Madison officials consider making lower State St. pedestrian-only
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - City officials are exploring turning part of State Street into a pedestrian-only road.
The City of Madison Downtown Coordinating Committee held a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday night to discuss the possibility of limiting the 400-600 blocks of State St to foot and bicycle only. Currently, only delivery cars, emergency medical services vehicles and city buses are allowed on the three-block stretch. Buses will stop using the lower half of State St. in June.
City Planner Dan McAuliffe said limiting traffic to pedestrian and bike riders only could bring more business to the popular tourist street.
”This is the first time that buses haven’t been on the lower half and I think people are excited about what that could mean,” he said.
Sunroom Café Sales Representative Fernando Vasquez said converting their part of State St. could only prove problematic for their delivery services.
”I feel like it would put an issue on delivery and product for restaurants that are on these blocks,” he said. ”Other than that I don’t see an issue with it.”
Vasquez said their customers are mostly college students traveling on foot anyway, so taking away other vehicles wouldn’t impact their business too much.
Before the city considers closing the street, they have a lot to consider.
”What can we do given the known of emergency access, delivery services, make sure it’s accessible to all of our residents?” McAuliffe asked. “There isn’t a proposal right now, there’s no design and we’re really just trying to better understand the needs of the businesses on the street, how people interact in the space.”
City officials have only discussed this possibility of changing the street, they will still need to draft a design and then take their official proposal to Common Council for approval.
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