City of
Madison

District 13

Alder Tag Evers

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Alder Tag Evers

Contact Information

Home Address:

2329 Keyes Ave
Madison , WI 53711

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Evers’ Blog

District 13 Updates: Plan Amendment, Vilas Park Drive

December 6, 2020 2:58 PM

Hi Everyone,

Triangle Monona Bay Neighborhood Plan Amendment

Based on concerns expressed by residents at Bayview and the CDA apartments, I've proposed an amendment to the Triangle Monona Bay Neighborhood Plan. The plan calls for a new north-south public street bisecting the Triangle. During the steering committee process, city staff pushed for a return to the grid system originally in place on the Triangle when it was part of the old Greenbush neighborhood.  Staff has argued for more connectivity, defining connectivity primarily in terms of automobile access.

Residents pushed back, not wanting anything resembling a grid, worried in large part that adding automobile traffic into the Triangle would result in reduced safety and a loss of privacy. The final approved plan included just one new street, a north-south connection between Regent and West Washington. Residents reluctantly and with much reservation agreed to this street, concerned that it will invite use by drivers seeking a convenient shortcut through the Triangle. Bayview residents in particular have voiced concerns this new street would put the large number of children in their community at risk.

My proposed amendment would limit the northern half of the street, from Regent to Braxton Place, to pedestrians, bicyclists and emergency vehicles. This section could be built at grade, without curb and gutter or sidewalks, offering enhanced place-making potential and spaces for public art and creative landscaping.

Staff have recommended against my amendment, the details of which can be found here.

The amendment goes before the Transportation Policy & Planning Board tomorrow at 5 PM.  Here is the link to the agenda which includes information about how to register for public comment.  After TPPB, the amendment will proceed to CDA and then Plan Commission, before landing back at Common Council.

If we are in fact committed to framing our decision-making around sustainability and equity, we must stop emphasizing vehicular access over and above the needs and interests of our most vulnerable residents.

Please consider making your voice heard.

Vilas Park Drive

Another issue regarding vehicular traffic is on the schedule this week. As I've noted in previous blog entries, when the Shared Streets program ended for the winter, Vilas Park Drive was going to reopen to through traffic. After considerable pushback, the issue was referred to Transportation Commission on October 28. At that meeting, Commission members recognized that Vilas Park Drive is a park road and is not within Traffic Engineering's jurisdiction. TC made a motion recommending the Board of Park Commissioners consider keeping the Drive closed even with the suspension of the Shared Streets program. The approved motion states:

"The Transportation Commission recommends that the Board of Park Commissioners evaluate maintaining the motor vehicle traffic restriction on Vilas Park Drive and weigh the pros and cons prior to opening it to motor vehicles, including exploring options that prevent through traffic."

The matter comes before BPC at their meeting this Wednesday, December 9 at 6:30 PM.  Eric Knepp, Parks Superintendent, is recommending that the Drive be opened through the winter with signage to reduce speed and discourage non-park users from cutting through.

The agenda for the meeting is here, which includes information as to how to register your views either through written public comments or verbal testimony at the Zoom meeting. The Legistar file is here, and includes Superintendent Knepp's explanatory memo and supporting documents from TE

A petition (https://www.change.org/SafeVilasParkDrive) to keep the restriction on through traffic, while still providing access to the shelter for ice skaters from the east, now has well over 400 signatures. There is strong, though not universal, support for keeping the Drive closed throughout the winter.

The gist of Superintendent Knepp's memo is that Parks lacks the time and money to implement the option of extending the current 2-way access from the east to the shelter parking lot. His recommendation is to "Open the Drive to vehicular traffic on 12/19/20. Install signage that posts the speed limit at 15 MPH as well as signage that indicates the Drive is for park/shelter users only. The Drive would be closed as it is currently at the end of the skating season or until the BPC acts on an intermediate solution." 

Please consider making your voice heard.

Take care and stay safe.

Tag

 




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