Final MNA Jenifer Street Reconstruction Recommendations

The MNA Traffic Committee proposed Recommendations for revising the City Engineering plan for the Jenifer Street Reconstruction. The committee found the City plan lacking in several areas, so proposed several recommendations to improve the street for the near future in the primarily in the areas of tree preservation, future tree planting abilities, and traffic calming.

The current City Engineering plan didn’t have any improvements for traffic calming (slowing traffic), nor street tree preservation, nor permitting future canopy trees to be planted in front of about half of the properties. It also didn’t adequately address damaging vibration. It did offer a slight pedestrian safety improvement by extending pedestrian walkways 3 feet from their existing curb locations. Differing from last year’s proposal, the plan removed a traffic calming modest narrowing of two feet, and retreated from five-feet-deep extensions of pedestrian walks. In addition, presently all of the ash trees including healthy well-branches trees are to be removed under the existing plan.

After a full neighborhood feedback process, including an online survey completed by over 200 people and two professionally led neighborhood meetings, the MNA Board approved a comprehensive list of recommendations for the City. See our FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS here.

Our recommendations will be addressed as part of the street construction project review by the City’s Board of Public Works on Wednesday, February 3, at 5:30 in the Common Council chambers of the City County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. After this meeting, MNA will have an idea of how the City will incorporate the recommendations. We will keep neighbors updated.

Currently, as part of the Jenifer Street Reconstruction project, there will be an alarming loss of a significant portion of the tree canopy (over 40 trees). The plan calls for the recent routine reconstruction practice of removing canopy trees beneath high voltage lines and replacing them with smaller, shorter tree varieties. In addition, all the ash trees, including healthy and well branched ones, are to be removed to simplify construction. MNA and interested neighbors have developed an alternative plan, the Jenifer Street Tree Preservation Plan to protect some of the existing ones slated to be removed, but more importantly it maps out a proposal to preserve the option of future canopy trees being planted anywhere on the streets by undergrounding the high-voltage wire – the one for which severe pruning and short trees have come to be part of our urban landscape. By undergrounding it, the existing trees can be preserved

This issue is urgent and help is needed to support this plan. Read more about how you can help before Feb. 3.

One important recommendation that neither the neighborhood nor our MNA Board was in agreement on includes narrowing Jenifer Street by two feet overall. Read more about MNA’s decision to support narrowing and our support of an additional new safety feature: pedestrian walk extensions (bump-outs).

Please write in support of MNA Recommendations: City Engineering staff, Rob Phillips, , 266-4090, Marsha Hacker, 264-9277 and Alder Marsha Rummel. Please copy us, as well. rphillips@cityofmadison.com, mhacker@cityofmadison.com, district6@cityofmadison.com, mnaboard@marquette-neighborhood.org

Gary Tipler
Chair, MNA Traffic Committee