is a sign up, but that’s just so they can plan for how many people to expect. Alder Sara Eskrich’s webpage is a good place to keep track of all the meetings, designs, and discussions.
Mondays Around Monona started last week (picture on the top) and will continue into the fall. Join We Are All Mechanics for a loop around Lake Monona, open to beginners and more advanced riders alike.
On Tuesday join Bombay Bicycle Club and Madison Bikes for the Wheels for Winners Ride & Social. Support Wheels for Winners by donating bike parts and tools before and after the ride. Any donations are welcome, but they particularly need seats, cable cutters and mountain bike parts. The ride starts at the Olbrich biergarten at 5:30pm, loops around the lake with a stop at Wheels for Winners, and then ends with a social at the beer garden.
The Monroe Street Reconstruction Final Corridor Design Open House will take place on Wednesday. This will be the final public meeting about the general design of the corridor before construction actually starts. Our Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee has its meeting that day as well.
On Saturday, as warm-up for the Tour de Fat Madison with Atlas Genius on August 23, benefiting the Bike Fed, you can join a "bike crawl," starting at the Tip Top Tavern.
Exciting news about the Lower Yahara Trail: September 1 is the official opening date for the new trail connecting Lake Farm Park with MacFarland. Hold the date, and watch out for "construction cranes"... (Photo courtesy of Jim Post)
And don't forget the Madison Bikes Annual Party on September 12 at the High Noon Saloon.
On Tuesday, the Common Council adopted new restrictions on moped parking. Mopeds used to be able to park for free on terraces (the space between sidewalk and roadway), which the public paid for. Effective January 2018, this will no longer be allowed. Instead, developers will have to provide moped parking themselves or strike an agreement with the city for moped parking in the public right-of-way. Especially in busy areas such as downtown, the new rules may help allocate more space for much-needed bike parking.
Also before the Common Council was the development plan for the High-Point/Raymond Road neighborhood in southwest Madison. The most contentious issue in the plan was an extension of Jeffy Trail to connect to Raymond Road. Currently a connection just for people walking and biking, the city had argued that building out the connection for motorized traffic would be important for improving emergency access and connectivity. Neighbors consistently spoke out against the extension, and against the recommendations from the city's Plan Commission, the Common Council agreed with the neighborhood advocates and voted to remove the Jeffy Trail expansion from the plan.
The one big bike advocacy item on the calendar this week is the public input meeting on the Blair Street/John Nolen Drive corridor on Wednesday. Improving conditions for people walking and biking has consistently featured on top of the list of concerns. But the options presented so far fall short of a significant improvement in several ways. This is the second-to-last public meeting on the topic, making it crucial to get good turn-out and making sure that our voices will be heard. Learn more in this blog post and RSVP on our Facebook event.
Mark the Date
Next week Tuesday, Bombay Bicycle Club, co-sponsored by Madison Bikes, are hosting the Wheels for Winners Ride & Social. Start saving your used bike parts and tools and donate them to Wheels for Winners before or after the ride.
And on September 12, we will have the Madison Bikes Annual Party at the High Noon Saloon. More information to come soon!