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Metro decides not to move bus pad dug into woman's yard without her knowledge

Metro decides not to move bus pad dug into woman's yard without her knowing

MADISON, Wis. - Madison Metro Transit will not move the bus stop dug into a Madison woman’s yard without her knowledge.

On Thursday Monica Johnson came home to find a 15-foot-by-19-foot square dug out of her front yard, and she had to chase down construction workers to find out that it was for a bus pad.

After she reached out to the city of Madison about the pad, workers in the city’s engineering division – who are responsible for communicating construction projects to residents - realized they hadn’t told her about the bus pad being installed, though they had told her about road construction on her street.

Spokesmen for Madison Metro Transit and the engineering division told News 3 Now they would work with Johnson to come to a solution. 

On Wednesday Johnson found out through a phone call the city decided to keep the bus pad where it is, though it would be downsized to a 7-foot-by-20-foot pad.

“After reviewing this with the Mayor’s office, City Engineering, City Transportation, and Monica’s alder, it has been decided that the safest place for a wheelchair pad and crosswalk is in this new location, in the right of way, in front of Monica’s house,” wrote Mick Rusch, a spokesman for Madison Metro Transit, in an email to News 3 Now.

Rusch said the bus pad was part of a program to make all bus stops in Madison ADA compliant, per the direction of the common council. Other bus stops will be converted to concrete pads over the course of the next five years. 

Multiple officials with the city said workers had the right to dig the pad into Johnson’s yard because it fell in the 14-foot public right of way built into the property.

Johnson said this whole process has been frustrating, due to a lack of communication at every step, and the ultimate permanent placement of a bus pad in front of her picture window and front door.

“Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it,” she said. “And because you have the right of way, it doesn't make it right.”

She sees the bus pad as a devaluation of her property, estimating it could knock tens of thousands of dollars off her resale value (area appraisers could not confirm whether or not that is true).

Johnson said she is going to keep pushing to get the bus stop moved to its previous location – on the other side of her front lawn – until the concrete is poured, a date for which has not been set.

“I hope this isn't done,” Johnson said. “I know that he sounded very final and like it was done, but in my mind it can't be because it's so grossly unfair. This can't be the end.”

Madison’s engineering division declined to comment on this story.
 

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