1998 Study Committee Report

Report of the Committee for the Study of the Southwest Commuter Bicycle and Pedestrian Path

November 2, 1998

Mayor Susan Bauman

City-County Building, Room 403

210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Madison, WI 53710

Dear Mayor Bauman:

The Committee for the Design of the Southwest Commuter Bike and Pedestrian Path is pleased to present its report and recommendations in the accompanying document. The Committee is very excited about the proposed path on the abandoned Wisconsin & Calumet rail corridor from UW-Madison (Randall Avenue) southwest to the new Nine Springs E-way Path (the Capital City State Trail). Not only would the path tie into the Capital City State Trail, but planned extensions of this trail would also tie into the Military Ridge State Trail. Another great feature is that the path would only have six street crossings along its four-mile length.

The Committee has been holding public meetings and collecting information about the proposed path since February of this year. The report’s recommendations are based on input from adjacent landowners and potential path users. The path should accommodate the needs of as many users as possible, including bicycle commuters, walkers, disabled users, dog owners, recreational bikers, and in-line skaters. The corridor should be designed, constructed, and operated to minimize and alleviate undesirable impacts, preserve compatible uses, and be an asset to adjacent landowners and neighbors. One recommendation, not included in the report, is that path construction be limited to between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., during the workweek, and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., on weekends.

The Committee was very happy to hear that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation authorized $1,248,000 in federal funds to pay for 80 percent of the project. The Committee encourages the Madison Common Council to quickly approve the matching 20 percent funding so the path can be designed in 1999, and constructed in 2000. While collecting information, the City of Fitchburg suggested extending the path south from Lovell Lane approximately 1000 feet so it would connect with the Capital City State Trail. It also agreed to pay the matching 20 percent funding for the extension.

Thank you for forming the committee and we hope that our report serves the community well.

Respectfully the Committee Co-Chairs,

David Drummond

Mark Shahan

Chris Hagman

Citizen Committee Members

Paul Beckett Tom Branson James Christoph

Ed Daub Michele Gast Carol Gosenheimer

Geoff Hudson Kurt Kiefer Joe King

Nancy J. Leff Karen Manion Richard Muck

Dave O'Keefe Matt Robinson Ed Reisch

Scott Sauer

Oversight Committee

Linda Bellman, District 1 Ron Reif, District 7 Ken Golden, District 10

Jean MacCubbin, District 11 Gary Poulson, District 20 Peter Munoz, Mayors Office


Report of the Committee for the Design of the Southwest Commuter Bike and Pedestrian Path

Section Page

Charge of the Committee 1

Introduction 1

Vision Statement 2

About this Document 2

A. Input 2

B. Terminology 2

Discussion and Recommendations 3

A. Path Users 3

Path User Recommendations 4

B. Path Surface and Width 4

Path Surface and Width Recommendations 5

C. Lighting 5

Lighting Recommendations 6

D. Fence/Railing 6

Fence/Railing Recommendations 7

E. Pavement Markings and Signage 7

Pavement Markings and Signage Recommendations 7

F. Neighborhood Security 7

Neighborhood Security Recommendations 8

G. Support Organizations and Maintenance 8

Support Organizations and Maintenance Recommendations 8

H. Temporary Path from the Beltline Overpass 9

Temporary Path Recommendations 10

I. Access Points 10

Access Point Recommendations 13

J. Storm Water Control and Drainage 13

Storm Water Control and Drainage Recommendations 13

K. Intersections 14

Intersection Recommendations 14

L. Landscaping and Privacy 14

Landscaping and Privacy Recommendations 14

M. Connection to Other Paths and Developments 14

Connection Recommendations 15

N. Path Amenities and Historic Preservation 15

Path Amenities and Historic Preservation Recommendations 16

Concluding Remarks 16

Appendix A: Map of the Proposed Path 17

Appendix B: List of Committee Members 18

Appendix C: Lighting Survey from the Beltline South to Lovell Lane 19

Appendix D: Summary of Security Studies 21

Appendix E: Sample of Committee Outreach and Community Input 22

Report of the Committee for the Design of the Southwest Commuter Bike and Pedestrian Path

Charge of the Committee

A citizens committee was appointed by the Mayor to collect information about the proposed Southwest Commuter Bike and Pedestrian Path from adjacent homeowners and potential users. The four-mile path would be on the abandoned Wisconsin & Calumet rail corridor. It would start at Randall Avenue (near Camp Randall Stadium) and head southwest to Lovell Lane (approximately a mile south of the Beltline). The committee was chosen to represent the interests of adjacent homeowners, bikers, walkers, dog walkers, cross-country skiers, and other interested parties. It has been holding public meetings and collecting information since February, 1998. Based on this information, the committee developed a set of recommendations and goals for the Path.

While the committee was gathering information, the City of Madison applied for funding of 80% of the project through Wisconsin's Statewide Transportation Enhancements Program, a federally funded program. The 80 percent federal funds match was approved in September for $1,248,000. The city has begun identifying consultants who will be candidates to design the path. The City is proposing to design the Path in 1999 and to build it in 2000.


The quality of life in Madison has repeatedly been rated as among the best of any city in the country. One of the reasons often cited for this quality of life is the 25 miles of bike and pedestrian paths. Thus, ease of walking and biking are seen as indicators of the quality of life in a city. Being able to walk and bike in and between neighborhoods makes our city more livable.

In Madison, the bike and pedestrian paths provide many benefits to the community. Bicyclists, pedestrians, runners/joggers, disabled users, in-line skaters, and others use these paths. They provide inexpensive, clean recreation and important commuter routes. They provide safe routes for children going to school, play, and neighbors, eliminating the need for parents to drive them. They provide continuity of the pedestrian and bicycle network by connecting parts of the city otherwise cut off by major roads that act as barriers to bicyclists and pedestrians. They encourage people to bike and walk who are otherwise intimidated by traffic and thus help slow the growth in congestion and pollution. They reclaim public spaces for public use, and in the process beautify the space with landscaping and by removing trash and unsightly vegetation. They allow everyone including the elderly and disabled to enjoy the natural surroundings of the path. And they tend to increase the value of homes near the paths.

Construction of the proposed Southwest Commuter Bike and Pedestrian Path will provide many of these benefits. This path will connect the southwestern part of the city, which is cut off by Verona Road and the Beltline, to the rest of Madison's pedestrian and bicycle system. This will make it much easier for people now driving to work to commute by bicycle. It will in turn help slow the growth in congestion on streets like Monroe and Midvale. The Path will ultimately be connected to the Capital City and Military Ridge State Trails providing direct access to an extensive recreational trail network. The Path will make it easier for city Parks Division staff to access the area to remove trash and nuisance vegetation. Construction of the Path will provide an opportunity to simultaneously correct storm water and drainage problems along the corridor. Access points to the corridor will be made better, and safer.

