In this Issue…
Many are breathing a sigh of relief at the news that recent graffiti in the neighborhood is not gang related. That is the assessment of Madison Police Captain Noble Wray who addressed the DMNA council and more than 20 concerned neighbors at the December 9 council meeting. Bus shelters, walls and other property have been vandalized. Shortly after clean up efforts, vandals returned to strike again. Wray says this type of graffiti is referred to as "tagging." Tagging is typically done by one to three people between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Wray says the vandals are generally not dangerous.
The best response, he says, is to be on alert for anyone who looks
and might have a backpack or bag that looks like it might contain spray
cans rather than books. Residents should call 911 upon seeing a
character. The dispatcher will be able to determine whether a squad
be sent to the scene. If a site is vandalized, authorities says it’s
to remove the graffiti right away.
When my friends learned that Susan and I were expecting a child, many of them smiled knowingly as they said "Your life is about to change completely". They were right of course. Our lives have changed completely. Little Claire, now a sparkly 9 month old on the verge of talking and walking, routinely shares the New York Times with me at breakfast. And I used to think I devoured the news! Happily, she seems to find the Science Times section particularly delicious.
Thanks to my friends’ cheerful warnings, I was braced for such changes. What I was not prepared for, what no one told me was this- my perspective of life has shifted. Concerns about reducing speeding on local streets, a proper roof on the Randall School, a viable neighborhood library, and safe playground equipment at Wingra Park have taken on a much more personal meaning for me in my new role as a parent. As president of DMNA, I am pleased that our association actively works to provide a safer and more interesting neighborhood for our children. And how many fond memories were created during the Fourth of July kid’s parade?
On a more fundamental level, it is equally important to provide opportunities for children to participate in creating a better neighborhood, and DMNA must do more to involve them. After all, our kids are both neighbors and members of the DMNA! I know from my own experience that kids are both willing and able to help make our neighborhood better. A group of them made short work of spreading several cubic yards of mulch at the annual Wingra Park cleanup this year. The student body of the Wingra School provided a rousing finale for the Drive 25 campaign. I even heard the Senior class was primed for some good old political activism to persuade the city to extend the 25 MPH zone all the way to the western end of Monroe Street. To quote the old chief in the movie Little Big Man, "My hearts soars like a hawk".
Many other projects which will benefit from the perspective and energy of children exist within our neighborhood. Did you realize the entire wooded portion of the Northern shore of Lake Wingra is now under DMNA-catalyzed ecological restoration? Or that we are beginning serious restoration of the Jens Jensen-designed Glenwood Children’s Park? Or that we have joined forces with The Friends of Lake Wingra to provide public education, scientific research, and to design and carry out projects aimed toward improving the ecological quality of the entire Lake Wingra watershed? Landscaping with native plants will be an important component all these efforts, one reason why this year’s successful Capital Fund Drive will result in a native plant demonstration garden in front of Dudgeon School.
I hope my daughter will volunteer for these and other projects in the future. I hope that in so doing she will learn to love nature and living things, and gain a sense of responsibility to take care of the Earth. I hope she’ll learn to give freely of her time for the greater good. I hope she’ll learn the power of political activism and to use that power wisely. I hope your children will too.
Residents, considered and debated these recommendations. Specific strategies have been identified and are being implemented by volunteers and city staff.
Volunteers are organizing a Pedestrian Zone Campaign to be held August 31-September 4. Part of the effort involves a media compaign. Local celebrities and neighborhood residents will drive "pace cars" at the speed limit along Monroe Street. In and effort to reduce the speed limit between Woodrow Street and Knickerbocker Street to 25 mph, the campaign will post DRIVE 25 signs, a speedboard (a sign displaying traffic speeds), improved crosswalk markings, and request additional traffic enforcement by the police department.
There are also plans to involve local businesses and schools. The goal is to increase awareness of pedestrian concerns, increase the observance of traffic laws, and in so doing make the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood safer and more pleasant to live in.
