Regional Transportation Planning Context
Streetcars have been identified in the Transport 2020 regional transportation planning process as a key component of Dane County's regional transportation future.
In the spring of 2006, the City of Madison's Streetcar Committee began a study 1) to achieve community consensus on how streetcars can play a role in the city's future; 2) meet technical challenges in assessing potential routes and redevelopment; and 3) develop an organization, financial and implementation plan.
What Can Streetcars Do for Madison?
As an urban circulator, streetcars in Madison can:
- Provide a comfortable, convenient and reliable ride that can attract new riders to transit;
- Improve access to local businesses and restaurants, hospitals, educational institutions, government buildings, special attractions and events, and neighborhoods for local residents and tourists alike;
- Reduce short car trips in the downtown and urban neighborhoods by serving as a pedestrian accelerator.
As a neighborhood-friendly transit mode, streetcars in Madison can:
- Run on quiet and clean electric motors powered by a discreet overhead wire;
- Fit in with the scale of pedestrian-oriented commercial, residential and mixed-use areas of local streets;
- Help calm traffic on local streets making them safer for pedestrians, bicycles and drivers.
As a development catalyst, streetcars in Madison can:
What areas are under consideration for streetcars?
- Foster redevelopment by providing confidence in permanent, attractive transit access ;
- Support higher densities in areas identified for redevelopment in neighborhood and comprehensive plans;
- Reduce parking demand in existing and new development, reducing local car trips as a result.
Madison's unique geography of being centered on an isthmus provides an embarrassment of riches when it comes to potential transit corridors.
Map of Streetcar Study Area
Initial route recommended by consultants, April 2007.
- This study is evaluating the possibilities in three corridors centered on the downtown, one each heading east, west and south.
- Any streetcar system will be part of a regional transportation system and will enhance existing bus service and integrate with potential regional rail service.
In April 2007, the Consultant team recommended a streetcar line looping through downtown Madison. The line would run from Blair and East Wilson Streets via Wilson, Broom, and State Sts to Park St.. It would extend south on Park Street to Meriter Hospital. It would return via West and East Johnson, State, Fairchild and Main Sts.t o Blair St. The line would be single tracked, except on Park Street.
Madison Streetcar Consulting Team Final Report
Streetcar Study Committee Consultant's Final Report