MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters 
Thursday, July 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 74.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

North Sherman Avenue Proposal

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby david cohen » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:57 pm

I've lived on the very farthest reaches of N. Sherman for 17 yrs now and I think this plan is a disaster waiting to happen. We tried a 3 lane experiment a number of summers ago, and it was a mess. We could have widened the road 2 summers ago but didn't, and now its just too dang narrow to handle 3 lanes for cars and 2 lanes for bikes. I know it sounds cold, but some biker is gonna die with this new configuration and I won't be horrified in the least bit. Madison is growing north and east and Sherman is the fastest way to UW from Northport. It has Madison Metro routes which will back up traffic interminably. It has local deliveries that stop in what will be the bike lane. It has little old ladies who can barely stay in a lane of traffic, let alone drive as fast as the 30 mph speed limit. Oh yeah, it has trains that clog the artery for 15 minutes at a pop. But hey, when you have no public forums for everyone to address their concerns, you know it's a done deal. Only the Village of Maple Bluff stands in the way of the self-righteous Northside Planning Council. Amazing how these folks can hold numerous public forums when the city or the MMSD does something they don't like, but they can't extend the same courtesy for their own pet social engineering project. Listen to me, I sound like a fucking Republican now. Thanks a lot!
david cohen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1310
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:48 pm

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby snoqueen » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:23 pm

Will North Sherman really be preferable to Packers (to get to the downtown or UW) once it's re-engineered for a slower flow of traffic than now? (This is a real question, not me being snippy.) If it's faster to use Packers, wouldn't drivers in a hurry use it even though in distance it's slightly longer? A lot of people put huge importance on these one- or two-minute time savings.

Re-engineered streets and intersections have already much reduced commuter reliance on Old Sherman (the stretch between Fordem and Brearly Street). Speed bumps and the removal of a free-flow left turn onto Gorham at Brearly pretty much did it.

I really, really wish they could come up with a northbound bike path. Maybe you can explain why this has been so hard.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11288
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby david cohen » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:58 pm

Sno, it's been a few years since the bike path to the north side got nixxed, but if i recall, the city wasn't able to work out a deal with Oscar Mayer whereby part of their property could be utilized. It IS a shame there isn't a north side link to the bike paths, because now folks will still be forced to bike N.Sherman and we're kidding ourselves to think there won't be some negative bike/car interaction. I only use Packers to get to the east isthmus. Otherwise, Sherman and Old Sherman are the best ways to get to the UW from this area.
david cohen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1310
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:48 pm

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby Violet_Skye » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:33 pm

snoqueen wrote:Will North Sherman really be preferable to Packers (to get to the downtown or UW) once it's re-engineered for a slower flow of traffic than now? (This is a real question, not me being snippy.) If it's faster to use Packers, wouldn't drivers in a hurry use it even though in distance it's slightly longer? A lot of people put huge importance on these one- or two-minute time savings.


I totally agree. The time difference is negligible and it is a much smoother ride on Packers. I switched to that route because of the near-constant hazards and poor surface condition of Sherman.
Violet_Skye
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1297
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:33 am
Location: Northeast side

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby Ned Flanders » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:23 pm

First of all, any experienced Northside biker knows to ride through Maple Bluff to get downtown. Much safer and scenic. I do feel for the businesses along Sherman. It's Madison's own little slice of Beloit and, clearly it's tough enough to stay open without any additional barriers.

That said, the switch from four lane road to two lane road with traffic calming islands and bike lanes was completed recently on Lyndale Ave in my own Minny neighborhood and it seems to be working out OK. However, this area seems to be more economically healthy and there are more choices for autos traveling north/south.
Ned Flanders
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 13247
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 2:48 pm

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby Violet_Skye » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:19 pm

You're right. We'll just leave Sherman as it is, drive to Maple Bluff from Trailsway, and THEN start our bike route downtown. :roll:
Violet_Skye
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1297
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:33 am
Location: Northeast side

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby marktdi » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:56 pm

I've ridden through Maple Bluff, but trying to go south from Steensland Drive I have to ride all the way north to Warner park then go all the way around the golf course just to get back to essentially where I started from. There's a railroad that splits the north side from Maple Bluff.

