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Ride the Drive?

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Ride the Drive?

Postby Dulouz » Tue May 12, 2009 8:16 am

Another Portland Idea comes to Madison.

On August 30th, Trek has managed to get the city to shut down John Nolan Dr and E. Wash to Patterson for a six hour frolic of pedestrians, bicyclists and blade runners. Which, is good, because it would otherwise be impossible for this stakeholder group to enjoy the Monona lake shore given the absence of bike paths in the city. :wink:

I wonder how much Trek is paying for the marketing event? Even though its a Sunday, this is still going to create a major traffic jam (especially when the downtown churches let out).

I admit that it will be enjoyable to bike without have to dodge the errant child or the people chatting on cell phones, but I hope that bikes get their own lane!
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby robbie webber » Tue May 12, 2009 2:00 pm

Dulouz wrote:Another Portland Idea comes to Madison.


Actually, this idea originated in Bogota, Colombia, where areas of the city are shut down EVERY SUNDAY. Here's a video clip from there:
http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/ciclovia/

It has been done all over the world (London, Paris, Mexico City), and Portland was actually a fairly late adopter.

New York, San Fransisco, and Chicago have long standing events, often several times a year in different neighborhoods. Miami, El Paso, and Seattle also have had events.

You can google Sunday Parkways or the Spanish name - ciclovia - to see photos and video from events around the world.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby Matt Logan » Thu May 14, 2009 4:10 pm

This is wonderful news - and to the best of my knowledge, the first major recommendation of the Mayor's Platinum Committee report to be implemented!

Thanks to everyone who made this happen, and a big "behind the scenes" nod goes to the folks at bikewalkmadison.org who have been working to keep the Platinum Committee's recommendations on the City's agenda.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby eriedasch » Thu May 21, 2009 2:09 pm

Dulouz wrote:Even though its a Sunday, this is still going to create a major traffic jam (especially when the downtown churches let out).

I admit that it will be enjoyable to bike without have to dodge the errant child or the people chatting on cell phones, but I hope that bikes get their own lane!

I'm a fairly avid biker and all for "bike rights", more, better, improved bike paths and routes. But not really sure what this is trying to accomplish other than creating a big traffic jam on a couple of the busiest Madison roadways.
Results being no more than pissing off a lot of the drivers who depend on those routes to get from point A to point B and adding even more fuel to the fire / bigger divide btw. the bikers and the drivers.

Are the bike paths on John Nollan really that busy? I agree they are well used and maybe even a justification for widening them - adding a special lane for peds like right along Monona Terrace. I think I would prefer riding on the path even if the road was open as it is closer to the lake. Biking down E. Wash? What a stale ride. Again, I'll take the bike path that runs parallel. Why not close Willy, Jenifer, or the road that runs closest to the lake?

Just not really sure what closing down these major streets during a Sunday afternoon is going to accomplish?

But I do support biking. Educate me.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby fisticuffs » Thu May 21, 2009 2:35 pm

When is the day where we close the bike path so I can drive my car down it?
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby robbie webber » Thu May 21, 2009 2:43 pm

These events are not just for bicyclists. They are very popular with rollerbalders, skateboarders, families with really little kids, walkers, people who like to people watch, etc.

The general idea is to experience parts of the city in a way that one normally could not because of car traffic. A really big area - like E Washington - with no motorized traffic is a great opportunity to enjoy a corridor that normally is seen as a barrier to cross, and hard to do so on foot, by bike, for kids, families, etc.

There are events like dance classes, yoga, aerobics, music, etc. Kids draw on the street with chalk. You can see buildings and storefronts that you might rush by, or not be able to see fully from the sidewalk.

Some people just like the idea of "taking back the streets" for one day. Not Critical Mass, but a safe place for people that really don't feel comfortable interacting with cars when they walk, bike, stroll, etc. Again, think of taking your 5, 7 and 9 year old out to play in the street. The nice thing is that there is enough space for everyone, of all ages and abilities, all speeds and modes of non-motorized travel, to enjoy the streets without feeling like they are in someone's way.

The organizers - and this principally came from the Mayor's office and Trek - wanted to do a big event instead of just one little street.