However, as with any major project, good planning will be required to ensure that the community realizes the benefits mentioned above. A successful project will minimize and alleviate undesirable impacts, and be an asset to adjacent landowners and neighborhoods. The following statement sums up the committee's basic principles for the Path.

Vision Statement

The trail corridor should safely meet the needs of bicycle commuters, recreational bikers, walkers, in-line skaters, disabled users, and dog owners while being aesthetically pleasing to users and neighbors. The corridor should be designed and operated to minimize and alleviate undesirable impacts, preserve compatible uses, and be an asset to adjacent landowners and neighbors.

About this Document

A. Input

The committee held open meetings from February through October where residents had opportunities to express their views. In June, a public meeting sponsored by the area neighborhood associations allowed for further input. In addition, a mailing was sent by the city to adjacent landowners about the project. Additional notifications were available through neighborhood association newsletters and fliers distributed by citizens. Furthermore, committee progress and meeting notifications were available on the Internet thanks to the Bicycle Community Page (danenet.wicip.org/bcp). The committee and the Alderpersons representing the area received correspondence from interested parties. Committee members used this input to help form the basis of the recommendations contained herein. The committee would like to thank the Genetics Computer Group of Madison for maintaining a public e-mail list that was used by citizens to contact the committee.

B. Terminology

This document uses the following terms and phrases:

AASHTO - American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act.

Bicycle - A vehicle having two tandem wheels, either of which is more than 16" in diameter or having three wheels in contact with the ground any of which is more than 16" in diameter, propelled solely by human power, upon which any person or persons may ride (AASHTO Bicycle Guidelines).

Bicycle Path - A bikeway physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier and either within the highway right-of-way or within an independent right-of-way (Wisconsin Bicycle Transportation Plan).

Bikeway - A generic term for any road, street, path or way which in some manner is specifically designated as being available for bicycle travel, regardless of whether such facilities are designated for the exclusive use of bicycles or to be shared with other transportation modes (AASHTO Bicycle Guidelines).

Corridor - the railroad right-of-way in which the Southwest Commuter Bike and Pedestrian Path will be located.

Motor Vehicles - a vehicle, including a combination of 2 or more vehicles or an articulated vehicle, which is self-propelled, except a vehicle operated exclusively on a rail. "Motor Vehicles" includes, without limitation, a commercial motor vehicle or a vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires but not operated on rails (Wisconsin State Statutes 340.01(35)).

Pedestrian - a person on foot aided or otherwise, joggers, and people in wheelchairs motorized or otherwise.

Right-of-way - A general term denoting land, property, or interest therein, usually in a strip, acquired for or devoted to transportation purposes (AASHTO Bicycle Guidelines).

Sidewalk - The portion of a highway or street right-of-way designed for the preferential or exclusive use by pedestrians (AASHTO Bicycle Guidelines).

Street - A general term denoting a public way for the purposes of travel in an urban setting.

The committee - A committee formally constituted by the city of Madison for the purpose of collecting citizen input and formulating recommendations. Known officially as, The Committee for the Design of the Southwest Commuter Bike and Pedestrian Path.

The Path - the project. Known officially as, The Southwest Commuter Bike and Pedestrian Path.

Discussion and Recommendations

This section describes the committee discussions and the recommendations that arose from them. The discussion provides some insight into the viewpoints of neighbors of the Path and committee members. Neighbors often had conflicting viewpoints, as did committee members. Laws and generally accepted good practices constrained some choices. The discussion will help the reader understand the viewpoints and constraints that underlie the recommendations.

The recommendations represent consensus among the committee members and should provide guidance to the designers and builders of the Path. The committee made no recommendations on some issues, for example, on technical issues and where survey information is not yet available. The designers of the Path should address later questions in a manner consistent with the goals and recommendations in this report.

Recommendations on the construction of the Path and recommendations that affect health, safety, and environmental protection must receive highest priority. Other recommendations would provide enhancements to the Path but necessarily should receive lower priority. Funding constraints may require deferral of some recommended enhancements.

The following recommendations concerning Path design and construction are subject to physical and engineering constraints and safety needs and should minimize changes that affect abutting properties.

A. Path Users

The committee wants the Path to be useful to as many modes of use as possible. The committee quickly determined that only non-motorized transportation could be permitted with the exception of electric wheelchairs. Horses, except as used by police officers, are not compatible with children and other users.

The committee found that use of the Path by cross-country skiers would require the Path to be left unplowed. If the Path were not plowed, winter use by pedestrians and bikers would be difficult or impossible. In addition, plowing exposes the dark pavement which helps melt the snow in late winter. This significantly improves use of the Path by others. As a result, the committee welcomes skiers to use the shoulders adjacent to the Path, but the Path itself will generally not be usable by skiers.

Dog walkers are welcome to use the Path. However, free-running dogs are clearly incompatible with children or bicyclists. Problems with dogs are minimal if dog walkers comply with existing city ordinances.

Path User Recommendations

1. The Path should accommodate only human powered modes of transportation including walking, bicycles, running/jogging, dog walking, skates, wheelchairs, and strollers. Horses and all motorized vehicles (including motorcycles, mopeds, cars, and trucks) should be strictly forbidden. However, electric wheelchairs should not be considered motor vehicles.

2. Cross-country skiers should be welcomed on the shoulder areas adjacent to the Path because the Path will be plowed as with other Madison bicycle paths.

3. Dog walkers should be encouraged to walk their leashed dogs to the side of the paved path and should abide by all City of Madison ordinances including proper disposal of feces.

B. Path Surface and Width

The public suggested several different path surfaces: gravel, wood chips, asphalt, and concrete. Gravel or wood chips would be more attractive and softer underfoot than a paved path. However, these surfaces would discourage or exclude some users. A soft surface would make it difficult or impossible for people in wheelchairs, children and adults on narrow-tired bicycles, and skaters (in-line and traditional) to use the Path. A paved surface, either asphalt or concrete, allows more people to use the Path and is consistent with the committee’s belief that the Path should accommodate the needs of as many users as possible. A paved surface is also easier to maintain and plow.

Experience with other paths suggests that a ten-foot wide path can accommodate a diverse group of users. For example, the new ten-foot wide Isthmus Path east of the capitol is working well. A ten-foot wide path would be slightly wider than the nine-foot wide railroad ties. This path width would also allow enough room for two bikes pulling child trailers to pass each other safely.

