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Monday, December 13, 2010

DMNA e-News: Verona Road last chances

Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News  
                                                                                   December 13, 2010

The DMN e-News and an occasional hard copy DMN News are published by the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association (DMNA) on an “as-needed” schedule.  The Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association, Inc. has been working to unite neighbors to solve mutual problems and promote fellowship among neighbors since 1973.
                President, Jeff Glazer, 277-1778
                News contact, Mary Mullen, 298-0843
              On Facebook:
Things are coming to a head regarding comments to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT)  about the Verona Road/West Beltline reconstruction project.  Time is of the essence.  Madison will pass a resolution tomorrow, Dec. 14.  Dane County will pass theirs on Thursday, Dec. 16.  All comments from anyone and everyone will have to be in to WisDOT by Friday, December 17.  Take positive action now to express any opinions you have.  The rest of this e-News can help you.
Tues, Dec 14, 6:30 p.m. – Madison Common Council meeting
to consider the Verona Road project resolution – Rm. 201, City-County Bldg,, 210 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd.  (See articles 1-5 and attachments 1 & 2.)
Thurs., Dec. 16 – 7 pm – Dane County Board Meeting to consider the Verona Road project resolution, Rm. 201, City-County Bldg,, 210 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd. .  (See articles 6 &7..)

Thurs., Dec. 16 – 7 pm – DMNA Council Meeting –
Prairie UU Society Bldg., corner of Whenona & Crawford.  Any resident may attend, but only Council members may vote. This is a changed date!

Fri., Dec. 17 Last day to make written comments to the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation about the Verona Road reconstruction project.  (See article #8.)

Articles in 12-13-10 special Verona Road issue of the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News

            Verona project – City of Madison
(articles 1-5, attachments #1 & 2)
1 - Madison’s Verona Road Resolution Still Unsatisfactory
2- Text of the Requested Resolution
3 - Revision to Madison Staff Comments Consider DMNA Concerns But Could Do More
4 - Residents Urged to Contact Alders and Mayor About Verona Road Resolution and Comments
5 – Speak at the Dec. 14 Madison Council Meeting.  Here’s How.

Verona project – County Board (articles 6 & 7)
6 - County Board to Pass Verona Road Resolution Thursday, Dec. 16
7 - How to Contact Dane County Board Supervisors.  Decision to Be Made Thursday, Dec. 16
Verona Project – Communicating with WisDOT
(article 8)
8 - It’s Not Over Until It’s Over:  December 17 Is FINAL Deadline for Comments to WisDOT

           Neighborhood Activity Vis-à-vis Verona Road
(attachment #3)
9 - Madison Long Range Transportation Planning Committee (LRTPC) Non-Meeting
10 – DMNA Does Outreach on Verona Project to Allied and Avalon Village Mothers’ Groups
(Attachment: 3 People & Verona Road)

Verona project – City of Madison
(articles 1-5; attachment 1 *Mad resol revised.doc & attachment
2 *DMNA comments on rev staff.doc)

1 - Madison’s Verona Road Resolution Still Unsatisfactory

On this Tuesday, October 14, the Madison City Council will pass a resolution to deliver comments to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) about the Verona Road reconstruction project. Neither the original resolution nor the Version 1 of the resolution -the version now shown in the October 14 agenda- is satisfactory to the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association (DMNA).
The DMNA has been communicating to District 10 Alder Brian Solomon about the resolution.  It is co-sponsored by Alder Solomon and Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.
People in the neighborhood who have been most active on this subject have seen a revised resolution that meets the DMNA requested revisions.  However, the currently revised resolution - the Version 1 mentioned above - totally ignores the most important suggestions that were made. Both the original resolution and Version 1 continue to be a praise document for WisDOT rather than a simple submittal document.   
The reason this is not acceptable to the DMNA is that we know of too many cases where people did not feel their concerns were listened to or heeded, where people were actually chided or almost ridiculed when talking in person with a WisDOT staff member, or where requested information wasn’t provided.  Many neighborhood residents who testified at the October 13 official public hearing felt disrespected by the noisy conditions and apparent lack of attention to speakers giving testimony.  Neighborhood activists and others in the know also feel that the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement and WisDOT personnel simply gloss over health and noise concerns of highways that will attract more traffic and put it closer to homes.  
Submittal resolutions drafted by Fitchburg and the County do not spend any space characterizing WisDOT’s process or plans.  Clearly, that is not a requirement for a resolution.
The requested resolution is provided in the next article. Refer to the links below to see with your own eyes the undesireable resolution City Council members are seeing with their December 14 agenda,.
You should be able to see the Version 1 resolution by going directly to
Legislative File Text <;ver=1>
Another way to access it is to go to the Common Council part of the City of Madison website: <>  and follow a several step process. This might be useful, regardless, because then all the documents available to City Council members will be at your fingertips.
Here are the steps once you get to the Common Council page.
1. In the center column find the December 14 Council Meeting agenda link.  Click on Agenda <>  
2. Once you get to the agenda, scroll down to item 56.  Just to the right of the number is a black bar. Click on the black bar, and you will get Legislative File ID 20239.  
3. On the file, look down to the section called attachments.  The first attachment is
Legislative File Text <;ver=1> .
4. When you click on
Legislative File Text <;ver=1> , the resolution will come up, perhaps as a download that you have to accept.
5. Notice how this Version 1 resolution is full of praise for WisDOT’s many meetings, its “extensive outreach efforts,” and its “open and inclusive process.”   It then goes on to list a number of the provisions of the plan that are said to be “efforts that WisDOT has made towardminimizing and mitigating the negative impacts.”


2- Text of the Requested Resolution

Below is the text of the resolution that the DMNA Council unanimously adopted at its November 16 meeting and forwarded to Alder Brian Solomon.  Notice how it is a neutral document, simply submitting staff comments.  
If you are planning to communicate with Alder Solomon or Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and wish to ask them to support the DMNA request, this is the wording to suggest along with leaving out all reference to Wisconsin Department of Transportation efforts and specific plans.  Contact information is given later in this e-News.
Providing the Wisconsin Department of Transportation with the City ofMadison’s comments on the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for the Verona Road/USH 18/151 Project.
WHEREAS, in March of 2004  the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT)  released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to address the long-term needs of the Madison area’s West Beltline Highway and USH 18/151 (Verona Road) as the first step in planning for long-term infrastructure investments within this area; and

WHEREAS, in August 2010, WisDOT released a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SCEIS) that reduced the scope of the original DEIS to the Verona Road corridor; and

WHEREAS, the SDEIS, dated August 19, 2010, introduces new alternatives and evaluates a staged improvement;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Madison Common Council hereby endorses the submittal of comments on the SDEIS (please see attached document, entitled “WisDOT Project I.D. 1206-07-03, SPES-F NH 04 U.S. Highway 18/151 Verona Road/Beltline: City of Madison Comments” for more detailed project comments, submitted by City agency staff). The City of Madison specifically requests that WisDOT integrate these comments into the Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement, commit to the implementation of the specific
recommendations (to be finalized during the final design process), and where noted, enter into formal agreements with the City to ensure adequate implementation.
Fiscal Note
No expenditure is required to convey the City comments on the SDEIS via this Resolution.

3 - Revision to Madison Staff Comments Consider DMNA Concerns But Could Do More

City of Madison staff worked very hard to make revisions to their comments on the Verona Road project Environmental Impact Statement.  They based their changes on the response the DMNA sent to Alder Brian Solomon on November 24 and which he passed on to them. While the revised comment document does incorporate many of the responses, some very important concepts were left out or perhaps misunderstood.
Please check out Attachment #1 to this e-News to see the further refinements that the DMNA is requesting to the comments the city will sent to WisDOT.  
The cover letter (e-mail) that accompanied the request for these refinements detailed the main changes still wanted.  Following is the main text of the e-mail sent to Alder Solomon and City staff on December 11 shortly after the revisions were available electronically.
Most City revisions were right on target on noting Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association and resident concerns.   Thanks, City staff and Alder Solomon for your work on this.

There were still a few requests that were either misunderstood or perhaps simply missed in the laborious process of going over the document.  We still would like this document
·      to mention the word “moratorium” (p. 1 of comments)
·      to note that the roadway redesign may slow access onto and across Verona Road for residents, police and emergency vehicles (p. 2 of comments under Street System)
·      to make it clear that we prefer grade-separated crossings for all bike trails crossing PD/McKee Road and Verona Road (p.3 of comments under item 4 of Pedestrian and Bicycle Connectivity)
·      to note that in working with the neighborhoods that all should be invited to the same meetings so that any differences or friction that could occur if separate meeetings are held could be avoided (We all need to be on the same page.)  ( p. 5 of comments, #3 under Aesthetic Treatments...)
·      to verbalize the desire of residents for more sound mitigation efforts during Stages1 and 2 (p. 6, #1 under Air Quality and Noise Mitigation)
·      to delay any purchase and destruction of neighborhood buildings related to Stage 3 until Stage 3 implementation becomes a certainty (p. 7, very bottom of the page), and
·      to note that we don’t want new thoroughfares going through the neighborhood (p. 7, item 6 under transit, in regard to making a direct connection between Seminole Highway and the Summit intersection).

·      In reviewing the document, I found that we had not included points 7-10 on pages 8 and 9 of the document.  We had meant to comment on item #10 on page 9 to indicate that opinion is mixed about extending Raymond Road across Verona Road into the Allied part of the neighborhood during Stage 3.
For those of you who would like to see the primary documents, the original City staff document and the DMNA’s response to it are available as part of the City Council agenda. [See the article about Madison’s resolution – above -  for how to get to them, or try the links given below.]
Here’s a key to the documents that are attachments to Legislative File ID 20239 as well as direct links to them.  Hopefully the links will work when they are part of the e-News.
Second attachment to file 20239:
Verona Road-SDEIS-City-comments-101510.pdf <>   These are the original City staff comments.
Sixth attachment to file 20239:
DMNA-comments-on-City-staff-memo <>  These are the DMNA’s comments on the original City staff comments.
Seventh attachment to file 20239:
Verona-Road-SDEIS-City-comments-120810 <>   These are the revised City staff comments that are based on the DMNA comments.
As stated above, the DMNA is requesting further refinement of the comments, and you may see the request by clicking on the attachment to this e-mail.                     
4 - Residents Urged to Contact Alders and the Mayor About Verona Road Resolution and Comments
It would probably be quite helpful to Alder Solomon to hear from people about the Verona Road project resolution and the City staff comments.  All neighbors in our service area are encouraged to let Alder Solomon know your concerns about the project. Contact him at or <>  or 446-1362.
Since Mayor Dave Cieslewicz is also a co-sponsor of this resolution, you may want to contact him also.  To do so, go to the city website  http:/// or call 266-4611.
If you want to support all the suggestions made by the DMNA about the resolution, simply say that. That would mean leaving out all the praise for WisDOT and leaving out the lists of plan elements.  This request was sent to Alder Solomon on November 17.
If you want Alder Solomon and Mayor Dave to support the DMNA’s most recent revision of the staff comments that were sent to Alder Solomon on Friday, December 11, be sure to mention the date.  (The earlier response was sent to him on November 23.)
In addition, since the City Council discussion will occur tomorrow, Tuesday, December 14, you may want to make your views known to all the alders at once.  Do this by sending your e-mail to  This is only way to communicate with all alders at once other than by going to the meeting.  You may have to copy and paste this address into your e-mail.
The original resolution and comments can be seen as part of the City Council agenda for December 14. This is item 56 on the agenda. The first article about the Verona Road project explains how to get to the agenda on-line.

