2001-2 Friends of Path

Help Organize "Friends of the Southwest Bike/Ped Path"

By Sue Reindollar

Before long the messy construction phase along the old rail corridor will be a memory. Help us beautify the finished path by making suggestions and sharing ideas to improve the area for all users. Come to the organizational meeting April 25 from 7-9 at the Cherokee Heights Middle School Cafeteria to help form the Friends of the Southwest Bike/Ped Path.

The goal of the multi-neighborhood group will be to enhance the safe and enjoyable use of the path. To that end we'll work to maintain and beautify the corridor in an ecologically responsible manner in order to promote enjoyment by diverse user groups and adjoining property owners.

The Friends organization will coordinate activities and fundraising to support this mission. The meeting April 25 will be to discuss the group's organization and fxunctions with a short presentation followed by time for questions and answers. (Construction questions will be answered on the DMNA website www.dmna.org so that the time in this meeting can be focused on organization and planting.) Since the bike/ped path travels along the northwestern boundary of the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood for approximately 2.2 miles, our neighborhood has the opportunity to create a pleasurable environment. But we will need the suggestions and help of others in the surrounding neighborhoods. We will especially welcome those who will be passing through our neighborhood along the path and would like to help improve the area no matter where they live.

We will discuss the preliminary plans for planting in the major areas such as the Odana entrance to the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood, the slope near the MG&E substation near Glenway, the knotweed hillside mid-Gregory St. opposite the cemetery, the green space at Fox and Sheldon Sts., and the "cow pass" at Hillington Green. The Capital Funds collected during our last membership drive will provide the funds for planting these areas plus other improvements we would like to make. Also, MG&E has made a generous contribution to our efforts. But the discussion will not be limited to areas in the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood.

At the meeting on April 25, displays and information will be available on plants and landscaping in your own backyards. We hope to have vendors available with offers for bulk orders, especially of understory trees native to Wisconsin. Homeowners may then be able to join with others to buy bare root stock at the bulk rate. Take a trip to Sequoya or Monroe St. libraries and browse through the three-ringed notebooks, which are filled with ideas and advice. Even if you aren't along the trail, you can use the information found there for your own yard. Feel free to copy any of the information.

The School is located at 4301 Cherokee Drive (corner of Cherokee and Midvale). For further information or questions, call or email Sue Reindollar, ssreindo@facstaff.wisc.edu, or Paul Beckett, pbeckett@facstaff.wisc.edu. Spread the word and hope to see you there April 25 from 7-9.

Friends of the Southwest Bike/Pedestrian Path

Meeting Minutes

June 20, 2001

Present at the meeting: Char Thompson, Jana Stewart, Laura Brown, Nels Diller, Brian Osborne, Susan Daugherty, Jon Stielstra, Russ and Marveen Phelps

  1. Aaron Palmer has asked that people stay off the path while paving is in progress, both to avoid slowing the work and out of concerns about damaging the fresh asphalt. The consensus was that additional signs would help if they explained why people should stay off, and listed the dates or were posted only when needed. It was felt that signs posted when no construction activity was present would be counter productive. Laura will email Aaron with these suggestions.

  2. Kiosks:

    We are not certain about the progress of research into kiosk costs. Need to discuss at a future meeting.

  3. Litter and graffiti:

    Suggestions have been floated to use vines to cover walls affected by graffiti. We need to define the areas involved, and whether these areas are plantable. Laura and others can donate some vines, if locations are defined. Litter has been found in some areas, and may be a topic that we need to take up at a future date. Work parties to bag litter with coordinated pickup by the city is one possibility.

  4. Asphalt at the site of the construction headquarters: a crushed asphalt base was put down for the construction headquarters. Sue Reindollar hopes to use this site for a prairie, but has been told that the asphalt will be broken up and covered with top soil, rather than removed. The committee felt that this will hinder future plantings. As this is a highly visible site at an intersection, and an attractive , healthy planting would benefit the community, we feel strongly that the asphalt should be removed by the contractor. Laura will email Tony and Aaron Palmer regarding this matter.

  5. DMNA Website as a communication tool:

    Suggestions were made that work parties could be placed on the calendar at this web site. Could notices also be put under the listing of SW Path activities, or is this too much work? (Nobody here to answer the question). It was also suggested that emails to this committee could include mention of new postings at the web site, as people stop checking when there is no activity at the site. It was agreed that the site has been useful.

  6. Grand Opening Celebration of the Path:

    One proposal from the city was for a "rolling celebration" July 21, beginning at the Capital City Trail end of the path, and progressing along the path with stops in each neighborhood for refreshments , welcome by the neighborhoods, and thanks to volunteers. Questions were raised about who would be providing the refreshments, how we would publicize this event, whether there might be negative publicity from dissatisfied neighbors, and whether it might make sense to delay the opening until the entire path was complete (late August?). It was pointed out that this would allow some time for grass to grow, and would also give us an opportunity to work on publicity. We also discussed the possibility of a more traditional ribbon cutting ceremony, with a ride of the path from end to end. Ideas were suggested for making a handout to publicize the Friends of the SW Path, using the promotional articles prepared by the Ag. journalism students, and using this event as a fund-raising effort. We would need additional meetings to plan these things, and would not be prepared by July 21.

  7. Maintenance plan for the path:

    We would like to get together with Tony Fernandez at a future meeting to see the path maintenance plan.

  8. Articles for neighborhood newsletters:

    Reminders to those who offered to write them- DMNA deadline is July 27, Midvale Heights deadline is July 1.

  9. Dog control issues:

    The City's dog control staff spoke at a recent DMNA meeting. According to Char, they reported that they don't have the staffing to police the path, but they will write an article explaining the city dog ordinance. This article should go to all the neighborhood newsletters.

  10. Next meeting:

    Char proposed taking turns as chair and secretary, to avoid putting all the work on one person. Volunteers for the next meeting? The next meeting should be scheduled by email after we find out more about the plans for the path opening, so that we know how much time we have to plan, and how ambitious to get. We also need to discuss: kiosks, maintenance plan, updates on items above.

Minutes by Laura Brown

Friends of the Southwest Bike Path

Meeting Minutes

July 24, 2001


Present at the meeting were: Sue Reindollar, Paul Beckett, Ken Doran, Brian Osborne, Char Thompson, Darin Burleigh, Amy Kinast, Tony Fernandez, Steve Siehr, Kris Schutte, Laura Brown, and Susan Daugherty.

  1. The path officially opens Sat. July 28 with an informal bike ride along the path from Arrowhead Park in Fitchburg (the southern terminus) to Breese Terrace (the northern terminus). Mayor Sue Bauman and County Exec Kathleen Falk plus path leadership and designers will lead the ride with stops along the path to cut the ribbon and enjoy refreshments. See the DMNA web site www.dmna.org for the specific itinerary.

