N. Fish Hatchery RD. Public meeting RECONSTRUCTION UPDATE

North Fish Hatchery Road project:

Second Public Meeting to be held Thursday, Nov. 8th …

Reconstruction of North Fish Hatchery Road will begin in 2019. The project includes the entire corridor and right-of-way from McKee Road to the Beltline. This project–if done right–will better connect people from the southside of Madison and north Fitchburg to other people, places and things by way of  sidewalk, side path and bike lanes. The project scope includes reconstructing the surface of the Road and to “consider” other elements that would be in a comprehensive rebuild. Please show your face at the next public meeting to make sure that the project team understands the importance of going beyond “considering” alternative modes in a street design on such a crucial neighborhood corridor!!!
From the project flyer: “Input from this public meeting will be used to inform the final roadway design. When complete, the reconstruction will improve safety, provide better connectivity with surrounding neighborhoods, and support economic development.”
Let’s make sure that “connectivity” is not an afterthought–here’s what’s at stake:
bike lanes for people on bikes and more sidewalk area for people who walk
multi-use path extension for all sorts of users (commuters, joggers, walkers with a baby stroller, etc…)
safe connections for walkers and bikers from one side of the roadway to the other
finally finding a way to calm traffic and bring this STROAD back into the realm of neighborhood corridor / accessible thoroughfare
A well-thought out north-south connection to  Madison and best opportunity to establish a quick, direct access to cycling infrastructure, effectively linking the communities’ central business areas

Public Meeting #2: Preliminary Corridor Design Presentation on Thursday, November 8th, 5:30-7:30PM at the Leopold Elementary School Library!

Here is a link to the flyer: North Fish Hatchery Rd. Reconstruction

Now Accepting Nominations for 2019-2020 Board of Directors

The Bike Fitchburg Board of Directors is happy to announce that it is now accepting nominations for the 2019-2020 board of directors’ election. Per Bike Fitchburg bylaws, this election will be held to fill at least two 2-year at-large board positions. Nominations will be accepted beginning immediately.

“5.02. Election and Term of Office. The officers of the corporation shall be elected annually by the Board of Directors at the annual meeting of the Board of Directors. Each officer shall hold office until a successor shall have been duly elected or until his/her prior death, resignation, or removal” (Article 5. Officers, Bylaws of Bike Fitchburg, Inc.)

All current Directors will be able to vote at the Board of Directors election at the Bike Fitchburg Annual meeting on February 25th, 2019. Voting will begin immediately before Annual Meeting at 6:30pm in the 2nd floor conference room in the Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Road, Fitchburg, WI.

To be considered, Fitchburg residency is not required. Nominees should want to pursue active engagement with community members to help foster and promote a stronger biking culture within our city and should have a desire to help encourage safer cycling through education and advocacy.

If interested, please contact Jennifer at: jensullman@gmail.com and/or mattmonday@yahoo.com.

WHALEN ROAD IS NOW OPEN…AND WITH BIKE LANES

SAFETY WINS!!!!

Whalen Road has been officially re-opened (since 9/14/2018)!! The repaved stretch from Fitchburg Road to approx. 1/4 mile east of Seminole Hwy includes new 4′ wide bike lanes on either side of the roadway. This has been something that Bike Fitchburg has asked from the City of quite some time. The next phase, which is in the City’s 2019 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), will complete the “shouldering’ of the roadway to Mutchler Road as well as pave the shoulders along the hilltop at locations previously only paved at uphill sections between there and Fish Hatchery Road.

Although the CIP includes the project to finish the widening of Whalen Road in 2019, it still needs to make it into the budget for 2019. All good things go to die in the CIP if they are not carried into the budget. Residents need to show support and make sure our City Council carries this project into the new for next summer’s construction season. We really can not let this get delayed. So, please show your support for the Phase II Whalen Road reconstruction project by going to council and telling them it is really important for the safety of those persons who bike, run, walk, jog, or drive!!

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL DECISION MAKERS AND TELL THEM TO INCLUDE A PLAN THAT HAS REAL ALTERNATIVES:

Council&Mayor@fitchburgwi.gov

YOU CAN CONTACT STAFF AND ALL TTC COMMISSIONERS BY CLICKING HERE:

http://www.fitchburgwi.gov/585/Transportation-Transit-Commission

North Fish Hatchery Road Reconstruction Project (DO YOU LIKE CARS?)

