Madison wants to cut auto traffic 25 percent by 2020

Thursday, June 04, 2009

From an article by Mike Ivey in The Capital Times:

The city of Madison is poised to add another hoop for developers to jump through when considering new projects: how many car trips will be generated.

A resolution working its way through City Hall sets a goal of reducing the total amount of vehicle miles traveled here 25 percent by 2020. That could make it harder to build homes, offices or stores on the urban fringe where cars are the sole means of transportation.

But supporters say reducing automobile dependency will bring economic, social and environmental benefits to the city. They also contend it won't tie the hands of the private sector or drive investment out of town.

"These are goals, just one more thing to consider when making decisions," east side Ald. Satya Rhodes-Conway told the Madison Plan Commission at its meeting this week. "It doesn't require the council or Plan Commission to do anything other than pay attention."

Approved by the Plan Commission on a 7-1 vote, the resolution says automobiles are "a major contributor to environmental degradation, including air emissions that increase levels of ozone, particulates, greenhouse gases, stormwater runoff, heat island effects, habitat and agricultural land destruction."

It further states that transportation inefficiency is a "major contributor to social inequity," making it harder for the poor or disabled to get to work or meet other daily needs.

The resolution calls for coordinating transportation and land-use planning on a citywide scale, noting that mixed-use development within individual neighborhoods alone won't make much difference