  2. Six volunteers are pulling ragweed along the corridor, trying to gain some control over the spread of pollen before the plant blooms. Plants have been marked with white ribbon and signs for those who aren't sure what ragweed looks like. In the spring more work needs to be done on such noxious weeds as garlic mustard, burdock, reed canary grass, and Japanese knotweed. Sue Reindollar will put noxious weed information on the DMNA web site.

  3. Tony Fernandez presented the City Engineering maintenance plan for the path. He will develop a maintenance map which will show four levels of maintenance:

    1. Frequent mowing (10 day to 2 week intervals) 5 ft. on each side of the path

    2. Infrequent mowing once a year to prevent woody plant growth, primarily in ditch bottoms

    3. No maintenance or only as needed, ex: fallen tree

    4. No maintenance or cooperative maintenance in areas being maintained by neighbors or groups

    The city will work with neighborhoods where the neighborhoods are maintaining an area, such as the Odana entrance prairie planting. The Friends of the Southwest Bike Path is encouraged to develop planting guidelines.

    The city's maintenance plan must be kept as simple as possible, with priorities given to drainage and visibility. The grass will be maintained along the 5-ft. shoulders, ditch bottoms and a couple feet up the sides of ditches, and high traffic areas at access points.

    Overhanging tree branches that present a hazard will be trimmed. City Forestry should be called, as needed, to clear fallen trees. Some areas will be left "natural" and other areas could be maintained by adjacent owners or neighborhood associations partnering with the city. The path will be treated, in general, like a street right of way.

    A 6-8 ft. swath will be plowed in the winter. The green posts will guide the plow.

  4. The city is in the process of developing a policy on encroachments on the right of way.

    In general, goals of this policy will be:

    1. To encourage private stewardship of land within the public corridor to the extent that it enhances public enjoyment of the path and does not harm the fxunction of the path or the ecology of the area.

    2. To preserve the integrity of the corridor for possible future rail use in accordance with the City's agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the owner of the land.

    3. To discourage or prohibit actions which have the effect of appropriating public land for purely private use or enjoyment.

    4. To prohibit any uses within the corridor which interfere with the operation or maintenance of the path, compromise the safety of path users or result in undue liability concerns for the City.

    5. To respect historical communities and neighborhood interests in the corridor and honor specific commitments to property owners made during the planning, design and construction of the path while being fair to all adjacent property owners.

    This policy will likely be very restrictive compared to the past, when encroachment rules were rarely enforced. Fences existing before the corridor was surveyed will likely be grandfathered in. However, all new fences need to be within the property lines. Any replacement of existing fences must be the same height. For example, if the fence were only 3-4 feet high, the replacement could not be higher, such as a 6-foot fence. All people who do have fences will have to have a permit so they can't claim adverse possession.

    The city still supports planting and terracing beyond property lines and encourages stewardship with the city. Neighbors should not pile compost in the right of way as they may have done in the past. Instead, they should follow city guidelines concerning waste disposal.

  5. Tony encouraged Friends of the Southwest Path to reach out to all areas along the path, particularly areas which are not currently represented. The City would like to form a cooperative relationship with the "Friends" as a liaison to all the neighborhoods in regards to maintenance and other path issues. The City will mow all the right of way in the areas south of the Beltline, including the Allied Drive area until there is a neighborhood effort for stewardship there.

  6. Westmorland Neighborhood Association has proposed a neighborhood sign at the Odana entrance. At the meeting the Friends of SW Path discussed the issue at length and voted not to object to Westmorland's proposal, with the proviso that Westmorland should not (in the opinion of the Friends) use the lower portion of their sign for advertising future events in their neighborhood, citing a distraction for motorists who should be watching for traffic coming from the path at the junction with the new traffic island. Dudgeon-Monroe will consider a sign in the area on their side of the trail; the sense of the meeting was that DMNA might or might not want a sign, and we should wait and see how the area looks after landscaping.

  7. There is a need for an access point through the Odana Golf course parking lot, which already receives heavy usage. Tony agreed that the issue should be discussed again and City Engineering supports the access. However, City Parks does not support it. Laura Brown suggested one-way vehicle traffic into the parking lot and diagonal parking as a solution.

  8. Other business: Ken Doran discussed the potential graffiti problem on the retaining walls. It was not clear whether the walls had already been coated with the finish that would help clean up and prevent paint from adhering to the wall. Laura Brown and Sue Reindollar offered rooted cuttings of either native vines or Boston Ivy which would grow either up or down the walls and discourage graffiti.

The next meeting of the Friends of the SW Path is scheduled for Sept. 11 (the second Tue. of the month) in the Dudgeon Center Commons Room at 7:00-9:00 p.m. Paul Beckett agreed to be the organizer for this meeting.

Meeting notes submitted by Sue Reindollar

Friends of the Southwest Bike Path

Meeting Minutes

September 18, 2001

Attendance: Steve Chadderdon, Char Thompson, Tony Fernandez, Steve Siehr, Sue Reindollar, Melissa Mulliken, Kathleen Nichols, Cami Peterson, Tom Krauskopf, Brian Osborne, Laura Brown, Mark Shahan, Kathie Beckett, John Schmitz, Paul Beckett

Guests: Carren Corcoran, Jerry Johnson, Madison Police Department

  1. Brief announcements:

    Char Thompson has prepared a flyer about the Friends organization (organization, contacts, path user guidelines. Char can provide copies (231 2445).

    After consideration the City has forbidden private trucks or other heavy construction equipment on the Path.

    Following discussion at the last meeting, a letter has been sent to the City expressing non-objection to the sign that Westmorland neighborhood association will place at the east entrance to the Path at Odana Road.

    The UW Morgridge Center is seeking volunteers for student projects this fall; Laura Brown and Sue Reindollar have been in contact.

    Native plant seeds may be obtained/collected now; contact Laura Brown for information (274 9367).

  2. Officers Carren Corcoran and Jerry Johnson met with the Friends to explain police organization for the Path. They are the two officers assigned to the Allied-Dunns Marsh area as community officers. They keep an eye on the Path in their area on a regular basis (including on bicycles). Contrary to a recent article in The Capital Times there have been almost no reported problems with the Path in the Allied neighborhood. Looking back several years, in fact, the situation in the area which is now the Path has improved significantly with clearing of brushy vegetation and new lighting. They cooperate with the Fitchburg police officer assigned to the area, Shannon Morgan. Members present agreed that it is important to counter the climate of fear reported in The Capital Times which could discourage use of the Path. Many are regular users of the Path and have had no problems. Members cited the initiatives already in progress to develop Allied neighborhood participation in the Friends of the Path. Corcoran and Johnson emphasized that it is important that if there ARE incidents, large or small, they should be reported; call them at 288 6150. Their office is at 4717 Jenewein Road, No. 1.