What can you do to help make the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood safer? First, if you are driving a car, drive the speed limit. The success of the campaign depends on the support of residents making a personal commitment to slow down. Enough people in the neighborhood drive Monroe Street to make a real difference in the speed of traffic. Second, yield to pedestrians crossing the street. Third, if you see reckless, speeding motorists, make a note of their license plate, the date, time, and location,and report them to the speeding hotline, 266-4624.
If you’d like to get involved with the Pedestrian Zone Campaign, whether to volunteer to drive a pace car, assist with the speedboard, or have a DRIVE 25 sign placed in your yard, call Bill Putnam at 233-8569 for more information.
The DMNA Transportation Committee is now working on other neighborhood traffic issues such as cut through traffic and speeding on side streets and difficulty for pedestrians crossing streets such as Edgewood Avenue.
A number of neighborhood residents have asked why the speed limit on Monroe Street was not reduced to 25 mph all the way to Odana Road. The DMNA Transportation Committee did request this, however in City Staff’s judgment 30 mph is appropriate from Arbor Drive to the southwest since there are fewer driveways, the area is more open with the Arboretum on one side, and there are fewer pedestrians crossing the street. Also, School Zone 20 mph speed limit signs are in place near Dudgeon School.
The DMNA Transportation Committee will continue to pursue extending the 25 mph speed limit to Odana Road. To address problems with traffic cutting through residential streets at excessive speeds, the DMNA Transportation Committee is working with the Madison Department of Transportation to consider several changes to these streets including traffic humps like those found in Nakoma on Manitou Way, and traffic circles at intersections as was done in the Regent Neighborhood at Grant Street and Kendall Avenue. These devices serve to slow traffic and discourage cut through traffic. After an article on traffic calming in an earlier issue of the Hornblower, many residents came forth with streets that they feel need to have traffic slowed.
Along with these changes and campaigns, what are a few things that area residents can do to make the neighborhood a nicer place to live?
1.) If you do drive a car, obey traffic laws. This includes driving 25 mph on Monroe Street where this is the posted speed, and yielding to pedestrians in cross walks. Forty percent of the traffic on Monroe Street is from the neighborhood. If everyone in the neighborhood drove 25 mph on Monroe Street, this would have a substantial effect on the speed of traffic.
2.) If you see a car that is speeding, call the speeding hotline at 266-4624. Report the location, date, time of day, license plate number, and what you observed. The police department will take this information and send the owner of the vehicle a letter. In some cases, this letter will be delivered personally by a police officer.
3.) Walk, take the bus, or ride a bicycle. One of the great things about the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood is that so many amenities are within convenient walking distance, whether it is a grocery store, pharmacy, restaurant, or park. Each time someone chooses to leave the car at home rather than driving, it helps make life a little more pleasant for all of us.
4.) Volunteer to be on the DMNA Transportation Committee. For more information e-mail Bill Putnam, DMNA Transportation Committee Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message at 233-8569.
Please use e mail if you have this available.
The 1999 DMNA Directory will feature a picture on the cover of the large sycamore tree near the Arboretum on Arbor Drive. It is believed to be quite old and there aren’t too many of them around these parts. We thought it would be a nice idea to include comments, memories, tributes or whatever, of the old sycamore tree to use in the directory. Please keep your thoughts under 40 words. You can e-mail them to Maggie Jungwirth at email@example.com or drop them in the mail to 2516 Commonwealth Ave., Madison, WI 53711-1913.
Dane County contact: Sue Jones, Watershed
Coordinator, 267-0118 Project contact: Jim Lorman, Professor of Biology
at Edgewood College, 663-3234 http://danenet.wicip.org/fowingra/
Community Enhancement Program:Two budgets ago I sponsored an amendment which created the Community Enhancement Program. The program provides matching funds to neighborhood and business associations and other groups seeking to beautify their neighborhoods. The rules to implement this program are about to be adopted by the Common Council. I tried to keep it simple and limit governmental influence over what gets funded. Projects can be large-scale such as ornamental street lights or small-scale, such as information kiosks or benches for bus stops. I hope that project ideas will come forward from the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood and challenge individuals and groups to work towards neighborhood improvement.
