for the Dane County/Greater Madison Metropolitan Area






Wednesday, May 3, 2000

6:00 pm

Madison Municipal Building, Room 260

215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard

Madison, WI



--          ROLL CALL


Members Present: LaMarr Billups; Thomas Carlsen; David Cieslewicz; Robert Cook; Ann Falconer; Ald. Ken Golden; Rob Kennedy; Douglas Dalton (for Ken Leonard); George Nelson; Ald. Warren Onken; Dick Wagner.


Members Absent: Supv. Michael Blaska; Darlene Horner; Supv. Scott McDonell (notified).


Staff Present: Charity Eleson (Dane County Executive’s Office); Anne Monks (WisDOT District 1, Planning); David Trowbridge (City of Madison, Department of Planning and Development; Project Administrator for the Alternatives Analysis).


Others Present: Fred Bartol (Dane Alliance for Rail Transit); John DeLamater; Kim Lobdell (KL Engineering); Ken Kinney (Parsons Brinckerhoff; Project Manager for the Alternatives Analysis); Mark Miller (Parsons Brinckerhoff).





OAC member Ann Falconer acted as interim Co-Chair until the arrival of Ald. Golden (Co-Chair Scott McDonell notified OAC staff of his absence earlier in the day).  Falconer welcomed Committee members to Meeting #3 of the Oversight Advisory Committee for the Alternatives Analysis (AA).


Falconer also wished to introduce Ken Kinney of Parsons Brinckerhoff.  Mr. Kinney will be functioning as the Project Manager of the AA over the next several months.  David Trowbridge noted that the OAC looks forward to a very good study and also welcomed Kinney.  Kinney introduced Mark Miller of Parsons Brinckerhoff and Kim Lobdell of KL Engineering, other members of the consultant team in attendance this evening.  Kinney noted that Kim Lobdell would be handling the public participation element of the AA, and would be speaking in more detail about that later this evening.





The Minutes for Meeting #3 of the Oversight Advisory Committee were approved, as submitted on a motion by George Nelson, seconded by Ald. Warren Onken.


At that point, Co-Chair Ald. Golden arrived and assumed the role of Co-Chair.





There was one public appearance: John DeLamater, UW-Madison Professor of Sociology.  DeLamater noted that he has developed a proposal for a streetcar system for downtown Madison.  He said that it was his understanding that the OAC has authority over the review of all transit system proposals in Madison and Dane County, and he would like some guidance on how to proceed with his proposal.


He provided a brief summary of his proposal.  He noted that the streetcar system is a 3.5-mile system that basically links the Monona Terrace Convention Center to the intersection of Park Street and University Avenue, and connects all of the various downtown activity areas – including the Kohl Center and Overture Arts District.  He said that it provides a circulator function with cars running every 8-10 minutes from 6:00 am to midnight (365 days per year).  He said that 9 other cities in the U.S. have built similar systems since 1989 and have been very successful, exceeding ridership expectation in many cases.  DeLamater noted that Kenosha, WI was now building a 2-mile system, to open June 17th.  He added that there are streetcars available for relatively inexpensive amounts of money.  He estimates the entire capital cost of the system to be about $10.7 million.  He suggested that federal sources could provide the funding for half of the capital costs.  Operating costs would depend on the fare structure.


Ald. Golden said that he talked with Mr. DeLamater this weekend and struggled in thinking about which forum this streetcar proposal should be reviewed.  Golden said that there are three options: (1) the Transit and Parking Commission (TPC), (2) the Long Range Transportation Planning Commission (LRTPC), and (3) the OAC.  Golden said that he felt this proposal, because of its limited geographical reach, was most appropriately handled at the LRTPC.  However, Golden asked DeLamater to come to the OAC rather than unilaterally make that decision and because the OAC has an obvious interest in rail issues.  Golden suggested that the OAC simply keep this issue on its radar screen, and that it should be formally addressed by the LRTPC – because it does affect the central part of the City.