  3. Tony Fernandez presented the City Engineering Division's proposed policies on "private encroachments" on the Path right-of-way. The City has a responsibility to preserve the public right-of-way making possible potential future transportation uses. Fences and other structures allowed in the right-of-way could be used to call public ownership in to question at a later date. Also, City attorneys are anxious that the City not be exposed to possible liability suits involving injuries on structures. Fernandez said these concerns were balanced by concern not to unnecessarily inconvenience abutting neighbors, who were assured during the planning and construction phases that the City would not unnecessarily clear encroachments. The Engineering Division has drafted Administrative Procedures that will forbid ANY new fences on public land along the Path, retroactive to the City's acceptance of responsibility for the right-of-way on April 1, 2000. Fences in existence before that time are likely to be permitted to remain indefinitely but letters will be sent to owners affirming public ownership. Because the State, not the City, retains formal ownership of the right-of-way payments in lieu of property tax will not be required. A proposal that this "grandfathering" of fences be non-transferable so that eventually there is equality among abutting neighbors is under consideration. Because of liability concerns playground equipment on public land will be required to be removed. Private stairways will be strongly discouraged. Requests for special permits for stairs will be considered, but owners would be responsible for insurance indemnifying the City, and stairs would have to comply with City Codes. New sheds, gazebos, or other structures will also be forbidden, but ones in existence before April 1, 2000 are likely to be permitted, once again with a fomal letter of notification on record. These Engineering Division administrative procedures will provide for appeal to the City Engineer (Larry Nelson) but not beyond. The three Alders whose districts touch on the Path have given support. Lively discussion followed, with some members more concerned for the interests of abutting neighbors, and some for the more general public interest. While the basic lines of the administrative procedures are unlikely to change, in Fernandez's opinion, the Division welcomes comment and suggestions. These may be directed to Fernandez at afernandez@ci.madison.wi.us and will be shared with Larry Nelson and other engineering staff. Fernandez will be happy to provide interested persons with a copy of the draft administrative procedures.

  4. Cami Peterson, Chair of the Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Association Parks Committee outlined a plan she is formulating for amenities in Glenwood Children's Park next to the Path (close to the drinking fountain, on the Glenway Street side). These would include an informational kiosk, a bench, a bike rack, an Glenway park sign. DMNA has already raised some funds, and MG&E has given a grant to assist. She is writing to the City Parks department to see what assistance the City can provide. Discussion was very supportive. It was suggested that a map be provided showing where the Path goes and (probably) its connections to other bike paths (Capital City, Military Ridge, etc.). Archie Nicoletti of City Planning could help with this. We need more information on City policies regarding benches (placement and cost). The question of an access to the Path through the OTHER side of the park was raised. The present Parks director might be more amenable than the past one to such support for the Path.

  5. Mark Shahan agreed to organize and lead the next meeting of the Friends. This is scheduled for Tuesday, October 16, 7-9 p.m. in the Dudgeon Center commons room. Among other agenda this meeting should reconsider the organization of the Friends group, including officers, treasury, and taking collective positions on issues.

  6. Final announcements:

    John Schmitz reported that there will be a volunteer effort at the Path crossing at Commonwealth to assist Blessed Sacrement students to cross and to educate drivers about the crossing there. Also, Schmitz would like to lead a volunteer effort to clean up trash near the MG&E station across from Glenwood Children's Park. Interested persons should contact him at john.Schmitz@doit.wisc.edu. Laura Brown would like to plant vines to discourage graffiti at the access ramps. Tony Fernandez indicated the correct procedure would be to check with nearby owners first, then City engineering (he can be the contact).

Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m. Notes by Paul Beckett

Friends of the Southwest Bike/Pedestrian Path

Meeting Minutes

October 16, 2001


  1. Introductions:

    Attending were Mark Shahan, Steve Siehr, Brian Osborne, Sue Reindollar, Paul Beckett, Char Thompson, Ann Clark, Melissa Mullikew, Laura Brown, Tony Fernandez

  2. Announcements:

    • Vine Plantings:

      Laura & Mark got 3 neighbors permission to plant vines at the Harrison St. access to cover up graffiti. Wild grape, Virginia creeper, Virgin's Bower were planted. Planting couldn't be done at Prospect St. because the erosion control consisted of big rocks and no top soil. Laura suggested hauling in top soil next spring and planting Virginia creeper.

    • Spooner St. Bridge Construction:

      Tony said the bridge has been paved but the contractor is still putting erosion matting down. No landscaping has been done yet.

    • Vale Circle:

      Laura & Mark report many plants blooming from seed.

    • Seed Collection:

      Laura said the University Research Park may be a seed source particularly for grass seeds. Laura said Scott Sauer, manager of the Waubesa wetlands, has said people could harvest seeds at the wetlands. Laura also said Mary Hunt Bergen wants prairie at Parman Terrace. Laura said Mary has prairie plants she can supply and will contact Audubon's Goose Pond since she is a former Audubon board member. Laura told Mary to contact Tony Fernandez about her plans to make sure the city is aware of the plantings and so that they conform with city maintenance policies. Laura also told Mary to contact the Westmorland Neighborhood Association and Jana Stewart.

    • Odana Plantings:

      Sue said 700 plants went in with help from numerous people. Jerry Gunderson of Middleton and the Atwood Prairie helped organize the plantings. Unfortunately, someone stole a bunch of flags that marked the plant locations. An Edgewood student is helping as a community project.

    • MG&E transmission line:

      MG&E has proposed burying a transmission line along the SW Path from Fitchburg to the Odana Golf Course as part of a project to connect the Fitchburg substation with a proposed Tokay substation (by WKOW TV station) and with the West Towne substation. MG&E says the project will not disrupt the operation of the path as they will be working in the area to the side of the path and that this may be a way to install an official access point at the Odana Golf Course. MG&E may also be willing to help reseed the area with prairie seeds. If approved by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, construction will be 2003-2004.

