I LOVE fall! The cooler temps, the changing leaves, fall flowers in bloom, pulling out the sweaters and sweatpants, and watching the wildlife change and adapt to a new season are all things I love about fall. Hiking is great right now. I hope you'll get out there and explore some new spots! The photo above is from my weekend hike at Wyona County Park.
Below are some updates from the past month and information on things coming up that could impact your daily life in Monona. If you're wondering why you are receiving this city update, I am one of your alders and I provide these monthly updates to help you know what is going on in your community. You can always unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe button at the bottom. It will be challenging for you to find all of this information on your own however. As your alder, I am here to help you navigate solutions to problems that impact your daily lives. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOUTH WINNEQUAH ROAD REDESIGN - MEETING ON 10/6 AT 6:30pm
The Winnequah Road redesign conceptual plan will be revealed this Wednesday, October 6th at 6:30pm. If you'd like to attend in person, head to the Monona Public Library's lower level municipal room. You can also join virtually and the link can be found on the meeting agenda.
For a little background, a public input session was held on July 22nd. The PDF of the presentation can be viewed here. Comments I heard from residents after attending were dismay that alternative ideas were not being considered like a bike boulevard concept or exploring the idea of converting Winnequah Road from Maywood south to Bridge Road to a one way street. They felt their concerns were not being heard. We should be exploring a host of ideas with this complex roadway redesign, but our engineering company is giving us two conceptual designs: a sidewalk on the east side of the road, or no sidewalk. There is a middle option of a future sidewalk but the Mayor stated that it's not a feasible option at the last council meeting so we can pretty much take it off of the table. VIEW THE CONCEPTUAL DESIGN HERE
Monday, Oct. 4, 2021: City Council preliminary review of 2022 Capital Budget, to include discussion of funding for the project
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021: Conceptual design concepts to Public Works Committee.
Monday, Oct. 18, 2021: City Council Second review and adoption of 2022 Capital Budget, to include discussion of funding for the project.
Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021: Public information meeting at Monona Library, 6:00 pm in the Municipal Room
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021: Revised design concepts to Public Works Committee
December 2021: City Council approval of final design
January 2022: Project Bidding
May-Sept. 2022: Construction
Things to consider:
• We should have a plethora of data to help us guide our decision making. I recently did some bike/ped counts and recruited a few other volunteers to do so as well. Big thank you to Tina, Peter, Deb and Tonya! We do have data now and some pre-pandemic bike/ped data from 2016. Using current data is critical.
• Our goal is to make this shared roadway safe for all users. Our biggest challenge is speeding traffic that is using Winnequah Road as a cut through to avoid Monona Drive traffic lights. Having a traffic study is an important piece of this project but there doesn't seem to be one. A traffic study would include more than just 4,000 cars per day; it should include an hourly breakdown of traffic, police enforcement hours and citations in a 12 month period, comprehensive bike/ped data, data that explains why a one way option would not work, and comprehensive bike/ped data collected on this corridor. I did just receive the police data compiled at my request by the PD.
• Sidewalks on both sides will result in hundreds of cut trees and the cost is out of our budget. A sidewalk on the east side of the street is in the conceptual plan but may still result in tree loss. A mature tree absorbs about 500 gallons of water a day. This area is low lying so cutting trees could be detrimental to the properties along this stretch of road. Not to mention the loss of canopy, shade, aesthetic beauty, and wildlife habitat. As a tree city and a bird city, we should not even be considering killing mature healthy trees. Other things can be done. Lollipop trees will never replace the high growth, large canopies that these old mature trees provide.
• I like the idea of starting with a bike boulevard concept and using that as our design starting point. At this link you can see the design concepts associated with bike boulevards. If we take our time for a true planning process that involves the public, we could also have a discussion on the routing and signage of the Lake Loop.
• Ideally, I would like to see an advisory referendum on the sidewalk issue so everyone in the city has the opportunity to chime in. We've never collected citywide data to my knowledge to determine what the majority of citizens want in regards to sidewalks. However, given the tight timeline, that does not appear to be feasible for this project. If you'd like to spearhead a petition for this, please let me know and I'll be happy to help.
Let me know your thoughts if you would like. And please attend the public input meeting on 10/6 at 6:30pm to be a part of this process. Road reconstruction projects should last 50 years and we are redoing this just 15 years later. Public engagement, clear data, and proper planning are essential to a successful project. Without those factors, we are just guessing and that could lead to costly mistakes. Here's a great article on how to conduct a planning process where the public is driving the car, not the engineers.
MONONA EXPRESS LOOP SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Due to a shortage of bus drivers, Monona Express afternoon Loops 1 and 3 will not run beginning on September 27. Only Monona Express afternoon Loops 2 and 4 will run until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience and late notice. First Transit is working to fill the driver position as soon as possible.
NEW DEVELOPMENTS COMING BACK TO PLAN COMMISSION IN OCTOBER
The Populance work live development proposed for the Monona Garden site will be at the plan commission meeting on 10/11 at 7pm. The BMO Harris development will be coming back to plan commission on 10/25 at 7pm. Meetings are available in person or virtually. Agendas can be found here.
ADOPT A STORM DRAIN - PROTECT LAKE MONONA FROM INCREASED PHOSPHORUS
It's the time of year when we ask you to consider adopting a storm drain in your neighborhood. Storm drains are the open grates found along the edges of our streets and in some of our local parkways. These storm drains are designed to collect storm water and direct it to underground storm sewers. The storm sewers then direct the storm water to local retention and detention ponds, or local streams. Any pollution or debris that goes down a storm drain winds up entering these same waterways. Once these leaves become wet from rain they begin to break down and release phosphorus. This phosphorus takes two forms, solid and dissolved. Dissolved phosphorus has been proven to be the most significant contributor to algae blooms in our local waterways. Once this phosphorus is dissolved it is very difficult to nearly impossible to remove from the water. One pound of dissolved or physical phosphorus is enough to feed 500 wet pounds of algae.
How does one adopt a storm drain?
Please email Brad Bruun, the City of Monona Public Works Project Coordinator and GIS Specialist. Take a look at this map to find the storm drain closest to you. Green dots mean the drain has been adopted and red dots mean that storm drain needs to be adopted.
HO-CHUNK FLAG RAISING AT CITY HALL ON 10/11 AT 11am
This week I worked with our City Administrator to organize a flag raising ceremony on Monday, October 11th to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day. We'll have representatives from the Ho-Chunk Nation present at the flag raising. You are invited to attend! November is Native American Heritage Month and the flag will fly for October and November. It's important that celebrate and acknowledge everything about this community's history, its diversity, and all the things that make us strong and unique. As an indigenous woman myself, I was taught to celebrate Columbus Day but was not provided with the full context surrounding this devastating time in my peoples' history. I hope you'll come and join us as we acknowledge the Native people who were here before us and still live among us.
FREE BIKES 4 KIDZ BIKE DONATION DRIVE IN MONONA ON SAT., NOV. 6, 10-2pm!
My day job is ramping up to give away 2,000 bicycles to those in need in spring 2022. In order to make that happen, we have to have bicycles donated to FB4K. We'll refurbish them over the winter so we can give them away in the spring.
Monona Fire Department and Monona Police Department will be hosting our donation station in the parking area in front of the fire truck garage on Nichols Road just east of the Community Center on Saturday, November 6 between 10am-2pm. If you have unused bicycles, we will make sure they go to someone who would love to have one but cannot afford one. All sizes and styles are needed. We can't accept used helmets unfortunately but we also accept bike parts and bike racks! Thank you for your consideration!