Alder Yannette Figueroa Cole
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Figueroa Cole’s Updates
Traffic Median Conversion
General information traffic Median Conversion:
Traditionally planted medians are maintained by the City of Madison Engineering using the allotted annual Operating budget for new and replacement plantings, watering, hand weeding, trash removal, and mulch
Engineering is working on a variety of short growing, drought, and salt-tolerant, low mow vegetation plants grown from seed to replace frequently mowed turf grass in newly constructed and existing turf medians. Examples: Williamson St at Blount, Gammon between beltline and Mineral Point, Fish Hatchery Rd, Packers Ave by the airport
Turf medians are mowed by the City of Madison Parks. Water, herbicides, and fertilizer are not used in turf medians
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why not plant the medians being converted to concrete with a native plant/ low mow alternative?
- The medians being converted to the concrete are not suitable for that at less than 6' wide because maintaining any type of vegetation in narrow medians is exceeding difficult (and hazardous) for Parks staff to mow. Even the low mow mixes that Engineering has been working on in various locations throughout the City since about 2017 requires mowing a min of 1x per year. Prescribed burns are not an option in medians due to traffic safety (smoke and driver visibility for example).
- Additionally, the conversion to this style of low mow vegetation has been hit and miss in the existing turf medians we have tried to retrofit. We are trying a very aggressive approach with one of the conversions this year on Packers Ave by the airport to see if we can get more success. We have had better success in new medians planted this way from scratch.
- Why not plant the medians being converted to turf with a native plant/ low mow alternative?
- The planted medians we are converting to turf are generally in medians that have a large turf presence already so it wouldn't make sense to convert just patches of the medians to low mow when the majority of the median is already turf.
- Why not have volunteers adopt the medians set to be converted to turf or concrete through Engineering's Adopt-a-Median program?
- None of the median planting beds being converted to turf or concrete are available for adoption. They are all in high-traffic locations that are not allowed for volunteer work due to safety concerns. Most of the medians in question require closing a lane during off-peak hours with full traffic control (arrow boards, orange barrels) to allow maintenance. There are many other medians in other residential areas in the city that are in need of volunteers. Please visit City Engineering's Adopt-A-Median website for more information.
- There is so much hardscape/ Impervious surface already and concrete would increase runoff
- The changes that are being made are distributed across the City. The changes in any one area are very small on a watershed basis. Additionally, the change from a mounded planting bed to turfgrass is relatively minor from a runoff standpoint. Certainly, concrete runs off more than mounded planting beds but taken on a whole the change is very minor.
- These median conversions are supposed to save money in the budget, but doesn't it cost more to remove the existing planting beds and replace them with turf or concrete?
- There are certain capital costs to making a change of this type. Those costs are for practical purposes one-time costs. The reductions in the operating budget (which is an ongoing cost) are requiring City Engineering to make these physical changes. Engineering prefers green solutions, however, budget cuts, increasing maintenance costs, and difficulty in confirming Contractors to complete this work are directing this change.
Adopt a Median
There are many medians around the city that need volunteer support, for more information on the city's Adopt-A-Median program visit the website.
For a larger map view of available median locations click here.
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