Path usage is expected to be greatest near the UW campus. The committee therefore recommends that the Commonwealth Avenue to Randall Avenue segment be twelve feet wide. Fortunately, most of the first part of this segment, from Commonwealth to Breese Terrace, is in a "cut", in other words the railroad tracks are below the surrounding land and are not very visible.

These path width recommendations are consistent with the "Wisconsin Bicycle Planning Guidance-Guidelines for Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Communities" from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. This document states:

According to AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) bicycle guidelines, under most conditions, a recommended all paved width for a two-directional bicycle path is 10 feet. Eight feet is considered the minimum width but this width should only be used when there is low bicycle usage, little expected pedestrian use, and no anticipated maintenance vehicle loading conditions causing damage to the pavement edges. Many communities and states have gone to a 10 feet minimum width for bike paths and 12 feet in high use areas. Bicycle paths, especially those in urban areas, attract a multitude of different users including bicyclists, pedestrians, runners, skate-boarders, skaters (in-line and traditional), and people walking their pets. When path use is high, conflicts always arise between the different user groups. For this reason, it is impractical to expect that an urban path will be used solely by bicyclists. Under congested conditions, faster moving bicyclists (15 mph or greater) should not be using the facility without reducing their speed. The very popular Burke-Gilman trail in Seattle, Washington actually is signed as to direct "fast bicyclists" to alternate street routes instead of encouraging them to speed along on the trail. When designing bike paths in urban areas, the assumption should be that the paths will be used by almost all of the above user groups, thus making a 10 foot path width a minimum. Twelve feet or greater should be considered a desirable width.

While the committee’s recommended path widths are generally appropriate given the anticipated volume and variety of users, physical and natural features along the corridor may limit the Path’s width or require shifting the Path’s centerline by a couple of feet. Physical constraints (e.g. steep slopes) may render the 10 or 12 foot guidelines impractical or require shifting the path. The path alignment may also be adjusted to avoid the destruction of established screen plantings and natural features. Some on the committee expressed the view that, if necessary, the path should be narrowed to save plantings. Others maintained that safe use of the path should not be compromised to save vegetation. Shifting the Path's centerline by one or two feet is the preferred alternative.

In general, the committee feels that design should be done on a block-by-block basis, and neighbor-by-neighbor communication should occur as peculiarities are confronted. Doing so will result in both a practical path for users and an unimposing community resource for those who live adjacent to the Path.

Shoulders along the side of the Path are important. Path users, including kids on bicycles, need a runoff area if they lose control. Dog walkers and joggers may prefer to use a softer natural surface. The mowed shoulders need to be wide enough so that plants and branches do not constantly encroach on the Path. Elderly users in particular have expressed an interest in having turnout areas with benches where they can rest off the Path.

Path Surface and Width Recommendations

4. The surface should be paved with asphalt or concrete.

5. The paved surface should be ten feet wide, except from Commonwealth to Randall Avenue, where it should be twelve feet wide.

6. The shoulders along the paved surface should be mowed and 2 to 5 feet wide, where feasible.

7. Unpaved turnout areas with benches should be provided approximately every one-half mile. They should be located on the side opposite residences, whenever possible.

C. Lighting

Most of the adjacent landowners north of the Beltline that expressed an opinion strongly oppose lighting the Path. In contrast, most adjacent landowners south of the Beltline want lighting. Landowners north of the Beltline are concerned that lighting will spill into their homes. Although using shielded light fixtures on timers can minimize this spillage, the committee recommends no lighting in residential areas unless most of the adjacent landowners request it.

From the Beltline south to Lovell Lane, the committee surveyed adjacent landowners, including residents and businesses (refer to Appendix C). They would like conventional streetlights with no restrictions on light spillage. The committee believes similar lighting should be used on the Path segment near campus, from Randall Avenue to Breese Terrace, because it will probably be popular with students on foot and will be used late at night. Landowners living from the Beltline north to Breese Terrace will be surveyed about Path lighting on a block-by-block basis during the design phase of the project.

One of the great things about the proposed Path is that there are few road crossings. Some of these crossings already have streetlights because of the railroad tracks. Crossings without streetlights should have them installed so drivers can see Path users more easily. Similarly, in areas where there is no lighting, it may be difficult to see people entering the Path. Low wattage lighting or illuminated signage can help alert people to non-road access points and make it safer for people merging on to the Path.

Several homeowners living near the Edgewood Avenue bridge suggested lighting under the bridge to discourage kids from loitering. This question should be further explored during the design phase for the Path.

Installing conduits for lighting along the entire length of the Path maximizes future flexibility. It is much easier and less costly and disruptive to install conduit while the Path is being built than after it is finished. The committee strongly urges this installation.

Neighborhoods may initially choose to not have lighting, but later decide that they want it. Extending funding for lighting would allow neighborhoods to request lighting later on if they change their minds.

Current bike and pedestrian path standards say little about lighting. The Oregon State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan encourages it by simply stating, "good lighting can make pedestrians feel safer." Washington, D.C. has one of the largest bike and pedestrian path networks in the nation and it is mostly unlit. However, in a 1995 Washington, D.C. survey, 11% of respondents said they would use a bicycle for transportation if bike paths were well lit and marked and there was a safe place to lock their bike (source: Activity-Based Modeling System for Travel Demand Forecasting, The Travel Model Improvement Program).

Lighting Recommendations

8. There should not be lighting unless most of the adjacent landowners request it. Requests should be considered on a block-by-block basis. The only exception to this is where lighting is needed for safety.

9. Conventional streetlights are needed for safety where roads cross the Path.

10. Where lighting is requested by adjacent landowners, it should allow timed operation subject to neighborhood preferences and safety requirements. Lighting should be done by specially selected, reasonably priced, down-lighting fixtures that concentrate light along the Path and further minimize light spillage by using shields. A demonstration rig should be used to allow neighbors to compare lighting options.

11. From the Beltline south to Lovell Lane, adjacent landowners, including residents and businesses, requested lighting from dusk to dawn with no restrictions on light spillage to promote a safe and secure environment.

12. The committee believes that the Path segment near campus, from Randall Avenue to Breese Terrace, will be safer if conventional streetlights are installed.

13. The committee believes that access points should have low wattage lighting or illuminated signage.

14. Wiring conduits for lighting should be installed along the entire length of the Path.

15. Funding should be extended to allow neighborhood requests for additional lighting for one year following completion of the project.

D. Fence/Railing

Committee members and neighbors oppose installation of fences that would separate the Path from the neighborhoods. However, fences will be needed in some areas where the Path is elevated with steep drop-offs.

