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Bicycle Friendly Communities
Madison, WI | Gold Level
Community Highlights: Mayor Dave Cieslewicz formed the Platinum Biking City Planning Committee, members included leaders from the business and advocacy communities, to work in concert with city staff and the police department. The committee’s goals include achieving the Platinum BFC designation and to create a roadmap for Madison to become the best city in the country for bicycling. The committee's report Making Madison the Best Place in the Country to Bicycle was adopted by the city council in 2008 and lays out an exciting future for cyclists in the city.
The bicycle is considered at every level of planning, design and engineering. Specific bicycle policies include a provision of all needed bicycle facilities when constructing or reconstructing city streets and including the requirements of bicycle traffic in the design of all traffic control devices. All or almost all roadway projects funded with STP-Urban Program funding over the past 10 years have included bike lanes. Madison’s abundance of bicycle commuters commute all year long, even through Wisconsin winters. Madison’s Bike to Work Week is an entire week of activities and media promotions, with about 2,000 participants each year. Approximately 50 Madison police officers have been trained for bike patrol and more are trained every year. Bicycle-mounted officers are used primarily for efficient movement in congested urban areas and at special events. In addition, the University of Wisconsin police and the Dane County Sheriff’s Deputies have officers trained for bike patrol.
In 2008, Madison hosted the Mayors Innovation Project meeting, which focused in part on sustainable transportation. Mayors from across the country came to learn from their counterparts on building better cities and got a hands-on experience in this great city.
Madison makes a big deal of Bike to Work Week. The week is packed with activities and media promotions: including an Art Bike Parade, classes, rides, workplace challenge contests, workplace mentoring and brown-bag lectures, bike to school promotions, bike to shop promotions, a commuter race, an advocacy day, movies and a Final Fiesta party.
Most Compelling Community Statistic: On University Avenue, in the heart of downtown Madison and the University of Wisconsin campus, the city recorded 10,000-12,000 bicycle trips per day at the peak and 2,000 plus trips per day in January’s bitter cold when the University is out of session for 3 weeks.
Bicycle Friendly Community
Level Awarded: Gold
BFC Since: April 2006
Square Miles: 84.7
Contact: Arthur Ross