There are lots of excellent maps of our bike network. For Madison and Dane County you can get free printed maps as well as pdfs. The Department of Transportation also has pdf bike maps for any county in the state. And the Bike Fed sells printed statewide maps.
Our primary focus is riding for transportation. If you’re interested in MTBing, Capital Offroad Pathfinders is doing great work in and around Madison!
Our primary focus is on Madison. However, our vision acknowledges that connections to neighboring communities are very important and many bike issues don’t stop at city boundaries. Several communities have their own bike advocacy organizations, and we cooperate with them.
For places further away from Madison and for questions at the state level, there is the Wisconsin Bike Fed.
Madison has a zoning code ordinance that details how much bike parking needs to be included with new construction and what kind of bike parking meets the requirements. This ordinance does not apply to already constructed buildings, but businesses or property owners may respond to a friendly ask for bike parking anyway. See above, “A place I am biking to doesn’t have bike parking.”
Reach out to the business and tell them about the City’s program to have bike parking installed. https://www.cityofmadison.com/bikeMadison/programs/bikeParking.cfm
For more details and email templates you can use, read this blog post.
For the most part, it is legal to ride on the sidewalk in and around Madison. More details are below. If you decide to ride on the sidewalk, be nice to people walking, and be aware that people in cars may not expect you at intersections or driveways.
Riding your bike on the sidewalk is generally allowed in Madison. The exception is where buildings extend all the way to sidewalk, as is the case in many parts of downtown or in commercial districts such as Williamson Street or Monroe Street. The City has a brochure giving you the details. Another exception are the inside sidewalks on the Capitol Square. No biking allowed there, because the state government says so. If you ever need the exact city ordinance:
(1) No person shall ride a bicycle on the sidewalk where a building abuts the sidewalk. Bicycle riding on sidewalks is permitted, except as prohibited in this subsection and otherwise regulated in this chapter.12.76 SPECIAL RULES APPLICABLE TO BICYCLES.
Riding your bike on the sidewalk is generally allowed in Monona. The exception is Monona Drive between Winnequah and the city limits with Madison:
(E) Operation on Sidewalks.
(1)Bicycles shall not be operated on Monona Drive sidewalks from the northern limits of the City to Winnequah Road and on the Yahara Cove Boardwalk at River Place.
(2)Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.City Ordinance
You can contact your district’s alder or use the public comment period at a meeting of the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission to escalate the issue. Your neighborhood association may also be a good resource. Try posting on Nextdoor and see if you can get your neighbors interested in the issue. Finally, you could email us at Madison Bikes to get advice or post about the issue on our Facebook Group.
If you think this poses an immediate danger, between 8am and 4pm call Traffic Engineering at (608) 266-4767. At other times, call 911. For less urgent problems (e.g. a loop detector that doesn’t detect you on a bike), use the Report-a-Problem website. You can use the Street Signs or the Bikeway Concerns categories. The latter lets you upload a picture, which sometimes makes for a more effective report.