Then there are people who suggest alternative north-south routes for bikes. Where are these alleged alternative streets? South of Aberg there are exactly two through streets, Sherman and Packers.
marktdi
Member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:47 pm

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby Ned Flanders » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:53 pm

Well, if we could get rid of that pesky train that runs past Warner, we could put in a bike path. As a kid that think woke me up more than once a 2 a.m.
Ned Flanders
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 13247
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 2:48 pm

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby Violet_Skye » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:10 pm

Who is 'we'? You live in Minnesota. Why do you even comment on this?
Violet_Skye
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1297
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:33 am
Location: Northeast side

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:42 pm

Ned is a former Maple Bluffer. He had it rough.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19587
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby Ninja » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:18 pm

I’m pretty disgusted by this whole idea. Why Sherman? I drive the entire length at least twice a day and I see a bike commuter maybe once or twice a week, tops. And there are already bike lanes on the busier stretches of the street. Plus it’s perfectly legal to ride on the barely inhabited sidewalks for almost the entire trip between Johnson and Northport. And oh yeah, in case no one on the council noticed, the Sherman Avenue economy, though improving in recent years, is barely functional. That’s the only concentrated commercial activity on the Northside and now it’s going to be left to rot, just so Madison can look bike friendly.

Why not do something like this in the Vilas neighborhood (ie Monroe, Regent) instead? There are tons of actual bikers there - no expectancy-based extrapolations of data necessary. There are virtually no bike lanes anywhere. It’s illegal to ride on most of the sidewalks. And it’s an already-strong economy focused almost entirely on boutique businesses and student services rather than gas stations and commuter services like we have on Sherman.

Sounds NIMBY as hell to me, and once again the Northside gets the shaft. Given the provisional status that seems to be granted to certain people and neighborhoods in Madison, I think it’s pretty obvious what’s going on with that. But even in the absence of that social condition I would have a hard time understanding why the Northside would be a more appropriate laboratory for this experiment than a neighborhood with an actual need for bike lanes that’s not teetering on the edge of economic viability.

Also, people around here can’t handle center turn lanes. They just can’t. I lived through the experiment on Monona Drive several summers ago and it was an absolute disaster, hence the big, concrete designated left turn lanes every 20 yards that we see on the finished street today. Certain parties keep trying to implement novelty on the roads here while the people who actually use those roads have yet to master crossing the street safely and legally, or navigating a four-way stop. That would seem to indicate a serious lack of self-awareness and an obsession with style over substance, and it’s a shame that individual businesses and a neighborhood as a whole will suffer because of it.
Ninja
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 772
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:22 pm

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby Ninja » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:23 pm

snoqueen wrote:I like the medians because they make it easier for pedestrians to cross. Personally, I won't attempt to stop traffic with my body (even though it's legal) to cross a street, so I like being able to cross half, wait on the median, and then find another gap in traffic and go the rest of the way.


Nobody is every supposed to stop traffic with his or her body. If you’re stopping traffic when you’re crossing the street then you’re “jaywalking.” The median shouldn't make any difference in that calculation.

Madison desperately needs a public education campaign on topics like street crossing and rush hour traffic driving.
Ninja
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 772
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:22 pm

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby Ninja » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:27 pm

david cohen wrote:It has little old ladies who can barely stay in a lane of traffic, let alone drive as fast as the 30 mph speed limit.


This is my problem with using Packers as an alternative route. I've never seen a critical mass of drivers so utterly and completely unable to maintain a single lane of traffic for more than 20 seconds at a time. The same problem exists on Sherman, but it's slower, and there are fewer lanes to worry about, so I avoid Packers like an accident waiting to happen.

And I'm not going to put that on little old ladies. In my experience it's a driving culture that has no demographic boundaries.
Ninja
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 772
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:22 pm

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby Ninja » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:35 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:That said, the switch from four lane road to two lane road with traffic calming islands and bike lanes was completed recently on Lyndale Ave in my own Minny neighborhood and it seems to be working out OK. However, this area seems to be more economically healthy and there are more choices for autos traveling north/south.


I've lived on Lyndale as well, and I could see this working very well there, assuming Hennepin became more of a commuter street.

But as you point out, the Lyndale equivelent in Madison would not be the Northside, it would be someplace like my Vilas suggesting in an earlier post. Apples to oranges. As are all the case studies in the Jeff Speck book that the former mayor attempted to kinda sorta cite in support of this plan (really just in support of the idea that changing roads doesn't automatically mean no more cars going to businesses) in his blog a couple weeks ago.
Ninja
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 772
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:22 pm

Re: North Sherman Avenue Proposal

Postby DCB » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:13 pm

Ninja wrote:I’m pretty disgusted by this whole idea. Why Sherman? I drive the entire length at least twice a day and I see a bike commuter maybe once or twice a week, tops.

Many bicyclists avoid the road because it appears dangerous. The plan is to make it less dangerous. Then,you'll see more bike commuters.
Duh.
DCB
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2571
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:08 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Town Vibe

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar