Dave Reid
Eyes on Milwaukee

Biking With The Mayors

Madison's former mayor joins Tom Barrett and various city employees for the annual Bike to Work.

By - May 13th, 2014 02:49 pm
Sign-up for the Urban Milwaukee daily email
The Mayors. Photo by Dave Reid.

The Mayors. Photo by Dave Reid.

Monday was the start of the 2014 Bike to Work Week and as usual Mayor Tom Barrett got things started with his group bike ride. The route takes riders from his neighborhood, Washington Heights, to the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building, 841 N. Broadway, in downtown Milwaukee.

The crowd gathered at the corner of N. 51st St. and Washington Blvd and awaited the mayor’s arrival. Numerous bike enthusiasts and advocates as well as local politicians and city staffers joined the ride, including: Keith Holt, Dave Steele, Dave Schlabowske, aka the Bike Czar, city engineer Jeff Polenski, Michael Loughran, Bunky Miller, Pat Murphy, Ald. Nik Kovac, and former Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, who now serves at executive director of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. Cieslewicz fired up the riders, kidding that with just a chance of rain a similar ride was cancelled in Madison, while here in Milwaukee the threat of rain didn’t deter this hardy crowd from riding to work.

Along the way the ride had support from the mayor’s security staff and members of the Milwaukee Police Department.  So much support that at a couple of intersections the group received a “mayoral corking,” by MPD (Corking is a bike term for blocking an intersection to allow a group ride to get through the light).

Last year, Barrett rode one of Trek’s B-cycle bikes to promote a future rollout of bike-sharing in Milwaukee.

During the post-ride press conference Barrett noted that the city has a $1.6 million CMAQ grant for the proposed bike-sharing system, but he stated that it won’t be rolling out until 2015, rather than this summer as had been previously reported. Despite the delay, Barrett told the crowd, bike-sharing “is on its way.”

UPDATE May 13 10:26 pm: It turns out we won’t have to wait till 2015 for more bike sharing. Kevin Hardman, of Midwest Bikeshare, Inc., in an email to Urban Milwaukee wrote, “We’re hoping to get 5-10 additional stations on the ground this summer. These stations are not CMAQ-funded but will use other sources we’ve raised.”

Photos from the Ride

Other Bike to Work Week Events

For some of us it is always Bike to Work Week, but if you haven’t tried yet, it’s time to get the bike out of the garage. Here are just a few of the fun events left to take in this week:

Wednesday

  • 7:30 am: The Great Milwaukee 2014 “Rider vs. Driver” Commuter Challenge at Colectivo in Shorewood, 4500 N. Oakland Ave. Learn from a panel of riders and drivers whether biking or driving is faster, cheaper, or more environmentally friendly. And where to get a great cup of coffee in the morning.

Thursday

  • 7:30 am: Bike to Work with the Milwaukee Parks Department. The ride leaves from the Estabrook Park South Parking Lot, 4400 Estabrook Parkway..

Friday

  • 5-9 pm: Art for Bike’s Sake at Anodyne Coffee, 224 W. Bruce St. in Walker’s Point. The fundraiser will benefit Vulture Space and feature bicycle-themed artwork. RSVP on Facebook.

Quick Hits

  • On Thursday, May 15th from 5-6:30 p.m., the first in a series of “Streetcar Socials,” informal events held along the route for people who are looking forward to riding the streetcar, will be held at Residence, 612 N. Broadway, in downtown Milwaukee.  For more information check out the Facebook event page.
  • The redevelopment of MPS’ Dover Street School, which was once thought headed for the waste basket due to “too much density projects,” is alive and well. Katherine Keller, of the Bay View Compass, reported that, “District 14 Ald. Tony Zielinski said he reached a compromise solution today with developers Maures Development Group and CommonBond Communities concerning the scale and scope of the plan for the redevelopment of the Milwaukee Public Schools’ Dover Street School building and land, 619 E. Dover St.”
  • Colectivo’s new Third Ward location, 225 E. St Paul Ave., opens tomorrow, and they’ll be serving beer. Along with plenty of coffee, of course.

3 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Biking With The Mayors”

  1. Becky says:

    I would love to bike to ride. Unfortunately, I don’t get a police escort. It is too dangerous in this city as so many idiots use the bike lanes as their private passing and/or driving lanes. I see it numerous times each day when I drive to and from work. Nothing is done about it at all. And don’t even get me starting about the appalling conditions of our city streets. Potholes and bicyclists don’t go together at all.

  2. Dave Reid says:

    @Becky I certainly agree it is problematic when folks drive in the bike lanes (though when turning they are supposed to), and potholes are bad this year, it was a terrible winter and all, but biking in Milwaukee is safe, easy, and well fun.. I do it most of the year with little trouble.

  3. Casey says:

    the more bikes on the street the safer everyone is. please don’t let a few morons scare you from enjoying your life more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *