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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Reconstruction of 700 and 800 blocks of State Street to focus on safety

During the final installment of the comprehensive State Street redesign, city officials aim to transform the 700 and 800 blocks into a year-round destination at the heart of campus while making the corridor safer for students, according to Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin allotted the project $4.9 million in his 2014 executive capital budget, which will be reviewed and amended by various city committees, including Common Council, before adoption the first week in November.

Chris Petykowski, Madison’s principle engineer, said the plan to revamp the area adjacent to Library Mall currently includes building a bike lane in the center surrounded on both sides by two 12-foot-wide “amenities zones” for trees, benches and food carts, bordered on the outside by two pedestrian-only, 8-foot-wide sidewalks.

“The space as it is isn’t really designed for bike usage, so we’re trying to open up the design a little bit,” Petykowski said. For instance, he said, they plan to remove the raised concrete platforms and level the entire lane between North Lake Street and North Park Street.

Resnick said in addition to safer transportation, the plan includes increasing night-time lighting because “it’s dark at night. Depending on what time of the year, very dark to extremely dark.”

The design team is also looking into different year-round activities that could be implemented to “expand the timeframe that people can actually use that space,” according to Resnick.

Petykowski and the engineering team will present initial plans to Common Council next week. Several city committees will then have to review the designs before Common Council can vote on the proposal.

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