Verona Road and West Beltline Needs Assessment Study, Madison, Wisconsin

Federal Highway Administration
In 1997, Wisconsin DOT initiated a needs assessment study process focusing on two heavily used arterials in Madison. The study examined how the two corridors presently served traffic and how they could be expected to serve traffic in 2020. Wisconsin DOT carried out the analysis with a high degree of sensitivity to the needs of minority and low-income residents. A predominantly minority community is located adjacent to the study area and is isolated from the rest of Madison by several major road corridors, including those that are the focus of the study. The project strategy included community meetings, workshops, neighborhood open houses, and other efforts to involve all stakeholders as a means of addressing the segregation of neighborhoods by major highways.This case study illustrates several effective practices from an environmental justice standpoint, including public involvement and the incorporation of environmental justice principles into the transportation planning process. The needs assessment study process featured several innovative practices, including the involvement of youth in the identification of pedestrian and bicycle needs and the use of a community workshop (charrette) using a format typically used for land-use planning and visioning.
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