This past Tuesday the Madison Common Council failed to overturn the Mayoral veto on the Council approved option #2 for the reconstruction of Winnebago St. This essentially sends the design for the project back to the drawing board. Rather than hiding in a corner and licking our wounds, we should consider this an opportunity to make the design of the entire length of Winnebago -- from the Yahara River to Union Corners a complete street for all users. We will need to stay engaged as the restarted process moves forward. Stay tuned for updates on design proposals and meeting schedules.
This coming week has a few Bike to Work Week events leading up to the big Wisconsin Bike Week events scheduled for the first week of June. (As of Sunday night, when this was posted, the Bike Fed website was down, so we can't link to the events calendar. But we'll get more information to you well before things start on June 2.)
While it looks like this week will be somewhat challenging on the weather front, there are some fun biking events that should make you forget about any rainy day woes and help you enjoy the ride. There are also a few meetings worth keeping tabs on.
On Monday, May 21, Bike Fitchburg holds its monthly meetings from 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Rd. Anyone with an interest in improving biking in Fitchburg should feel free to attend.
Tuesday, May 22 Local cyclist and personal trainer Krierstin Kloeckner and Harbor Athletic Club Wellness Center host a free Yoga practice for Bike to Work Week. Practice starts at 6:30am and runs until 7:15am. Bring your own mat! Harbor Athletic club is located at 2529 Allen Blvd, Middleton.
On Wednesday, May 23rd at 5:00pm Short Stack Eatery, at 301 W Johnson St, will have mechanics from Wheels for Winners to help you get your bike in tip top shape. Have a beer and hang out with Madison bike lovers! AND, if you ride your bike to the pop-up there will be discounts and raffle prizes. Come hang out with us and win cool stuff!. Did I mention beer?!? More info here.
Also on Wednesday the Middleton Pedestrian/Bicycle/Transit Committee meets 6:30 - 7:30pm at the Middleton City Hall, 7426 Hubbard Ave. The agenda should be at this link, but it doesn't seem to be working, so if someone has a link, we'll throw it up here. http://sire.cityofmiddleton.us/sirepub/meet.aspx
Thursday, May 24th Harbor Athletic Club and local cyclist Kierstin Kloeckner continue rocking the support for Bike to Work Week with a free Pilates class from 6:30- 7:15 am. Set the alarm early and head over to Harbor to limber up before the ride in to the office. Bring your own mat!
Saris again coordinates with Metcalf’s Bratfest Friday, May 25th to bring us the annual Bike Your Brat to Work Day! The first 200 cyclists to bike through the brat fesr at 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way will get to up to two bratwursts, compliments of Saris! Plus, cyclists get to bypass dozens of cars. Be early if you want to be sure to grab that breakfast brat, as there's typically a line of hungry bicyclists ready for their breakfast brats. This event kicks off the World’s Largest Brat Fest, bright and early on May 25th.
After the Council approved option # 2 for Winnebago St, on Tuesday, May1 -- a big win for safety because the option provided more buffer between the bike lanes and motor vehicle traffic – the Mayor then decided to veto the Council’s action. You can read his veto letter here.
We anticipate that the Council will try to overturn the veto this coming week. See Tuesday’s upcoming events for more information.
On Saturday, Robbie and Harald presented work at the Wisconsin Bike Summit in Madison. Other board members, volunteers, and friends of Madison Bikes also attended.
On Monday, the Madison Bikes Board will meet at 6 pm at the Central Library. Everyone is welcome to attend.
This Tuesday, we anticipate the Madison Common Council will try to overturn the Mayor’s veto of the vote to build option # 2 on Winnebago. The original vote was 11-6, with one alder absent, one abstaining, and one who was chairing the meeting. 14 votes are needed to overturn the veto, and one person who voted in the minority has already said he will vote to overturn.
Everyone can hep by contacting your alder to ask that they uphold the action passed by the majority. There was a robust public outreach process and many committee meetings that came before the Council vote, so it is disappointing that the Mayor wants to undo all that work.
The meeting starts at 6:30 pm in Room 201 of the City-County Building. You can register to speak, watch in person, or watch the meeting on Madison City Channel. It’s a great lesson in local democracy, and you might become a better advocate or more informed citizen.
On Wednesday, the Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee will meet at 6:00 pm at Bendy Works, 106 E Doty St, 2nd floor. If you’d like to help us out with our work on advocacy issues, feel free to stop by.
Friday, Sun Prairie’s advocacy group will be holding a bike commuter station at Canery Row from 6:00-8:30 am. So if you happen to be out that way, stop by to say hello.
We can expect to see quite a few weekend events, as the warm weather is finally here.
Saturday, there are two events. First, from 9:00-noon, Christ Presbyterian Church, 944 East Gorham St is holding a bike rodeo. There is a long list of activities for all ages and abilities. Get a tune up, try out an electric bike, get some safety training for kids, enter the raffle, and learn how to fix a flat.
Then from 1:00-4:00 join others visiting galleries and art exhibitions by bike for Bike the Arts. The fun starts at the Bubbler at the Central Library and then moves on to other locations. A full list of locations and times can be found here.
Sunday, there is a ride for women to check out mountain biking, or just join others. All levels of expertise welcome, whether this is your first time or know the trails very well. Head over to the Bell Joy Ride on the John Muir Trails the Southern Kettle Morraine, N9097 County Road H, Elkhorn.
In case you missed it
Here’s what we were talking about on our Facebook group:
Baltazar is asking people to vote on the name for the community latino bike group that is formalizing their organization.
There was a spirited discussion about the Mayor’s veto of the Council vote on Winnebago.
Grant posted the results of a survey on what people want in Monona to improve walking and biking.
Does banning hand-held cell phone use actually improve safety?
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.