MCKEE ROAD RECONSTRUCTION PART 2

City of Fitchburg Staff Recommendation

Alternative C – Buffered bike lanes, side path for walking, and off-road bike path

McKee Road is a primary bike route, connecting the heavily-biked Seminole Highway with the Badger State Trail and Military Ridge Path. It also provides access to several community destinations through the heart of the City. The existing on-road bike lanes are under-utilized with bicyclists either avoiding the use of McKee Road or biking on the sidewalk. This is likely due to the speed and volume of traffic that operates on McKee Road. To address these issues and create a more bike-friendly corridor, staff would recommend the Alternative C typical section (on-street, buffered bike lanes) for the following reasons:

  1. It is the preferred alternative based on the public comments that were received.
  2. It is supported by the Bike community and will enhance opportunities for biking along a corridor that serves many community destinations and provides access to major bicycle facilities.
  3. It provides premium on-road buffered bicycle lanes, allowing the faster-moving bicyclists to continue on-street, but still provides an off-road accommodation for those who are less comfortable biking on-street.
  4. It will minimize and limit the conflicts between bicyclists and pedestrians.

Bike Fitchburg has an Alternative that is a step beyond what is recommended above and includes additional safety measures for cyclists and motorists. Bike Fitchburg recommends Alternative C-1:

Bike Fitchburg supports this Alternative as well, but would like to suggest a variation that would add two additional safety components to the Alternative C design. Alternative C-1 offers the following additional safety aspects that enhance user safety:

  1. Bollard placement at 20′ to 30′ spacing centered in the middle of the hash marked buffered area. This keeps a fully visible and physical barrier between motor vehicles and cyclists.
  2. Lighted bollards will light the bike lane and also signal to car traffic that the lane to the right is an active pathway for smaller vehicles.

PLEASE ATTEND ONE OF THE MEETINGS TO VOICE YOUR SUPPORT:

(TONIGHT) Transportation and Transit Commission – Thurs, Dec. 7

Finance – Tue, Dec. 12

Council action – Tue, Dec. 12

 

 

Bike Fitchburg Welcomes New Board Members

The Board of Directors would like to extend a warm welcome to our two newest Bike Fitchburg board members: Steve Arnold and Darryl Jordan.

Thanks to Steve’s tireless work, Fitchburg has become the backbone of the Madison metro bikeways network. Steve has done remarkable things for the city over the past 12 years as a member of the Common Council as well as Mayor of the City of Fitchburg.

Darryl could very likely be the strongest, hardest working, never-misses-a-meeting volunteer in the State of Wisconsin. He is a prolific volunteer for bicycle advocacy longer than it has been the cool thing to do. Also, if you have been on a bike in and around around any Madison cycling events, chance are he has taken a picture of you.

Welcome Steve and Darryl!

SUPPORT SAFE BICYCLING IN FITCHBURG on TUESDAY!

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH @ 7:30PM is the most important night for bicycling and improved road safety that has occurred in City of Fitchburg for some time!

Two bicycling-related amendments are proposed for the Fitchburg 2018 Operating Budget – Amendment 12, which re-instates approximately $600k worth of funding from the year 2017 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for paved shoulders to the upcoming Whalen Road resurfacing project, and Amendment 13, which helps fund the Fitchburg Depot Reconstruction project along the Badger State Trail. For more details, please see our post from Saturday, August 20.

In order for these amendments to be approved, it is critical that we inform the Fitchburg Common Council and Mayor of our broad support of these amendments. That’s where you come in…

Easy ways to support the future of cycling in Fitchburg:

Attend the meeting of the Fitchburg Common Council on Tuesday, November 14th  and speak in support of Budget Amendments 12 and 13 during the Public Hearing portion of the meeting, which is usually at the beginning. The items to which you will speak before Council fall under Agenda item 4.B.1. Public Hearing on Council Proposed Amendments to the 2018 Operating Budget

Put your thoughts and comments in writing and give to the mayor, or Clerk to read.

There are THREE ways to offer your support:

  • 1. Fill out a Citizen Registration Form, available at the back of the council chambers, and state that you are in support of the amendment, and that will be read into the  recorded into the minutes, or
  • 2. Fill out a Citizen Registration Form, available at the back of the council chambers, and state that you are in support of the amendment, and that you wish to speak to the Council and what you say will stand as your testimony and recorded as such into the minutes.
  • 3. Write an email voicing your support and send it to the Mayor and the entire council at this address: Council&Mayor@fitchburgwi.gov

Talking Points

Obviously, the benefits of cycling are numerous and well-known. Here are a few ideas to use, either in written correspondence or for your verbal support:

  • Safety: Reduces crashes and passing conflicts
  • Capacity: Provide space for diverse road users
  • Maintenance: Improves roadway drainage, structural support to pavement, reduces shoulder maintenance
  • Health: Investment in cycling infrastructure is literally an investment in the health of our community
  • Environmental: Improved cycling infrastructure encourages more bike commuting and more trips taken by bicycle in general

2017 Pick me up @ the Border!

Pick Me Up At The Border! 2017 is a 90-mile ride (This is NOT a race) that returns this year!!
Join riders for a jaunt down to the Illinois State Line…and back via the Badger State Trail. There is a prize at the end…but it could be a real DRAG!