Fence/Railing Recommendations

16. No fencing or railing should be installed except for the safe operation of the Path.

17. If the distance from the edge of the paved path to a drop-off or slope is greater than 5 feet, no safety barrier is needed except on bridges or other clearly dangerous situations.

18. If the distance from the edge of the paved path to a drop-off or slope is less than 5 feet, safety barriers should be provided. The design should follow guidance published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers and should be updated if revised guidance is released. In addition, safety barriers should be aesthetically acceptable and should be adequate to protect small children as well as adults.

E. Pavement Markings and Signage

The Path will need signs to guide visitors and remind all users of hazards. National guidance for the size and wording of signs for bicycle and pedestrian paths is available. Informational signs would help direct users to neighborhood businesses and nearby destinations such as the Monroe Street businesses, UW Arboretum, UW Hospitals and Clinics, Vilas Zoo, parks and schools. Informational signs can also remind users that pedestrians have the right of way, that overtaking cyclists must give an audible signal, and about other safety rules.

Pavement Markings and Signage Recommendations

19. Highly reflective, slip resistant, centerline markings should be painted on the Path.

20. Traffic, warning, and street name signs should be installed at appropriate locations.

21. Mileage markers should be installed to mark distance for exercisers and provide information on distances to major destination points.

22. Informational signs should be placed along the Path to help educate the public regarding legal use of the Path.

23. Directional signs at entry/exit points should guide people toward neighborhood businesses and other resources.

F. Neighborhood Security

Numerous neighbors of the proposed Path expressed concerns that crime, vandalism, loitering, and littering would increase if the Path were built. Because more people will be using the Path, the assumption is that these problems will necessarily increase. Experience with paths in the Madison area and elsewhere around the country indicates that these problems do not materialize. In fact, the opposite is often true: crime, vandalism, etc. decrease after paths are built because there is no longer the seclusion that acts as a catalyst for these problems.

In Madison, no systematic study of public safety issues associated with bike paths has ever been undertaken largely because there have not been enough of the above mentioned problems to warrant it. In addition, police statistics are not typically reported in such a way that security problems can be attributed to bike paths which would compound difficulties with statistical studies caused by low rates of security problems. The evidence from Madison is thus anecdotal but does tend to suggest that pedestrian/bicycle paths enhance public safety. For example, a heavily littered area along Madison's Isthmus Bike Path was cleaned up during its construction and the litter problem has not returned. In addition, teenagers routinely broke windows of cars in a State of Wisconsin Department of Administration parking lot before the Isthmus Bike Path was constructed. As with the littering problem, the vandalism problem greatly decreased after construction of the Isthmus Bike Path.

Systematic studies of bike paths in other parts of the United States have been performed. (A summary of these studies is in Appendix D.) These studies indicate that pedestrian/bicycle paths at a minimum do not increase public safety problems and usually decrease problems.

The people attracted to using pedestrian/bicycle paths tend to be good citizens and to live within a short distance of the paths. They have a vested interest in preventing these problems because they too live in the neighborhoods abutting the path. Therefore, the committee does not foresee the need for any special police presence along the Path. We do recommend that when police patrol the Path, they should patrol it by foot or bicycle so as to minimize the inconvenience to Path users caused by using a patrol car.

We also recommend installation of emergency phones at appropriate locations. Because the Path has few cross streets and is relatively secluded, emergency phones allow people to call for help more quickly than if they had to find a phone outside the Path corridor. Emergency phones will be useful for reporting accidents and health emergencies as well as crime or vandalism.

The committee did hear evidence of one security problem: people throwing objects from overpasses of the rail corridor into the corridor. This has been evidenced by trash, such as bottles, under the overpasses. Some members of the committee were not sure how much of a problem this was because the trash has accumulated for some time, and because it was not clear how much trash came from the overpasses and how much from people walking in the corridor. However, the committee felt that measures should be considered to discourage throwing of objects from the overpasses because of the serious danger thrown objects pose to Path users.

Neighborhood Security Recommendations

24. The police should periodically patrol the Path preferably by bicycle or foot.

25. Emergency call phones should be considered at appropriate locations along the Path.

26. Planners should seriously consider measures to discourage throwing objects from overpasses onto the Path.

G. Support Organizations and Maintenance

The State of Wisconsin owns the abandoned railroad corridor in which the proposed Path would be built. The State will lease the corridor to the City of Madison but will not provide maintenance for the Path. At most points, the legal corridor is 100 feet wide. Over the years, abutting property owners have installed landscaping, gardens, fences, or even sheds in the right-of-way. However, the committee has walked the Path and believes the effect of the project on existing landscaping beyond the path and shoulder will be minimal.

The neighborhoods and adjacent neighbors will be stewards of the corridor similar to neighborhoods adjacent to city parks. Their stewardship will prevent and solve problems in the corridor and ensure neighborhood involvement with development of the corridor. Path users are responsible for treating the corridor respectfully, courteously, and responsibly as they would their own neighborhood. The City of Madison will be responsible for maintaining and policing the Path. City maintenance will include mowing and clearing brush from the shoulders, maintaining the paved surface and other amenities, litter and snow removal, and storm water control.

Support Organizations and Maintenance Recommendations

27. The committee strongly encourages the neighborhood associations adjacent to the Path and Path users to organize a "Friends of the Southwest Rail Path" group. The Friends group can mediate concerns and problems with the corridor, relay needs and concerns to the City, coordinate volunteer efforts to beautify the corridor, and provide a conduit for fund raising.

28. The Path should be added to the City of Madison priority bike snow removal routes because of anticipated year round use of the Path.

H. Temporary Path from the Beltline Overpass

The City of Madison is currently constructing a pedestrian/bicycle overpass of the Beltline at Hammersley Road. This overpass will eventually connect segments of the Path north and south of the Beltline but will be finished this fall, at least two years before the Path is completed. In the interim, pedestrians and bicyclists from south of the Beltline will be able to access the overpass from Hammersley Road but there will be no access from north of the Beltline unless a temporary path is constructed. Thus, for the overpass to be immediately useful in connecting pedestrian and bicycle traffic on either side of the Beltline, some type of temporary path needs to connect the north side of the overpass to bicycle and pedestrian routes north of the Beltline. This connection can be achieved in two ways: build a temporary path on the existing rail bed or use the Odana Golf course maintenance road as a temporary path.

The rail bed option would require removing the rails and preparing a temporary path that would require subsequent removal when the permanent path was constructed. Besides being more expensive, this option would require two construction operations instead of one on the rail bed which would be more disruptive to neighbors of the Path. Furthermore, a second temporary path would then have to be prepared during permanent path construction. The second temporary path would probably be on the maintenance road.

