In the Netherlands, 27% of trips made are by bike . The Madison group wanted to see 20% of trips made by bike here by 2020. During the past decade, the city and Dane County have invested more than $16 million, including grants, in bicycle infrastructure. Today, Madison is ranked among the top cities for biking in the U.S.
Madison hasn’t reached the 20% goal, but bike ridership has increased and may even be getting a boost as a result of the coronavirus. According to a survey from Wisconsin-based Trek Bicycle Corp., 21% of Americans who own a bike said they have been riding more during the pandemic.
Hank Disch, a service worker at Budget Bicycle Center on Regent Street, said there has been a big boost in business since people have had to stay at home.
“It’s just been an insane increase in the amount of people we’ve seen come through the door, since biking became one of the only things that was really recommended to do,” Disch said. “A number of them are older bikes that we can kind of tell were being kept in a garage or shed for a number of years.”
Schmitz and others are hoping the new momentum will help them get closer to their 20% goal as well as make biking more accessible.
The suburban areas around Madison were built for cars, not bikes. And on Madison’s Far East and West sides, where there is more affordable housing, bike infrastructure is underdeveloped, Schmitz said.