My column last week on the city of Monona’s plans to remove hundreds of trees, bushes and flower gardens to add sidewalks on both sides of South Winnequah Road generated more feedback than I’ve seen in awhile.
From Tom Groth: “Please, please, please talk to your neighbors and tell them that they bought homes on a busy road. Period — end of story.
“It is my understanding that when the road was reconstructed last time the city engineer tried to appease the vocal minority neighbors by over-designing the road. Intersection pinch points (the bump-outs) … and no sidewalk. Kids were flying out of their seats on the school buses and equipment flew off of trailers.
“The pinch points are never cleared of snow in the winter so any type of walking or biking traffic is almost impossible from December through March.
“Oh yes, the stone wall: One of the many reasons given why the sidewalk should not be installed last time. Then one of the walls falls apart and the owner spends three summers fixing it.
“It is a waste of money to keep re-working this road because the people who live on the street want to feel like they own a home in the north woods. Get over it.
“Winnequah Road from Bridge Road to Maywood Road is one of the main traffic patterns for anyone coming from the west side of town and entering Monona. It always has been!
“Making the road one-way is a terrible idea. It needs to be made wider, there needs to be a dedicated sidewalk, and the horrific pinch points need to be removed so that snow can be plowed like the rest of the city. Take down trees as needed to make it safe.
“Then ask the police department to run speed control and ticket the offenders. Everyone in the state knows to slow down when you drive through Rosendale or you will likely get a ticket. If the police do their jobs, then drivers’ mindsets and behaviors will change.
“Why should the residents on Frost Woods, Owen, Nichols, and Dean all have increased traffic on their roads so that the you can have less traffic on Winnequah Road? Terrible idea.”
From Gene Mueller: “Weather permitting, I bike the Winnequah Road corridor four or five times a week and yes, it can be an adventure, especially on garbage day when containers line the bump-outs. The bump-outs need to go.
“The biggest threat to biking safety is Monona’s pot-holed and pock-marked streets on the bike loop! Parts of Winnequah Road, Tonyawatha Trail and Winnequah Trail are badly in need of repair.
“I don’t know when or why Monona switched from sensible budgeting to building monuments. But we did!
“The $3-million (plus interest) mini-park in Yahara Commons is a prime example. To honor Monona taxpayers, I propose we name it ‘The Underwater.’
It’s just another addition to our debt service load that precludes us from doing street maintenance.
“The Strand (engineering) report states that ‘an estimated 1,000 bikers per day use the Bridge Road to Maywood corridor’! A number pulled from thin air (much like the budgeting process)!
“Assume a 12-hour optimal biking window on a summer day; that means over 80 bikers an hour all day – every day! No way!
“The report also states that Monona has a higher bike crash rate per 1,000 than Dane County. I have never seen nor heard of any! It would be interesting to know how many reports the police have from the last few years?
“The Strand report sounds like it started with a conclusion and then went in search of facts (provided by pro-sidewalk members) to justify clear-cutting Winnequah Road and adding sidewalks on both sides.
“Doesn’t that fly in the face of the ‘sustainability’ resolution? It states: ‘Sustainability in everything we do,’ and adds ‘The City of Monona is a leader in environmental sustainability, and believes that a commitment to the environment is crucial to having a flourishing community.”
And from Deb Whitehorse: “Your recent column on Winnequah Road was excellent and it has many talking. Do you know if there will be a time when the public can comment at a City Council meeting?
“I want to really push back on cutting down all these trees for a non-existent problem. I also had the idea of turning the road into a one-way. What about lowering the speed limit to 20 mph?
“Not only are those trees Monona’s original architecture, think of the extra square footage of new concrete that will carry even more run-off into our lakes!
“The city tried the bump-outs and seem to be admitting they didn’t work. OK, good for them for trying. They can take them out.
“But there are no do-overs when the trees that put the ‘Woods’ in Frost Woods are taken down.”
The Monona City Council will vote at Monday’s meeting whether to accept the report advocating the addition of more than 9 miles of sidewalks to Monona streets over the next 20 years.
To get in on the conversation, call Sunny Schubert at 222-1604 or e-mail email@example.com.