  3. Broadening Friends:

    Mary Kirkendall couldn't attend the meeting so discussion turned to generally increasing participation from within and between neighborhoods. Melissa thought the emphasis should be on increasing participation from within the neighborhoods and felt the friends had not done very much to involve the neighbors along the path. She gave as an example her neighbor who did not know about the proposed new Right-of-way encroachment policy and the small number of people who show up for the meetings. Sue stated that she had put up signs about the April 25 Friends organizational meeting along the path, at various spots in neighborhoods and businesses, and libraries plus information on the Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Association (DMNA) website. She also wrote numerous articles which were published in at least three other neighborhood newsletters. Laura pointed out that people had gone door to door canvassing neighbors about their vision for the path, that most of the neighborhoods along the path had carried articles about the April 25th meeting in their respective newsletters, that we got press coverage of the April 25 meeting, and that at the April 25th meeting we had people fill out a survey asking their input about governance structure and the level of involvement they desired in the organization. Laura added that the results of the survey clearly showed that people wanted an informal structure without bylaws as we now have and that most people didn't want to attend meetings even though they were interested in the organization. Mark stated that we needed to broaden the Friends within and between neighborhoods. Tony said outreach needs to be ongoing the whole year and suggested contacting Project Home as a contact within the Allied Drive neighborhood. Paul said he would contact project home before the next meeting. Char said Nells Diller is willing to help with building kiosks as as a way to involve kids. Paul said we need better contact with Westmorland as well as Allied Drive and that we should become involved with a bike rodeo as suggested by Steve Meyer. Ann agreed we should keep building contacts; however, she said most people don't go to meetings but will help with projects. It was agreed that the Friends should have another big spring meeting.

  4. New policy on Right-of-way Encroachment:

    Tony drafted the policy under strict guidelines and it was stricter than he wanted. The policy was not in the same category as planning the path originally. The policy was brought to the Mayor's Public Works Infrastructure Committee and the mayor said to implement it but to first take the policy to the Alders for the area to get their support and the to the neighborhood Associations for their comment. The policy he said was not open to debate and the input the city was looking for was in fine tuning the policy for things that might have been overlooked. Mark suggested friends could help set up an informational meeting on the policy if one were deemed necessary. Char & Melissa thought the process to develop the policy was unfair. Melissa thought neighbors would be very angry with the policy and that she understood Tony to be saying at the last meeting that Friends should keep the policy secret and not show it to anyone. Tony said he doesn't want the Friends to get in front of this train for or against. He also said that the city is treading thin ice to be as permissive as they are; the city couldn't be this permissive if this were city land. Laura said the Friends has no decision making power and shouldn't get involved with this issue. Paul agreed with Laura and didn't believe there was an attempt to keep the policy secret. Char said the policy was not the issue; the process was pathetic. Melissa maintained that individuals should be free to pass out the policy to people and that the Friends shouldn't get involved because the Friends is not democratic and not representative, i.e., the Friends is not the voice of the Path. Tony explained that he didn't want a mass mailing of the policy that would confuse people as to its origin but he had no problem with giving the policy to people in person. Laura pointed out that the city would mass mail the policy to adjacent property owners an people could comment at that time. Tony reiterated that the city would accept fine tuning of the policy but not a yea or nay on the policy. He would draft a cover letter to adjacent land owners soon. Melissa said the policy was being implemented by non elected officials and that people should voice objections to the policy and process. The consensus was that the Friends can not take a position on the encroachment policy.

  5. Formal Organization of the Friends:

    Mark thought we had reached the point where we needed officers, especially a treasurer, and bylaws so that we could take on projects like the kiosks. Char didn't think we should pick officers now but should instead elect them in the spring. Mark agreed but said a lot of work needs to be done between now and spring to have those elections. Laura asked who is willing to be an officer (no hands were raised). Hence Laura thought maybe the whole point was moot if nobody was willing to be an officer. Ann asked whether we needed interim officers. Ann was willing to work on bylaws but she wants help. Char and Paul said DMNA could provide a sub account to keep the treasury for the Friends. Sue had concerns about DMNA keeping the treasury as it might exacerbate the appearance that Friends is an extension of DMNA and wondered if another neighborhood association could carry the treasury. Laura said Midvale Community Heights Neighborhood Association couldn't carry the Friends treasury. It was suggested, that until spring, we continue rotating the chair amongst ourselves. It was suggested that we check with the Friends of Lake Wingra to see how they set up their bylaws. Sue suggested we also contact the Friends of the Campus Natural Areas and Roseanne Scott of the Isthmus Path Friends to check out their bylaws. Ann said she would do contact these organizations.

  6. Crossing Issues:

    Mark related that this item was brought up at the last meeting in regards to difficulties crossing children going to school during morning rush hour at Commonwealth Ave. There are similar concerns at Odana and Midvale. Sue said she knows about 3 accidents at Odana including one on Sept. 11. She didn't know if any were reported to the police. People brought up the idea of stoplights at Odana and Midvale and how to go about getting them installed. Mark explained that requests for stoplights were made to the city's Traffic Engineering Department and that Traffic Engineering then gathered information about the intersections including counts for pedestrians and bicyclists. A list was then drawn up ranking the intersections for which requests for stoplights had been made against a series of warrants. The warrants included criteria such as traffic volumes on the main street and the side street, and number and duration of gaps in traffic. Of interest to the Friends is the pedestrian warrant which the SW Path might meet. The path might also meet the warrant based on side street traffic since the Path is basically a street and has heavy bike traffic. The list is then presented to the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission (PBMVC) which recommends to the City Council which intersections to signalize. In response to a question of when to make a request, Mark said requests should be made by about May since the Traffic Signal Priority List is presented to PBMVC in July. Tony said the warrants tend to be auto oriented which may make it difficult to apply to the Path. Sue also suggested requesting school crossing guards at Glenway and Commonwealth. Mark said these requests were also made to Traffic Engineering and came before the PBMVC for approval. Ann said she could find out about accident reports for intersections with the path and report back at the next meeting. A general consensus was that the Friends should gather information on crossing problems to consider recommendations to make to the city before May. Melissa did not think the Friends should make recommendations because we weren't a democratic organization. Laura disagreed saying she didn't think the Friends making a recommendation was any different than the Neighborhood Associations making a recommendation; Neighborhood Associations only had a small fraction of the people in a neighborhood active and attending meetings just like the Friends. Furthermore, Laura felt we would only be asking the city to study traffic light installation at these locations following their normal procedures, not telling the city traffic lights had to be installed.

  7. Spring Cleanup Day:

    Postponed discussion until next meeting. Mark suggested people think about a spring cleanup day to announce at the spring meeting.

  8. Other Issues:

    Tony announced that Phase 3 of the SW Path would start next year which would include the Carling Drive connection, Hammersley Road access, Harrison St. Bridge and the extension to Randall Ave. City Engineering has started planning on the Missing Link path that would connect the SW Path to the Lake Monona Path. Tony mentioned that the City was looking at possible access to Glenwood Children's Park from the SW Path. Tony said the DNR has started planning for the Badger Path (the extension of the SW Path that will extend to Illinois) and some work should start next year including work on bridges and brush clearing. Finally, Tony said a 6 foot path will be plowed this winter. Mark inquired how a 6 foot path could fxunction safely for two way traffic. Char said she thought the neighborhood had been promised that part of the path would not be plowed to accommodate cross country skiers. Laura said she understood that snow would be plowed to one side so the shoulder, not the path, could be used by cross country skiers.

