Madison common council to vote on tiny homes, hear ride share proposal

By: Madeline Anderson Email
By: Madeline Anderson Email

Published: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 --- 10:20 p.m.

From ride share programs to tiny houses, the Madison common council took up a number of heated topics at Tuesday's meeting.

The the common council is to vote to approve, reject or refer for another meeting the months-long project that would allow nine tiny houses, now referred to as "portable shelters" on East Johnson Street for homeless individuals.

Before the council members could discuss, around 50 people voiced their opinions during the public input session.

"Would you rather people have a tiny roof or no roof?" said Satya Rhodes-Conway.

"My main concern is how noise levels are going to be controlled late at night. How will unruly tenants be addressed?" said Don Irwin.

To move forward with the project, 14 out of the 20 council members must vote in favor of it.

Also Tuesday, the conversation continued surrounding ride share programs--a new kind of cab-like service that uses citizen drivers.

Council member Scott Resnick (8th District) is introducing a city ordinance that will regulate companies like Uber and Lyft in Madison in the hopes they can compete legally with regular taxi cab companies.

"We're looking to do this in a safe manner," Resnick said. "What that means is background checks done by the city of Madison. We want to make sure vehicles are inspected and they're safe. We also want to make sure our residents are protected from any kind of discrimination, and that these companies do service every single neighborhood."

"We still have not addressed the insurance issue. There's a period of time when the driver leaves home and has not yet got a dispatch, they will not have coverage--neither their personal nor Uber or Lyft. That's a danger to everyone in the community," said Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.

Throughout the summer there will be hearings on the ride share programs. Mayor Soglin encourages the public to weigh in on the issue.

Until the common council makes a decision on the ordinance, which probably won't be until fall, it is illegal for those ride share companies to operate in Madison.

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