bike friendly

More than 5 percent of Madison residents commute by bicycle, utilizing 75 miles of bike paths. 

Thomas Yonash

The Wisconsin Bike Federation announced Monday the City of Madison has achieved Platinum status as a bicycle-friendly community.

This recognition reflects longstanding efforts in the community to promote biking, originating with the bike paths Mayor Paul Soglin enacted in the 1970s, according to a press release.

“What a journey, and what a great recognition for the incredible bike paths, bike lanes, and our relationship with Trek and BCycle, cycling amenities and the welcoming nature of our city toward cyclists,” Soglin said in the release.

More than 5 percent of Madison’s population commutes by bicycle, utilizing the city’s 75 miles of off-street paths and 120 miles of on-street bike lanes, according to the release.

“That’s really the mark of a bicycle-friendly place,” Bill Nesper, vice president of programs of the League of American Bicyclists, said in a statement. “People are riding bikes and it’s a safe place to ride.”

Madison’s neighboring communities have also moved up in the rankings, with Fitchburg earning Silver status, Monona and Middleton earning Bronze status and Sun Prairie achieving an Honorable Mention.

Overall, Wisconsin has 18 communities on the Bike Friendly list.

Dave Cieslewicz, executive director of the Wisconsin Bike Federation and former Madison mayor, said the bigger picture—Wisconsin as a whole—is more exciting than Madison’s Platinum recognition.

“The Wisconsin story is more exciting to me than Madison getting Platinum,” Cieslewicz said. “We’ve been saying for years now that we have to redouble our efforts at the local level and this shows the positive results of that work.”

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