As I mentioned above, many cities around the world do this on a regular basis. Google either "ciclovia" or "sunday parkways" to see comments, photos, films, etc. Many cities make an effort to hold these events in neighborhoods that are under served by parks, trails, and safe environments, or where people of different incomes and ethnic backgrounds don't interact very much. Miami and Chicago go this route. Other cities use their grandest and busiest streets, so as to both showcase the city and give people a chance to appreciate the architecture and urban design without traffic. New York chose that option.

The aftermath of almost all these events is that people so love it that they want it to happen more often and in more areas. Every city that has held these events has ended up with fewer problems and more positive feedback than they ever anticipated.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby robbie webber » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:41 am

bump

If Forons, or others, would like more information, or if you want to volunteer, go here:

http://www.cityofmadison.com/transportation/rideDrive/

We still need many volunteers, and there will be something for everyone to do. Giving out info, water stations, helping with activities, setting up and clean up, bike parking, bike mechanics, etc.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby Thusnelda » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:25 am

Pardon me for not weighing in on the earlier, more substantial discussion, but the idea of John Nolen Drive seems a bit ludicrous. If the whole point is to "take back the streets," shouldn't the streets in question be those for which there's an actual purpose other than just driving? Like, say, Willy or Wilson? What's the attraction for these newly-freed children? "Oh, yeah, I had a super awesome time exploring the tunnel under Monona Terrace."

Nearly every other street in Madison has, at least, a mixture of residential, commercial and retail operations that would be more interesting to look at, never mind any extra business something like this could bring in. I'm not seeing the allure here.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby BeatBox » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:36 am

I don't get it either.

E Wash from John Nolan to Patterson? What's to explore? What store fronts am I supposed to slow down and enjoy?
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby fennel » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:45 am

Thusnelda wrote: ... shouldn't the streets in question be those for which there's an actual purpose other than just driving? Like, say, Willy or Wilson?
That's a good point. I've wondered what State Street might be like if it weren't a truck stop.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby robbie webber » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:32 pm

It's six miles.

* Olin Park to Machinery Row via John Nolen

* Blair to E Washington - using the Blair/Wilson/Willy St/John Nolen intersection as a pedestrian or bicyclist without taking your life in your hands!

* E Washington to Paterson - and there are really some interesting building on E Washington. Maybe people can dream of what could be on that stretch if/when it gets redeveloped. Also, there is lots and lots of space for a multitude of activities. E Washington will be teeming with art, performances, music, learning, kids, families, and food. Taking over that much concrete on a Sunday is going to be cool.

* Around the Capitol to State St, then down to Lake - see, no truck stops during the event.

* Lake to Dayton; Dayton to Bedford

* Bedford to E Wilson - mostly residential, but right by WORT, the Findorf Bldg, and various small businesses.

* E Wilson to Broom - again a residential area

* Broom to John Nolen.

There will be many activities all along the route. And you might be surprised what you see when you aren't either rushing along in a car or dodging traffic on foot/bike.

Anyway, this is the first year. If it's a huge success, as events in other cities have been, then maybe it will be extended to some other major corridors in different parts of the city.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby HOMOsapien » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:24 pm

I'm hoping to see a fixed gear parade.

Look Ma, no breaks!
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby Marvell » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:38 pm

HOMOsapien wrote:I'm hoping to see a fixed gear parade.

Look Ma, no breaks!


Wishful thinking.

I predict at least one break at such an event, and multiple sprains.
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby green union terrace chair » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:56 pm

Marvell wrote:
HOMOsapien wrote:I'm hoping to see a fixed gear parade.

Look Ma, no breaks!


Wishful thinking.

I predict at least one break at such an event, and multiple sprains.


*rimshot*
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Re: Ride the Drive?

Postby jjoyce » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:53 pm

We went, albeit for only the last hour. Maybe it was because the weather was PERFECT, but I loved the feeling of pedaling up John Nolen Drive with impunity. It occurred to me that even when you're on the bike paths, you have to be somewhat deliberate and keep up a certain speed.

But on the wide road with plenty of room, people were going at all sorts of speeds and that made it that much more fun. I don't remember feeling like that on a bike since I was 12.

I have to kind of laugh at all these people who came out against the event because they couldn't get any kind of point to it. Why does there have to be a point other than allowing people to enjoy their city in a weird way?
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