The better option, therefore, is to use the maintenance road as the temporary path in the first place. The maintenance road option uses an existing facility requiring only minor modifications to be functional. The only major modification required would be a temporary connection from the overpass to the maintenance road. This would be much cheaper, easier, and quicker to implement than the rail bed option.

The temporary path could connect to either Odana Road or Midvale Boulevard. Connecting to Midvale Boulevard would require building a temporary path from the maintenance road across a City of Madison owned green space. Neighbors to the green space expressed their strong opposition to using the green space for this purpose. A logistical problem also arises: where to direct bicyclists once they reach Midvale. Since there will be no path constructed across Midvale at this time, bicyclists will be forced to use the sidewalk to travel to the nearest side street in order to cross Midvale. Heavy two-way bike traffic on a five foot wide sidewalk creates conflicts with pedestrians and is a situation to be avoided.

Connecting the temporary path to Odana Road requires no path construction because the maintenance road connects to Odana Road through the Odana Golf Course parking lot via a paved driveway. Thus, this option will be cheaper, easier, and quicker to implement than the Midvale option. The neighbors support this option. Furthermore, bicyclists will not be required to ride on a sidewalk to access a safe crossing of Odana Road, and Odana Road has less traffic than Midvale. If people choose, they could still cut across the green space under this option but the City of Madison would not provide an improved path. Lastly, neighbors are already using the paved driveway to gain access to the rail corridor for the purposes of walking, mountain biking, dog walking, and taking a shortcut to a friend’s house.

The neighborhoods to the north and east of the overpass stand to benefit the most from the overpass because of the access it will provide to the shopping area south of the Beltline. However, these neighborhoods will not be able to take advantage of this opportunity during the interim when the temporary path is in operation if no access point to the temporary path is provided. Such an access point is especially necessary because the proposed temporary path will be on the opposite side of the rail corridor from these neighborhoods and they will have no natural access to the temporary path. The most logical location for such an access point is from the end of Hammersley road north of the Beltline. The only difficulty foreseen in placing an access point at this location is whether there is a wide enough public right-of-way to construct such a facility. This temporary access point should be constructed of crushed limestone and should be strongly considered for conversion to a permanent access point when the permanent path is constructed.

Temporary Path Recommendations

29. The Hammersley Road overpass of the Beltline Highway should connect to the Odana Golf Course maintenance road via a temporary path.

30. No improved path should be provided from the maintenance road east to Midvale Boulevard across the City owned greenspace. However, people are free to cut across the greenspace if they choose.

31. Access to the temporary path from Hammersley Road north of the Beltline via a crushed limestone path should be vigorously pursued.

I. Access Points

The "Wisconsin Bicycle Planning Guidance" by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation states, "consideration should be given to the provision for frequent and convenient bicycle access." The corridor in which the Path is located makes this difficult, however. The corridor contains few road crossings and most of those are with arterial or collector streets. As a transportation facility it is imperative that this Path provide access to likely destinations in a manner that is consistent with travelers' expectations. Fortunately, there are several access points that can be developed to connect quiet streets to the Path. We choose to designate access points based on likely destinations, physical characteristics of the site, travel expectations, and current use.

Access points are defined as public lands adjacent to the rail corridor that provide an entrance to the Path from other streets. This definition of access points specifically excludes locating parking lots at access points as is commonly done at access points to recreational trails such as the Military Ridge State Trail. Access points can be divided into two categories: those that are streets crossing the Path and those that are not streets such as park land or green space. All streets that cross the Path are considered access points. Such access points are legally considered to be an intersection between two streets and will be treated as such.

The purpose of this section is to make recommendations about possible locations for non-street access points. Dog walkers, pedestrians, and mountain bikers already use most of these locations as unofficial access points to, or across the rail corridor. Such use points out the importance of this type of access point: access to the Path for adjacent neighborhoods. Access points usually are not a problem for pedestrian/bicycle paths because cross streets provide access almost every block as with the Isthmus Bike Path. The proposed Path has very few cross streets which improves safety for people on the path but makes it difficult to get to the path. Thus, safe, convenient, non-street access points are very important in order for the Path to benefit adjacent neighborhoods.

Non-street access points are also important for providing convenient transportation to destinations such as West High School, Monroe Street businesses, the University of Wisconsin, Edgewood, and the Vilas Zoo. Without non-street access points, circuitous routes from the Path to these destinations are required which discourage people from walking and biking.

Circuitous routes are especially problematic for people with disabilities who benefit tremendously from non-street access points. Thus, access points must be fully compliant with ADA requirements wherever feasible.

Neighbors adjacent to proposed access points told the committee they have concerns about privacy and security issues. As noted in the section on Neighborhood Security, the committee does not expect security issues to be any more of a problem than they are now. Privacy, on the other hand, is a very individual issue: an intrusion for one person is quite tolerable for another. The perceived loss of privacy will have to be weighed by neighbors against the benefits offered by access to the Path. This is especially true for the section of the Path east of Midvale Boulevard which has numerous potential non-street access points with abutting residences. The committee believes access points should be developed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with neighbors.

The Council Crest/Parman Terrace access point was selected because it connects the traveler to schools, the UW arboretum and the Seminole Highway escape route (State Bicycle Map, Wisconsin Department of Transportation).

The Briar Hill access point provides access to residents of a neighborhood that is separated from local schools and shopping by Odana Road, Monroe Street and Glenway Street.

Some access points have greater transportation significance than others. An example is the trail crossing that presently connects Virginia Terrace (on the north side of the tracks) to the junction of Sheldon Street and Fox Avenue (on the south side). This trail crossing is important because it connects, among others, West High School with the populous neighborhood on the south side of the tracks. This trail crossing is on public land. However, providing an access point will present engineering challenges, especially on the Virginia Terrace side. A nearby potential access point is the historic railroad underpass connecting Hillington Green to Fox Avenue at Commonwealth Avenue. These two potential access points, each with some engineering difficulties, should be studied in combination. Since each serves somewhat different neighborhoods and destinations, it would be good to provide access points at both locations. The Commonwealth Avenue crossing is not an acceptable substitute for these access points.

The Prospect Street access point already has access for able-bodied pedestrians. It is listed here so that it is modified as required for use by cyclists and pedestrians in wheelchairs. As an alternative, Harrison Street was suggested. Access via the Harrison Street right-of-way from the Path to Rowley Avenue will require a path to be built between residences, whereas the north and south connections to Prospect are to street ends. The south end of Harrison connects to a street end and it was suggested that engineering challenges could be minimized by replacing the south connection at Prospect Street with a connection at Harrison Street. Either access point is acceptable to the committee, so the choice is left to city engineering.

