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File #: 40307    Version: Name: SUBSTITUTE To include new street construction that recognizes the importance of street trees and tree canopy and delineating the terms for community involvement in decision-making in street reconstruction projects in the City’s “Complete Streets” program
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
File created: 10/25/2016 In control: LONG RANGE TRANSPORTATION PLANNING COMMITTEE (ended 6/2018)
On agenda: 11/1/2016 Final action: 11/22/2016
Enactment date: Enactment #:
Title: SUBSTITUTE - To include new street construction that recognizes the importance of street trees and tree canopy and prioritizes projects delineating the terms for community involvement in decision-making in street reconstruction projects in the City’s “Complete Streets” program as adopted by the Common Council on 12/15/09 (Resolution RES-09-00997, Legislative File No. 16250).
Sponsors: David Ahrens
Attachments: 1. Resolution 16250.pdf, 2. Public Comment - Leg File 40307 - TPC 11.09.16.pdf, 3. Resolution 40307 v1.pdf

Fiscal Note

No fiscal impact.

Title

SUBSTITUTE - To include new street construction that recognizes the importance of street trees and tree canopy and prioritizes projects  delineating the terms for community involvement in decision-making in street reconstruction projects in the City’s “Complete Streets” program as adopted by the Common Council on 12/15/09 (Resolution RES-09-00997, Legislative File No. 16250).

Body

PREAMBLE

Complete Streets is a national movement to ensure that streets are designed to enable safe access for all users, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders, of all ages and abilities, to be able to move safely along and across the street. This resolution reaffirms the city’s commitment to these concepts to include sustaining our urban forest and notably, our tree canopy and trees in the terrace area.

 

The proposed resolution also recognizes the critical importance of terrace trees to the well-being of city neighborhoods and residents. In many "rural" neighborhoods the tree canopy provides a distinctive natural element in an urban setting. The resolution also recognizes the city's commitment to providing sidewalks for those streets and roads with the greatest pedestrian activity. Due to limitations in funding of the Rural to Urban Streets Program, the resolution prioritizes projects by category and reaffirms the city's commitmentto the preservation of trees in the course of street reconstruction.

 

WHEREAS, the Platinum Bicycling City Planning Committee’s report Making Madison the Best City in the Country for Bicycling, adopted by the Common Council on April 8, 2008, recommends that the City adopt a Complete Streets Resolution; and

 

WHEREAS, the city’s adopted Bicycle Transportation Plan, Pedestrian Transportation Plan, and Comprehensive Plan already include complete streets concepts, goals, policies and objectives; and

 

WHEREAS, the Madison Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Regional Transportation Plan 2030 for the Madison Metropolitan Area and Dane County includes complete streets concepts in its goals and policy objectives; and,

 

WHEREAS, Complete Streets concepts include sidewalks and curb ramps for pedestrians, bike lanes, accessible bus stops and a variety of ways to make street crossings easier and safer for pedestrians and bicyclists; and,

 

WHEREAS, the emergence of the Emerald Ash Borer will devastate most of the city’s 21,000 terrace trees in the next few years; and,

 

WHEREAS, as “Tree City, USA” since 1990, Madison recognizes that its urban forest sustains healthy people, friendly neighborhoods, high-value homes, wildlife and businesses; and,

 

WHEREAS,  terrace trees, are an integral part of the urban forest, and as such clean the air, capture rainwater and support both individual and community goals for healthy, safe and prosperous communities; and,

 

WHEREAS, as an unintended effect of the Complete Streets concept, the construction of sidewalks in the course of street reconstruction in established neighborhood requires the massive loss of mature trees and street tree canopy in residential areas which in turn results in loss of wildlife, the loss of shade and an increase in summer heat and an overall shift in “the look” of a major loss of trees in the streetscape of a neighborhood; and,

 

WHEREAS, the Madison in Motion studies indicate that over 300 miles of city streets do not have sidewalks on one or both sides; and,

 

WHEREAS, the Madison in Motion report of 2016 states, “It is important to recognize that the lack of sidewalks on certain streets is far more important than on other streets. Streets that carry large amounts of traffic (arterials and collectors) should have sidewalks.”; and,

 

WHEREAS, a significant number of streets with bus routes lack sidewalks leaving passengers in less than optimal conditions in the winter and spring; and,

 

WHEREAS, in addition to arterials and collector streets, bus routes - which also tend to have higher than average vechicular traffic - have been identified as a priority for conversion to a “complete street; and,

 

WHEREAS, schools are often on, or immediately adjacent, to bus routes and have been cited as a priority; and,

 

WHEREAS, other priority areas that have been cited are streets adjacent to parks and near commercial districts,

 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the city values its tree canopy and it is a vital element of the lives and well-being in the neighborhoods in which they are present; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that given the vast number of miles of streets in which sidewalks might be constructed and the limited funds for these projects it is essential that priorities are established for these projects; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the first priority for the rural to urban projects are rural streets with bus routes and the second priority are streets immediately adjacent to schools; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the next priority are streets immediately adjacent to commercial districts and those that are adjacent to parks,

 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that in the construction of sidewalks, the Engineering Division will make every effort to preserve the tree canopy and to minimize any harm.

 

WHEREAS, almost all communities faced with the prospect of the loss of tree canopy due to the construction of sidewalks have voiced opposition to this change in their environment; and,

 

WHEREAS, the city of Madison has a long-standing tradition of citizen participation in decision-making represented in Engineering Division’s Public Involvement Meetings and more formally, in the polling of neighbors in the event of proposed installation of speed humps which results in  their acceptance or rejection,

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Common Council reaffirms its commitment to “Complete Streets” and directs staff of various agencies including but not limited to Planning & Development, City Engineering, Traffic Engineering and Madison Metro to follow to the extent possible  this framework for all street construction involving new developments; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in the event of street reconstruction projects on residential streets, residents of the affected streets will vote to accept or reject the construction of sidewalks; and,

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that under the supervision of the City Clerk a ballot will be conducted and a majority of received mail ballots will determine the result; and,

 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that this provision will not apply to collector or arterial roadways.