Green-painted bike lanes will soon be added to multiple intersections around the University of Wisconsin- Madison campus.
The city of Madison’s Transportation Commission voted to approve nine projects around campus that include painting dashed green bike lanes on various intersections and adding traffic signs warning vehicles of crossing pedestrians and bikes.
“We frequently see bike-pedestrian accidents take place around campus, and these are major safety improvements throughout the area,” said District 8 Ald. MGR Govindarajan. “I’m beyond excited because we are seeing the city financially invest in student priorities, and I hope it’s only the beginning.”
UW-Madison’s campus has the city's highest number of bike users and also the most accidents involving cyclists, Govindarajan told The Daily Cardinal.
“This is part of my goal to increase pedestrian and biker safety,” he said. “This was the first project I began when I got on the [Common] Council, and I’m glad to say it ended with a win for the student voice.”
In 2022, 679 bicyclists were involved in motor vehicle crashes in Wisconsin, including 14 who were killed. There have been 10,737 pedestrian and bicyclist crashes in Wisconsin in the past five years, resulting in 336 deaths.
The current painting project looked at medium-sized intersections and is “only the start” for painted bike lanes, Govindarajan said.
“We didn’t [paint on University Avenue] because that road is graded from concrete rather than asphalt, and the paint used for bike lanes apparently does not stick that well on concrete,” he said. “You would have to basically redo the entire road.”
Govindarajan expects University Avenue to have “major reconstruction” in the coming years and he hopes that more green bike lanes will be added then. Moreover, he would like to focus on expanding this project — which is part of the broader “Safe Streets Madison” program — to intersections further from campus.
The total cost of the projects comes to $59,000 and is part of Madison’s 2023 budget, according to the press release.