It was suggested that bridge reconstruction work on Spooner Street could provide an opportunity to build an additional access point. Some committee members expressed the view that access to Spooner Street should not be used as a replacement for Prospect Street or Harrison Street connections. It is noted that Spooner Street is a narrow and busy street so that it does not provide a bike friendly connection from the neighborhood to the Path or from the Path to area businesses and schools. In favor of Spooner Street as an additional access point is that it provides a more direct connection to west campus to the north and Vilas Park to the south.

Vale Circle already has a sidewalk that connects to the rail corridor via the Midvale Boulevard sidewalk. Planners should consider making a more direct connection to the Path that is wide enough for both bicyclists and pedestrians. Currently, the neighborhood bounded by Vale Circle, Cabot Lane, Rolla Lane, and Midvale Boulevard can only access the corridor by sidewalks. These sidewalks are not designed to accommodate pedestrian and bicyclists.

The Odana Golf Course driveway is already being used as an access point as described in the section on the Temporary Path from the Beltline Overpass. This access point must be connected to the permanent Path because it is the only direct, low traffic connection for neighborhoods to the north and west of the Path. It will allow these neighborhoods to conveniently walk or bike to the Nakoma Mall, the UW Arboretum, or the recreational trails that will connect to the Path.

Some committee members suggested Zook Park as an access point because people are already using it for that purpose. However, park neighbors are strongly against having an access point at this location. They said that a deed restriction prohibits the use of the park for this purpose but the committee could find no deed restriction at the Register of Deeds office. A Zook Park access point would probably not be needed if there were one from the Hammersley Road segment that is north of the Beltline. In the previous section, the importance of a Hammersley Road access point was described. This importance derives primarily from the close proximity of the Hammersley Road overpass of the Beltline. The overpass will provide convenient access to Nakoma Mall from the neighborhoods south of the Path and to the north and east of the overpass but only if there is an access point near the north side of the Beltline. The next closest access point is Midvale Boulevard. Using Midvale as an access point would require some pedestrians and bicyclists to detour as much as a mile one way in order to get to Nakoma Mall. The committee feels that such an indirect route is unacceptable.

The mosque at the end of Hammersley Road is willing to have an access point if a fence is built to separate the access path from children who play in the area. The only potential problem is that the existing City of Madison right-of-way, between the Beltline highway fence and the mosque, may not be wide enough for an access path. If this is true, the City should ask the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation if the Beltline highway fence could be moved to provide a wide enough space for an access path. If the State does not agree, the next option would be to acquire right-of-way for the access path by purchasing property from, or by acquiring an easement across private property of the mosque. A Zook Park access point should be considered as a last resort. Each of these access point options should be evaluated based on their impact on neighbors, their usefulness to the neighborhood, and their financial impact.

(Editors' Note: At the last meeting of the committee, residents of the Zook Park area came forward with strong opposition to an access route through the Park. The opposition came forward too late for full discussion by the committee. Nonetheless, it increases the importance of achieving the preferred access route at Hammersley Road.)

As part of the expansion of Sub Zero, an access road is planned from the Frontage Road on the west side of Verona Road that will connect to Freeport Road. In addition, a bike path will be built from the end of Knox Lane to Freeport Road. Freeport Road connects to Raymond Road which is listed as an official bike route because of its wide curb lanes. Thus, the access road should be used as a pedestrian and bicycle connection to Nakoma Mall for the neighborhoods to the west and south of the mall in addition to its original purpose of an access road for Sub Zero. Neighbors to the west of Nakoma Mall have been quoted in the news as wanting just such a pedestrian connection to the mall.

A well worn path has developed on the east side of Verona Road at its intersection with Raymond Road. People from the Allied Drive neighborhood routinely use this path to get from the rail corridor to Verona Road where they cross the southern leg of Verona Road at this intersection. The destination for these trips is the Super America on the west side of Verona Road. The committee recommends that this path be made a formal access point and that the intersection of Verona Road and Raymond Road should be made more pedestrian friendly. Because of the steepness of the embankment along the corridor at this point, it may only be possible to have pedestrian access.

Two other access points should also be considered near the Raymond Road/Verona Road intersection: to the Frontage Road on the east side of Verona Road and to Allied Drive. The Frontage Road would provide more direct access to the Williamsburg Way underpass of Verona Road and hence to the far southwestern part of Madison. The Allied Drive access point provides direct access to Service Road and shopping malls on the east side of Verona Road. In essence, the Allied Drive access point could provide a way for pedestrians and bicyclists to safely get across Verona Road.

Access Point Recommendations

32. ADA accessible access points that are not street crossings should be developed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with neighbors. Locations for potential non-street access points are listed below.

Council Crest/Parman Terrace

Briar Hill

Sheldon Street/Virginia Terrace/Fox Avenue

Prospect Street

Harrison Street north

Harrison Street south

Spooner Street

Vale Circle

Odana Golf Course driveway

Hammersley Road north of the Beltline (or Zook Park if Hammersley Road is not feasible)

New access road to Sub Zero/Freeport Road

Raymond Road

Allied Drive/Frontage Road on the east side of Verona Road

J. Storm Water Control and Drainage

Citizens informed the committee of serious storm water control problems between Midvale Boulevard and the Beltline. During heavy rains, water rushes along either side of the rail bed and floods the intersections of the railroad with Midvale Boulevard and with the Beltline as happened on October 17, 1998. The floodwaters have also caused severe erosion of the rail bed as the water tries to meander from one side of the rail corridor to the other. The periodic flooding presents a real danger of washing out the Path after construction as well as problems for the area residents.

Citizens also informed the committee about drainage problems in other areas along the Path caused by the steep slope of the rail bed. This causes the problem of standing water on adjacent property owners’ land. Pools of water also act as mosquito breeding grounds.

The committee views the construction of the Path as an opportunity to solve long standing storm water control problems for the neighbors as well as an opportunity to protect the City of Madison's investment in the Path. The committee does not have the expertise to recommend specific solutions to these problems. We can only recommend some general guidance about constructing storm water and drainage controls where there is flooding or where water is likely to collect and stand. Accordingly, storm water and drainage controls should stand off from the Path far enough so that they do not pose any hazard to Path users; should be placed on the opposite side of the Path from residents in those areas where vacant public land occupies one side of the corridor; and should be managed to minimize mosquito breeding areas. Finally, we strongly encourage the use of native plants where landscaping is undertaken to manage storm water because native plants adapted to wetlands make the ground more porous and better able to absorb the water. Native plants provide side benefits of wildlife habitat and aesthetic beauty.

Storm Water Control and Drainage Recommendations

33. Construction of this corridor should be viewed as an opportunity to install appropriate storm water and drainage controls.

