Bicycle Commuting

Bicycle Routes

UW-Madison offers a strong network of bicycle and pedestrian routes, and is continuously adding new connections. Most recently, construction of the Campus Drive pedestrian and bicycle path was completed.

The City of Madison and Dane County bike maps are available for free at all Transportation Services office. Additional print bike maps are available for purchase at many bike shops. Free maps are also available online:

Man with a helmet is riding a bike along a road. Two cars are slightly behind him.
  • Check your bicycle and yourself, especially if you haven’t ridden for awhile. Make sure your brakes work and pump up your tires to their recommended air pressure (soft tires make riding a lot harder).
  • Consult with one of Madison’s bike shops if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Check with your doctor if you have concerns about starting an exercise program.
  • Find a good route from your home to your campus destination. Try out different routes to find the one that works best for you. The best route to work by bike may not be the same route that you drive. Ask co-workers who already bike commute for advice or ask our Commuter Solutions team.
  • Wear a helmet! Bicycle accidents can happen for many reasons, even when you are on a bike path. No trip is “too short” to wear a helmet. Discount coupons for bike helmets and lights are available at all Transportation Services offices [note: currently unavailable due to Covid-19 safety recommendations] and for download: Bike safety coupon – PDF.
  • Dress appropriately. In nice weather, many bike commuters ride in their work clothes if they don’t have far to travel. Other people choose to carry their work clothes in a backpack or pannier and change at work.

You can bicycle warmly through the cold and snow with the right equipment and attitude. Some tips and tricks are available in this 2013 UW Winter Biking Video and the Fall 2020 Bicycling Through Winter Class Recording.

Winter Bicycle Parking

While not all bike racks are cleared of snow during the winter, bicyclists do still have a number of options for parking on campus. A list of areas that are either partially sheltered or are cleared of snow (as the university grounds crew is able to do so) is available below, organized by East Campus areas, Central areas, and West Campus areas. Additionally, secure bike lockers and bike cages are available to rent throughout the year on a first come, first served basis.

East Campus

  • Grainger (north) –  sheltered
  • Helen C White (courtyard) – sheltered
  • Memorial Union (southwest, at corner of Park and Langdon Streets)
  • Memorial Library (east)
  • Humanities (northwest, at Park St and Library Mall) – sheltered
  • 21 N Park St (inside street level of Lot 29)

Central Campus

  • Educational Science (north) – sheltered
  • Social Science (west) – sheltered
  • Ingraham (southwest, off Charter St)
  • Van Hise (south) – sheltered
  • Medical Science (east, off Charter St)
  • Chemistry (northeast, off University Ave. and Mills St.) – sheltered
  • Weeks Hall (courtyard) – sheltered
  • Middleton Building (west) – sheltered
  • Lot 20 – University Avenue Ramp (street level) – sheltered
  • Bock Lab (west) – sheltered
  • Microbial Science (south, off Linden Dr) and also (north) sheltered
  • Steenbock (south, lower level) – sheltered
  • Engineering Hall (northwest, off Engineering Dr)
  • Engineering Research Building (south) – sheltered

West Campus

  • Natatorium (south) – NOTE: closed during Natatorium replacement project
  • Lot 67 – Linden Drive Garage (northwest street level)
  • Veterinary Medicine Diagnostic Lab (north) – sheltered
  • Nielsen Tennis Stadium (southwest, by lot 76) – sheltered
  • Pharmacy (south)
  • Lot 75 – UW Hospital Ramp (northwest and southwest corners, nearest main hospital entrance)
  • WIMR (east) – sheltered
  • Lot 63 (AFCH Garage) – sheltered

Bike racks on buses

Why not combine biking with taking the bus? Bike racks on city buses provide the ultimate in convenience for the bicycle commuter. All Metro buses are equipped with bike racks. Let’s Rack and Roll!

Please note: each bus can only carry two bikes. Bikes are not allowed to be transported inside the bus.