Funding for future Madison bike initiatives could be hindered by the new Capital Budget despite enthusiasm for the program, Mayor Paul Soglin said Wednesday at Madison's Moving Bicycling Forward event.
While projects to further bicycle safety and infrastructure are extremely important, the $4.4 million budget dedicated to bikers and pedestrians must be used wisely and effectively, Soglin said.
""We need the help of the community in this,"" Soglin said. ""We must create an opportunity here for public involvement before the planning process [for future bike initiatives] begins so that we can know, both literally and figuratively, where we are going.""
Tony Fernandez, City of Madison civil engineer, discussed bike lane changes to the Regent-Monroe intersection, calling the intersection a step in the right direction.
""It is the first place in Madison where we have consciously separated bicycles from pedestrians at a crossing,"" Fernandez said. ""Above all, it guides the less experienced riders to a safer way through the intersection.""
Other developments mentioned include the addition of bicycle boxes, which enable bicyclists to make safe left turns at busy intersections, and the insertion of buffer lanes that create a small separation between car and bike lanes, such as on University Avenue.
As the city works to make Madison bike lanes more safe and accessible, panel members said bikers must now reach out and encourage more residents to use bicycles as their primary means of transportation.