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Bending Over For Bicyclists In Madison Has Gone Too Far

May 11, 2018

Kudos to Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.

I probably should start by saying one week ago in front of B.B. Clarke Beach a biker with a large carriage type attachment with what I presume is used to carry a kid came upon me at a pretty good clip–while I was on the sidewalk.  To add to the ridiculousness of the picture you are forming in your mind let me add that she also had a dog on a leash that she was running alongside the bike.

And she yelled at me!  “Move!’

I labeled her correctly–and as loud as she barked at me–a “desperate housewife”.    She did not like that but the dog was not about to stop so she had to peddle away without getting off a response.

Why she felt entitled to use the sidewalk for her journey remains a mystery.  The streets in Madison, are after all, for bikers too.

But her antics are not alone as the same can be said for the jokers who peddle their way through Orton Park or think they ‘own’ all the cemented area at Monona Terrace.

Suffice it to say that I find some–not all–bikers in Madison to be rude and wearing some mantle of self-styled entitlement.  I think the same for those in the local headlines who can not grasp that just one block from where bicyclist activists are fighting for a most unreasonable expansion of ‘their rights’ is a bike boulevard and a bike path!

It is with that bit of a background that I smiled broadly when reading today’s editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Mayor Paul Soglin’s veto of a three-block, two-lane road construction plan for Madison’s East Side last week might seem like a small thing.

But symbolically, the impact of the mayor’s action is significant. Soglin stuck up for motorists across the city — and specifically those who live along Winnebago Street — by preserving about 24 parking spots that otherwise would have been lost to extra space for bicycles. 

The veto should stand.

That wasn’t good enough for some bicycling advocates and a majority of the City Council, which voted 11-6 in favor of adding 2-foot-wide buffers between the two bike lanes and the two lanes for cars and trucks.

Many neighborhood residents said they favored keeping parking spots on both sides of the street, rather than limiting on-street parking to just one side so bicyclists could have more space.

“When I look at the demand for this space on Winnebago and the options for bicyclists, and the options for residents and their guests to park their cars,” Soglin wrote in his veto message, “I find that the balance leads to retaining the parking.”

  1. Bianca permalink
    May 13, 2018 2:36 PM

    Give bikers a break. They are helping the environment.

  2. Mark E. Bye permalink
    May 12, 2018 10:54 AM

    Jayne said everything I would have said. Thanks!

  3. May 12, 2018 8:16 AM

    The Madison Council is elitist.

  4. May 12, 2018 7:10 AM

    Your snappy comeback was perfect. I only had one once, and I said it to the Kansas state trooper who had just told me that “You people from WES-consin all think you can drive as fast as you want.” It was a good one but it cost me fifty bucks.

  5. Jayne permalink
    May 11, 2018 3:37 PM

    I agree with you on this issue. Many cylists feel so entitled. They want the privilege of being a vehicle but rarely want to abide by the rules, not stopping at stop signs, weaving between cars instead of waiting in their lane, ride on the side walks when there are perfectly good bike lanes, and just zooming across the streets from bike paths. Hello, you have a stop sign and because you’re really moving it’s hard to see you in enough time to stop.

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