Alder Patrick W. Heck
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service
Alder Heck’s Updates
Updates & Week of May 10 Meetings of Interest for District 2
District 2 Updates and Meetings of Interest
There are three sections to this week's update:
- COVID-19 Resources & Information
- Other District 2 Updates
- City Meetings of Interest to District 2
Public Health Issues Update to Order #16: Outdoor seating at restaurants and taverns is allowed but distancing is required
The latest Data Notes
Read about the temporary halt in residential evictions from the Tenant Resource Center - extended through June 30, 2021. From Wisconsin Watch: The CDC eviction moratorium may end. What does that mean for Wisconsin?
Free hotline to be connected with a "Financial Navigator".
COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard that tracks Madison's long-term community and economic recovery from COVID-19.
From the City: Community Resources Section on the city's COVID website, including housing and eviction information
From the Downtown Madison Business Improvement District: Ways to Support Downtown Madison
From Alder Bennett and Former Alder Prestigiacomo: COVID-19 Campus Resources
Info on UW-Madison's response to the pandemic at this site
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway Statement on Men's Shelter Vote (I agree with the Mayor's statement - this was a huge disappointment and a disservice to our unhoused residents)
From the Mayor: State Legislature Targeting Madison's Snazzy Vote Drop Boxes
Ride the Drive 2021 - In Your Neighborhood (well, not in our neighborhoods this time, but we should be glad to share the experience!)
Metro Transit is holding a BRT Spring Public Meeting where staff will give updates on the BRT project, including updates on east and west terminals, station configurations at select intersections, and the status of the station design competition. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11, 6pm-7:30pm. Register for the meeting here.
Metro Transit Network Redesign - Survey Reminder
All community members, riders and non-riders, are encouraged to fill out a quick choices survey. Survey results will help shape the collective goals and priorities for Madison's future transit network.
Part of Tenney-Lapham Considered for "Twenty is Plenty" Pilot Program
City Traffic Engineering is proposing a new program called Twenty is Plenty, to reduce the default speed limit of our residential streets from 25 mph to 20 mph. At their May 12, the Transportation Commission will be evaluating several areas of the city for pilot implementation of Twenty is Plenty and a portion of Tenney-Lapham is one area being considered. This portion of Tenney-Lapham can be seen in the map above, but is better viewed in the staff presentation that includes other neighborhoods under consideration and various statistics for each. In Tenney-Lapham, the pilot area would be bound by N. Blair St. and the Yahara River between E. Washington and E. Johnson.
Note that Twenty is Plenty, whether a pilot or eventually extended citywide, will apply only to residential streets (not arterials or non-residential streets). If Tenney-Lapham is chosen for a pilot, the speed limit would drop to 20 mph in that area, but would still be 25 mph on the border streets of E. Johnson, E. Washington, and N. Blair.
Research has shown that speed plays a critical role of the outcome of a crash when it occurs. Lowering the speed limit can save lives and is a key component of the City's Vision Zero Initiative. On May 12, the Transportation Commission is expected to choose one neighborhood that has a Neighborhood Resource Team (generally underserved neighborhoods) and one that is not an NRT-served neighborhood (such as Tenney-Lapham).
The Mayor sums up the issue in this blog post: Slower Speeds Save Lives and 20 is Plenty. I am supportive of this pilot program being located in our area so we can judge its effectiveness. Note that as with most Vision Zero implementations, speed limits and street design are crucial elements of slowing traffic down. Traffic Enforcement also plays a role, but we cannot enforce our way out of many of the negative impacts of speeding, rude, and bad drivers - the city does not have the capacity to do so. There are also equity concerns related to traffic enforcement in its current incarnation and it also exemplifies our over-reliance on the police - we ask them to solve too many problems for which there may be better solutions. Vision Zero and Twenty is Plenty are possible alternate solutions. If you'd like to watch the Transportation Commission meeting on May 12, give public comment, or email commissioners, details are in "City Meetings of Interest" below.
East Gorham Resurfacing Project Begins
As many of you have experienced, construction has started on the E. Gorham St resurfacing project. The contractor is currently working on the storm sewer and new curb around the Hamilton St. and Franklin St. intersections, and MG&E will be starting work on their gas main in the Brearly St. to Few St. areas. Overall the project will take approximately six weeks to complete, and Gorham St. will mostly remain open to a single lane of traffic while work is taking place.
