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Beltline Suggestions

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Beltline Suggestions

Postby scottyp65 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:23 am

Saw that the DOT was looking to start taking input from everyone to determine what to do about the Beltline over the next 20 - 25 years. Thought it would be an interesting topic for discussion.

My thoughts are that in 25 years we will probably be a city of over 400,000 with a metro population of around a million, so a beltline infrastructure that meets our needs will be vital, so my suggestions would be:
1.) rebuild entire beltline into a 3 - 4 lane interstate bypass.
2.) Build the north beltline, but more where highway 19 is now, maybe even north of Waunakee, all the way to interstate. Call the full loop I-690 or I-639 or something.
3.) start planning a south beltline between Stoughton and McFarland to Fitchburg, to south of Verona and then north.
4.) start designing a full multi-modal system with rail and busses. Maybe make sure you can put tracks in the middle of the beltline and have a couple of tracks crossing the city. Combine that with efficient bus service from nodes in the tracks to make it fully point to point and regional connections. Call it Madison Regional Transportation System, or "Mr. T's" for short.
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby wesconsin » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:39 am

Expand lanes and include car pool lane. We have a lot of schools in the area, and this would help in breaking up congestion.

Raise the speed limit on beltline after lanes are added, and enforce a minimum speed limit.

Traffic information billboards above the beltline (to inform of possible blockages and alternative routes)

Some of the exits are waaaay too short or hairy, and require too much of a slowdown before entering the exit. You shouldn't have to slow down before you are off the beltline.

I know we have snow, but if we could do something like lane indicators (they are little reflectors on the lane markers that also make noise when you go over them, very common everywhere else) but I'm sure something could be figured out.

The major problem I see is poor planning for the future. It takes way too long to get from the south end to north end of Madison, with nothing that cuts through the middle effectively.

I just moved here from living in LA for a couple years, and it made me realize how little emphasis we put on highway/freeways and getting places effectively. I grew up in the area, but didn't realize how convoluted travel is in Wisconsin until I moved away for awhile. It takes way too long to get anywhere, and drivers need to stop worrying about being in front of everyone else, and worry about where they are going. (aka the stupid drivers who will speed up when its passing zone, then slow down once its not passing, just to stay in front, not to be quicker)
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby fisticuffs » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:04 am

Sounds like a lot of work. I propose a series of tubes.
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby gargantua » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:30 am

Whatever they do, do it in a way that does not encroach on the Arboretum.

Seriously consider the "north beltline" idea, possibly along the highway 19 corridor, as someone else suggested. If it can divert a significant amount of traffic, especially truck traffic, from the current beltline, we might not need to do such as extensive rebuild.

It may be too obvious to even have to say it, but plan this from a regional transportation perspective. This is a much broader issue than just "what do we do about this particular road?"
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby rabble » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:31 pm

gargantua wrote:Seriously consider the "north beltline" idea, possibly along the highway 19 corridor, as someone else suggested. If it can divert a significant amount of traffic, especially truck traffic, from the current beltline, we might not need to do such as extensive rebuild.

I confess the notion of constructing a six lane freeway through the middle of Waunakee has a certain attraction. That's probably not how they'll do it but it's a nice image.
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby WestSideYuppie » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:00 pm

Tolls.
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby snoqueen » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:26 pm

I think it is a mistake to plan transit as if technology, growth, and social behavior will change only in a linear, predictable manner. What if the price of gas goes through the roof and people need a different way to get around? What if self-driving cars come on the market, ones that can travel much faster and closer together than humans could drive? What if another Epic is built out by Sun Prairie?

Right now the questions we are asking (how can everybody get everywhere faster and faster) might not be the ones that lead to the most flexible, adaptable, and appropriate infrastructure. I think we need to step back a ways first and consider different ways we could find ourselves living in 2030.

I think the idea of beginning the envisioning and planning on a county or even regional level is a good one. One question I would ask is how can we better integrate the agricultural and urban parts of our region, with the purpose being better regional self-sufficiency and a stronger, more interdependent regional economy? How can we reduce our energy expenditure (transit and other, including the embodied energy of the physical highway system) while improving our quality of life?


What we really need is tiny, colorful trains running both ways on every street, playing soft music and serving cocktails at all hours.
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:09 am

Anybody who hasn't done so should drive the Beltline around Seminole Hwy. to get a taste of what the expansion already approved will mean.
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby bdog » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:25 am

When the teleporters go online the beltline becomes a giant bike path.
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby msnflyer » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:54 am

Legalize lane splitting for motorcycles and install HOV lanes.

Install high visual barriers on top of the Jersey walls so traffic in one direction isn't slowed by rubberneckers trying to see the accident in the opposing traffic lane.

Build another ring road further out so traffic bypassing Madison would never have to enter the city. Nobody said the suggestions had to be realistic or earth friendly.

I, for one, am dreading the Verona Road project. If this year has been any indication I'm going to have to leave home half an hour earlier than do now. No, I'm not moving to live closer to work.
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:33 am

msnflyer wrote:Install high visual barriers on top of the Jersey walls so traffic in one direction isn't slowed by rubberneckers trying to see the accident in the opposing traffic lane.

I was driving the beltline the other day around rush hour when I hit a big snarl. As traffic crept along I wondered just how bad the accident ahead was. As I got up to the flashing police lights (and saw that traffic immediately sped up and thinned out ahead), I saw that spectacle was simply a hot girl the cop had pulled over and had out of her car.

People. :roll:
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:47 pm

msnflyer wrote:Legalize lane splitting for motorcycles and install HOV lanes.


First time I saw this was in London and it freaked the crap out of me. Those cycles go flying down the highways pretty fast weaving in and out of traffic. The driver of my car said he has never seen an accident although. I might be wrong, but I think CA is the only state that allows this. With as bad as drivers are in this town, I think this would be a horrible idea.
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby msnflyer » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:35 pm

Legalization of lane splitting would require educational outreach to drivers. I've done it in CA and it can be scary or time saving depending on surrounding traffic. My friend in Chicago lane splits by riding on the shoulder.

If you want to see scary lane splitting and filtering, go to India! Motorbikes filter to the front at every controlled intersection. By the time the light turns green there are probably 10-25 motorbikes at the front of each lane. Lane splitting on the motorways is less common because the motorcycles can't keep up with car/truck traffic. Take a 250cc motorcycle, load it with 3 people (1 generally riding sidesaddle) and their luggage, that thing can't go more than 30 mph. I don't know why they're allowed on the motorway.

OK, enough digression. I was caught in the same traffic jam as green chair.
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby uwstudent » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:49 pm

Make the whole beltline one lane. Ha.
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Re: Beltline Suggestions

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:53 pm

msnflyer wrote:OK, enough digression. I was caught in the same traffic jam as green chair.

And she wasn't even that hot, was she?
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