|This is one of the major road-to-bike-lane crossings on University avenue. I had to haul my bike over the snow pile to get onto the path heading East.|
Let me back up a bit. When my husband and I first moved to Madison, we quickly fell in love with the plethora of cycling options and the commitment Madison had to becoming a platinum bike city. Our mayor at the time, Dave Cieslewicz, not only put needed funds into expanding our commuter paths/lanes, traveled to Europe and the West coast to study bike friendly cities in hopes of adopting their practices, but he also supported the winter bike community (he shows up to Madison Bike Winter activities). Dave had a vision of making Madison a more livable and healthy city. He was, and is still, dedicated to environmental initiatives and wellness programs. He sees what Madison could be.
Since Dave was voted out, and Paul was voted in--this is where I shed a few tears--Madison has dropped drastically in our bike friendly rankings. We used to place in the top three. This year, we fell to seventh place in bicycling magazine. I can only guess this is partly due to Paul's "I know best and you can't teach me anything" attitude.
|Here is a main commuter path next to Old Middleton road. Several cyclists, including my husband, called the city to report it having 2-3 inches of mushy snow with ice underneath. The city still hasn't plowed it.|
|Here is the same path just down the road but in Shorewood. Notice any differences?|
|Here is a "nicely" plowed street. The ice chunks force cyclists into traffic.|
This all raises an important question. With the budget issues we are facing, will cyclist and pedestrian safety be thrown out or completely disregarded? As cities like Minneapolis and Boulder continue to put funds into improving their infrastructure for year round riding, will we drop even further down in rankings? Let's hope Paul gets his shit together and learns from what Dave was trying to do.