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Ride the Drive returns to Madison this Summer

Source: Corey Coyle - CC BY 3.0 DEED

Ride the Drive returns to Madison this Summer

Over four miles of downtown streets will be closed to all motor vehicles, allowing people to bike, walk, or even scooter to six Madison parks.

March 1, 2024 12:41 PM CDT

By: Nate Wegehaupt

MADISON, Wis. (WMDX) – If you’ve ever wanted to safely walk down the middle of the road in downtown Madison, you’re in luck. The Ride the Drive event will return to Madison on Sunday, August 11th.

Over four miles of roads across downtown Madison will be closed to all vehicle traffic, allowing people to walk or bike down streets connecting six Madison parks. The event not only looks to promote alternative modes of transportation, but healthy living as well.

The roads will connect six parks throughout downtown Madison, including Olin, Brittingham, Edward Klief, Law, R. Richard Wagner, and McPike Park. For four hours, you can walk, bike, scooter, or skateboard to all six parks, with stops offering activities, food, and fun for all ages. 

Several roads will be closed from 9AM to 3PM the day of the event. Those roads include Regent Street from Randall Ave. to West Washington Ave, Proudfit Street / N. Shore Drive from W. Washington Ave. to John Nolen Drive, John Nolen Drive from Olin Ave. to E. Wilson and Williamson streets, Williamson St. from John Nolen Drive to S. Ingersoll St., and S. Ingersoll from Williamson to E. Main streets. Businesses with brick-and-morter stores along the route are encouraged to open their doors and be a part of the event. 

Map Courtesy Madison Parks

Since the inaugural Ride the Drive event in 2009, the event has celebrated Madison’s commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle focusing on the environmental and economic impacts and the importance of social integration. Ride the Drive helps link people and organizations who share a passion for healthy living and vibrant public spaces. Businesses and groups that want to contribute to the event can participate by either volunteering, sponsoring, or becoming a vendor. 

City officials say that they will need over 400 volunteers to help the event to be a success. Most volunteer shifts are just 2-3 hours, meaning you will still have time to enjoy the event yourself. All volunteers will get an exclusive Ride the Drive t-shirt, along with sunscreen, bug spray, water, and snacks to keep you going. You can apply to volunteer on the Madison Parks website. 

Parks officials are also looking for vendors to help enrich the event experience for attendees. Registered vendors can set up in one of the six park hubs, or along the route to offer food, crafts, and other activities that reflect the diversity and talent of the community. 

Ride the Drive is a free event and accessible to everyone, though dogs and other pets are not allowed, with exceptions for service animals. The event will run from 10AM to 2PM on Sunday, August 11, 2024, rain or shine. 

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