Rob Kennedy agreed that the LRTPC is appropriate, but noted that the streetcar system could be part of the AA’s Preferred Investment Strategy system.  Thus, he said, it makes sense for the OAC to consider it at some level.  Dick Wagner said that the LRTPC should discuss the issue and try to work out some form of coordination for considering this system.





The Oversight Advisory Committee concluded that this issue had been adequately discussed in the Agenda Item 3.





Ken Kinney, Project Manager for the AA, then presented some overheads that summarized the Alternatives Analysis process.


(Note: Copies of the overheads used in Mr. Kinney’s presentation were distributed to OAC members, and can be obtained upon request)


In general, Kinney said that he would be focusing his discussion this evening on the guidelines and regulations of the AA process.  He said that it was important for us to closely follow those regulations as we move through the study process.  He said that two initial AA tasks in particular - (1) goal and objective development and (2) corridor definition - need to be done early in the AA process, and he would be talking about that in more detail this evening.  Kinney added that he would also be talking about the AA screening process, by which the process starts with a broad range of alternatives and narrows down to a single “preferred alternative”.


Kinney noted that the AA schedule is just starting.  He said that the study should be wrapped up by October of 2001.


Kinney talked about the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts process.  He said that it is fair to assume that FTA dollars could cover between 40-60% of the costs to build the preferred system.  However, he said that the process to evaluate the proposals is clear, in terms of the evaluation criteria that are used.  He said that the hurdle has been raised a bit for the final stages of the process – particularly when moving toward final design.  He added that FTA does not want projects to move forward if the communities have no idea where the local share of the costs will come from.  FTA now weighs its “financial rating” criteria much more heavily than it used to.  In general, FTA expects a high level of commitment from communities in terms of the sources of the local share.  To get to the final design phase, he added, FTA expects that the local financial sources are actually in place.


Kinney also noted that the FTA criteria also include typical measures such as costs, travel time savings, cost effectiveness, operational efficiencies, etc.  He noted that land use issues are becoming more important in the evaluation, particularly the land use policies that the communities have in place.  Kinney added that the Madison community is in much better shape than many communities throughout the country.  Ald. Golden asked why Kinney thought that our land use policies and were transit supportive.  Kinney said that he did not want to imply that such transit-supportive policies were already in place here, but that the understanding of what needs to be done is much more advanced here than in other parts of the country.  Dick Wagner said that he felt our regional growth policies have not fully met 1970’s growth targets (for 90% of growth to take place within cities/villages – we have achieved about 85%), but that other communities would find our recent track record to be astounding.  Golden recalled the 1992 Cambridge Light Rail Study, that suggested positive land use changes that have not occurred, such as abolishing O-4 zoning.  Kennedy said that he agreed that we are doing fairly well here.


Kinney showed a few FTA land use rating factors, as examples.  He said that we would be coming back to these in the future.  He said that all of these types of land use policies are viewed by FTA as important in maximizing the cost effectiveness of the transit systems that are eventually implemented.


Kinney said that it will be important for the AA process to carefully define a “purpose and need” – it is a problem statement.  He said that the alternatives we look at must clearly relate to the problem statement.  He said that we cannot approach the AA as a “solution in search of a problem”.  He also mentioned that the problem cannot be “mode-specific”.


Kinney said that the AA must include a full range of reasonable, practical alternatives – not just one or two expensive systems and the “no-build” alternative.  We must also consider environmental and social issues in the AA.  Finally, Kinney noted that the AA must have a strong public participation element, of which Kim Lobdell will talk about a little later.  Kinney said that it is important for the AA process to be legally defensible, because opponents of the recommended strategy will pick apart the study process and look for errors (i.e., areas where the study did not address certain issues in enough detail, etc.).


He said that the AA study corridor must be defined by travel markets, not facilities.  Issues considered in the problem definition include demographic trends, population and employment density, mobility/traffic forecasts and deficiencies, accident rates, etc.  Kinney showed numerous examples of how to portray such data.  Examples were shown from past studies – including the Cleveland-Akron-Canton Major Investment Study (MIS), the Milwaukee East-West Corridor MIS, and the Hudson-Bergen, NJ MIS/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).


In terms of the environment, Kinney said that the AA process would be considering the natural, the social and the economic environment.  He also pointed out that the AA process here will not include a Draft EIS, taking a less detailed look at environmental issues (i.e., identifying “fatal flaws”).  The EIS process will be done later, as part of Preliminary Engineering (PE).


With that, Kinney introduced Kim Lobdell (KL Engineering) to discuss the public participation process for the AA.





Kim Lobdell provided some overheads that summarized the AA public participation process.  She said that she would be working very closely with the Parsons Brinckerhoff team throughout the entire study.  She said that the Parsons team has a great deal of technical expertise and that her focus would be on managing the public participation plan (PPP) and coordinating Parsons’ technical efforts within that plan.  The Parsons team, Lobdell added, would be making many technical presentations, as necessary, throughout the study.


Lobdell said that this evening would be focused on a description of the general components of the public participation plan, and that a more detailed PPP would be provided in a couple of months.  To get to the detailed PPP, input is needed – from the OAC, TAC, focus groups, etc.  She asked the OAC for input and suggestions this evening, as she proceeded with the presentation.


She said that the PPP’s purposes is to bring the general public and stakeholders into the process early.  Goals and objectives, for example, will need public input.  She also said that the process should provide information and educate the public.  In addition, she said that the PPP is intended to be a mechanism to listen to the public’s views – we are not just preaching to them.  She said that their valuable input will be important in getting to the Preferred Investment Strategy.


Lobdell said that the goals of the PPP are active, meaningful participation.  She said that people participate more when they feel that they are contributing to the outcome.  In addition, the PPP elements should contain outreach to a broad range of participants – such as minorities, the elderly, UW students, etc.  She said that honesty and consistency is important.  She said that some people are coming with a preconceived notion of the AA’s outcome, and that this needs to be addressed.  We will be looking at numerous alternatives and nothing is decided at this point.


She said that those involved in the PPP process will include the OAC, TAC, and key stakeholders.  She said that, once the corridor is defined, the planners, city engineers, and policy makers of communities along the corridor will need to be involved.  Key boards and commissions will also need to be involved throughout the study.  The UW will need to be closely involved as well.  She said that government and other major employers (such as Oscar Mayer, Ray-O-Vac, American Family) will need to be involved in the process.


Dick Wagner said that the general public are key stakeholders as well, but that they may have a less “invitational” sort of involvement.  This should be distinguished in the PPP.  Lobdell said that neighborhood groups would be one way to reach out to the general public, given their high level of activity and organization.  Ald. Golden suggested adding the labor unions as a key stakeholder, as they are often involved in transportation issues at work sites.  Rob Kennedy said builders and realtors are involved in land use policy issues and should be involved as key stakeholders.  Lobdell added that business groups would be targeted – such as the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Madison Inc., etc.  Golden also suggested adding disability advocacy groups as key stakeholders.  Ann Falconer pointed out that some neighborhood groups are better then others in getting information to their constituencies.  Lobdell agreed and noted that neighborhood centers would additional points of neighborhood resident contact.  Church groups are also good points of contact, Lobdell added, especially for some minority and elderly groups.


Rob Kennedy said that geographic involvement issues are very important for this study.  He said that people throughout the entire county will need to be involved – beyond the primary study corridor.  He said that all county residents will likely be part of the final decision, and that a deliberate process would be needed to reach them.  LaMarr Billups asked that students be listed separately, and added that there are numerous students – beyond the UW – that are important, such as Madison Area Technical College.  In addition, he said that simply identifying the “UW” sometimes gives the impression that it is UW administrators, and not including the students.  For those reasons, Billups said, it is important to break students out separately.


Lobdell thanked the OAC for those suggestions and asked members to get any additional thoughts on key AA stakeholders or the PPP in general to Dave Trowbridge.


