First of two Neighborhood Meetings on Jenifer Street Reconstruction

Posted by Anne Walker, MNA Board and former Traffic Committee Chair

In the spring of 2016, the City of Madison will reconstruct Jenifer Street from Spaight to Few Street. The Marquette Neighborhood Association, with the aid of a grant from the City of Madison Department of Planning, has been working to gather neighborhood feedback to guide the reconstruction. Two neighborhood meetings are being held in the fall of 2015. These meetings build on two previous meetings held by the city last year. Additionally, MNA sent an on­line survey to the neighborhood to gather neighbors’ feedback on the Jenifer Street Corridor and the construction. We were pleased that 223 neighbors completed the survey.

The first of two neighborhood meetings was held on Nov 4th and was attended by 72 people. Comments were made during the meeting and comment cards were gathered and read. Information from the meeting and survey results are reflected below and have been shared with Alder Rummel and city staff. Some of the comments shared were concerns regarding the logistics of the reconstruction (e.g When would reconstruction start? How long would it last? What is the cost?) Most of the input received was in relation to the physical reconstruction.

The following is a partial list of the issues that came up:

  • Safety for all users including cyclists and pedestrians both during and after the reconstruction. Rate of automobile speed (speeding) was an area of focus.
  • A desire for retention and replacement of large canopy trees. Undergrounding of power lines was asked for so that canopy trees could be retained. It was noted during the meeting that the value of trees was most often mentioned in the on­line survey.
  • Vibrations caused by machinery and possible damage to buildings (foundations etc) was identified as a primary concern. The potential for damage to older buildings, particularly their foundations, because of the size of excavation and compaction equipment was a viewed as a problem.
  • Stormwater management including rock vaults and rain gardens were requested.
  • Both support for and concerns about bump­outs were expressed. Support reflected a desire for better pedestrian safety by narrowing the length of cross-walks and concerns generally related to potential conflicts with bicyclists.
  • The pros and cons of street narrowing were discussed and the effects of bump-outs and street narrowing was discussed during a visit to Jenifer St. during a break in the indoor portion of the meeting.
  • Concern over the loss of bus stops along the street was raised. It was pointed out during the meeting that Madison Metro has withdrawn their proposal to remove stops from Jenifer Street.

Since the meeting the City has painted the extent of the bumpouts on the street in front of the Wil­Mar Neighborhood Center. This allows neighbors to see how the bumpouts would extent the sidewalk and terrace at intersections.

A second neighborhood meeting in December will focus on these topics brought up at the first meeting.

The meeting will start with a brief recap of the November meeting. Following the recap, we will break into groups with an opportunity for everyone to participate in each group. The groups will focus on: vibrations from machinery and older homes,green infrastructure (e.g.trees and stormwater management), safety, and placemaking (e.g. lighting, bus stops, street art).

Please join us on December 2nd at Immanuel Lutheran Church

1021 Spaight Street (enter on south side).

6­-8:30 p.m.

A light dinner will be provided by L’Etoile at 7 p.m.

Further info and updates can be found at the Jenifer Street Reconstruction web page.

Additionally, specific questions can be addressed to the meeting facilitator Zia

Brucaya of Urban Assets

zia@urbanassetsconsulting.com or (608)819­6566

Additional Resources:

National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) urban street design

guide: http://nacto.org/publication/urban­street­design­guide/

The impact of curb extensions: http://nacto.org/publication/urban­street­design-guide/street­design­elements/curb­extensions/

Streets Reconsidered: www.restreets.org/

Project for Public Spaces Placemaking 101: http://www.pps.org/reference-categories/placemaking­tools/

Active Transportation Alliance, Complete Streets Design Manual: http://activetransportationpolicy.org/Design