5 – Speak at the Dec. 14 Madison Council Meeting.  Here’s How.
Anyone who wants to can speak about the Verona Road project in front of the Madison City Council meeting on Tuesday, December 14.  Three minutes is the limit. It’s good to have a written statement to speak from, since 3 minutes goes surprisingly fast.
To speak, one needs to register at the table just inside Room 201 of the City County Building just before the meeting.  Then give the registration slip to the person accepting them on the platform in front of the room.  The meeting begins at 6:30.
Fill out the slip with your name, address, and agenda item.  The Verona Road resolution is item 56.  Also check whether you are in support or in opposition to the item and whether you wish to speak.  Lately, there’s been a lot of talk on the part of activists of demanding a moratorium on the project.  If that’s your opinion, probably “oppose” would be the box to check. However, since City staff comments are made part of the resolution by reference, and you may support most or all of the comments, the “support” box may be the one to check.  
Regardless of which box you check, if you speak, you can explain just what you are for or against.
There’s no way to register if you can’t attend the meeting, but you can still shoot off an e-mail to all the the city alders:

Verona project – County Board (articles 6 & 7)

6 - County Board to Pass Verona Road Resolution Thursday, Dec. 16

The Verona Road resolution proposed by 5 County Supervisors will be brought to a vote of the full County Board on Thursday, December 16.
While it asks for a number of amenities that the DMNA has spoken out for, the text as shown in the current County Board agenda might be better if tweaked somewhat.  
Unlike the City of Madison resolution, the County resolution names in the resolution itself some issues that “should be underscored.”   It mentions particularly “the need for noise barriers, monitoring air quality, preservation of commercial areas, minimizing impacts on established neighborhoods, stormwater management that would steer water away from Dunn’s Marsh, and the need for bike lanes, pedestrian/bicycle bridges and sidewalks on frontage and neighborhood roads.”  All of these are issues that about which the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood has expressed concerns and suggestions.
It is in the list of “Therefore, be it resolved” that some wordings might be changed to clarify intent.  These issues have been brought to attention of the at least one of the 5 County Supervisors co-sponsoring the resolution.  
One of the recommendations in the resolution is to “Preserve a commercial frontage road on the south side of the beltline between the Verona road and Seminole Highway exits.” At first this might be read that business buildings should be retained on the Beltline frontage road.
In general, this would probably be supported by the Dunn’s Marsh neighborhood, but, - and it’s a huge “but” – the neighborhood associations have asked for “Option B” for the Beltline frontage road.  Option B would keep the frontage road next to the Beltline rather than dipping down into the neighborhood on Britta Parkway.  Option B requires 3 more business buildings to be demolished. Therefore, WisDOT might think the County is favoring Option A instead.  It seems that mentioning Option B as the desired design for the Beltline frontage road is necessary to avoid confusion.
Regarding noise barriers, one activist questioned why the southwest corner was not mentioned as a need area while all other quadrants were.  Word has it that Co. Supervisor Matt Veldran will add the southwest corner for noise barriers.
The resolution asks also WisDOT to commit to air quality monitoring, noise impact and stormwater runoff impact monitoring of the upgraded road.  These are all requests that the DMNA has made. However, the DMNA has also specifically asked for monitoring prior to reconstruction as well as continuously afterward.
Will WisDOT understand that baseline monitoring is required in order to tell how impacts are changed by the reconstructed roads?
The resolution is item J-2 on the December 16 County Board agenda and can be found on page 128 of packet that goes with the agenda.  Find it at  (Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to extract just that part of the packet.)
7 - How to Contact Dane County Board Supervisors.  Decision to Be Made Thursday, Dec. 16.

To express your opinion about the Dane County resolution about Verona Road, it would be best to contact the representatives for our neighborhood plus the other County Supervisors who are co-sponsors of the resolution.
The two co-sponsors who represent our neighborhood are Carousel Bayrd and Matt Veldran.
Carousel Andrea Bayrd represents the Madison part of the neighborhood: <> , (h) 442-6294, (c) 658-7333, Co. Bd. office 266-5758  (Carousel lives on Sherwood Road in Madison.)