Lobdell then discussed some of the tools that would be used to implement the PPP.  She said that a broad range of tools would be used – including newsletters and fact sheets.  She said that these methods may be good ways to get information out to communities not directly on the AA study corridor.  Golden said that presentations within the community should be a part of the PPP, noting that some neighborhood groups have drawn up to 150 people for important issues.  Golden said that brown bag lunches are also a good area for presentations.  Lobdell agreed and added that many groups – such as the Lion’s Club or Kiwanis Club – are looking for speakers and could be a good source of outreach.  Golden added that many groups, neighborhood associations, and employers (and specific departments) are often looking for articles for their periodic newsletters, which could be easily provided to them.  You could write the article and they publish it, he said.  Lobdell agreed that this would be a great idea.  Dick Wagner said that the state has an electronic bulletin that could be used – and links to a web page could be provided.


She said that, as noted by Wagner, a web page would also be a good mechanism for providing information and will be developed for the AA.  This is especially true given the fact that the web is a highly-used information medium in Madison.  She said that an email address could be provided, which would allow for questions/answers with the public.  She said that the physical housing of the web page would need to be discussed – such as they City, County, or WisDOT.  Kennedy said that a link could be provided on all entities’ pages, that would access the same page.  Lobdell said that this is true, but there would need to be one place to set it up.  Tom Carlsen said that it would be most appropriate at the City- or County-level.  Lobdell said that we can make that decision at a later date, but noted that the web page will be an important element of the PPP and work will begin on it in the near future.


Lobdell also said that establishing good media contacts would be important.  She said that newspapers in numerous Dane County communities should be contacted.  Television and radio contacts should also be made, she added.  Getting these contacts information about the AA on a regular basis will be important – such as a monthly update.  This approach, she said, has been successful in other communities.


Ann Falconer pointed out that there needs to be some way to let people know about this study, and that the title of our group - the OAC for the AA - is not a good way of communicating what this study is all about.  Lobdell suggested that a “press release” approach would be a good way to generate some initial interest.  Kennedy suggested calling the study or the OAC something different, to generate more interest.  Doug Dalton said that another effective outreach tool is the use of focus groups.  Such groups, he said, have been used successfully for planning purposes at the state level.


Lobdell said that a draft PPP would be ready by August 1 of this year.  She said that it will take that long to get the necessary PPP input from the public, key stakeholders and others.  This input, she said, is important in developing the formal PPP.  The OAC and TAC would then review the draft PPP and we are aiming to have a final PPP by September 1.  She added that the PPP will be a dynamic plan that will not sit on a shelf and that it will likely evolve over the course of the study.  She said that revisions to the PPP will likely occur, based on how things are progressing with the study.  However, she said, they key to a PPP’s success is using it and keeping after the ideas in the plan.  She said that the FTA requirements could probably be met with much less, but she added that this issue is important to Madison and Dane County and the PPP will be an important mechanism in arriving at the Preferred Investment Strategy.  Lobdell noted that not everyone will agree with all of the alternatives (or even the final product), but getting them to understand how these decisions are arrived at is important, and the PPP will help to do that.


Lobdell listed some key dates, in terms of the PPP elements.  She said that there are four “rounds” of meetings.  The first would be a public information meeting, intended to be an introduction to the study and the issues being addressed.  A press release should take place first and some initial data collection and analysis will also need to be done before that first round of meetings.  She suggested that this could be done toward the end of June or in early July.  In addition, about 20-30 small groups and stakeholder interviews will be beginning very soon.  The purpose of these interviews is to obtain input on the critical transportation issues in the area and also input on what an effective public participation process would be - from those groups’ perspectives.  She said that a long list of groups and stakeholders has been developed – which includes policy makers, business groups, neighborhood groups, the airport, and a number of advocacy groups.


