East Johnson and Gorham to remain one-way streets pending City Council meeting

Credit: City of MadisonCredit: City of MadisonThe debate over whether East Johnson and Gorham should be converted into two-way streets will come to a close after City Council votes on a decision this coming Tuesday.

This decision follows months of public meetings and research to determine whether the streets should remain one-way or be turned into two-way routes. 

A meeting this past March revealed the outcome of a study performed by Strand Associates that found maintaining the one-way streets would be the best option.

The study scrutinized four different alternatives based on results from an online survey distributed to members of the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood and other residents living on East Johnson and Gorham.

Three of the scenarios proposed changing the streets into two-way travel lanes. The fourth maintained the one-way roads, but with repairs to sewer and water utilities and replacement of the pavement, curbs, gutters and sidewalks where necessary.

The study analyzed ten categories of most importance to the neighborhoods, including bus routes, pedestrian and bike safety and access to homes and local business.

Following the study, City of Madison engineers wrote up a resolution accepting the results and authorizing a report to go ahead with the one-way construction.

After accepting the results, engineers have presented the resolution to a series of five different city committees over the last two months to get their opinions, said Chris Petykowski, a City of Madison engineer involved in the project, and one of the hosts of the original study meeting.

During the City Council meeting Tuesday, the members will vote to pass the resolution and accept the report. They can also add their own requirements or different texts to it.

If the report passes, design will begin for the reconstruction of East Johnson and Gorham while maintaining the one-way direction. Construction on the stretch from Butler to Baldwin Streets will begin the end of March 2014 and will last until the following October.

Although many Tenney-Lapham neighborhood residents said they would have liked a different outcome, they remain optimistic about East Johnson and Gorham staying one direction.

The Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association responded to the resolution by submitting a letter to city engineers. Petykowski described the letter as their acceptance of the report, but with one minor addition.

In the letter, residents asked the engineers to design the roads in way that would not prohibit changing the streets to two-way thoroughfares in the future, Petykowski said. They also asked the City to consider the change when creating Madison’s Transportation Master Plan.

“Essentially, they don’t want us to close the door if there is a reason it could work eventually,” Petykowski said.


To view the East Johnson resolution, read here