Meetings and Updates Week of November 27


Meetings and Updates Week of November 27th

  • City Meetings:
    • Plan Commission 11/27
    • Finance Committee 11/27
    • Transportation Commission 11/29
  • Winter Salt Route Changes This Winter
  • Recent Webinar Recording: Housing Costs and the Transportation-Land Use Connection
  • Public Information Meetings: Stormwater Utility Vegetation Management 11/28 and North Olbrich Park Nature Play Area 11/28
  • Events & Announcements

(note: the blog tool's preview feature isn't working this morning, so apologies for any odd spacing or formatting issues in this post)

City Meetings

Plan Commission

The Plan Commission meeting will take place on Monday, November 27, in virtual format at 4:30 pm. Agenda items include reviewing updates to the City’s Transportation Demand Management policy as well as development-related requests (none in District 3).

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee meeting will take place on Monday, November 27, in virtual format at 4:30 p.m. Agenda items include awarding up to $11,295,000 from the Affordable Housing Fund to support five affordable housing development projects, authorizing the sale of City-owned property to Madison College for $1.00 in order for Madison College to construct and operate a childcare facility, and approving the 2024 Urban Forestry and Resource Recovery special charges.

Transportation Commission

The Transportation Commission meeting will take place on Wednesday, November 29, in virtual format at 5:00 p.m. Agenda items include an update on Metro Transit ridership, supporting and approving the City of Madison applications to WisDOT for Federal funding under the 2024-2028 Transportation Alternatives Program, and authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to execute an agreement with the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation for the design and construction for retrofitting older energy inefficient streetlights to energy efficient LED fixtures citywide through the Carbon Reduction Program.


Winter Salt Route Changes 

Here’s a map showing changes in District 3 to the City’s salting routes in effect this winter. I first shared news about this change in my June 4th blog post but with fresh snow on the ground today I thought a reminder would be helpful. Here's some information shared by City Streets Division folks.

“Salt routes” are the streets of Madison that the City plows each time it snows and apply salt to as temperature allows. By 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.

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.

The salting 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 the City plows and salts 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.

Reducing salt usage is a goal of the City and the Streets Division in ongoing efforts to protect the environment and the 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.

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 the careful re-evaluation of the salt routes, the City feels its reductions this year achieved that balance.

Drive safely this winter!

Other Winter Updates: As we approach the upcoming winter months, learn more about what happens when the City of Madison declares a snow emergency. NOTE* There is no declared snow emergency currently in effect. Don't let the snow lead to a ticket or a tow! Sign up to get notified via Text Messaging.


Recent Webinar Recording: Housing Costs and the Transportation-Land Use Connection

I’m appointed to the policy board for the Greater Madison Metropolitan Planning Organization which approves grants for pass-through federal transportation funds and provides transportation planning services and projects to the City of Madison and neighboring communities. The MPO hosted a fantastic and very informative webinar a couple of weeks ago on Housing Costs and the Transportation-Land Use Connection. I highly recommend that folks interested in this topic check out the recording or related resources:


Public Information Meetings & Sessions

  • Stormwater Utility Vegetation Management Plan Listening Session, Tuesday, November 28 (VIRTUAL)Join the Stormwater Utility for a public listening session as part of development of the Stormwater Vegetation Management Plan. These listening sessions are intended to solicit feedback on big picture questions regarding vegetation goals and maintenance on existing stormwater utility land. These sessions will be interactive, with live polling on big picture questions, image mapping, and opportunities to identify what is working well, in addition to hearing any concerns you might have. Registration is required prior to the Zoom meeting, please register for the Zoom meeting using this link: Nov. 28, 2023 Public Information Virtual Meeting Registration
  • Public Input Meeting - Olbrich Park Nature Play, Tuesday, November 28 (VIRTUAL)Madison Parks is installing a nature play area in Olbrich Park. Earlier in 2023, Parks crews removed the playground at Olbrich Park near Lakeland Ave. The typical lifespan of post and platform playground equipment is 20-30 years, and this playground was past the standard expected lifespan. The community is invited to attend a public input meeting, where Parks staff will present concept plans for review and input. Tuesday, November 28 at 6:00pm via Zoom - REGISTER IN ADVANCE


Events & Announcements 

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Alder Derek Field

Alder Derek Field

District 3
Contact Alder Field