34. Storm water controls should impose no hazards on Path users, be located on the opposite side of the Path from residents where possible, minimize mosquito breeding areas, and use native plants for landscaping.

K. Intersections

Pedestrians and other Path users, especially children, need to able to cross street intersections safely. To do this, traffic signals and/or pedestrian crossing islands may be necessary at some intersections, especially Midvale and Odana. Traffic studies can identify the best approach. The small undulating hill on Odana will probably make it difficult for drivers heading west on Odana to see someone crossing the street. This problem may be especially bad at dusk, when the sun could blind drivers. The traffic study should carefully consider this problem. The multiple street crossings along the short segment between Breese Terrace and Monroe Street will also require special attention. The Path could provide an opportunity to apply some traffic calming techniques on intersecting streets. Traffic lights and stop signs could be used to help slow speeding motorists.

Intersection Recommendations

35. Traffic signals should be installed at Midvale and Odana intersections unless a traffic study indicates signals are unnecessary.

36. Appropriate traffic control signs should be installed on the Path and/or the cross streets at each crossing without signals.

37. A pedestrian crossing island should be installed at Odana road.

38. Conduit for traffic signals should be installed during Path construction, if feasible, at appropriate street crossings.

39. A traffic study should be considered for the Breese Terrace to Randall Avenue segment to determine what if any traffic controls should be installed and street redesigns should be made.

L. Landscaping and Privacy

Much of the corridor is already heavily used by pedestrians during daylight hours. There is also evidence that it is used at night by teens. While construction of the Path will result in more human activity in the corridor, it was the opinion of some committee members that the existing privacy situation along the corridor will be largely unaffected.

For adjacent landowners concerned about loss of privacy, arbor vitae or other natural screening should be provided. It would be nice to keep the corridor as close to its natural state as possible. To do this, native plantings should be used in areas disturbed during construction.

Landscaping and Privacy Recommendations

40. Arbor vitae or other natural screening in level and elevated sections should be installed if requested by abutting property owners.

M. Connection to Other Paths and Developments

The committee sees one of the biggest benefits of the Path to be the direct connection to several planned and existing recreational paths. These connections will provide Path users with access to literally hundreds of miles of bike trails in Wisconsin and Illinois. These connections will also make it possible for commuters from Fitchburg and Verona to bike to work in Madison along a safe, convenient path.

The Capital City State Trail is in the Nine Springs E-way. It will connect the Military Ridge State Trail and Glacial Drumlin State Trail when completed providing one continuous trail from Dodgeville to Waukesha. Construction of the segment of the Capital City State Trail that intersects the rail corridor for this Path was recently completed. Fitchburg has stated its support for the Path and has further stated its willingness to pay for its share of the costs for the extension of the Path from Lovell Lane to the Capital City State Trail. The committee wholeheartedly endorses the extension of the Path to, and connection with the Capital City State Trail as a part of Path construction.

The Military Ridge State Trail is complete except for a section between Verona and Madison, the critical section needed to connect it to the Capital City State Trail. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is currently negotiating a land purchase necessary to construct this last section of the Trail. The DNR has just begun the planning process to construct the Badger State Trail which will be a continuation of the Path discussed in this report. When completed, the Badger State Trail will connect to the Capital City State Trail, the Sugar River State Trail, and the trail network in the State of Illinois. We strongly encourage the DNR to complete these two state trails as soon as possible.

Nakoma Mall should be a logical destination for bicyclists and pedestrians but it is not because of several man-made barriers. The Beltline impedes bicyclist and pedestrian access from the north, and the rail corridor and Sub Zero do the same from the west. The construction of the Path will largely eliminate the Beltline as a northerly barrier. The construction of a planned access road from Verona Road to Freeport Road along with anticipated redevelopment of the Nakoma Mall area could alleviate access problems from the west. The committee believes any redevelopment of the Nakoma Mall area should include access points from the Path to the existing mall and to newly developed areas. The Path should also be used to facilitate access to the Nakoma Mall from the neighborhoods to the west via, for example, the access road mentioned above.

Connection Recommendations

41. The Path should be extended south from Lovell Lane to connect with the Capital City State Trail.

42. The committee strongly encourages the DNR to complete the Military Ridge State Trail and the Badger State Trail as soon as possible so that they connect to this Path and the Capital City State Trail.

43. When the Nakoma Mall area is redeveloped, access points from the Path to the newly developed area and to the existing mall should be included. The Path should also be used to facilitate access to the Nakoma Mall Area from the neighborhoods to the west.

N. Path Amenities and Historic Preservation

The stone underpass at Fox Avenue and Hillington Way was constructed from locally quarried stone and is one of those features that provides character to the neighborhood. Because of the historic and artistic value of the underpass, the committee recommends that it be carefully preserved during construction of the Path.

Madison is known for its distinct neighborhoods and these tight knit neighborhoods contribute to the high quality of life in Madison. Representatives of the Dudgeon Monroe Neighborhood Association have suggested to the committee the concept of neighborhood gateways along the Path as a way to enhance the sense of neighborhood and also to inform travelers of their location. Gateways usually consist of a sign with the name of the neighborhood and landscaping, and are placed at the entrance to the neighborhood. Funding for the signs could be obtained from the Main Street Fund of the City of Madison. Thus, the committee recommends installing gateways along the Path in cooperation with neighborhood associations.

The Glenwood Children's Park (at the intersection of the Path and Glenway Street) is located at the Path's halfway point. The park (designed by Jens Jensen) is marked for restoration and could become a charming resting point for users of the Path.

Other amenities the committee encourages the City of Madison to install are water fountains and kiosks. Path users and neighborhood residents alike find a water fountain a welcome sight on a summer day. Kiosks provide a way to announce neighborhood events and thereby help provide neighborhood cohesiveness.

Path Amenities and Historic Preservation Recommendations

44. The stone underpass at Fox Avenue and Hillington Way should be carefully preserved during Path construction.

45. In cooperation with neighborhood associations, neighborhood gateways should be installed along the Path.

46. The committee encourages the installation of water fountains and kiosks at appropriate locations such as crossings, turnouts, and access points.

Concluding Remarks

The Southwest Commuter Bike and Pedestrian Path is a unique opportunity to build a connection from the inner areas of Madison to the southwest. The gentle grades and lack of crossings will be a delight to people of all ages, including pedestrians, cyclists, skaters and wheelchair users. From the end of the path in Fitchburg, the Path would connect with other paths and the network of paved back roads that make Wisconsin a superb bicycling area. In a larger context, this path helps fulfill a vision set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation in "The National Bicycling and Walking Study." That vision is about choice.

