Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monona Council Wrapup

The Monona city council voted to install two stop signs on Winnequah Road at Maywood Road and at Frostwoods. The council was informed by alder Kugle that other measures are moving forward that do not require city council action, including additional sidewalks and speed limit signs. He also stated the mayor supports two permanent LED speed display signs. I support all of that except the stop signs. 

I'll probably get killed politically because the only thing we voted on was the stop signs and I was the lone vote against. Here's why: I proposed that we delay the vote until our next meeting so that we could get an engineering review of potential stop signs at Frostwoods and Owen. All municipalities are required to follow theManual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) - FHWA (MUTCD) when we install traffic signs. The city is allowed to deviate from the MUTCD guidance "if engineering judgment or engineering study indicates the deviation to be appropriate." 1A.13. As of last night we had an engineering opinion that stated the stop signs are not appropriate for the Maywood and Graham intersections. We had no engineering opinion about a stop sign at Frostwoods.

The MUTCD states stop signs are not supposed to be used for speed control. The MUTCD also has "warrants" that should be met before stop signs are installed. The warrants are not met at Maywood or Graham. We don't know if they are met at Owen or Frostwoods. The council made a political decision to go ahead and approve the stop signs without that information.

The stop signs are supposed to be removed in October of this year. It will be interesting to see if that really happens. The council did not inidicate how we would measure the success of the stop signs.

There are a number of other measures that I support that would improve safety.

- keep the chokers, but level the walkways and straighten the curbs at the entry and exit points - or at least straighten the curb line on entry and exit.

- Provide ped flags at the marked crosswalks 

- establish and publicize a Speed Watch program where residents borrow a radar gun, record plates and city sends letter to registered owner

- mandatory safety briefing with Monona police for all city contractors (e.g. road builders, tree company, Green Valley, etc.).

- Seek safe routes to school funding (possibly for eventual sidewalks).

- Possibly other pavement marking that emphasizes speed limit- SLOW pavement markings

Monona City Council Preview - April 19, 2010

The council also voted 4-2 to narrow the sidewalk on the north end of Monona Drive to 5'  (alder Busse and I voting no). If you want to read more go here:Monona Drive Sidewalk Redux Again(Apr 04, 2010) because I can't stand to write about it anymore.



The council also approved: 

Revised Lease with Aldo Leopold Nature Center

Amendment to Section 13-1-21 of the Monona Code of Ordinances to Reference the Urban Design Guidelines for Monona Drive

Conceptual Design Engineering Services for 2011 Street and Utility Improvements

Award of Contract for 2010 Ahuska Park Soccer/Football Field Fence

2-Lot Certified Survey Map (CSM) for the PDQ Property at 105 East Broadway and 6400 Monona Drive to Reconfigure the Existing Lots


At the end of the evening, the mayor, council, staff, and a few friends gave a heartfelt tribute to Kathy Thomas for her years of service to the city. Kathy has agreed to remain on the Plan Commission as a citizen member.



  1. I use to live near a stop sign. I think that residents will find the two stop signs not to their liking.

  2. Doug-

    Thank you for your efforts on the stop sign issue. The Council could have voted on this in two weeks with more information, although the City Engineer and Police Chief probably would have come to the same conclusion--stop signs are not appropriate.

    These stop signs are not the right approach to the problem and residents are going to be very frustrated when they go up, just like residents are frustrated with the current configuration of Winnequah with the chokers. Doug, you might find that you don't get killed politically.

    The other interim measures are great. Instead of installing these stop signs based on anecdotal evidence, lets start working on a permanent solution to the problem. A narrow road with a carriage walk on one or both sides.

    Brian Grady

  3. Let me guess... Kugle flipped back again and voted for a more narrow sidewalk??

    If Scott's view is different than Kathy's, can this come back up again? It doesn't make sense to be voting on contentious items *after* an election but before the new members have been seated.

  4. So we could've had a 6.5' sidewalk but now we'll get a 5' sidewalk... AFTER the city approved an 8' sidewalk. Un-be-lie-vable.

  5. To answer Travis's question, "Could it be brought back again?"

    It could be reconsidered, but the request has to come from someone in the majority.

  6. I always use Winnequah, but once these stop signs are in place, I'll use Bridge Rd. The council better gird their loins for the Bridge Rd gang when they become similarly upset with the situation on their street. How about we place a stop sign every two blocks on every street and get it over with?