  9. Steve Siehr will organize the next meeting on November 13, 7 PM.

Minutes taken by Mark Shahan

Friends of the Southwest Bike Path

Meeting Minutes

November 13, 2001

Dudgeon Center Commons Room
7 to 9 p.m.

Attendance: Char Thompson, Paula Gibson, Jana Stewart, Mark Shahan, Brian Osborne, Steven Siehr, Paul Beckett, Ann Clark, Sue Reindoller, Tony Fernandez

Meetings of the Friends are organized by volunteers on a rotating basis. Steve Siehr organized this meeting and presided.

  1. Announcements:

    A memorial bench has been installed with contributed funds at the Fox and Sheldon green space The new plantings at Fox and Sheldon were damaged by vandalism the night of October 20 (barberry bushes were torn out). The damages have been repaired.

    Formal announcement of the City's policy on Path encroachment is likely to be delayed until December or even January.

  2. Guidelines on Path usage and etiquette.

    Ann Clark shared her email exchange with Arthur Ross on this subject. Among other points, Ross confirmed that it generally works better if all kinds of users use the same side of the Path, that City policy is to minimize signage, that bicyclists passing should give an audible warning, and that dogs should be under close control. Ross' "rules of the road" will be published in the DMNA Hornblower in a coming issue and will be posted to the Path portion of the DMNA website (www.dmna.org). Mark Shahan noted that some users seem not to realize that the Path is multiuse, for pedestrians (and other users) as well as bikers. It was agreed that we should continue to push the City to name and sign the Path "Southwest Bicycle-Pedestrian Path" to clarify the point.

  3. Broadening Friends Participation to more neighborhoods.

    Paula Gibson of Project Home attended at the invitation of the group. Project Home owns and manages a large housing project (Prairie Crossing) which borders the Path from Lovell Lane to the exit toward the Capital City Trail.

    Project Home would be very interested in working with the Path Friends to landscape and increase resident participation in Path activities. Project Home hopes soon to receive funding from a Community Development grant for landscaping, vegetable gardening between the Project Home buildings and the Path.

    A landscape architect is working up designs. It was agreed that Friends activists like Sue Reindollar and Laura Brown could help with plant selection and sourcing. There was enthusiasm for helping Project Home make a success of the project. There was also enthusiasm for spring activities to encourage residents in the Allied neighborhoods (and the other neighborhoods along the Path) to bike more and explore the natural surroundings nearby.

    Paula was made aware of the MG&E project to underground lines in the Allied area. She will contact MG&E regarding Project Home plans for plantings.

    Jana Stewart of Westmorland neighborhood reported that their Association had raised $1000 for plantings along the Path. She has collected a large amount of native plant seeds to be planted on the Westmorland side next spring. Other Westmorland residents are interested in participating.

  4. Formal Friends organization.

    It was agreed that this must be deferred until we hold a successful general meeting in the spring and draw in more participation. In the meantime Ann Clark will try to collect examples of bylaws from similar organizations to help with bylaws formulation. Char Thompson will help Ann. There may be a need for a treasury to receive and dispense Friends funds. But it was agreed that applying for tax exempt status (a fairly onerous process) should be deferred. At present there is no need for a treasurer and bank account since activities are being funded through the various neighborhood associations.

  5. Spring Activities and General Meeting.

    The Spring meeting will be very important. After discussion, April 10, 2002 was tentatively selected. The meeting should lay the basis for formal organization. In addition, an agenda for the meeting should include plantings plans and updates; dealing with invasive weeds; improving the name of the Path; rules of the Path, signage and informational kiosks; possible requests for traffic lights at crossings, and organizing a general spring cleanup day. However, not too much of the meeting should be taken up with formal presentations.

    Other spring activities could include programs to encourage more biking by residents along the Path. These could draw on the "Effective Cycling" courses that teach safe urban bicycling. Also included could be free tune-ups, tire inflation, etc., as is offered during Bike to Work Week. Bicycle sales and service stores such as Budget, Pacific, and Michael's Bike and Ski might like to participate.

  6. Other Issues.

    Paul Beckett, Sue Reindollar and Mark Shahan have been keeping parallel email lists for communications to those interested in the Friends (the total number on the list is now 78). For consistency and efficiency Mark volunteered to be responsible for a single list. He will set it up with an automatic "subscribe" and "unsubscribe" feature.

  7. Date and organizer of next meeting.

    At least two Friends meetings will be required to plan and organize the general meeting. The first will be Tuesday, January 29, at Dudgeon Commons, from 7 to 9 p.m. Char Thompson will organize and chair it.

Friends of the Southwest Bike/Pedestrian Path

Meeting Minutes

January 29, 2002

Attendance: Sue Reindollar, Ann Clark, Laura Brown, Cami Peterson, Paul Beckett, Char Thompson, Brian Osborne, Mark Shahan

  1. Reports on seeding:

    Laura reported that the section of path closest to Midvale Heights has now been seeded from Midvale Blvd. to the Beltline bridge, from 5 feet off the path to the tree line ( approximately 2 acres in all), with a broad mix of 40-50 species. Laura and Sue also did some seeding in the Allied area, using a mix of shorter plants ( as requested by the neighborhood police), and covered a very weedy stretch on the west side of the path between Verona Rd. and Lovell Lane. They also seeded a short stretch on the east side of the path close to Verona Rd. Paula Gibson ( of Project Home) referred Laura to Jane Kuzma, who indicated that the Project Home landscaping would not have a conflict with seeding in this area, and Jane indicated an interest in working with us to coordinate plantings closer to the Project Home landscaping project. Laura and Sue noted a large amount of litter near the path, and broken glass on the path in several spots. Giant ragweed is also a big problem in the Allied area. Sue reported some planting on the knotweed hill. Char indicated that neighbors in that area had hoped to eventually plant evergreen of some sort there. An idea of an adopt a tree has been advanced. There was a question about Bill Barkers availability to spray new growth in the spring. Suggestions of a weed pulling team and additional information from Scott Sauer, DNR, regarding this and garlic mustard. Char asked if we could mobilize folks to spread the bark on the muddy areas where people, dogs and bikes enter into the woods off the path to prevent further erosion. (she will put up signs and buckets soon)

  2. Next meeting:

    Sue Reindollar will organize the next meeting March 19, 7:00 p.m., Dudgeon Center

  3. Article on Rules of the Path:

    Ann to write and send to Sue, Laura and Paul for dissemination to neighborhood newsletters. Should include problem of dog poop.

