(for the Dane County/Greater Madison Metropolitan Area)






Tuesday, December 19, 2000

4:45 pm

Madison Municipal Building, Room 260

215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard

Madison, WI



--          ROLL CALL


Members Present: Supv. Michael Blaska; Thomas Carlsen; David Cieslewicz; Kristine Euclide; Ann Falconer; Ald. Ken Golden; Rob Kennedy; Ken Leonard; George Nelson; Ald. Warren Onken.


Members Absent: LaMarr Billups; Robert Cook; Darlene Horner; Supv. Scott McDonell; Dick Wagner.


Staff Present: Michael Gay (City of Madison, Community and Economic Development); Jeff Kimes (Federal Highway Administration); Dwight McComb (Federal Highway Administration); Dan McCormick (City of Madison, Traffic Engineering); Bob McDonald (Madison Area Metropolitan Planning Organization); John Norwell (Dane County Highway and Transportation Department); David Trowbridge (City of Madison, Department of Planning and Development; Project Administrator for Transport 2020).


Others Present: Fred Bartol (Dane Alliance for Rail Transit); Melissa Bordewin (Parsons Brinckerhoff); Stephanie Eiler (Parsons Brinckerhoff); Ken Kinney (Cambridge Systematics; Project Manager for Transport 2020); Kim Lobdell (KL Engineering); Mark Miller (Parsons Brinckerhoff); Bob Schaefer (Ridgewood Neighborhood Association).



1.            REVIEW OF AGENDA


Co-Chair Ken Golden welcomed Committee members to Meeting #10 of the Oversight Advisory Committee for Transport 2020.


Project Manager Ken Kinney then provided a brief overview of the 12/19 agenda items.  Golden noted a minor change to the order of the agenda, inserting agenda item 7 after item 4 (in order to help accommodate travel schedules).  The OAC agreed to that change.





The Minutes for Meeting #9 of the Oversight Advisory Committee were approved, as submitted on a motion by George Nelson/Ann Falconer.





There was one appearance from a member of the public – Bob Schaefer, representing the Ridgewood Neighborhood Association.  Mr. Schaefer said that he is concerned about high speed rail and the types of transit options being reviewed in Transport 2020.  He expressed concerns about neighborhood impacts and benefits, safety at street crossings, and the traffic congestion created by gates being brought down.  He also noted other concerns such as the potential for commuter rail on the same track and the compatibility of high speed and commuter rail operations on those tracks.  Mr. Schaefer urged the OAC to keep these issues in mind as it moves forward.





Project Administrator David Trowbridge referred OAC members to their packets, and a memo to the OAC from the Co-Chairs.  This memo, he said, urges the OAC to approve Ms. Stephanie Eiler, AICP, as the new project manager for Transport 2020.  Trowbridge said that she has demonstrated a high level of commitment to Transport 2020 and has shown a high level of technical competence as well.


George Nelson/Rob Kennedy submitted a motion to approve Ms. Eiler as Transport 2020 Project Manager.


Ann Falconer said that she was at a number of meetings with Eiler and was impressed with her ability to quickly understand the key issues being discussed in Transport 2020.  Falconer strongly supports the motion.  Trowbridge also pointed out that Eiler’s references (from other areas) were contacted and have nothing but high praise for her work, in all areas of project management.


The OAC unanimously approved the motion.


Ken Kinney distributed a memo to the OAC outlining a concept for his continued involvement in Transport 2020, now that he is no longer project manager.  Basically, Kinney said that the memo recommends that he focus his efforts on transit alternative planning.  He said that this would not result in any budget change for either Parsons Brinckerhoff or Cambridge Systematics.  The OAC unanimously approved a motion to make that minor modification to the work scope, as submitted by Ald. Warren Onken/Ann Falconer.





Kim Lobdell (KL Engineering) provided a brief update of the public participation process.  She said that the OAC saw a draft newsletter (at the 11/30 meeting) and that this letter was being finalized.  It will be sent out to the large general mailing list (about 750 are on the list) some time after the holidays, in order to avoid the glut of mail people sometimes get at that time.  She also said that stakeholder meetings have been continuing and have been useful in obtaining viewpoints from various groups and communities.


Lobdell also noted that she and others have been working on refinements to the overall Public Participation Plan, which had been approved by the OAC in concept a few months ago.  She said that the plan needed to be fleshed out a bit (such as identifying a specific number of meetings in certain areas, etc.), in order to get a better handle on what the budget ramifications would be.  Lobdell distributed a matrix that summarized the basic components of the plan, and how that might change based on what we have learned so far.  Trowbridge noted that he would like the OAC to allow the Transport 2020 Management Team to work on this matrix further, and bring back a more complete version to the OAC at a later time (for its approval).


