A Winnebago Street for Everyone

This coming Tuesday (02/13/18), the city's engineering department will host a second neighborhood meeting on the Winnebago Street (2nd Street to Bashford) reconstruction project. The first meeting was held on 01/10/18 and this earlier blog post provides most of the background on the project. At Tuesday’s meeting, Engineering staff is expected to put forward two refined alternatives for consideration.

Alternative #1 considers narrowing the existing roadway by 2’ by skinnying up the main travel lanes and keeping the bike lanes and on-street parking as is. For people biking on Winnebago this would take what is already an uncomfortably tight environment for biking and make it even less practical.

Here’s what it feels like to be passed by a bus with the current 11’ travel lanes and unbuffered bike lane.

And here’s the current bike lane up against on-street car parking.

Best practice roadway design calls for 26’ of space to accommodate a bus, bike, and parked car lane. The current street only provides 24’, and this proposed Alternative #1 would take away another foot, leaving only 23’. This will make an already stressful bike facility much more stressful, particularly in winter conditions.

Alternative #2 would repurpose one side of on-street car parking. With this design, appropriate shy space or buffer is included between the bike lane and travel lane, as well as between the bike lane and parked cars. This design results in a biking environment that is considered Low-Stress and appropriate for riders of All Ages and Abilities. Another significant benefit of this design is that it will allow for widened street terraces that can accommodate street trees. (Alternative #1 keeps the existing street terraces, which are too narrow to support street tree plantings.)

Madison Bikes works to make Madison a city where anyone can ride a bicycle conveniently and comfortably to any place in the city and neighboring communities year round. At the heart of that commitment is a commitment to equity. "Anyone" means people of all ages and abilities. A Winnebago Street that only works for 10% of people that would like to bike is a Winnebago Street that doesn’t work.

From NACTO’s recently published Designing for All Ages & Abilities: Contextual Guidance for High-Comfort Bicycle Facilities

 

Please consider coming to the public meeting on Tuesday and voicing your support for Alternative #2. For anyone unable to attend, please send an email of support for the all ages and abilities design alternative to the following:

Jim Wolfe (Engineering): JWolfe@cityofmadison.com

Christy Bachmann (Engineering): CBachmann@cityofmadison.com

Marsha Rummel (Alder): district6@cityofmadison.com

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