City leaders introducing proposal to decrease roadway congestion, greenhouse gas emissions

Beltline

MADISON, Wis. — City leaders are introducing a new proposal aimed at curbing traffic congestion and related emissions throughout Madison.

The proposal, known as Transportation Demand Management, includes measures that would help decrease the number of single-occupant vehicles on Madison’s roadways, including adding bike lockers and showers to office buildings, giving city residents a free bus pass, organizing carpool programs and more.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said the plan would give developers, city leaders and residents a consistent set of requirements and metrics to help guide future decisions.

“Madison continues to be one of the most attractive cities in the nation, and our population continues to grow. We need to find a way to accommodate that growth without worsening traffic congestion and air pollution,” Rhodes-Conway said. “This proposal embeds solutions into new developments and creates flexibility and predictability on how each development will be asked to contribute.”

According to city officials, roughly two-thirds of work-related commutes in Madison are taken in cars with a single occupant. Earlier this year, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced plans to turn the shoulder of the Beltline into a flex lane to ease congestion. Still, city leaders said room for expanding the city’s roadways is slim, hence the need for new solutions.

“Madison is excited to work with neighborhoods and developers as we forge a program addressing these challenges,” City of Madison Transportation Director Tom Lynch said. “This program complements the investments Madison has made over decades in our pedestrian, transit, and bicycling infrastructure.”

In addition to reducing congestion, the proposals would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. City leaders said 41% of the city’s emissions come from transportation.

Rhodes-Conway said the TDM proposal will be introduced to the city’s Plan Commission Thursday night.