Lobdell then summarized the matrix, highlighting the various components of the plan, the types of groups that might be contacted and the types of meetings/forums that might be pursued in the future.  She said that there could be a need for a very large number of meetings and forums, and that it is important to keep the budget in mind.  She said that there may be ways to allow for members of the OAC, TAC, and staff to conduct some of these outreach efforts, in order to keep the budget in tact.


Stephanie Eiler asked for OAC comments on this matrix so that more work could be done to flesh out the public participation program.  Eiler said that this is important to the finalization of Lobdell’s budget contract.


Ken Leonard asked about stakeholder meetings, and whether they were intended only for the first phase of Transport 2020.  Lobdell said that these were intended as initial meetings, but added that she is finding that these meetings might be more beneficial at a later time, when more information is available.  Lobdell felt that there would likely be a need for more meetings than are shown on the matrix, due to the interest shown so far in this community.  Trowbridge reiterated the need to pin down some of the parameters of the public participation plan, and asked that the Management Team work on this.


Kristine Euclide said that she cannot get a feel for what these changes might mean until the budget numbers are shown.  Eiler said that these budget numbers will be developed in the next two weeks and more discussion will need to follow before the plan and its budget are finalized.  Euclide pointed out that the public participation plan’s priorities cannot be discussed until the budget parameters are better known.


Rob Kennedy said outreach to that neighborhood groups would need to be given some more thought and perhaps more priority.  Lobdell said that she and others have been meeting with the City of Madison’s neighborhood planner, Jule Stroick, to discuss different participation mechanisms and channels of outreach to the neighborhoods.  Lobdell said that more detail would be developed on how that outreach would take place.  Kennedy said that he would expect more detail to help finalize this approach.  Eiler said that an important component of the public outreach process will be to ensure that nobody comes out at the end of the process and says that they did not know about Transport 2020 and could not provide input.  Euclide asked that the complete list of stakeholders is made available.  Lobdell said that she would do this.


Ald. Ken Golden said that certain segments of the community will care about Transport 2020 from the beginning and some will not care until the bulldozer starts running.  Golden said that it is still important to identify all of these groups early in the process.  He said that this had not really taken place with the high speed rail implementation process, and we need to learn from what is now happening with that process.  He said that a number of unanticipated questions could come out, sooner or later.  He also said that the elected officials should be sought in this outreach process, as they are often well tuned in to some of these neighborhood resident concerns.  Lobdell said that “frequently asked questions” are a good way to address some of these concerns on the web page.  Tom Carlsen agreed that there is quite a bit of confusion and misinformation, and that has affected the high speed rail process.


The OAC agreed that the public participation program would need to be fleshed out further, and that they would like to stay apprised of that process.  Trowbridge said that more details would be discussed at a future meeting of the OAC, or comments solicited through email.





Ken Kinney reviewed some of the initial packages of study options, to be modeled in Phase I of Transport 2020.  he said that these model run options would be developed to obtain information on traffic impacts, ridership, land use impacts, capital costs and operating costs.  Kinney said that the packages of initial rail, bus, land use and highway alternatives recommended to be modeled include the following:


(1a) Rail Transit: Sun Prairie, Middleton, McFarland, Airport (existing R-O-W); Current Trends Land Use; No Build Highway


(1b) Rail Transit: Sun Prairie, Middleton, McFarland, Airport (existing R-O-W); Existing Plans Land Use; No Build Highway


(1c) Rail Transit: Sun Prairie, Middleton, McFarland, Airport (existing R-O-W); Vision 2020 Land Use; No Build Highway


(2) Rail Transit: Sun Prairie, Middleton, McFarland, Airport (existing R-O-W); Existing Plans Land Use; Build Highway


(3) Rail Transit: Sun Prairie, Middleton, McFarland, Airport (existing R-O-W with street running on Main/Doty); Existing Plans Land Use; No Build Highway


(4) Rail Transit (street running): East Towne, Washington Avenue, University Avenue, West Towne; Existing Plans Land Use; No Build Highway


(5) Bus Rapid Transit (route, schedule as in 1b); Existing Plans Land Use; No Build Highway


Kinney said that the model runs were being done primarily to get some numbers on the table, and that much more refinement will follow prior to Phase II of the study.  He said that the decision did not require a great deal of detail at this time.  He said that there will be many opportunities to refine the alternatives, even after Transport 2020 (such as in the NEPA process and in preliminary engineering).


