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Friday, December 19, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Overcast
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Where are the buses in the northeast Madison 'car-light' neighborhood plan?

Some fear Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's plan for a model green Northeast Neighborhood is too car-dependent, lacking concrete provisions for transit from the start.

The 2,800-acre neighborhood is being designed with the goal of reducing energy and having 25% of all trips taken by residents by foot, bike or mass transit. But the city's Long Range Transportation Planning Committee wants a plan for getting transit to the neighborhood early on.

The committee's Eric Sundquist says: "If the only way you can get around in the first years is cars, then everything gets built for cars. Transit needs to be part of the mix very early on."

Sundquist thinks it's a good plan overall but wonders, "When does the transit come in?"

Andrew Statz, a mayoral aide, agrees that once driving habits start, they're hard to break. The staff is contemplating running smaller buses or vans at first, gearing up to full-scale routes when the density grows.

But, Statz adds, "Those decisions are made by the mayor and the council."

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