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Madison has been selected to join Transportation for America’s (T4A) new smart cities collaborative, a joint effort to engage cities in developing efficient and affordable transportation options for all by using emerging technologies.

"We know mobility is a major issue in Madison and across the country," said Mayor Paul Soglin. "By partnering with other cities and sharing ideas on technology, we can work together to develop affordable ways to get to our jobs, schools, recreation and homes. The innovation that evolves from this effort may be as life-changing as the interstate highway system was 50 years ago."

Over the coming year, Madison will work with fifteen other cities to tackle the challenges related to implementing smart city policies and projects. Madison was selected from nearly 60 cities that applied to join the collaborative.

Member cities will focus on three areas:

  • Automated vehicles and their potential impact on urban transit systems, congestion, transportation equity, and the environment.
  • Shared mobility, and how it could help cities provide equitable, affordable, and more sustainable transportation choices.
  • Performance measures and data analytics and how to use data to manage complex transportation networks and achieve transit equity and environmental goals.

Madison will participate in a variety of information-sharing meetings, with other member cities and with industry-leading transportation experts. The City will also receive direct technical assistance, create pilot programs, and share results with the rest of the group to drive best practices across the country.

Madison has been a leader in technology and transportation and will be sharing information on a number of projects including a Park Street transportation corridor with technology that will allow traffic signals to communicate with not only buses but also autos and eventually pedestrians and bicyclists. This system, being developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin, Econolite and other partners, will reduce delays and increase safety and will be the first of its kind in the state.

The City additionally has an adaptive control system operating on McKee and Fish Hatchery Roads to adjust signal timing in response to changing traffic flow. This system has been invaluable, as it has accommodated additional traffic during the construction of Verona Road and has been responding in real-time to unexpected traffic flow events such as those caused by crashes. The system will also be expanded to University Avenue.

The nationwide collaborative is the result of a partnership by T4A and Sidewalk Labs. The partnership builds on T4A’s experience collaborating with state and local governments to develop forward-looking transportation and land-use policy, combined with Sidewalk Labs’ expertise working with cities to develop digital technology that solves big urban problems.

The collaborative’s first meeting will be in Minneapolis on November 9-10, 2016.

Other participating cities:

Austin, TX; Denver, CO; Boston, MA; Centennial, CO; Chattanooga, TN; Lone Tree, CO; Los Angeles, CA; Miami-Dade County, FL; Seattle, WA; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Nashville, TN; Portland, OR; Sacramento, CA; San Jose, CA; Washington, DC.


  • David Dryer, 608-267-8750
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