ACTION ALERT: Transportation and Transit Committee

((TOMORROW))

THURSDAY (9/13/18) 6:30 PM

CITY HALL IN FITCHBURG

This project seems to have the possibility of getting sunk in the toilet much like the reconstruction of East Washington in Madison did!! –several lanes of fast car heaven and pure hell for the non 4 wheel traveler…

FROM KL ENGINEERING, (lead engineering consultant on project) Uff da!

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Construct a shared use path from on the west side of Fish Hatchery Road from High Ridge Trail to Post Road with the Fish Hatchery Road project. Include intersection upgrades throughout the project limits, including a bicycle and pedestrian focused crossing at Traceway Drive.

——————————————————————————————–

REALLY?!!After researching the mountains of planning documents with tons of public concern,

A shared use path was the best that this organization could come up with? DEPLORABLE!!

After all the studies, that were (at least) referenced, discussing better connections for the neighborhoods involved, and the issues that have been raised in public participation events regarding the existing horrible safety issues…and the Level of Service for bicycling and walking standing at “D” and “F”, respectively traveling in a northerly direction along Fish Hatchery Rd.??

IF you look in the project documents, which are referenced in the agenda packet here: (https://agendas.fitchburgwi.gov/OnBaseAgendaOnline/Documents/ViewDocument/Supporting%20Document%20for%20-%20RESOLUTION%20R-168-18%20(27883).pdf?meetingId=1113&documentType=Agenda&itemId=27883&publishId=27041&isSection=false) you will see a mention of actually converting the bus/bike lane into a third motor vehicle travel lane. On page 7 of the “Bike Ped Design Report” from September 10th, after hearing all the concerns over the years about safety the document states,

“The shared bus/bike/turn lane is being evaluated and may stay as a shared bus/bike/turn lane or may be converted to a third vehicular lane. If converted, some minimal on-road bicycle accommodation could be provided, like a wide outer lane, but would have to be evaluated. In either case, on- street bicycle accommodations will not be ideal”.

Is this REALLY what the neighborhood wants or needs? It is already a deadly STROAD, why make it even worse? AND why would anyone suggest taking away facilities (as junky as they are) that (at least) did some good in providing connections for alternative modes? This recent set of recommendations completely kills that notion. Seriously, it is an active consideration to do just this?

The consultants have failed but the community has made it a clear objective to improve access along this corridor for all types of vehicles and all types of commuters. “The emphasis [should be] along these routes [] to provide a consistent network of off -street facilities (shared-use paths and protected bike lanes) or enhanced on -street facilities (buffered bicycle lanes), with conventional bicycle lanes only used where it is not possible to accommodate protected or separated facilities” (Bike and Ped Plan, 2017).  But in the KL Engineering Executive Summary, from August 2018, it states that,

“[p]roviding the most comprehensive bicycle facilities would include a shared use path and protected bike lanes. A protected bike lane would require a 5’ – 6’ width adjacent to the gutter and a physical barrier like planters, curb, or posts (minimum of 3’ with shy distance) between the bike lane and  vehicular lane. The next step down would be a buffered bike lane which would require a 5’ – 6’ bike lane adjacent to the gutter and 3’ wide pavement markings to delineate the buffered area. Due  to the existing right -of-way width, the width needed for travel and turn lanes, and the regulations excluding condemnation for these facilities, the most comprehensive facilities are NOT considered  realistic to include in this project. Providing a shared use path on one side of the road would meet some of the planning recommendations and was recommended in some of the public comments. The existing sidewalk/shared use path would remain on the other side of the roadway”.

BUT, taking away the facilities for cycling that DO exist today IS part of this recommendation.?!! WHAT??????

The First question to consider is how they (the consultants) equate shared use paths with bike lanes on the roadway? By using quite rudimentary logic, in reality the taking away (roadway bike lanes) of such facilities is the complete and total opposite of providing them.  (Crickets chirping…) And creating something which is certainly related to bike travel (side path) is somehow the same, or equal substitute? It seems dishonest or at least willfully (if not criminally…ACLU?) ignorant. They are indeed two completely different things and are for two entirely different type of travel. First, the shared us path is great. It is great for walkers and joggers and neighborhood folks on bikes that don’t mind stopping and waiting for a break in the vehicular traffic at every single street crossing. Also, although, pedestrians have the right-of-way, in practice (and especially on this stretch) it never plays out this way!