"The vision of this program is a nation of travelers with new opportunities to walk or ride a bicycle as part of their everyday life. They may walk or bike to a carpool or bus or train as part of a new intermodal trip pattern, or they may find that they can walk or bike with safety and ease all the way to their destination. Many will find that they do not have to use a motor vehicle for trips to church, to work, to school, or to the store. They will like what they are doing for the community and for themselves. America will have a changed transportation system -- better balanced to serve all travelers."

"This is the vision -- to create a changed transportation system that offers not only choice among travel modes for specific trips, but more importantly presents these options so that they are real choices that meet the needs of individuals and society as a whole." (from The National Bicycling and Walking Study).

The Southwest Commuter Bike and Pedestrian Path will bring that vision closer to reality by expanding the transportation choices for thousands of area residents and creating new recreational opportunities by connecting together several popular recreational trails.

The benefits of the Path will extend beyond mere transportation as it will blend into the fabric of our city. It will expand the community and facilitate communication. Every time we build a facility that brings people face to face, we build more than a path, we build community.

In its deliberations, the committee has talked with many neighbors of the route and other interested parties. We have conscientiously tried to achieve consensus recommendations that maximize the benefits of the Path and address the concerns that we have heard. We welcome questions if any part of our report is unclear.

The members of the committee express our thanks to Mayor Bauman, Alders Bellman, Golden, MacCubbin, Poulson and Reif for creating and supporting the committee. We also thank Christy Bachman and Tom Walsh of the City Engineer's office for their patience and staff support.

Appendix A: Map of the Proposed Path

Appendix B: List of Committee Members

Appendix C: Lighting Survey from the Beltline South to Lovell Lane

MEMO 8/1/98

TO: Committee for the Study of the Southwest Commuter Bicycle and Pedestrian Path

FROM: Ed Daub

RE: Design Criteria for Lighting and Landscaping on the Path from the Beltline to Lovell Lane

At our last meeting, in discussions of issues regarding lighting and landscaping, frequent reference was made to the importance of obtaining input from neighborhood associations. I assume that this means the neighborhoods extending east of the beltline to Randall Avenue have such associations and that they are very active and involved in the quality of neighborhood life. It struck me again that the part of the path west from the beltline is quite different from those neighborhoods. In fact, it consists of two sections that are not only distinctly different from the east of the beltline corridor but from each other as well.


The first section is industrial and commercial. It begins with SUBZERO, which has property on both sides. On the eastern side this is followed by BRUNSELL, on the western side by HOTTMANN CONSTRUCTION. All three of these enterprises have fences separating their properties from the corridor.

Beyond BRUNSELL's on the eastern side, all of the land is owned by the FIORE COMPANY, which rents a number of buildings not immediately adjacent to the corridor. Beyond HOTTMANN's on the western side, there are three property owners: Steve and Bonnie Shaw who own and operate the LIGHT HAUS; Tom Dreger who has a small piece of land with what seems to be a rented shed; Gene Bennett who owns and operates BENNETT'S MEADOWOOD COUNTRY CLUB, a tavern that features daily lunches and dinners and has an extensive parking lot that adjoins the corridor and lies just below the Verona Road overpass. None of these properties have fences.

I met face to face with representatives from four of these enterprises: Ron Kneebone, CEO at BRUNSELL; Bonnie Shaw co-owner at LIGHT HAUS; owner Tom Dreger; and owner Gene Bennett. I talked by phone with the other three: Dennis Laumann at SUBZERO (this conversation was earlier, in spring); Lee Madden at FIORE COMPANY; and Jim Hottmann at HOTTMANN CONSTRUCTION. My first question was what form of lighting they would want. THEY ALL REQUESTED OPTIMAL LIGHTING FROM DUSK TO DAWN WITH NO RESTRICTIONS ON LIGHT SPILLAGE INTO THEIR PROPERTY.

I then asked what further measures they might want in accordance with our Goal 4, namely, to provide a safe secure environment for those adjacent to the path. All of course desire provision for a safe secure environment, but only two expressed such concerns in specific terms. Lee Madden of the FIORE COMPANY stated that the company would want provision to prevent ready access to the property. Gene Bennett stated that he would want a fence starting at Verona Road, down the slope, and then along the corridor to some extent in order that his parking lot not become a thoroughfare for pedestrians and bikers using the path.

As for our Goal 5, namely, providing landscaping to improve the appearance of the path and improving drainage, there seemed to be little concern with landscaping for appearance but Dennis Laumann at SUBZERO said that improved drainage would be a primary concern because their buildings have basements.


The second section consists solely of apartment house dwellings on both sides of the corridor; it runs parallel to Allied Drive on the eastern side. In spring I met with the Allied Neighborhood Association and learned from them at that time that they would want dusk to dawn optimal lighting for a safe secure environment. At the Allied-Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood Center, I spoke again briefly with Sandra Hawkins the chairperson of the association and she reconfirmed that decision.

I then visited with Mary Kirkendoll who recently became the new director of the center. As for lighting, she too expressed the need for optimal lighting from dawn to dusk for a safe secure environment. In response to my asking about Goal 5 with regard to landscaping to improve the appearance of the path as well as the goal that seems implicit in committee discussions, namely, enhancing the path for neighborliness, Mary Kirkendoll was enthusiastic about the possibility of such improvements. However, she also said that I should consult with Police Officer Henry Wilson who along with his aide Nan Turner is responsible for policing the Allied neighborhood.

I reached Officer Henry Wilson by phone. He strongly urged optimal dusk to dawn lighting for a safe secure environment. He also welcomed the news that funds might be available for landscaping to improve the appearance of the path and to promote neighborliness. However, he said that several years ago the police had asked the city to eliminate the thick growth of brush along the corridor in order to facilitate police surveillance of the corridor and that this has proved to be an effective weapon against unlawful activity there. Thus, he asked that such funds for the Allied neighborhood be withheld until the time that the community is better stabilized and the threat of crime is diminished.






One other topic arose in my conversations. At present there is an "unofficial road" that cuts across the railroad corridor, thereby connecting the continuation of Hammersley Road that serves as a north frontage road along Verona Road with Freeport Road, via parking lots on the west side. I am told that some two hundred vehicles use the road during every working day. I was also told that negotiations are underway with the city to convert this make-shift road into a paved city road, a conversion that would lead to far more intensive traffic. Therfore, it could become an intersection dangerous to commuting cyclists. By the way, Bonnie Shaw at LIGHT HAUS would be willing to serve on our committee.


Appendix D: Summary of Security Studies

Appendix E: Sample of Committee Outreach and Community Input