Co. Sup. Matt Veldran rpresents the Fitchburg part of the neighborhood: <> (h)271-0722, Co. Bd. office 266-5758 (Matt lives on Kroncke Drive in Fitchburg.)

The other co-sponsors are Chuck Erickson, Robin Schmidt, and Jack Martz.
Chuck Erickson, <>  251-3622 (Chuck lives on Jefferson Street in Madison.)
Robin Schmidt, <>  221-0514 (Robin lives on Tonyawatha Trail in Monona.)
Jack Martz, <>  274-7437  (Jack lives on Wilshire Drive in Fitchburg.)

Verona Project – Communicating with WisDOT (Article 8)

8 - It’s Not Over Until It’s Over:  December 17 Is FINAL Deadline for Comments to WisDOT

Time is drawing short. On this Friday, December 17, all comments on the Verona Road project must be in to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
To communicate your opinions on the project to WisDOT, e-mail the project manager, Larry Barta, at <>    Mailed comments may also be sent, but time is almost too short for that.  Mailed comments should be sent to
Larry Barta
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Southwest Region – Madison
2101 Wright Street
Madison, WI 53704
His phone number is (608) 246-3884.

You may want to send e-mail copies to other WisDOT personnel, to WisDOT’s consultant Strand Associates, to various elected representatives, and to the press.  These are some of the people one resident copied her e-mails to.
WisDOT & Strand <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Press <> <> <>

Political representatives at the state level <> <> <>


Neighborhood Activity Vis-à-vis Verona Road
(attachment 3: col Verona Rd people.jpg)

9 - Madison Long Range Transportation Planning Committee (LRTPC) Non-Meeting

Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood residents have been appearing before City of Madison Committees that were considering the City’s resolution and comments on the Verona Road reconstruction project as well as communicating with 10th District Alder Brian Solomon.
As a result of an appearance at the Pedestrian/Bike Committee on November 23, the committee favored adding a ped/bike bridge over Verona Road at the Beltline.  
Unfortunately, the Long Range Transportation Planning Committee could take no position on December 9, since a quorum was not present within 15 minutes of starting time. The snowy weather that caused traffic-jammed streets meant that it took some people 1 ½ hours to get downtown where normally 20 minutes might do the job.  Only 5 members were present by 5:15 pm on that slippery-slidey, traffic-gridlock afternoon.  Six were required for quorum.  The sixth member showed up about 6:35.  
The 7 people who came to speak about the project were allowed to make their presentations, but the committee was told that they could not ask any questions or discuss the project.  It was a non-meeting.
DMNA members who have attended recent City committee meetings to talk about the Verona Road project are JoAnne Kelley, Connie Roderick, Kim Zinski, Donna Sarafin, Sunshine Jones, and Mary Mullen.
10 – DMNA Does Outreach on Verona Project to Allied and Avalon Village Mothers’ Groups
       (Attachment: col People&Ver Rd.jpg)
In recent weeks, DMNA Council members have participated in outreach to the Allied and Avalon Village Mothers’ groups organized by Sina Davis.  Sina is the Vice President of the Allied-Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association, but this is an initiative separate from the ADMNA.  
One of the major purposes of the Mothers’ groups is to provide a good example to the younger generation.
About a dozen people attended the October 20 meeting of the Allied Mothers in the Neighborhood at the Joining Forces For the Family building on Allied.  This included DMNA Council members Jo Kelley and Mary Mullen.  Dorothy Krause, who was elected to the Council on October 21 also attended.
Mary presented the map of the Verona Road project and especially highlighted the dangers of the relocated Verona Frontage Road that will encircle Walgreen’s, the strip mall, and the cash-for-titles business.
A similar presentation was made to the Avalon Village Mothers’ group on October 25.


- - -
end of the 12-13-10 Verona Road special edition of the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News - - -

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