The Common Council is going to finalize the city's operating and capital budgets this week, starting on Tuesday. That means it's time again to make your voice heard for biking, walking, and traffic safety. There are two items below that could use your voice.
1. Thanks in no small part to your response to our previous action alert, a budget amendment to clear our arterial shared use paths such as the Cap City and SW Path clear of ice and snow 7 days a week passed at the Finance Committee. However, now Alders Moreland (District 7) and Tierney (District 16) have proposed an amendment that would eliminate that funding (among other things such as funding for bus rapid transit positions and more staffing at Pinney Library). Please contact your district's Alder and the whole Common Council to oppose cutting the funding for path clearance.
2. In the capital budget, there is an amendment to allocate $350,000 to "advance the implementation of Vision Zero, which seeks to eliminate all severe injury and fatal crashes on City streets." Vision Zero is an approach to traffic safety that views every crash as preventable, that looks at the problem from a systemic perspective, and that acknowledges that humans will make errors, but builds a "forgiving" system that means those errors don't lead to people getting killed or injured. Many US cities such as Milwaukee, Chicago, and New York have adopted Vision Zero, and this funding would help us jumpstart Vision Zero in Madison as well.
How to contact your alder? The easiest way is to email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will distribute your email to all members of the Council. Alternatively you can use this contact form. If you don't know who your Alder is, you can find out here. We recommend sending your email to all Alders. Please also include your full name and your address so that Alders know you actually live in their district. Please send your email before noon on Tuesday, November 12.
The emails don't have to be long--the alders will thank your for being brief--but it helps to put them in your own words and say why this is important to you. Below is sample language, but we suggest you add a sentence or two of your own.
"I oppose the removal of funding from the operating budget for snow and ice control on arterial shared use paths adopted by Finance Committee amendment #21: $65,000, as proposed as part of operating budget amendment 1b."
"I support the capital budget amendment 19, which would allocate funding "to advance the implementation of Vision Zero, which seeks to eliminate all severe injury and fatal crashes on City streets."