Purpose & Goals

The primary mission of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is to inform Madison officials about the community's need for a more walkable, bikeable and transit-oriented city, and to describe all elements of the City's transportation system. This TMP will then identify and describe what the City and others must do for Madison to become a more walkable, bikeable and transit-oriented city. The TMP will also identify how to improve the City as a great place to locate businesses and to work. The TMP must help the City to create and maintain a healthy local economy where transportation plans support economic development strategies. The Plan must address the transportation needs of neighborhood businesses and activity/urban centers outside the downtown area, and address connecting Madison with other communities throughout the larger region. This means we will have:

  • Strong, well-connected neighborhoods with neighborhood commercial/activity centers along transit corridors throughout a healthy city.
  • Excellent transportation choices for all residents in all neighborhoods.
  • A range of mobility choices and connections for all modes of transportation between Madison neighborhoods, the Downtown and other communities.
  • A highly livable city where land use and transportation are integrated, creating a City where employers want to locate and people want to live, work and visit.

Building a sustainable, people-friendly city starts with a transportation system that provides robust mobility options for people. A sustainable transportation system considers all users, especially individuals with limited mobility and transit-reliant populations (including the elderly, people with disabilities, children and youth. The transportation system must work for these residents. Increasing the convenience, ease and appeal of walking, bicycling and transit (and making connections among them) will make Madison a healthier and safer place to live.

The City of Madison's and Dane County's population and economy are projected to grow significantly in the next several decades. To accommodate this growth, and to avoid sprawling growth that consumes farmland we must integrate land development and economic growth with transportation, carry more people through our transportation networks and maintain our tradition of strong, connected neighborhoods. We must also continue to make the downtown business district attractive to employers, workers and customers, and thus avoid infrastructure investments that drive land uses into our valuable farmland resources. As the City grows, we must prioritize investments in maintaining the infrastructure we have while improving pedestrian, bicycle and transit infrastructure. We must ensure a rich, interconnected network of multimodal streets, making our neighborhoods more attractive and functional. We must also adopt effective strategies in the provision and pricing of parking to ensure the downtown and neighborhood business districts remain competitive with peripheral locations. Free and low-cost forms of transportation ensure that families on tight budgets may redirect disposable income to other personal or familial endeavors. In addition, to ensure a high level mobility within the City of Madison, improvements in freight transportation, intercity transit and air travel must be made to keep Madison competitive in areas of commerce and tourism.

Cities are vital when they bring people together for work, play, learning, shopping, the arts and community. Public streets, sidewalks, bike pathways and other civic spaces serve a variety of peoples' needs. A pedestrian, bicycle and transit-rich city supports life, commerce, social interaction and leads to a happier, more productive public domain. The Sustainable Madison Transportation Master Plan will strike the careful balance that will result in a universally-accessible and functional transportation system, with a realistic strategy for implementation over the next 25 years, and beyond.