Stephanie Eiler then described the various street/highway options recommended to be included in the Build highway alternative, which was being shown in one of the seven packages of alternatives to be modeled in Phase I (Alt. 2, above).  She distributed a map, a list of committed projects (as included in the No-Build alternative), a list of recommended options to include in the Build alternative, and a list of projects recommended by the TAC to be dismissed from future modeling in Transport 2020.


(Note: Copies of this handout can be obtained by request)


Eiler described some details about the five potential Build projects and asked for OAC’s comments on these items.  She said that the projects are basically adding capacity, either through the construction of additional travel lanes or the use of parking restrictions (to add a lane, in essence).  She said that the projects were basically adding capacity to various sections of STH 113 (Northport Drive), Milwaukee Street, Park Street, Mineral Point Road and University Avenue, as shown on the map.


Ald. Warren Onken asked about the Milwaukee Street improvement, and expressed some serious concerns about its political viability.  He felt that STH 30 might be a better option.  Tom Carlsen said that the East Washington Avenue/STH 30 interchange shown be shown as a committed project and modeled as such.  Trowbridge noted that various agency staff could answer detailed questions about how the highway Build recommendations came about at the TAC/Highway Workshop.  Golden asked if these roadway options were truly being pursued or rather if they were illustrative scenarios, being modeled more for informational purposes.


Eiler said that a basic premise behind every alternatives analysis is the need to look at all possible tools to solve a transportation problem, regardless of how politically attractive they may be at any given point.  She said that these tools must include roadway options, transit options and various combinations of options.  In order to have a technically credible process, she said that Transport 2020 must start with a very thorough range of options in the toolbox.  She said that the choice, midway through Transport 2020, may be to dismiss the highway Build option – as it may not meet this region’s needs.


Rob Kennedy said that these options are being modeled to show differences in how the system might operate under different scenarios, whether or not they are politically feasible.  David Cieslewicz expressed concerns about the “downstream” traffic impacts from these Build options, and whether or not the traffic problem was just being moved downstream slightly.  Eiler agreed that the bottleneck does get pushed, and this will show in the model.  Kristine Euclide expressed concern about bus/bicycle lanes, and how they would be affected if traffic lanes were in that place.  Eiler said that ridership impacts would be shown.  Onken said that Milwaukee Street might be considered for its desirability as a transit corridor.  Carlsen said that 6 lanes on Northport did not make sense unless carried through to Packers Avenue.  Bob McDonald (Madison Area MPO) said that this would be shown.


Ken Golden said that environmental justice issues at Park Street would need to be considered.  Trowbridge pointed out that, in order to be technically consistent, some street widenings would need to be considered at places where transit lanes are being considered, in order to understand the differences among the options (which included Park Street and Mineral Point Road).  Eiler referred OAC members to the list of 18 other potential projects that were initially considered at the TAC, but were rejected from further consideration for various reasons.


Eiler then asked the OAC to approve the Build highway alternative for modeling in Phase I of Transport 2020.  The OAC approved this alternative, on a motion submitted by Rob Kennedy/Ald. Warren Onken.


Kristine Euclide asked if the Build alternative allowed for an adequate analysis.  Ken Kinney felt that it did, but it would not have been with too many more projects dismissed from early consideration.





Ken Kinney then described some of the initial transit alternatives to be modeled in Phase I of Transport 2020.  Trowbridge then distributed a packet with maps showing the various rail alternatives, bus alternatives, station locations, feeder bus concepts, and park-and-ride facilities.  The packet also included fares to be modeled and general operating schedules for the options.


(Note: Copies of this handout can be obtained by request)


David Cieslewicz asked how transit-oriented development opportunities would be considered at station locations.  Kinney said that a February 2nd Land Use Workshop would begin to flesh that out.  He said that Sam Seskin of PB’s Portland office would be in town to show how land use impacts would be considered with the various transit alternatives.


Kinney described the existing rail right-of-way option, noting that the 1997 Commuter Rail Study was used to help develop this initial option.  Cieslewicz also asked about the relationship of these options with the high speed rail study.  Kinney said that the corridor to be used might be the same, depending on what is chosen in Transport 2020.  He added that cost savings for some Transport 2020 options could be significant, should high speed rail be implemented.  Kinney said that he has had meetings with the high speed rail project managers to discuss the ongoing coordination that needs to take place.  Golden said that coordination with freight traffic would also need to be considered.  Kinney said that a passing siding or double track in some places might be necessary to accommodate the various schedules.  Kinney also said that the high speed rail station location would be incorporated into Transport 2020 planning efforts.