The ride departs from the Capitol Square in Downtown Madison at 11:58pm on Friday, October 6th and heads down West Washington Avenue approximately 2/3rd of a mile until it meets the SW Commuter Path. At that point, riders turn right and proceed 6 miles to McKee Road, just past the bike roundabout. The City of Fitchburg Police Department will escort all riders, as a group, across McKee Road, where the path turns into the Badger State Trail in the City of Fitchburg! At this point, you are on your own (we do, however, strongly encourage using the buddy system). Proceed for approximately 20(ish) miles to the Stewart Tunnel, drink some more water and head south to the border…then return!!!
You DO NOT have to register for this event but there is a suggested donation of $15 cash only (we will have a hat to pass around for collections). 50% of these wonderful donations  are going to support the planning and construction of a project near the Old Fitchburg Depot along the Badger Trail between Adams Road and HWY “M”. These are matching funds so every dollar we raise will leverage that investment.
This IS NOW A SAG supported ride. Dream Bikes, a local Bike Shop and awesome 501c3 organization are teaming up with Bike Fitchburg this year!! Noah and the Dream Bikes van will be mobilized to assist riders along the trail and will be temporarily stationed at a few spots throughout the ride to offer a quick check on the bike, water refill, or, if you are just beat and cant go on, you can crawl in the van with your bike and get a ride back to the finish line. Ride Safe, Ride Bright!!! Please use caution!! This is a night time event and conditions may be encountered where reasonable speed and bike handling are needed. Due to some extremely nasty weather in July, soft spots do exist on the trail at two locations, but are very passable.  The first is near Basco, leading up to Henry Road–down to base gravel and a bit soft. The second is south of Monroe between Melvin Road and Town Center Road. Again, soft and a bit wishy washy.

Questions about the ride? Contact: Ride Leader – Thad Schumacher: Thad67@msn.com or Mattmonday@yahoo.com
A Wisconsin State Trail pass is the responsibility of the individual rider to obtain. There will be a Friends of Badger Trail representative available at the start of the ride at the Capitol Square with passes available for purchase. Trail passes are $5 for the day, or $25 annually. Every registered rider will get a glow stick to wear on their person or to clip onto their bike.
Why ride? Well, for one,

McKEE ROAD RECONSTRUCTION – Commerce Park Drive to Seminole Highway

UPDATED: 9/25/20107 McKEE ROAD RECONSTRUCTION

McKee Road is a major thoroughfare through the City of Fitchburg; however, there is a horrible deterrent to bicyclists who want to use this most straight, direct route from east to west: speeding cars and no protection.

There WAS a public involvement meeting that took place Wednesday, Sept. 20 in the Council Chambers in Fitchburg for the McKee Road Reconstruction project. Very little attendance for this public info meeting means that decision will be left to those that may not have the best interests of the local community in mind–rather motor vehicle traffic flow and increased speeds. The project, which will begin in 2020, includes reconstruction of McKee Road from Commerce Park Drive to Seminole Highway, and will include the construction of a grade-separated crossing of the Badger State Trail. The project also includes the possibility of increasing safety and access to McKee Road for cyclists and pedestrians.

The best section that offers the most separation of modes and, therefore, the greatest improvement to safety is the ALTERNATIVE C. Bike Fitchburg supports the incorporation of this design in the construction documents for this stretch of McKee Road, as it offers three separations: 1. sidewalk for pedestrians; 2. multi-use trail for joggers, young cyclists, people walking with strollers, roller bladers, etc.; and 3. buffered bike lanes with a 3′ painted line and hash marks that separate bikes from the two lanes of motor vehicle traffic.

We need people to write in and PROVIDE PUBLIC COMMENT on this project. Comments are due on OCTOBER 4th, 2017 to make sure they are recorded into public record before Council votes on a typical Section in Early November.

The desired sections is Alternative “C” (see illustration below):

The project website is located at www.fitchburgwi.gov/McKee_Road and will be updated throughout the project! CLICK ON THE PUBLIC COMMENT FORM tab and submit your desired alternative!!

