Study Planned for N. Sherman Avenue

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 5:42am

At last night's Common Council meeting, Alder Satya Rhodes-Conway, District 12, introduced a resolution authorizing the Traffic Engineering and City Engineering Divisions to embark on a study to examine how to improve the N. Sherman Avenue corridor for all users.

"I have heard from every neighborhood association on this corridor, and from numerous people who live on and near it, that safety is a huge concern" said Ald. Rhodes-Conway. "That includes safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists."

N. Sherman Avenue is a standard arterial street serving Madison's Northside and carrying between 15,000 to 16,500 vehicles, 450 bicycles and 320 pedestrians on an average weekday. Over half the intersections on N. Sherman Avenue between Northport Drive and Roth Avenue have experienced at least one crash between 2007 and 2011, and there have been crashes at numerous mid-block sites. The Traffic Engineering Division, which tracks crash data across the city, recorded 170 total crashes between 2007 and 2011 in the corridor. Thirty-two percent were related to left turns from Sherman Avenue, and thirty-one percent were rear-end crashes. Six percent involved pedestrians and bicycles.

"Pedestrian safety is far and away the biggest traffic safety issue on N. Sherman Avenue," said North District Police Captain Cameron McLay. "This opinion is based on the fact that we identify traffic safety issues, not just by crash rates per location, but also for those areas more likely to have serious harm result as a result of traffic problems. With residential properties all along N. Sherman, businesses scattered along the way, and schools/parks both drawing child pedestrian activity across the street routinely, pedestrian safety is my greatest concern. The two lanes of traffic each way and its use as a commuter route makes this more stressful and potentially dangerous for pedestrians."

During a recent four-hour traffic enforcement effort at N. Sherman and Trailsway, the MPD TEST team stopped 40 vehicles for Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian at a controlled intersection/crosswalk.

The resolution will be voted on at the October 2 Common Council meeting. A public meeting on the study is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on October 11 at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 1625 Northport Drive.


  • Ald. Satya Rhodes-Conway608-242-4426