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Park-and-bike location opening near Blackhawk Bike Path

May 25, 2010

Alan Fish, UW–Madison associate vice chancellor for facilities and Tim Erdman, chairman and CEO of Erdman Holdings, Inc., are going for a bike ride on Monday, June 7, and they’re inviting anyone heading toward campus to come along for the ride.

The occasion: unveiling their recent collaboration — a pilot project “park and bike” location that will provide free vehicle parking and secure indoor bike storage for those who wish to pedal the last stretch of their commute. The pilot will run through Oct. 1.

The goal of the facility is to offer a convenient alternative to driving to central Madison. Fish and Erdman will lead the way from the park-and-bike location to the campus at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, June 7.

Erdman, who is offering the space in and around what used to be the Irish Waters Restaurant and Pub on a trial basis, believes that the location is ideal for a park and bike. It is nestled between University Avenue, Old Middleton Road and North Whitney Way, and adjacent to the Blackhawk Bike Path. Commuters can easily access the lot, park their cars, and hop on their bikes. Saris Cycling Group will donate high-end, high-density bike parking infrastructure for the facility.

Fish and Erdman, who recently reviewed bike transportation infrastructure in Germany and Amsterdam, hope that the park and bike will bring bicycling within reach to more people.

For Fish, who welcomes some 75,000 students, employees and visitors to campus daily, having a cap of 13,000 parking stalls makes facilitating and promoting alternatives to driving alone a top priority. For Erdman, providing alternatives aligns well with his company’s longstanding commitment to sustainable business practices.

Fish recently started commuting to campus by bike and he encourages university employees to give it a try, whether they are seasoned cyclists or novice riders. He believes the park and bike will make biking to work feasible for a larger group of campus employees.

“The Erdman Park and Bike should be especially appealing this summer with construction on University Avenue grinding vehicular travel to a halt,” says Fish. “I predict that those who bike in will arrive at work before their coworkers in cars.”

In the meantime, some commuters are already taking advantage of existing park and rides, many of which are conveniently located next to bike paths, though none are quite as close as the Erdman Park and Bike. Most locations are served by Madison Metro Transit.

The launch of the Erdman Park and Ride coincides with Madison’s Bike to Work Week, June 6-12. UW Transportation Services is offering custom route planning for those who would like to bike, walk, or bus in to campus. Visit and click on “Commuter Solutions” for more information.

The following university Bike to Work Week activities are scheduled:

  • Monday, June 7, 7:30 a.m.: group ride from the new Erdman Park and Bike to campus;
  • Monday, June 7, at dusk: free Bike-In Movie at the Memorial Union;
  • June 7-11: Commuter Bike Challenge (register here). University employees can register their department and log their bicycle commuting miles. To date more than 100 groups have signed up for the challenge.
  • June 7-11, from 7-9 a.m.: Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin Morning Commuter Stations. Free coffee, bakery and minor bike repair, downtown at the Capital City Trail at Broom Street, sponsored by Ancora, Planet Bike, Williamson Bicycle Works. (Wednesday’s Commuter Station is near the Isthmus newspaper office at 101 King St.); on the east side at the Capital City Trail (also known as the East Isthmus Bike Path) at Ingersoll, sponsored by Just Coffee, Manna Café and Bakery, and Revolution Cycles; and on the west side at the Southwest Commuter Path at Regent Street, sponsored by Indie Coffee, Budget Bicycles and Bagels Forever;

Here is a listing of additional Bike to Work Week events.