Second, bike commuters ARE TRAFFIC. They have all the rights and responsibilities as a driver: allow for safe travel of other modes, and do not impede upon others’ ability to get from one destination to another along this “shared” route. A commuting bicyclist may travel 15 mph while a walker may be traveling at 3 mph. This is a tight squeeze on a shared usE path. riding on a sidepath, travelling in the opposite direction of traffic (which is what is being recommended by the consultant) causes major safety concerns. Imagine a driver waiting approaching the intersection at Fish Hatchery from one of the many side streets. As the car approaches, remember, MV drivers are required, like they are taught in drivers ed, to first, look left, look right, then look left again. All being clear, they are free to proceed. This doesn’t quite happen that way. In order for the “wrong-sided” side path scenario to function for the cyclist, the driver would have to reverse that optically challenged bit of logic for their first interaction at the intersection by first looking right, left, then right again.  Phewwww, they got through that first bit. Now, after all that, this is what a driver (with safety on the fore of his/her mind) would have to do additionally:  THEN, the same driver, after passing the shared use path and allowing that traffic to proceed, as he/she approaches MV area of the intersection, he/she would have to revert back to the left, right, left ‘drivers ed’ way of thinking, again.  If all is well with approaching traffic from the north and south, then if his/her brain is not scrambled at this point, he/she can go on their marry little way. Doesn’t this make a person dizzy just thinking of all that is required to accomplish getting through this section? With vehicular traffic at speeds very often above 40mph, that is certainly a very scary prospect. Again, side paths are great, but they are not great for everyone!!

Clearly, the folks who drafted this recommendation don’t use bicycles or—at least—commute by means other than their car much, if at all.

I call for a redraw of these recommendations to ACTUALLY CONSIDER SAFETY, ACCESS and CONVENIENCE FOR ALL TYPES OF TRAVEL!

We need to KEEP the facilities we already have but improve them!!!

FIRST, it should be included in the recommendations to create table top type crossings at all intersections where the shared use path will be crossing side streets running east-west along the Fish Hatchery corridor. This will cause crossing MV traffic to slow down as well as better raise the site lines to eye level for bikers and walkers. The action here is to raise the “cross walk” portion of the path at least one foot (1’) above the street surface for the distance of the roadway and the width of the path (8’ to 10’).

SECOND, it should be included in the recommendation to include roadway facilities for cycling that does not include taking away which is already there! Raise the visibility that there is a distinction between VM lanes and that which is used as the bus/bike way. These should or could include some or all of the following: 1. Colored concrete bus/bike way. This makes it obvious to drivers that this lane is something special and perhaps they should consider using the lane as just another travel lane. 2. Construct a mountable median for buses and cars that would separate the bike/bus lane from the other two full-width VM travel lanes. This would create a deterrent for drivers, although it would be designed in a fashion that would make crossing over the surface of the feature little different from actually changing lanes. It would be visible and the leading edge of the surface would be sensed by drivers when approaching the crest of the separation device. 3. What do you want Fitchburg? What do you want Madison? What do you really, really want?

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL DECISION MAKERS AND TELL THEM TO INCLUDE A PLAN THAT HAS REAL ALTERNATIVES:

Council&Mayor@fitchburgwi.gov

YOU CAN WRITE OR CONTACT STAFF AND COMMISSIONERS OF THE TTC HERE:

http://www.fitchburgwi.gov/585/Transportation-Transit-Commission

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Pick me up at the Border! 2018

(UPDATE: 9/3/2018) Pick me up at the Border! 2018

The Badger State Trail is back open for the entire run, from Madison to the Illinois border, however, there is a very short detour that is in place north of Monroe and continues for approx. 1 mile along Cty Hwy Dr to the west and then State Hwy 69/ 18th Street into Monroe. Please click to see the map of the Detour below:

BADGER St. Trail DETOUR AT HWY 11 MONROE

(NEW START TIME of 7PM)

Pick Me Up At The Border! 2018 is a 90-mile ride (This is NOT a race) returning again this year–but with a new departure time!! 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! This year’s prize sponsor is Fitchburg Family Pharmacy—A BIG thanks to these folks who deliver your meds by bike!!!  We will be departing at 7pm SHARP on Friday night–just in time for dinner to settle and for you to get your bottoms down to the Capitol!! Again, the ride leaves from Capitol Square in Downtown Madison at 7:00pm on Friday, September 28th 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). Pace yourself now. For approximately 20(ish) miles, to the Stewart Tunnel where you can take a breather and drink some more water. Now, head south to the border, pick up treasure…then return!!!