If you have any questions, contact Ahnaray Bizjak, P.E. Transportation Project Engineer with the City of Fitchburg: Ahnaray.bizjak@fitchburgwi.gov

Badger State Trail RE-Opening

Since major rain and wind storms came through the area on July 19th caused extensive flooding damage south of Purcell Road, the Badger State Trail has remained mostly closed at various locations between Purcell Road and just south of the City of Monroe.
Today, Bike Fitchburg talked with the Trail Ranger that oversees this section of trail. He stated that with water partially flooding some portions of the trail, and some sections down to base gravel, “The trail is still in need of work, such as layering of limestone screening.”  That work will happen hopefully during the fall.  But, it is, however, navigable AND as of today, the trail is NOW reopened and the closures have been removed. If you travel on the Badger south of Purcell, expect soft spots along some areas, specifically the two followings stretches:

1. From Purcell Road south to Henry Road, in Basco. Washouts and down to base gravel. soft and watery at points. The Stewart Tunnel is also open but use caution when negotiating and use a light to see where you’re going (common sense).
2. Another spot to be aware of–as you pass through to points south, the trail, again gets a little hectic—just past the City of Monroe going towards Illinois between Melvin Road and Town Center Road  there are again some soft spots.

Watch your line! Keep your eyes sharp! Stay safe!
Have a great Labor Day weekend.
Enjoy!

 

Benefits of Paved Shoulders

Background

Whalen Road in Fitchburg, WI is scheduled for resurfacing in 2018; however, paved shoulders are currently not included in the construction plans.  Bike Fitchburg respectfully requests the Fitchburg Common Council to amend its 2017 CIP to include paved shoulders on the 2018 resurfacing, as well as future segments so that a continuous, bicycle and pedestrian friendly roadway is realized from Fish Hatchery Road to Fitchrona Road.

Significance of Whalen Road for Fitchburg Bicyclists

Whalen Road is an important thoroughfare, not only for automobile and truck traffic, but for bicycles and pedestrians as well.  It is one of the few east-west routes that connect the Fish Hatchery bike paths to the Badger State Trail, another major bicycle thoroughfare and bicycle tourism draw.  It is the primary east-west corridor connecting Fitchburg to Verona, and serves as a major bicycle commuting route between these two cities, as well as Madison.

Whalen Road is a major segment of the nationally-renowned Wisconsin Ironman bicycle course. Wisconsin Ironman is an annual event that draws over 30,000 participants and spectators to the Madison area, many of whom utilize Fitchburg as a base of operations during the event.  It is estimated to bring over $4,000,000 dollars to our area each year.

Whalen Road serves as a major segment for the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County charity ride, an annual event that raises money for one of the area’s most successful non-profit organizations.  Each year, more than 1,200 riders raise more than one-half million dollars for the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County using the roads in and around Fitchburg.

Importance of Paved Shoulders on Busy Rural Roads

Paved shoulders provide distinct advantages for rural roads in three primary areas:  safety, capacity, and maintenance.  In addition, we strongly believe in the economic, health and environmental benefits of a robust bicycling infrastructure in Fitchburg in order to enhance the quality of life and appeal of our community to out-of-town visitors, future residents and potential employers.

Safety 1,2*

  • Reduces numerous crash types including the following:
    • Head on crashes (15%–75% reported reduction)
    • Sideswipe crashes (15%–41%)
    • Fixed object crashes (29%–49%)
    • Pedestrian (walking along roadway) crashes (71%)
  • Reduce passing conflicts between motor vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians
  • Provides emergency stopping space for broken-down vehicles
  • Provides a stable surface off of the roadway for bicyclists and pedestrians to use when sidewalks cannot be provided
  • Provides space for variable message signs
  • Accommodation of driver error
  • Provides an increased level of comfort for bicyclists

Capacity

  • Paved shoulders provide advantages for all roadway users by providing space for bicyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicles
  • Increases effective turning radii at intersections
    • Facilitate safer passing of cyclists and pedestrians, thereby increasing traffic flow
  • Provide space for off-tracking of truck’s rear wheels in curved sections
  • Provide space for disabled vehicles, mail delivery and bus stops
  • Provide space for bicyclists to ride at their own pace

Maintenance

  • Improves roadway drainage
  • Provide structural support to the pavement
  • Discharge water further from the travel lanes, reducing the undermining of the base and subgrade
  • Reduces shoulder maintenance requirements* Provides space for maintenance operations and snow storage
  • Facilitate painting of fog lines

The Case for Investing in Cycling

In addition to the extensive list of practical reasons for paved shoulders shown above, Bike Fitchburg strongly advocates for continuous investment in bicycling infrastructure for overall benefit of the health of our residents, our children, and our planet.  Currently, more than two-thirds of all Americans are either overweight or obese.  Obesity is a major contributing factor of cancer, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and more.  Type 2 diabetes, once called “Adult Onset Diabetes”, is now afflicting children as young as 10.  One of the primary causes of this health epidemic is physical inactivity.  Investing in cycling infrastructure is literally an investment in our children’s future.

