Sunday, June 5, 2011

Biking Madison

Madison, WI was the setting for CNU19, the annual conference of the Congress for the New Urbanism, a non profit sustainable urban planning organization. The bicycle culture there was appropriately refreshing, to say the least. There were bikes everywhere, all over. Maybe it was the 1500 visitors they had that week, who knows.

Their new bike share program proved effective. See the lockup station that was found in several key locations throughout the city.


It was free if used for just a half hour, and $10 if taken for more thann that up to a whole day. Besides the fact that it looked like a clunky cruiser with a heavy metal basket welded to the front, they seemed to be well received and frequently used. Again, maybe it was just the conference.

Most surprising to me in Madison was the lack of bike security (which is obviously a huge concern of me in my current city). Bikes were locked up all over (or not) with nothing but cable locks. I saw maybe 3 chains the entire 4 days I was there. I went to rent a bike for the week and they weren't even going to give me a lock until I asked for one. A person I was with asked what happens if the bikes get stolen, to which the shop attendant responded in a confused and slow manner, for which he had no real response. "It's never happened so I don't really know."



There were also these other red bikes that were rented, these for free with a deposit. Although these were old bikes spray painted red. The entire bike, over cables and gears and brakes and everything. Really.

http://redbikes.org/redbike/how-madison-red-bike-program






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