You DO NOT have to register for this event but there is a suggested donation of $15 cash OR checks payable to Bike Fitchburg (we will have a hat to pass around for collections). 100% of these wonderful donations are going to support the planning and programming for cool stuff like (biking from)Leopold to the Library, more commuter stations, advocacy at the local level and beyond, cool events like this one, etc.

This IS NOW A SAG supported ride. (TBA), a local Bike Shop and will be teaming up with Bike Fitchburg this year!! This local bike shop 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 vehicle 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 nasty weather in that may occur between now and the event, soft spots may appear on the trail, especially at a few locations, but are very passable. The first is near just after Purcell Road before the County A crossing, where the trail gets a bit like Crisco. However, this is navigable and no one should have issues if they just pay attention. The second soft spot to look for is near Basco, leading up to Henry Road–down to base gravel and a bit soft. Finally, just south of Monroe between Melvin Road and Town Center Road, again, it could get a bit soft and a lil’ wishy washy.

Check out the Facebook event to be directed to get your tickets before the ride–if you wish–by clicking here: Pick me up @ the Border!

Questions about the ride? Contact: Ride Leader – Thad Schumacher: Thad67@msn.com or Matt Jones: mattmonday@yahoo.com

A Wisconsin State Trail pass is the responsibility of the individual rider to obtain. Trail passes are $5 for the day, or $25 annually. We are not in the business of policing, so check yourself 🙂 Every rider will get a glow stick to wear on their person or to clip onto their bike. Let us now proceed to get our gravel on!!

Why ride? Well, for one, it is FUN!!! But . . .
Again, money raised at this all-night ride event will be 100% towards Bike Fitchburg! This year most of the dollars donated will go towards continued advocacy and education as well as promoting the planning cooperation between entities for a NEW trail facility along the mighty Badger State Trail.
JUST ONE LAST THING: Trails, like the Badger State Trail, in the State of Wisconsin are funded solely by user fees. These user fees are very important for their maintenance and to make them available to all trail users, including cyclists—24 hours a day!!
We support the Badger State Trail, and all safe trail cycling initiatives. Bike Fitchburg strongly supports improved bicycle advocacy in the region.

 

CALLING ALL BIKERS! Fitchburg Family Pharmacy 24-Hour Challenge

Fitchburg Family Pharmacy 24-Hour Challenge

THIS FRIDAY–DURING THE DAY AND INTO THE NIGHT… slots available between 7am Friday and 7am Saturday!

Fill in the gaps…

Bike Fitchburg proudly supports the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, a kid-centric, non-profit organization. We also emphatically implore you to check out the community-centric apothecary, Fitchburg Family Pharmacy and the bicycle riding challenge scheduled to begin 24 hours before the official start of the Bike for Boys and Girls Club Ride.

If you want an easy and fun-filled way to support the kids and families of Boys & Girls Club, sign up for the Fitchburg Family Pharmacy 24-Hour Challenge, in part with the 48-Hour Campaign!

The goal is to rack up as many miles as we can in 24-hours, which translates into CASH for Boys & Girls Club of Dane County! Fitchburg Family Pharmacy will donate$1 for every mile ridden in the challenge. In addition, they invite other businesses and individuals to join the dollars per mile donation.

All riders start and end their rides at Saris. When finished the rider’s mileage will be recorded for the total. Saris has parking and easy access to bike trails, so this is an ideal location.

Riders can sign up for one of the 30-minute time slots on the sign-up sheet.

OR COPY AND PASTE:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zBuXA_bwfdLPZeemX2RExU2Vdo-jyapTN1hf0TdjS5g/edit?usp=sharing

 

 

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,