Ald. Golden said that numerous City boards/commissions are interested and that their input should be directly solicited.  Golden recalled effectively utilizing joint board/commission meetings, such as was done with the East Washington Avenue Corridor Study.  Lobdell also said that separate meetings could be held.  Golden replied that they need some advanced notice of the meeting subject, or else the meeting will not be as productive as it could be.  Ald. Warren Onken asked if the “problem” will be more clearly defined.  Ken Kinney responded that this will be done with a “purpose and need” but added that the public generally does not get excited until there is something definitive being proposed.  He said that the goal and objective phase of the study, although important, does not typically generate much interest from the public.  Onken said that there is a need for some base information at the front end, in order to define the problem.


Dick Wagner asked if it is premature to solicit thoughts from the stakeholders until the purpose and need is better defined.  Lobdell said that the purpose of approaching stakeholders is to get their help on defining the problems.  Rob Kennedy said that a limited outreach could be done to get that.  Tom Carlsen said that goal and objective development will be coming up later this evening, and added that this is part of the definition of problems.  Lobdell said that she will hold off until more of the problems have been initially defined by the OAC.  Golden said that June is a difficult month for meetings, and that this is something to consider when thinking about public outreach and the PPP.


Lobdell said that focus groups - Round 2 - would likely begin after about 6 months into the study.  In addition, she added that a large public meeting should be held at a central Madison venue.  She said that transit accessibility is important.  Golden said that Monona Terrace is a possibility.  Round 3 would be a workshop/open house to refine and evaluate the alternatives, about 1 year into the study.  Round 4, she said, would be a final explanation/presentation of the Preferred Investment Strategy at the end of the study.  She added that communications/meetings with the OAC and TAC would take place throughout the entire study – on either a monthly or bi-monthly basis.  Golden said that OAC subcommittees would also be formed, and that meetings may be needed with them as well.


Lobdell said that a possible “citizen’s advisory committee” (CAC) could be pursued, adding that this approach has been successful with other projects she has worked on.  Rob Kennedy asked about the last couple of months of the study, and whether or not a draft of the final strategy would be brought to the public for their review.  Lobdell replied that this was the purpose of the open house.  Golden asked about the CAC.  Ken Kinney said that these groups could include anyone who wished to be on it and tended to attract a large number of participants.  He said that they would receive a regular number of briefings throughout the study, like the OAC.  Tom Carlsen asked how this type of group would be balanced, since advocates tend to gravitate toward them.  Kinney acknowledged that this is a weakness.  He also added that the average taxpayer does not typically participate in these types of forums.  Kennedy suggested that it could be structured as a “forum” with a fairly loose format, and that numerous groups could be invited to participate on it – rather than an advisory committee.  Kinney agreed.  Dick Wagner suggested a slightly different approach – an AA assembly – that could solicit a broad range of ideas.  Golden said that advocates need a forum as well, and that getting accurate information to them is critical to our success.  He said we need to reach out to them, but we have to be sure that certain groups do not dominate the discussion.


Lobdell thanked the OAC for their thoughts and said that she will incorporate them into the draft public participation plan, which will be ready for OAC review by August 1.





AA Project Manager Ken Kinney wished to mention one issue, prior to addressing goals and objectives.  That issue, he said, was the important issue of “environmental justice”.  Kinney said that this basically considers the various socio-economic groups in the community, and how the benefits and costs of the alternatives affect them.  He added that issue has become a popular avenue for attacking projects in other communities.  This is a 6-year old executive order that is now becoming more prevalent.  Kinney said that the most famous case is from Los Angeles, where a transit system was taking money from bus service (that served low-income neighborhoods) and using that money to fund commuter rail service to higher-income residents.  This legal challenge made compensatory spending on the bus system there.  This, he added, could happen here.  For example, he said that a commuter rail service here might go through neighborhoods that do not receive the benefits of the service, which makes station location very important.


In terms of goals and objectives, Kinney said that the 4/27 TAC meeting considered some draft goals and the consensus seemed to center on the list before you this evening (shown on the overhead).  He said that the TAC was then asked to develop specific objectives for each of the goals, quantifiable if possible.