  4. Cami, Peterson: Glenwood Children's Park (GCP) and Kiosks:

    Cami is coordinating with Friends of Lake Wingra (FOLW). She proposes they fund kiosk at Wingra Park, we put one at GCP, share space. Design is in progress. They will be 3-sided kiosks with items covered by plexiglass. The GCP kiosk would provide 1 side for FOLW map of watershed & path, 1 side for neighborhood and path information, 1 side for Park information. We would like volunteers to help build the kiosk. City would install but we would need to pay half of costs. City would not be responsible for graffiti cleanup. There was discussion of the MG&E dollars for the one at Glenway and seeking materials or funds from Home Depot.

  5. Bylaws for Friends:

    Ann and Char have several samples. They really are pretty straightforward and it would not be too difficult to draft proposed bylaws for Friends. But we're not sure that we want to propose bylaws to the April public meeting. We remain uncertain whether we are ready for this formality, and able to come up with officers for the organization.

  6. Friends e-mail list:

    Mark has had a number of bounce back problems. Most of these were caused by the collapse of the Home.com site. Several have since been clarified.

  7. GCP access:

    Paul summarized: Larry Nelson recently emailed that a proposed access through from Gregory Street to the Path through the Playground area of GCP is a Parks matter. Si Widstrand replied that this is a Path question, and thus a matter for Engineering. Tony Fernandez has indicating that no Path funding will be available, but that he is willing to continue to help try to find a way.

    Discussion: an access for that neighborhood IS needed. We should not give up on it. Cami, as DMNA Parks Chair, will support the access proposal. We should mobilize opinion in favor of the access, especially from the neighborhood south and west of the Park, and communicate it to the City, and we should get Alder support. We should try to get a more detailed design done, and enlist Tony's aid in getting official support and to figuring out funding.

    There is also the question of the Odana access (from the Path to the Golf Course parking lot to Odana Road). This also remains a priority. But Laura feels it's best to keep the two access questions separate since the latter may be accomplished as part of an MGE buried transmission line project.

  8. Cami: GCP split rail fence:

    She feels we don't need the split rail fence along the Path.

    Sue: raises question of erosion control along the steep bank dropping down from the playground side of GCP. It would be good to discuss this problem with Tony.

  9. Annual meeting:

    We will try for May 1 (Wed.) Char will check locations: Church on Midvale beside Path, Thoreau or Cherokee Schools (or Glenwood Moravian Church) Set now for Midvale Baptist Church at 7:30

  10. Newsletter coverage important. Sue will do article for Hornblower. Laura will do one for the Midvale Heights newsletter. Paul will forward an article to the Westmorland neighborhood association.

  11. Discussion of meeting format:

    It was generally decided that there would be announcements on topics with the key person available for further discussion in small groups. The following topics were listed:

    • Project Home project plan: Presentation by Jane Kuzma (Laura to invite) This will keep the Allied neighborhood in our Friends of the Path sphere of attention.

    • Spring clean up and planting activities

    • Bike activities - Mark

    • Invasive weeds - Bill Barker is available to come to the May 1 meeting to explain about spraying, maybe encourage others to get certified? Maybe gets some posters form Kelly

    • Rules of the path - Ann

    • Kiosks - Cami

    • Naming issue raise again? Char will consult Ken and Mark will ask Dave Dryer. There remains sentiment among our group for changing the name, especially to avoid the impression that the Path is for bicycles and not pedestrians. But we should not bring to the big meeting unless there is some specific process and prospect of success.

    • Way-finding or information signs? (Mark interested in this.) Ann expresses interest; DMNA transportation committee might help.

    • The issue of the Breese Terrace, Monroe, Regent intersection. Possible roundabout. The missing link connection between Randall Ave. and Lake Monona: we should ask Tony, who is working on this, whether this is ripe for some kind of public presentation/discussion. We want to find ways to effectively support the link.

    • We probably need to make it possible for people to contribute money. Do a MOU with DMNA or another neighborhood? Discussion: it's OK for now to work thru the several neighborhood associations at this time. (We can revisit this later as it may be needed..) At this time no need for by laws

    • Path plowing on agenda? We'll see whether it seems relevant. Mark says the question of plowing will be on PBMVC agenda sooner (he will notify us of that date as soon as he knows).

    • Encroachment letters went out

    These ideas for the May 1 public meeting will be further discussed and developed at the March 19 meeting.

Adjourned, 9 p.m.

Meeting notes by Paul Beckett and Mark Shahan

Friends of the Southwest Bike/Pedestrian Path

Meeting Minutes

March 19, 2002

from Laura Brown

In attendance: Sue Reindollar, John Schmitz, Char Thompson, Tony Fernandez, Paul Beckett, Steven Siehr, Mark Shahan, Laura Brown

NOTE- Next meeting: Tuesday, April 16, 7pm, Dudgeon School. Agenda: continue planning the public meeting.

  • I. Announcements:

    • a. The DMNA web site has revisions and additions, including a list of plant species seeded and planted along the path.

    • b. Articles were sent out to Regent, Vilas, Westmorland, Nakoma, Dudgeon-Monroe, and Midvale Heights neighborhoods announcing the upcoming Friends public meeting. Another article discussing the rules of the road was sent to all except Midvale Heights. (Laura needs to get a copy to put in the next edition of their newsletter).

    • c. Tony Fernandez briefly went over the planned bike path work for this year, including connectors at Carling Dr. and Hammersley (north of the beltline), a pedestrian overpass at Harrison, and the completion of the Breese Terrace to Randall section of the path. Crossings for the latter will be mid block at Breese and Crazy Legs, and use of existing crosswalk crossings at Regent and Monroe. Tony anticipates complete reconstruction of this intersection in possibly 3-4 years.

  • II. Planning of the May 1 public meeting. The format will again be brief announcements, following by some questions from the audience. We will then have time for people to view posters and meet to discuss agenda items in small groups, sign interest sheets, register opinions, etc. Agenda items proposed:

    • a. Spring clean-up: Tentatively planned for Sunday, May 19, to coincide with Bike-to-Work week. Tony said the city might be able to provide pick up for trash bags. Mark will check with Roger Goodwin (Streets Dept.) to see if this is possible. Suggested that there be a coordinator. (Need a volunteer coordinator and about 3 people per neighborhood, more at Allied). Once the date is set, consider contacting Allied Dr. contacts to arrange for help there. Presenter? Time: 3 minutes

    • b. Bike activities: Tentative: Use the Bike to Work week (May 18-24) to publicize the SW Path. Mark will look into having a bike repair station somewhere along the path (ask Pacific Cycle or Michael's Cyclery?). Possibly organize a bike ride on the path.