Additionally, bicycling benefits our environment by facilitating more trips taken by bicycle.  Every trip made by bicycle versus single-occupant automobile reduces wear and tear on our roads, reduces the demand for public parking spaces, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and conserves non-renewable petroleum.

Conclusion

We at Bike Fitchburg strongly encourage the adoption of paved shoulders on Whalen Road, as well as continued investment in our cycling infrastructure, for the benefit of our community, our roads and our planet.

References

  1. Safe Roads for a Safer Future, U.S. Department of transportation, Federal Highway Administration
  2. Michael Ronkin, Oregon DOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
  3. National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Easy Ways to Help Improve Bicycling in Fitchburg

As you probably know, 2 bicycling-related amendments are proposed for the 2017-2018 Fitchburg Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) – Amendment 4, which adds paved shoulders to the upcoming Whalen Road resurfacing project, and Amendment 14, which helps fund the Fitchburg Depot Reconstruction project along the Badger State Trail. For more details, please see our post from Saturday, August 20.

In order for these amendments to be approved, it is critical that we inform the Fitchburg Common Council of our broad support of these amendments. That’s where you come in…

Easy ways to support the future of cycling in Fitchburg:

  • Attend the public meeting of the Fitchburg Common Council on Tuesday, August 22nd and speak in support of CIP Amendments 4 and 14 during the “non-agenda” items portion of the meeting, which is usually at the beginning.
  • Put your thoughts and comments in writing and give to the mayor to read.
  • Fill out a form, available at the back of the council chambers, in support of the amendments
  • Write an email voicing your support and send it to the Mayor and the entire council at this address: Council&Mayor@fitchburgwi.gov

Talking Points

Obviously, the benefits of cycling are numerous and well-known. Here are a few ideas to use, either in written correspondence or for your verbal support:

  • Safety: Reduces crashes and passing conflicts
  • Capacity: Provide space for diverse road users
  • Maintenance: Improves roadway drainage, structural support to pavement, reduces shoulder maintenance
  • Health: Investment in cycling infrastructure is literally an investment in the health of our community
  • Environmental: Improved cycling infrastructure encourages more bike commuting and more trips taken by bicycle in general

For a detailed more detailed analysis, please see our official position paper located here:

 

Bike Fitchburg Action Alert

As many of you are aware, Bike Fitchburg supports bike commuting, biking as a sport, bike education, improving biking laws and an improved bicycling infrastructure—not just for Fitchburgers but for all users of our trails, paths and roadways by bike!

There are currently 2 cycling-related amendments to Fitchburg’s Capital Improvement Plan that need your support:

  • Amendment #4, “Paved Shoulders” would add 3-foot paved shoulders to Whalen Road from Fish Hatchery to the East extending to Fitchrona Road to the West. The paved shoulders were omitted from the current budget. Amendment 4 reinstates them.
  • Amendment #14, “Fitchburg Depot Reconstruction” would allocate funds for the reconstruction of the historic Fitchburg Depot along the Badger State Trail. The reconstructed depot would serve as a trail “way-stop” and community gathering space, with interpretive historical components.

A PUBLIC HEARING is scheduled for August 22nd, at 7:30pm before the Common Council meets at Fitchburg City Hall. This is our time to voice our support for investment in our bicycle infrastructure.

Without our voices present at the hearing, these amendments run the risk of being eliminated. Remember, the world is run by those who show up!

For more information, Please go to the City Of Fitchburg’s website.

Capital City State Trail Flooding

Bike Fitchburg has been hearing many people report of standing water issues along a particular stretch of the Capital City State Trail, west of Seminole Highway and east of the Badger State Trail, just to the southeast of the Bike Roundabout. The exact location is: 43°01’18.0″N 89°27’28.0″W.

During winter months, this stretch, approximately 100’ on the Capital City State Trail, becomes covered with ice from repeated snow melt and refreeze, and can be a deterrent for bike commuters, joggers & other trail users coming off the Military Ridge State Trail, Southwest Commuter Path, the Cannonball Path and other points along the trail system. In spring and summer months, the immediate area becomes inundated with standing water of 6” to 12” resulting in continued frustration and would be users seeking passage by other means.

Dane County Parks has recently reported that this issue is being worked on, and a planning consultant has been hired to facilitate a “number of priority maintenance projects along the Capital City State Trail including this stretch of the Trail west of Dawley Park in Fitchburg.” However, this particularly watery location along the trail is not scheduled for repair this year, but will be addressed next year or the following.

The 3-year plan is to repave the entire trail.  The planning consultant, General Engineering, is currently preparing construction documents for Phase 1, which includes a section from Nob Hill Road to Larsen Road and another from Longford Terrace to Seminole Highway, and are scheduled to be completed this fall. Please click here for a map of Phase 1.