Kinney asked for the OAC’s reaction to this draft list of goals.  Ald. Golden noted that some comments on the goals have been provided by a member of the TAC that are worth noting for the OAC’s discussion.  David Trowbridge said that Larry Bruss, from the DNR’s Air Management Bureau, provided the thoughts on the draft list (comments were distributed to the OAC).  Kinney said that these goals would be used throughout the study, but added that they can be modified as we move forward.


Dick Wagner said that they seem fairly generic and “apple pie”, and not specifically tailored to Madison and Dane County.  He said that they need some flesh before he could meaningfully react to them.  Kinney responded that the objectives would provide that flesh and specificity.  He added that goals are, by their nature, rather general.  Kinney asked the OAC, given that fact that the goals are general, if they were a sufficient starting point for the objective development.  Doug Dalton said that (as a representative for Ken Leonard) the last goal should include the concept of maximizing private funding resources, as well as public.  Tom Carlsen suggested changing that language to state “maximize the leverage of local funds”, to put a more positive spin on it.


Ald. Ken Golden asked if this transportation system was being thought of as a tool to “discipline” land use, noting that this type of thinking is prevalent in this community – rather than the other way around.  Golden said that, during the 1990’s, a “build transit and the land use will come” philosophy began to emerge.  He said that, in many ways, the policy choices seem contradictory.  Kinney said that both sides of the equation need to be explored, adding that we need to understand what land use policies are necessary to support a certain development pattern.  LaMarr Billups added that the FTA New Starts criteria addresses that question, giving higher ratings to those communities that have such supportive land use policies in place.  Golden reiterated the fact that the City has not repealed O-4 zoning (a type of office park zoning), as was suggested in the 1992 Light Rail Study.  However, he said that the zoning code could be modified based on the goals.  Kennedy agreed and said that the transit system could be used as an incentive for certain land use actions.


Dick Wagner said that there is a need to balance the public investment in transportation with the private investment in land, and that this relationship needs to be understood and integrated into the goals.  George Nelson said that we should narrow our focus on the transportation issues, and not spread ourselves out into too many directions.  He said that we do not have the resources to address all of these issues, and that we should narrow the list of goals a bit.  Nelson said that this group could make the problem as simple or complex as we want it to be.  Kinney agreed that the goals could be combined – such as combining goals #2 and #3.  In addition, Kinney said that #4 and #5 could be combined.  Tom Carlsen said that the last 2 goals were really objectives of the third-to-the-last goal (the cost effectiveness goal).  Ann Falconer said that they are all important and how they are ordered and combined is another issue.  However, she wished to highlight an important issue – maintaining Madison as the regional center.  She said that we should look at all of the alternatives through that lens.  Ken Kinney suggested that this could be a specific objective of the first goal.  Falconer agreed.


Kinney said that David Trowbridge and he would get the goal list down to 5 and incorporate the comments heard this evening (on objectives).  Golden suggested taking the word “desirable” out of the first goal (land use goal).  Falconer added that the word “efficient” is fairly loaded as well.  Doug Dalton said that the objectives under the land use goal should flesh out what is meant by “efficient”.  Kinney asked the OAC to send in their specific objectives to Trowbridge by Friday May 19th.  Carlsen asked if one “mission statement” had been considered.  Kinney said that this had been done in other places.


Kennedy asked whether or not a more flashy name, besides Alternatives Analysis, could be considered.  Kinney said that this should be done to generate some more interest and recognition.  However, Kinney said that this should be done after the AA corridor is more clearly defined.





Ken Kinney said that corridor definition will be an important initial step in the AA process.  He said that the corridor will be defined by transportation markets, and not by facilities.  He gave some examples from other communities of how their AA or MIS corridors had been defined (including Indianapolis, Cleveland and Milwaukee).


Kinney said that, in Indianapolis, the policy makers are very close to recommending a combination of light rail and commuter rail in a 25-mile long corridor linking a suburban area (Noblesville) with downtown Indianapolis.  George Nelson asked about the density in that area.  Kinney replied that Madison has a denser feel than Indy, but noted that federal reviewers look for evidence of improvements in density, particularly near station areas.  Kinney pointed out that Indianapolis is close in making the decision about what mode to implement, but not very close on how to fund the local share.  Nelson asked about the costs of the Indy system.  Kinney said that the total cost of the system there is $520 million, with light rail being $300 million of that.


Kinney showed the Cleveland-Canton-Akron corridor, about 62 miles in length.  The Milwaukee East-West Corridor was also shown and Kinney discussed the importance of the travel markets in those places.


In terms of Madison, Kinney showed the map from the Request for Proposals.  He said that we need to now look closer at travel markets and destinations.  He then showed an overhead of future employment activity centers (from Dane County Regional Planning Commission) and said that this should be a first step in defining the AA corridor here.  Kinney said that, preliminarily (based on initial data gathering and discussions), he would draw the AA corridor here in a manner to include the isthmus, Sun Prairie, DeForest, Middleton, West Towne, and back to the isthmus.  He said that this decision would not need to be made tonight, but offered it for the OAC’s early consideration.


Tom Carlsen asked about ridership potential and how it might influence corridor definition.  Kinney said that this information would also be considered, and added that he was at Madison Metro today gathering some of that data.  Kinney said that the information presented this evening is only intended to give the OAC a taste of what will be looked at.  Dick Wagner noted that a map exists showing all downtown state employees and their residence locations – essentially showing a commuter shed.  This, he said, might be helpful as well.  Kinney agreed.


Rob Kennedy said that there might be a need to look further south as well, such as Fitchburg.  Kinney pointed out that we will look at that, but noted that they would likely be Phase II or III corridors, given the limited budget for this AA.  Kinney said that we need to be sure that this corridor study is manageable and focus our efforts, initially, on the corridor(s) with the most serious mobility problems.  He agreed that it will be politically tough to leave some areas out of the first phase.  George Nelson said that the geography and density seem to make the corridor fairly clear.


Ald. Golden asked for more detail on what a “corridor” could include.  Kinney said that it connects major origins and destinations.  Golden asked why the South Beltline, which carries 100,000 vehicles per day, would be left out.  Kinney said that perhaps it should, but reiterated the point that we need to focus on the corridor with the most serious problems and not turn this into a central Dane County study.  He said that the travel issues will be considered and modeled county-wide, but that the corridor focus must be limited.  Tom Carlsen agreed and said that the whole system must be considered, even within the context of a narrowly defined corridor.


Dick Wagner asked about the impacts of South Madison, given the potential environmental justice issues.  Kennedy said that the entire travel market must be included.  Ann Falconer agreed and said that there are many sources of employment that need to be considered.  Kinney said that origins (residents) are important as well.


George Nelson asked if there were ridership thresholds for federal funding.  Ken Kinney said that there are cost effectiveness criteria used to rank the various projects - such as cost per new rider - and these criteria have thresholds.  Kinney pointed out that there are four criteria categories typically utilized, which will be used in this AA.  They are effectiveness, cost effectiveness, financial feasibility and equity.


Kinney said that this evening was intended to only give the OAC a taste of the corridor definition issue and next month we will bring much more data (in greater detail) for the OAC’s discussion.





Kinney said that the purpose of the screening process will be to narrow the initial range of alternatives to a more manageable number, and added that the evaluation criteria discussed earlier will be used, in part, to do that.  Qualitative judgment will also be used in the screening process.  Kinney gave an example of the Hudson-Bergen, NJ study, and showed the types of data and information that were used and presented to the public for each of the alternatives looked at.  He said that the “consumer reports” approach was used, with mini pie charts, to show relative merits of each alternative next to one another.  Trade-off analyses are also utilized, showing relative advantages and disadvantages, for the screening decision making process.