    • c. Invasive species: Bill Barker will come to the meeting, could speak briefly. Sue Reindollar will contact Kelly Kearns regarding getting the invasive species poster. Laura will bring the Knotweed poster we used last year. Time: 5 minutes

    • d. Rules of the path/ informational signs: Mark will present the rules that Ann wrote up. (update: Ann will be there, could present). Bring up the topic of informational signs. Signs to be discussed at a future meeting of the city's Ped/Bike/Motor Vehicle Commission, but could have a sign up sheet for those interested in getting signs. Address issue that the path is multi-use, not just for bikes. Time: 4 minutes

    • e. Kiosks: Cami not present tonight. Announce or not?

    • f. Plantings: Sue and Laura to present a brief overview of the plantings that have been done. Laura will revise her poster from last year (Midvale Heights plantings). Time: 5 minutes

    • g. Path additions/Maintenance plans/Encroachments: Tony will discuss this year's construction plans (see announcements, above) and maintenance plans including mowing and plowing (currently 6-7 foot width). He will bring the maintenance schematic that shows general planting and mowing policy. Encroachments: Tony will discuss briefly, defer most questions to small group afterwards. Should have sheets to register opinions of current plowing policy, someone to moderate small group discussion of plowing issues (John Schmitz?) Time: 10 minutes

    • h. Solicit input from audience: other ideas not mentioned? 5 minutes?

    • i. (Project Home project was briefly discussed. Landscaping plans have been scaled back, Jane Kuzma will not be available May 1, so decided not to include on agenda).

  • III. Publicity for the meeting:

    • a. Neighborhood newsletters (done)

    • b. Signs along the path: Mark will draft and circulate. Sue has stakes to staple signs to. Char is willing to get the signs laminated. Agreed on 8 1/2 x 11 inch size. Want to have signs ready by mid April. Volunteers to post signs: DMNA- Char, MHCA-Laura and Mark . Others?

    • c. Announcements at libraries, bike shops. (Volunteers to put up?)

    • d. Bikies email- Mark

    • e. Isthmus-Sue

    • f. newspapers-Mark (update: Sue will take care of this)

  • IV. Sign up sheets: each table/group discussion leader responsible for their own sign up sheets. A general sign up sheet should be available for other ideas.

Friends of the Southwest Bike/Pedestrian Path

Meeting Minutes

April 16, 2002

Present at the meeting: Cami Peterson, Steve Siehr, Laura Brown, Mark Shahan, Tony Fernandez, Ann Clark, Sue Reindollar, Jana Stewart, Brian Osborne. Paul Beckett: excused

  1. Tony emphasized that the opening of the May 1 meeting should be positive, setting the tone for the agenda presentations. Perhaps the emphasis should include comments about the Path being a four-mile environmental corridor with the ongoing restoration work. The Path links communities and their resources. The City wants to cooperate with private citizens to create a kind of public/private synergy between the two. To that end, Friends of the SW Path will always be hoping for more participation from those who use the Path.

    Comments about informational signage or way-finding and future kiosks could be mentioned in the introductory remarks since the status of each is inconclusive at this time. Tony also mentioned that Trek has offered to provide up to 22 kiosks placed around the city. (See Addendum below)

  2. Mark discussed the spring cleanup and Bike-to-Work Effort and will be the overall contact for both. He talked with Roger Goodwin of Streets who will provide trash bags. Filled trash bags will be picked up at the cross streets of the Path. It is too complicated to use more than one bag, such as one for recyclables and one for general trash. Trash will be picked up the following Monday after cleanup. Needed are people who will be responsible for the various segments of the Path cleanup. Mark said that there would be a Path ride on Wed. night May 22, during the Bike-to-Work Week, to introduce area to riders. The Bike-to-Work activities are not firm at this point. Mark will inform more about what may transpire when more information is available.

  3. Sue and Laura will inform the attendees about what has been seeded along the Path from Allied Drive to Regent, plus include more specifically what Laura has done at the Midvale area and Sue with the Odana prairie area. Also included will be Jana, Char, Cami, and Steve's plantings or future plans in their areas.

    Sue commented that mulch had been spread by the Blessed Sacrament students (about 15) and parents in the Children's Park entry and at various access points into the woods along the Glenway to Fox/Sheldon area. Laura said that the neighbor's using the Path near the Odana golf course have ingeniously devised ways to get across the mud by placing doors, boards, and miscellany in the area. Consideration of what to do about these muddy areas might be something for the agenda in the future.

  4. Laura suggested that Kris Schutte should talk about the Midvale Gateway area, currently in the final planning stages. There are detailed plans with a sign for Midvale Heights neighborhood, statues done by a sculptor artist in the neighborhood who works with the artist-in-the- schools program plus benches and plantings. (See Addendum below)

  5. Invasive species: earlier, Char, Paul, and Laura had said that Bill Barker will be willing to speak concerning garlic mustard.

    There will be a display table with the triptych from Kelly Kearns, the invasive species specialist at the DNR (the same display which we used at the 1st annual meeting). The display will include pictures of garlic mustard, buckthorn, dame's rocket, purple loosestrife, and Japanese knotweed. Laura offered to include her display of knotweed photos. Sue will bring potted plants of garlic mustard and knotweed to display at the table also. (See Addendum below)

  6. Path Courtesy, a title change from Rules of the Path, will presented by Ann Clark. Tony pointed out that there are vast differences in interpretation of the rules here within City departments. Arthur Ross, Ann's source, and Tom Walsh have divergent opinions, especially with regard to which side pedestrians should walk on: facing oncoming traffic or with the traffic. Ann commented that she was uncertain how we should handle this difference. Using the term "rules" of the road seemed to be too harsh, so it was suggested that we emphazie the common courtesies which both bikers, pedestrians, and dog walkers (especially clearing feces) should demonstrate. These items could also be posted on the kiosks when kiosks become available.

    Sue has had phone calls regarding feces along the trails, dogs running free, and rude, speeding bikers as topics they would like to have addressed at the May 1 meeting. The consensus of the group was for Path users to exhibit common sense and kindness and for Friends of the SW Path would adjust the title to read "Path Courtesy."

  7. Tony will present the new access points and future extensions. The group felt that Tony's presentation should keep the issue of encroachments very low- key and questions on that issue be directed to Tony when attendees move to areas of their interest at display tables. Discussion about where in the program to place this topic seemed logically to place it at the end to avoid any issues regarding encroachments from usurping the meeting, setting a negative tone. There continues to be residents who feel strongly about this topic.

