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District 3

Alder Erik Paulson

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Alder Erik Paulson

Contact Information

Council Office

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

Alder Paulson’s Updates

Week of Oct 3: Dog free/dog friendly parks, US 51 study, Reindahl Park plan, and more!

October 2, 2022 1:56 PM

Shana Tova, and may you have an easy fast for everyone observing holidays right now! Some updates on dogs in parks, the Plato/Plaza Hotel development on E Wash, Reindahl Park planning, US 51 Public Information Meeting coming soon, and more.

  • Dog-free and Dog-friendly parks, and potential changes for 2023
  • Reindahl Park Master Plan Public Meeting #2 on Thursday Oct 6th
  • US 51 North Segment Study Public Meeting Thursday October 13th
  • Other City meetings, including Plan Commission and Plato Madison/Plaza Hotel project
  • Events: Fire Dept virtual recruiting, Monona Waterfront Design Challenge kickoff, Wisconsin Book Festival, Joe Parisi Climate and Counties Talk, Foundation for Black Women's Wellness input session
  • Announcements: COVID Boosters and testing, and City jobs!

Dogs in Parks - how which parks are dog free or dog friendly is determined

A few years back, Madison switched to a policy of allowing on-leash dogs in most parks. While most parks were changed to be "dog-friendly", a few were left as "dog-free" parks, and a system was introduced to consider changes. One of the things the City discovered the hard way was that the process by which a park transitioned one way or the other did not give much notice to the people who actually used the park, and has resulted in some setups that are maybe not as good as we can do. 

Last year, in District 3, Heritage Heights switched from Dog-Free to be Dog-Friendly, and Kingston-Onyx went from dog-friendly to dog-free, catching a lot of folks by surprise and without much public input, especially around K-O going dog-free. The Board of Parks Commissioners declined to reconsider the changes last year, and instead pointed to this upcoming cycle as the appropriate point to ask for changes. 

The change process is about to come up on the calendar again. The way to request a change for a park's dog status is an online webform, available here: Requests are being taken until October 15th. 

The Parks department has pledged to do a better job of informing the public about potential changes to a park's status, and is planning to post signs in affected Parks and potentially sending postcards to nearby residents, in addition to reaching out to the alders in the area. I will, of course, be posting updates about which parks are under consideration for changes, but this additional notification from signs and postcards will help reach people who don't read alder blogs. I'm hopeful this process will be much better for the City, and I will be suggesting a few more improvements for the process next year.

The Board of Parks Commissioners (BPC) will make the eventual determination of which parks have which status at its November 9th meeting. I know it is a priority for the BPC to maintain enough dog-free parks in the system so most residents are reasonably close to one, so how to reach that balance will be something that they have to determine. Locally, I know some folks have suggested that Portland Park may be a better choice for a dog-free park than K-O, but the Board of Parks Commissioners (and I) would welcome feedback on all parks. 

At its October 12th meeting, the BPC will be talking some about their notification process. Unfortunately, I don't think the October 12th meeting will be online - the BPC is trying to visit different park facilities and I'm not sure they'll have the capability to be hybrid in October, but the meeting is scheduled for 6:30pm at the Goodman Maintenance Facility, 1402 Wingra Creek Pkwy on the 12th if you would like to attend in-person. You can also email feedback to or send email to me and I will pass it along. (Again, the actual determination of which parks are dog free or dog friendly will be in November, not October)

Thanks to Robert Beets and others in the Rolling Meadows neighborhood for their dogged work over the past 10 months on making this process better and more transparent.

("dogged work", I know, I'm sorry, I couldn't resist)

Reindahl Park Public Input Meeting #2 - Thursday!

The next public input meeting for the Reindahl Park Master Plan is on Thursday the 6th. THIS IS A CHANGE FROM THE ORIGINAL DATE! The meeting was previously scheduled for Tuesday the 4th but has moved to Thursday the 6th.

5:30PM-7:00PM October 6th
East Madison Community Center - Multi-Purpose Room
8 Straubel Court

US 51 North Segment Study (Highway 30 to DeForest) Public Meeting

This is very early in the process and the point is to gather data and feedback, consider some design alternatives, and start environmental impact studies. There are no construction dates yet, and there probably won't be any until at least the end of the decade. WisDOT is starting with a blank slate, but past processes have included the possibility of turning the 51/151 intersection (Stoughton Road and East Wash) into a grade separated intersection, excavating 51 to pass underneath East Wash. 

WisDOT invites you to a public involvement meeting (PIM) introducing the US 51 (Stoughton Road) North environmental study. The meeting will be held in an open-house format and will include a recorded presentation and exhibits. It will also provide an opportunity to speak with study team members who can answer questions, provide information, and explain the study process. Additional information will be posted on the Public involvement North Study page as the study progresses.

