September 1, 2021 Alder Update

You might not believe it, but yes, it is September! And today was also the first day of school. I hope all of you with kids survived the schedule and structure. I bet we will have some tired kids when they get home!

Below are some updates from the past month and information on things coming up that could impact you like the south Winnequah Road reconstruction.


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. 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 kgoforth@ci.monona.wi.us.


SOUTH WINNEQUAH ROAD REDESIGN PROCESS UNDERWAY

Okay, people. Brace yourself for an even more contentious issue than masks or vaccines. It's the south Winnequah Road redesign. A public input session was held on July 22nd. The PDF of the presentation can be viewed here. I need to hear YOUR ideas and priorities for this stretch of road.


Here are some things to consider: • Sidewalks on both sides will result in hundreds of cut trees and the cost is out of our budget. 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 and shade and aesthetic beauty.

• There is another public information meeting being planned on September 22. Be sure to watch the City's website for more information and attend if you can!

• The final scope of the design is planned for October at the Public Works meeting at which time NO more changes are likely to be made.

• The slide presentation from the 7/22 meeting favors a sidewalk on the east side of the road. Much of the information for the presentation was pulled from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements Plan released in 2019.

• Last weekend I did bike/ped traffic counts at the corner of Bridge Road/Winnequah Road. My results were 82 cyclists per hour on average and 26 pedestrians. Almost all of the peds were joggers on the lake side of the street likely running the Lake Loop in a two hour period. It was very hot and humid so I think riders was a bit lower than usual. I would estimate about one third of those were BCycle riders. I will be collecting more counts this weekend weather permitting. If you would like to volunteer for two hours to do counts, we could use your help! If you would like to, send me an email and I'll send you some counting sheets.

• 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.

• We could work with the City of Madison to encourage Lake Loop traffic to go clockwise whenever feasible during this process. We fully realize that some people just need to go a short distance to do errands or get to work. The clockwise rotation would just be encouraged, not required. This could reduce conflicts, reduce the cost for signage, and makes for a more predictable scenario for property owners and cyclists. Think Dane County Farmers Market! When most people go the same direction, it's more organized and less chaotic. Another discussion that should be considered is rerouting the Lake Loop to come off of Tonyawatha Trail. There is a dangerous hill on the south end with boat launch traffic, gravel and a 90° turn at the bottom. Crashes at that location are frequent.

• 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.

• Attendees at the 7/22 public input meeting were told that whatever happens on the south Winnequah Road portion will have implications for Maywood Road in the future. So please stay engaged in this process if you live on Maywood!


Let me know your thoughts if you would like to. But more importantly, please attend the public input meeting in September and the September Public Works meeting to make your voice heard. Road reconstruction projects should last 50 years and we are redoing this just 15 years later. Public engagement and proper planning and data collection are essential to a successful project.

VIEW THE SLIDE PRESENTATION FROM THE JULY 22 PUBLIC INPUT MEETING


MASS TRANSIT COMMISSION SURVEY & BID ACCEPTANCE

The Mass Transit Commission transit survey is still available for input. The survey is intended for non-riders and riders to help us ensure that the service is meeting the needs of the community. It's a short survey and should take less than three minutes to complete. Your input through the survey will help us know how we can serve you better and how you'd like to see our bus service enhanced (or not). Please make your voice heard especially if you don't ride the bus but wish you had more options!


The Transit Commission received two bids for our transit service for the next five years. One was from the current provider while the other was from Zerology who proposed switching our fleet to brand new electric shuttles. We do not have a scoring matrix so the only determining factor for our bids was cost. I would like to see us have a scoring matrix because while cost is important, there are many hidden costs with staying with gasoline fueled buses like carbon emissions. The bids were far apart however. The Commission will work on developing a scoring matrix and points system prior to the next cycle. You can watch the meeting discussing the bids on YouTube.


MONONA CENSUS DATA IS PUBLISHED

We received this updated demographic information from the Department of Administration so I wanted to share with you. The Demographic Services Center’s preliminary estimate of the January 1, 2021 population for the City of Monona in Dane County is 8,161. This represents an increase of 628 residents or 8.3% since the 2010 Census.


Over the same time, Dane County’s population increased by 63,776 residents or 13.1 while Wisconsin’s population increased by 213,764 residents or 3.8%.


For calendar year 2020 your municipality reported net increase of 143 housing units. Approximately 6,878 of the estimated population for the City of Monona are of voting age.


This stat was posted by a lifelong Monona resident on my Facebook post on this topic. I thought it was interesting: "The population of Monona in 2021 is 17 people less than the 1960 population and 2,259 less people than estimated in 1970."

MUCH MORE CENSUS DATA CAN BE FOUND HERE


DONATED SUPPLIES FOR AFGHAN REFUGEES


This week I collected donated items for Afghan refugees coming to Fort McCoy. The Ho-Chunk Nation spearheaded the donation drive. Thank you to all of you who brought your items to my home for this much needed effort! I hope there will be more opportunities and will keep you posted. This load is being picked up today.

FREE BIKES 4 KIDZ BIKE DONATION DRIVE ON SAT., SEPT. 18

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. Last year, Monona's bike donation station was the best performing in the area with over 250 bicycles donated at Monona's Fire Department!


This year's site in Monona will be at WPS on West Broadway. The donation station will be very visible from West Broadway. Enter on WPS Boulevard. Bring your gently used bikes on Saturday, September 18 between 10am-2pm. We will make sure they go to someone who would love to have a bicycle 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!

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