Kinney said that decisions are often not made on pure quantifiable or cost effectiveness criteria.  In the New Jersey study, the decision was made to eliminate the bus option even though it performed well in the cost effectiveness area.  In a nutshell, Kinney said that the decision making process includes a mixture of quantifiable and qualitative information.  Ald. Warren Onken asked why the rail alternative was viewed as more favorable in New Jersey, and if it was because of the more frequent stops that buses typically have.  Kinney said that even if the service attributes were exactly the same – in terms of speed, number of stops, etc., the rail option would get more ridership than the bus option, for whatever reason.  He added that the ridership forecasting model can account for that as well, in a limited way.  In fact, “bus rapid transit” is an approach that federal officials are thinking may be a way to give bus service similar characteristics of the rail options, and something that will likely be considered here.


In terms of screening, Kinney said that an environmental “fatal flaw” analysis will also need to be conducted, in order to eliminate those options that have absolutely no chance of being implemented here – and list the reasons why.  He said that the Cleveland study included consideration of an existing rail line through a National Park, which was for a number of reasons eliminated as an option for frequent commuter rail service.  For our study, a subway, for example, should need to be taken off the table early – for obvious cost effectiveness reasons.  Or, he added, the elevated people mover may be suggested as a solution here, but it may not meet the needs of our transportation challenges.  Also, a freeway through the isthmus should be taken off the table as well.


Kennedy asked what types of roadway options should be considered.  Kinney said that the MPO’s long-range transportation plan (Vision 2020) is one option to assume as the highway plan for this study.  Tom Carlsen noted that the potential effect of a North Beltline on an isthmus transit system (and vice-versa) should be looked at as part of this study.  Kinney said that this will be discussed in June/July by some key committee members.


Kinney said that a travel demand forecasting model will be used, and decisions on what types of alternatives to model (on an initial basis) will be very important.  Fatal flaws should be reviewed prior to that (equity, environmental, and political).  In addition, collective practical judgment should be used, in regard to effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the initial options.  This, he added, should be done for the full range of initial alternatives in the AA.  On the initial model runs, different service levels, system lengths/configurations and fare structures will be analyzed.


In terms of the required alternatives, Kinney said that the No-Build must be included in the evaluation.  Some people, he added,  think of that as a “do nothing” alternative, but it actually includes committed projects.  Low-cost options must also be considered.  Kinney said that a full range of Build options will also be considered.  Kinney said that most communities, at the end of their AA processes, recommend a mix of the Build alternatives that were initially identified.


In defining alternatives, Kinney said that they must relate to the purpose and need of the study.  He also said that they must be realistic and competitive alternatives – i.e., they need to perform well.  He also mentioned that the AA is not an engineering study and that the level of detail need not be as detailed – at least not at this stage of the evaluation (AA).  The level of detail necessary in the AA is that which will allow for a clear decision to be made.  Kinney showed examples of information from the Milwaukee MIS, to illustrate that a different level of detail was needed to make key decisions there (at various decision points in the process).


Kinney also showed some examples from Indianapolis, to illustrate how low-cost options are looked at, and then built upon.  This, he pointed out, allows for some sensitivity analysis for the various alternatives.


Kinney said that, for Madison, the likely initial alternatives would include:


·         No Build (committed projects);

·         No Build “plus” (longer-range plans);

·         TSM/TDM (i.e., low-cost alternative);

·         Highway alternatives (various);

·         Bus rapid transit;

·         Commuter rail; and,

·         Light rail.


Kinney said that the determination of initial alternatives should be made fairly soon in the AA process (within the next couple of months), but decisions about specific alignments would not be made at this point.





Due to a conflict in schedules, the OAC agreed to reschedule the June 21st meeting.  OAC Meeting #5 will be held Thursday, June 22nd, 4:45 pm, in Room 201 of the City/County Building (Council Chambers).


Trowbridge noted that agenda items on 6/22 would likely include:

-         discussion/endorsement of AA goals and objectives;

-         report on analysis of the AA “purpose and need”; and,

-         further refinement/definition of the AA corridor.



11.            ADJOURNMENT


The Committee adjourned its meeting at 8:25 p.m.







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