  8. Sue added that again users, especially the elderly, disabled, and mothers are feeling that we should think about the addition of benches placed strategically along the Path. Cami noted that there should be one picnic table in the upper entry to the Glenwood Children's Park at the upper level. Sue thought that one picnic table might not be enough. Steve pointed out that there is the one iron bench at the Fox/Sheldon access point. This may be a topic for serious consideration in the near future. It was on the agenda early on in the planning for the path.

  9. The kiosk, as Cami noted, will be made of wood and located in the Glenwood Children's Park built in cooperation with Friends of Lake Wingra. Plans are still in process. (See Addendum below)

  10. Mark will include in his "closing remarks" at the May 1 meeting comments about wayfinding signage, kiosks, and benches as other projects the Friends would like to undertake.

  11. Laura said that Char needed to know how many tables to have set up for the May 1 meeting. ( see below, however there may be more needed)

  12. Time allotments for presentations :

    • 5 mins. I. Welcome and opening remarks: Paul Beckett

    • 4 mins. II. Spring cleanup and Bike-to-Work Week: Mark Shahan

    • 6 mins. III. Planting Updates and Future Plantings along the Path: Sue Reindollar and Laura Brown

    • 3 mins. IV. Midvale Gateway Area: Bill Grover

    • 5 mins. V. Invasive species: Steve Glass

    • 3 mins. VI Path Courtesy: Bikes, Dogs, and Peds: Ann Clark

    • 5 mins. VII. Path Maintenance and Upcoming Projects: Tony Fernandez

    • 2 mins. VIII. Closing Remarks: Mark Shahan

    • 15-30 mins. Question and Answers; New Ideas and Suggestions for Improvement

    • Move to topical displays for further information and refreshments

      1. Invasive species (two tables)

      2. City Engineering (one table)

      3. Plantings photo display (one table)

      4. Midvale Gateway display (one table)

ADDENDUM: Kiosks-Trek will fund 11 kiosks and the City has identified 22 locations for the kiosks. The Trek kiosks would be metal. Plans are still uncertain so it was agreed that we would not discuss plans for kiosks at the May 1 meeting.

Midvale Gateway Area-Bill Grover will speak in place of Kris Schutte. Bill is the local artist who is overseeing the project and doing the sculptures. The description of the project might be modified. The plans includesculptures of bison, a limestone semicircle that will fxunction as a sundial and seating, a neighborhood sign, and plantings, including a bur oak tree.

Invasive Species-Steve Glass will be presenting instead of Sue Reindollar and Bill Barker. Steve is the manager of the Land Care Department at the U-W Arboretum and has conducted a class called "weed warriors," an informative class on controlling invasive species.

In discussions between Laura and Sue and with Kelly Kearns of the DNR, the feeling seems to be that we should inform neighbors about the appearance, harmfulness, and pervasiveness of these plants but probably would find it an overwhelming task to develop an inclusive task force of volunteers and leaders. Also, the attitude appears to be that if we wish to take the invasive issue further, we should prioritize and pick the most important areas (perhaps those which are close to drainage streams or pools which empty into Wingra) and focus on those. Sue's feeling is that we should at least inform people about the nature of invasives and realize that what may in one area at present will soon be elsewhere soon. Laura and Kelly Kearns point out that once invasives are removed then something must be planted to replace them or there will just be another nasty offender to take their place. Canada thistle, for instance.

Sue Reindollar
3624 Gregory
Madison, WI 53711

Friends of the Southwest Bike/Pedestrian Path

Agenda for 2nd Annual Meeting

Wednesday, May 1, 2002, 7:30 p.m.
Midvale Baptist Church
821 S. Midvale Blvd.

  1. Welcome and Opening Remarks (7:30)

  2. Spring Cleanup and Bike-to-Work Week

  3. Planting Updates and Future Plantings along the Path

  4. Midvale Gateway Area

  5. Invasive Plants: Garlic Mustard, Japanese Knotweed, Ragweed, etc.

  6. Path Courtesy: Bikes, Dogs, and Pedestrians

  7. Path Maintenance and Upcoming Projects

  8. Closing Remarks

    (Total: 30 minutes)

  9. Questions? New ideas, suggestions for improvement

    (Total: 15-30 minutes)

Move to topical displays for further information and refreshments

Friends of the Southwest Bike/Ped Path Public Meeting May 1

By Sue Reindollar

Those of us who live along the new bike/ped path and those who use it wonder if we shouldn't rename it the Southwest Ped/Bike Beltway. The volume of traffic is tremendous and it appears that people are pleased with the results. The Friends of the Southwest Pedestrian/ Bike Path, a multi-neighborhood, all-volunteer group, will meet to discuss our priorities for this year with the goal of "enhancing the safe and enjoyable use of the path" for all users. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 1 at 7:30 at the Midvale Baptist Church, 821 S. Midvale, next to where the path intersects Midvale Blvd.

We encourage all path users and neighbors to attend. There will be a short presentation followed by a question-and-answer period, then time to view informational posters, especially of invasive plants, and participate in small group discussions. Topics for discussion might concern: signage, safety, rules of the path, spring cleanup, invasive weeds, plantings along the path, future path extensions, and improved access to neighborhoods.

More than 700 prairie plants have been planted at the Odana juncture of the Path, and the Path shoulders have been seeded (with donated seed which volunteers harvested) from the Allied Drive area to Regent St. See the Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Web site www.dmna.org for a list of seeds and plants all planted by volunteers from several neighborhoods.

Very important priorities are invasive plants and rules of the path (see an accompanying article regarding suggested user rules). Since the construction of the path has once again disturbed the area, we now have more invasive plants to control. Our awareness and successful control of these invasives, such as Japanese Knotweed, garlic mustard, ragweed, and Dame's Rocket (which looks like phlox), will have significant impact on neighbors' yards and the Lake Wingra watershed. So the Japanese knotweed or garlic mustard that is growing along the Path in or behind your neighbor's yard, if not removed, could become part of your yard very soon. (See www.dmna.org for examples.)

Another very disappointing issue is the amount of dog droppings that are being left along the path and even on the path. When the Path was first completed, it seemed that dog walkers were being very conscientious, but now it has become a problem. Plastic bags (which will not degrade in the environment) with droppings are left behind or thrown into the brush instead of carried away. Responsible behavior and consideration for others and for the environment are essential for an urban path such as this.

There are informative three-ringed binders in the Sequoya Library and the Monroe Street Library with information on control of invasives and pictures of the species. If you cannot attend and would like to pass along comments, please contact Sue Reindollar (ssreindo@facstaff.wisc.edu) 233-9383, Laura Brown (ljbrown@chorus.net) 274-9367, or Mark Shahan (mnshahan@chorus.net) 274-9367.