District 13 Updates for the Week of November 20th


Hi Everyone, 

Here are this week's updates: 

Saying No to Neo-Nazis

Over the weekend, a vile hate group marched in Madison. I join Mayor Satya in stating such hatred has no place in our city.

City’s 2024 Budget Approved

The Common Council passed the City’s 2024 Budget on November 14. The budget will fund the north-south Bus Rapid Transit line, new bike and pedestrian paths, construction of the library's Imagination Center, wage increases for city employees and several new staff positions. Alders also approved amendments to fund an expansion to the Warner Park community center and build a tunnel underneath John Nolen Drive for cyclists and pedestrians. Further highlights:

  • Continued support to expand the CARES program, including investments in staffing and vehicles, to support the program’s growth. 
  • A citywide public information officer to help engage and respond to residents about City services, which was a top priority of the City’s Neighborhood Resource Teams.
  • Another annual increase to the City’s affordable housing fund, providing $94.5 million over six years - an increase of over 60 percent from the 2023 Capital Improvement Plan. 
  • Continued investment in solar, geothermal, and electric vehicle charging projects and acquisitions, with the support of over $13 million in federal tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act.

Changes to the Salt Routes in District 13

District 13 Salt Routes

“Salt routes” are the streets of Madison that we plow each time it snows and apply salt to as temperature allows. By our current policy, this high level of service is reserved for the major thoroughfares, which are the roads used by Madison Metro, those around schools, hospitals, police & fire facilities, and other important connector streets.

Salt routes make up nearly 43% of all of the traffic lanes within the City. Thanks to the salt and the fact that these streets have more traffic than others, these main thoroughfares are typically bare pavement following winter storms once the salt has had time to work.

Public streets not designated as a salt route are plowed when at least 3” of snow accumulates on them and the storm is at or near its end.  It would be fair to consider these “neighborhood streets.” Since neighborhood streets are not salted like the main thoroughfares, they will have a hard pack of snow and ice on them after plowing. Sand is applied later where needed to enhance traction. These are the typical winter conditions for our low speed, low traffic Madison neighborhoods for the most part.

Coming into the winter of 2023/2024, Madison Metro redesigned their routes.  As a result, we re-evaluated our salt route network, too. If Madison Metro is no longer using a street for a bus, then it is likely that the street would no longer meet the standards to be a salt route. In this process, city staff gave our entire network a hard look to remove streets from the salt route network and where sensible we made a few small additions.

The re-routing process removed roughly 52.3 traffic lane miles total from all of the salt routes for this upcoming winter and retained approximately 778 traffic lane miles that we plow and salt each time it snows. This reduction amounts to a 6% change in miles of salt route from this past winter. During a normal winter, this reduction should result in spreading around 270 fewer tons of salt on our roads.

For your information, the City of Madison has just a fraction more than 1,818 total miles of traffic lanes (which is the distance from Madison to the Mojave Desert in California).

Reducing salt usage is a goal of the City and the Streets Division in our ongoing efforts to protect the environment and our traveling public. Salt has a number of documented negative consequences – its effects are even gaining more national attention as there was a recent Washington Post article about the effects of road salt on the environment.

 Salt rusts vehicles and degrades infrastructure. When spread onto the roads, it enters the storm drain systems that leads to our lakes, which increases their salinity (see the Madison-Dane County Public Health report).

 And salt infiltrates into our drinking water wells.

 With training for our operators and investment in better equipment, our salt use has dropped over the years – but we still need to rely on it to remove that last bit of hard pack from our main streets as there isn’t an alternative to create bare pavement to facilitate transportation.

Some of you will welcome this reduction as we are making sensible changes for the betterment of the water we drink and the lakes we enjoy.

Others, however, may feel upset - especially those whose commutes used streets that were once salted but no longer are, or who live on streets that were salted, but no longer are.  They are likely to express it by saying their roads are not “plowed right this year” or similar wording because they will see streets that they are used seeing as bare pavement following snowstorms now having a layer of snow and ice on them like other neighborhood streets

In truth, it is not a plowing question. It is salting.  It is salt that removes snow down to bare pavement, not plowing alone. 

Salt is a tool that we need for winter maintenance. It’s with salt that we achieve bare pavement conditions that our high traffic and emergency service roadways require following snowstorms. 

 And using salt has consequences for our water and infrastructure.

The best way to mitigate these consequences is to apply less of it – but you also cannot sacrifice safety. And in our careful re-evaluation of the salt routes, we feel our reductions this year achieved that balance

Announcements & News Releases

Streets Division Updates

  • Leaf Collection Winding Down: Don’t miss out on your final guaranteed leaf collection opportunity.  Be sure you know when your last set out date for leaf pickup is by going to  www.cityofmadison.com/YardWaste
  • Thanksgiving Holiday Trash/Recycling Schedule: Make sure you know how the Thanksgiving holiday will (or won’t) affect your trash & recycling pickup schedule.  Get your collection schedule at  www.cityofmadison.com/CollectionSchedule.
  • Drop Off Site Hours & Locations Change After Thanksgiving: Check the drop-off site hours and locations before loading your car.  The Olin Avenue location’s final day of operation is November 26. Winter hours start at the remaining locations later in the week, too.  Drop-off site information is available at  www.cityofmadison.com/DropOffSites


  • Yoga Core, Tuesdays & Fridays, October 6 through December 15, 2023Want to build your strength and increase body awareness? Yoga Core is great way to do it! This class incorporates a wide variety of seated, standing, balancing, and mat-based yoga poses focusing on strength, stability, and mobility. Core-based practices can help enhance balance and stability and prevent falls and injuries as we age. All levels are welcome! * No Class: October 10, 20, 27 and November 7 and 24
  • Bird & Nature Adventures at the Edna Taylor Conservation Park, Saturday, November 25, 10:00 am – 11:30 amJoin a naturalist for an easy family-friendly walk from Aldo Leopold Nature Center into beautiful Edna Taylor Conservation Park and enjoy a bit of nature education along the way. Walks through the Edna Taylor Conservation Park are held on the 4th Saturday, 10-11:30am of each month and begin at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 330 Femrite Drive. Meet outside at the Children's Shack. Co-sponsored by Madison Parks, Madison Audubon Society , and Aldo Leopold Nature Center . No registration is required. No pets are allowed.

That's all for now.

Take care and have a Happy Thanksgiving!


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Alder Tag Evers

Alder Tag Evers

District 13
Contact Alder Evers