At several intersections there will be improvements made for pedestrians and curb bumpouts installed to slow vehicular traffic. Between N. Few and N. Brearly Streets, a bike lane will be added and street parking reconfigured. Unfortunately, some street trees will be removed in those two blocks to accommodate the reconfigured street parking and the bike lane. City Engineering was able to limit the tree removals to mostly small trees and trees under power lines that were planted there because they do not grow to canopy size, but a couple of mature trees will also be lost. It was a difficult balancing act for staff to design a plan that will both install a bike lane and keep most of the street parking capacity for residents. No doubt some folks will be displeased with some aspects the plan, but I believe that the installation of the bike lane is a net positive. For more information visit the project website where you can see full project plans and also sign up for email updates
Historic Preservation Month Focus: Gates of Heaven
During the month of May, the City Engineering Division will focus on one of the oldest surviving synagogues buildings in the nation, located in District 2! Engineering would like the community to join in celebrating Historic Preservation Month as we focus on the recent restoration work at Gates of Heaven.
Gates of Heaven was built in 1863 and is one of the oldest surviving synagogues in the nation and is located in James Madison Park. Gates of Heaven is a locally designated landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Throughout May, City Engineering will focus on different parts of the Gates of Heaven restoration work with social media posts and a video highlight. The community can expect unique information they've never seen before about the following topics on the City Engineering Facebook and Twitter pages:
May 3: Celebrate Historic Preservation Month with Engineering
May 7: History of Gates of Heaven and its relocation
May 14: Exterior restoration: brick
May 21: Exterior restoration: stone
May 28: Exterior restoration: windows and doors
May 31: Thank you for celebrating with us!
Gates of Heaven is currently undergoing restoration work which includes restoring the masonry, windows and doors. The work also includes cleaning and consolidation of the Madison sandstone, limited repairs to stone, cleaning of brick, repointing of stone and brick, rehabilitation of the wood sash, doors, and related trim, and installation of exterior storms on all windows.
- the proposal's compliance with Urban Design District #8 standards, and
- a proposed amendment to UDD #8 to decrease setback requirements at the corner of N. Few and Curtis Court that allow a new building to be as close as 5 feet to the Curtis Court sidewalk. The remainder of Curtis Court's required setback would remain at 15 feet.
May 11: Capitol Neighborhoods, Inc., Hosts Virtual "Cookies with a Cop"
Join your neighbors and Madison Police Department Representatives for a conversation about recent events in Madison's downtown neighborhoods. The event will be held on May 11th, via Zoom. Discussion will begin at 7:00 PM and conclude at 8:00 PM.
The event will begin with brief introductions of the police representatives, then proceed to questions submitted to the organizers prior to and during the meeting. Attendees will be able to submit questions to the organizers by email at Info@CapitolNeighborhoods.org before the meeting or through the Zoom chat feature during the event. Attendees are strongly encouraged to email questions or concerns prior to the event in order to help facilitate a more productive meeting. If we have extra time after our submitted questions are answered, we may open the event to follow-up Q&A from attendees. In that event, we will ask that folks limit their questions and comments to three minutes per person in order to ensure that other neighbors also have the opportunity to speak.
Community Fridge Gains Extension until August
As I reported earlier and as you likely have heard through media reports, the Community Fridge in the 1000 block of E. Johnson, was the subject of complaints in early April. After city staff informed the fridge organizers that they must become code-compliant by April 8, I facilitated a 30-day extension so that the organizers had until May 8 to find a path forward. Fortunately, the fridge organizers, City Zoning, Building Inspection, and Public Health Madison and Dane County have now come to an agreement that the E. Johnson fridge can remain until August.
While this is good news, the fridge will be looking for a new location because the current hosts are moving in August. If you know of possible locations for the fridge, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. It is likely is that fridge operations in a new location will need to see some changes/upgrades to ensure compliance with various city regulations. Another ongoing effort will be to update city zoning ordinances to make fridge operations compliant, but this is expected to take several months.
The proposed resolution authorizes allocating $225,000 across eight community agencies. The recommended awards are a result of an RFP process prioritizing community responses that help populations affected by COVID-19 connect to basic needs and that support service gaps identified in the Public Health Violence Prevention Plan. Funding for the $225,000 is included in the Community Development Division's 2021 adopted operating budget. No additional city appropriation is required.
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