City shirks bikes and transit

I would only expect this in a city that does a terrible job of not putting its money where its mouth is. The Madison Plan Commission decided to forego any attempt to pursue the interests of the city’s bike and pedestrian and mass transit efforts in the interest of the mighty dollar. And Marcus, the developer who will build a large retail and entertainment mall on Madison’s far east side, is just as short-sighted as those on the Plan Commission that voted for it to drop the bike-ped and mass transit requirements.

This is the city that allows businesses to expand and doesn’t do anything for the surrounding infrastructure. We have busy four-lane roads with stop signs at its intersections. We have more traffic in front of our expanded grocery stores and malls than the roads were ever designed to handle. And yet we are supposedly one of the friendliest cities for bikes. Bullsh*t.

The city’s Platinum Biking City Planning Committee recommended that the city, “Review and strengthen the zoning ordinance to ensure adequate on-site pedestrian and bicycle access, parking, and circulation” (39). The efforts of those that promote multi-use facilities are wasted on committees that focus more on dollars and cents than common sense.

If I ever hear again that the city can’t afford to fund public safety or health, I’ll suggest that it takes my tax dollars and shove it up the Marcus entertainment complex’s backside. In the meantime, I’m writing to both the mayor and my alderperson to stop this from moving forward without the appropriate facilities in place. And, to paraphrase the whole Field of Dreams cliche, if Marcus builds it as currently planned, I will not come.

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