Resident Only Permit Parking: In the months to come, ordinance language will be created to change the City’s permit parking program (2-hour parking) to permit residents to create resident-only parking zones on their streets. I sponsored this in response to parking problems near West High, Monroe St and other areas. Under the program, residents of each block face petition for the change. It is assumed, however, that while some spaces will be reserved for residents, other spaces would remain accessible to other non-residents for shorter time periods. The program will have to be customized to each location. I’m working on a process to work with interested neighborhood groups, particularly in the area near West High, to pilot this program some time in 1999.
Race Relations: Mayor Bauman appointed me to the Race Relations Task Force. That Task Force is charged with recommending ways for improving race relations in the City of Madison. One of the strategies we will no doubt adopt as one of our principle recommendations, involves the creation of something called Study Circles. Study Circles are groups organized around community discussions of race relations. Given Madison’s emphasis on neighborhoods and neighborhood associations, I’ve been recommending that the City’s neighborhood associations play a role in this. I’d be interested in people’s responses and willingness to participate in small community discussion groups with other members of our community to discuss race, race relations, and related issues.
Car Pooling: I have recommended and seen adopted two very significant changes in the way the City deals with its parking facilities. The first involved the leasing of city ramp facilities to a private employer. Instead of simply leasing and collecting the money, we made it a condition of the lease that the leasee, Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation, organize a comprehensive Transportation Demand Management Program. Under this program, Physicians Plus will be subsidizing transit use and encouraging car pooling. If we can use 60 city parking spaces to leverage twice that many trips to the Downtown via alternative transportation, then we will have made a positive contribution to downtown vitality and to solving Madison’s growing traffic problems. The second change involves eliminating the waiting list carpools seeking monthly raffles at city ramps. Any carpooler that seeks the ramp will simply get a space at market rate. Over time, this will probably phase out old individual monthly leases in favor of carpooling.
The DMNA biennial neighborhood directory is on it’s way. The handy guide
to our neighborhood and neighbors will once again be available to DMNA
members. The publication lists neighbors by name and addresses, relevant
local information, the neighborhood map, and local merchants advertising.
This year it will have it’s first four-color cover featuring a popular
neighborhood tree! Look for it on your doorstop in a few months.
If you are a member of the DMNA you should have received a copy of the booklet: Past and Present A History of the Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood and Association. We have received lots of good feedback. More people are interested in the history committee now and there are more stories to be compiled. If we missed you or you would like additional booklets for gifts etc. please call Char Thompson 231-2445.
The cost is $5.
Dudgeon Center Director Bridget Birdsall is working with the city parks department regarding removal of the cement sidewalk in the center of the lawn leading up to the school. The walkway has deteriorated and is a hazard to children. In addition, the weeds on the walk have drawn complaints.The parks department will remove the sidewalk; the stairs at the top will remain. The work will be done at no cost to Dudgeon Center.
It has also been proposed that the flagpole be removed because it is rusting and deteriorating.
Questions? Contact Bridget Birdsall, 238-4321
Do you have questions regarding installation, billing problems, unsightly wires? Madison appointed Michelle Rebholz as the Cable TV Regulatory Coordinator. She can be contacted at 261-9115. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The Childbirth and Parent Association, CPEA, is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization dedicated to providing education, activities, and support for Dane County parents and their young children. The Association offers programs for all age groups: Baby talk, toddler playgroups, and preschoolers. 833-7993, or www.geocities.com/heartland/park/1831
Project Home, a non-profit agency in Madison provides a variety of services to area low and moderate income households including: weatherization, roof and furnace replacement, home accessibility modifications for people with disabilities and minor home repairs.
If you need assistance call