Thursday, October 13th, 2022, 4 –7 p.m.
WisDOT Southwest Region Office
(Rock/Dane/Columbia Conference Rooms)
2101 Wright Street
Madison, WI 53704

The North Study will assess how best to accommodate traffic volumes with a focus on safety issues that affect travel along Stoughton Road. The environmental study will achieve the following outcomes: » Examine ways – including intersection improvements – to improve safety along the corridor, based on current and future traffic volumes. » Determine how best to reduce traffic congestion in the study corridor. The environmental study began in summer 2022, and WisDOT will kick off public outreach efforts and begin work to define the study's purpose and need this fall. WisDOT anticipates the study will continue until fall 2024


  • The Common Council does not meet the week of October 3, but many other City committees do, including the Plan Commission, Community Services Committee, and Madison Public Library Board. To see the full list of City meetings scheduled for the week, please consult the City meeting schedule

    At the Plan Commission meeting on Monday, the commission will consider the Plato's Madison redevelopment of the former Plaza Hotel, and the conversion of the hotel into 197 workforce-housing units, mostly studios and 1-bedroom apartments. 


  • MFD virtual recruitment open house events: For the first time ever, the Madison Fire Department (MFD) will host a series of virtual recruitment open houses aimed at introducing new audiences to the idea of becoming a career firefighter/EMT.
    • On Tuesday, October 4, 6pm-8pm, the MFD will host a virtual recruitment open house for women. This event is designed to connect women interested in fire/EMS with other women currently serving at the MFD, and to share job-related information that is especially relevant to women. Register here to participate.
  • Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge: You are invited to attend the public event series for the Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge hosted by Madison Parks. The event series is an opportunity to learn more about the design challenge, the selected teams, their progress in plan development, and the final master plan proposals. The three events include a design challenge kick-off, midpoint check-in, and team presentations of their proposed vision for the Lake Monona Waterfront.

    Each event will be held in person and streamed to the Madison City Channel for remote viewing at the time of the event. The first event of the series is Monday, October 3. Please join and help reimagine possibilities for the Lake Monona Waterfront. For more information, visit Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge.

    Design Challenge Kick-Off
    Monday, October 3, 2022 @ 6:00 pm CT
    Madison Central Library, Rooms 301-302, 201 W. Mifflin Street
    Design teams will live-stream to the event and introduce themselves and their team's unique perspective on master plan development.
  • Dane County Executive Joe Parisi will be the featured speaker for 350 Wisconsin's Monthly Public Meeting on Monday, Oct 3, from 7-8pm. His topic? "What Can a County Do to Address Climate Change?" Details for attending in person or online are here.
  • Community Talk Back Series: Join the Foundation for Black Women's Wellness (FFBWW) at noon on October 11 for their Community Powered Policy Session to share your thoughts on the most pressing issues affecting Black women, children, and families. Your feedback will directly shape the policy recommendations included in their "Policy Blueprint for Black Women's Health: Black Women Deserve," which will be published as a resource and roadmap for policymakers and decision-makers across the nation. All community members are invited to attend the various sessions. Register here for the upcoming session or future sessions.
  • 20th Annual Wisconsin Book Festival: The schedule for the 20th Anniversary Fall Celebration of the Wisconsin Book Festival has been released! Visit to see the full lineup for the 4-day celebration taking place October 13-16 and start saving the date for your favorites. Catch international best-selling author Andy Weir for Project Hail Mary, activist and advocate Brenda Myers Powell for Leaving Breezy Street, Reese's Book Club author Thrity Umrigar for Honor and many more!



  • Testing strategy shift: Effective October 1, Public Health Madison & Dane County will transition to a new strategy for COVID-19 testing at its South Madison clinic. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced a new directive for Community Testing Support Program (CTSP) partners to shift away from lab-based PCR testing to an antigen model, in an effort to provide rapid results. According to DHS, the purpose of this change is to "ensure testing availability at state-supported CTSP sites in the event of a COVID-19 surge and to meet community need." Learn more here. Make your testing appointment here.
  • Acceptable photo ID to vote: As you prepare for the General Election on November 8, the City of Madison Clerk's Office wants to remind you what types of photo ID you can use for voting in Wisconsin.
    • Wisconsin driver license (expiration date after 11/03/2020)
    • WI DOT-issued photo ID card (expiration date after 11/03/2020)
    • U.S. passport (expiration date after 11/03/2020)
    • Military ID card (expiration date after 11/03/2020)
    • Certificate of naturalization issued within last 2 years
    • Unexpired Wisconsin driver license or state ID receipt
    • ID card issued by a Native American Tribe, regardless of expiration
    • ID issued by a Wisconsin accredited university or college--must contain issuance date, student signature, and expiration date within 2 years of issuance. If the ID is expired, proof of current enrollment is also required.
    • Unexpired Veterans Affairs ID card

      If you usually use your Wisconsin driver's license or state ID, military ID card, or U.S. passport, make sure the expiration date is after 11/03/2020. Find more information here.
  • Now hiring: The City of Madison is hiring many positions for the fall and winter. See all job listings or sign up to receive job alerts.
  • Get your updated boosters: In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and AMI Expeditionary Healthcare, two recurring mobile clinics are available at Warner Park Community Recreation Center and the indoor park shelter at Elver Park. No insurance is needed to receive these free vaccines, just bring your CDC vaccination card, if possible. Walk-ins and appointments are available. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to save you time. Pfizer's updated booster will be available to everyone who is eligible. Sign up for your appointment and pre-register here.
  • Hourly attendants needed in Madison parks: The Parks Division is looking to fill multiple Winter Attendant and Special Event Attendant positions. The successful candidates for these positions will perform varied public contact services, which may include customer service work, cash handling, staffing events and programs, routine labor and custodial work, light clerical duties, set up work, etc. Learn more and apply.

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