In terms of the express bus options, Kinney said that the concept was to provide a level of service as similar to the rail options as possible, in terms of frequency, travel times, cost, etc.  Ald. Golden asked about the existing bus transfer centers, and how they were being considered.  He asked about the number of transfers that might be needed.  Kinney said that in some cases, there would be two transfers, but that, as a planning goal, this should be minimized.  Rob Kennedy asked about the feeder bus loop through American Center, and why it wasn’t on all of the transit maps.  Kinney said that it should be on all maps and will be added.


In terms of the street running rail alternative, the 1992 Light Rail Study was utilized.  Kinney noted that light rail operating along the Capitol Square is shown, but may not be included for later evaluation due to operational difficulties.  Kennedy asked about ridership differences, and whether or not there could be combinations of alternatives.  Kinney said that there would be further evaluation of this in Phase II.


Kinney then described the preliminary operating plans.  He said that, initially, 20-minute peak headways and 30-minute off-peak headways would be evaluated.  Tom Carlsen asked if this schedule could be done with single track.  Kinney said that his gut feeling was that 10-minute peak/20-minute off-peak would need double track, but 20-miute peak/30-minute off-peak would not.  Carlsen added that the hours of commuter rail operation shown here, such as 6:00 am-midnight, would limit the windows of opportunity for freight traffic coordination – particularly with the rail technologies that cannot operate during the same period as freight.  Kennedy expressed concern about the scheduling compatibility of high speed rail vehicles.  Kinney said that Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)-compatibility will be an important component of what moves forward in Transport 2020.  Kinney said that a mixture of railroad systems in the northeast corridor are able to work out schedules, so it is challenging but possible.


Golden said that park-and-ride lots might be considered at more locations in the urban area (i.e., focusing on a more urban market, rather than only the peripheral market, for park-and-ride).  Kinney said that this will be revisited for Phase II.  Golden added that parking structures fairly close to the downtown might be considered, along with aggressive parking pricing strategies.  Kinney said that these issues are important and should be considered.


Kinney described the initial fare schedule, which showed a slightly higher cost for the express options (as compared to local bus fares) to reflect the premium level of service being provided.  Kinney added that, at this time, transfers among modes would involve separate fares – but that alternative approaches to this should be evaluated later (such as a free transfer policy).


The OAC agreed to approve the various transit options for modeling in Phase I of Transport 2020.





Kinney and Eiler then updated OAC members on some future evaluation activities that were planned, and also a future workshop that is scheduled.


- Stakeholder Meetings (ongoing);

- Technical Evaluation (ongoing);

§Ridership Forecasts


§Land Use Impacts/Opportunities

- Land Use Workshop: Friday, February 2, 2001, 9:00 am, Room 260 MMB; and,

- TAC/OAC Reviews of Initial Model Runs (mid-February, 2001).


Ald. Warren Onken suggested contacting newspaper editorial boards early in the process, as these alternatives are being developed.  He said that a somewhat in-depth Sunday morning paper evaluation piece might be helpful at this stage – to get the public thinking about this project.  Golden felt that it may be early to do that, given the complexity of the issues at this stage.  Ken Leonard felt that it will only get more complex in the future, and that there could be ways to simplify the information we have at this point, in order to try to get the newspapers to do something with it at this time.


Kennedy supported Onken’s idea but added that modeling material is not easy to get across and there is also a danger of the headline reading “Milwaukee Street to be Widened”.  Kristine Euclide said that an important step at this point would be to develop a clearly-understood summary/explanation of the process for public consumption (such as newspaper editorial boards and other media).  Kinney said that material exists to start that process.





Stephanie Eiler said that the next meeting of the Oversight Advisory Committee would likely be needed some time in early March, after some of the initial model results are ready for review.  The OAC scheduled the meeting for:


- Oversight Advisory Committee Meeting #11: Thursday, March 8th, 4:45 pm, Room 201 City/County Building.


The Committee agreed to meet on that date.


Tom Carlsen announced that it was his last day as Director of WisDOT District 1, and that a replacement would be appointed to the OAC soon.  He said that he has enjoyed his time working with the Committee and would likely be following the project’s proceedings in his new job, HNTB Corporation.





There were no items by the Co-Chairs or Committee members.



11.            ADJOURNMENT


The Committee adjourned its meeting at 7:00 p.m.















Related Link