With the annual ban of glass containers for big events such as Mifflin and Freakfest, students end up getting cited by police the most for open intoxicants and underage drinking.[/media-credit]

Madison’s City Council unanimously approved its annual resolution to not allow glass containers on Mifflin Street May 4 at their meeting Tuesday, as they expect the traditional block party to occur. 

The resolution named Mifflin Street a glass-free zone during the period of time when the street will most likely be occupied by the annual Mifflin Street Block Party, according to Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4. No glass bottles or containers will be allowed on the street from 8 a.m. May 4 through 6 a.m. May 5, he said.

The area affected by the ban will include the 400, 500 and 600 blocks of West Mifflin Street, as well as the 10 and 100 blocks of North Bassett and North Bedford Streets, respectively, Verveer said.

Verveer explained the resolution was proposed in response to the excessive amount of glass seen on the street in years past, both at the block party and at other events, such as Freakfest. He cited many safety hazards involving glass, particularly because many students wear flip flops during the event.

“The amount of glass containers and beer bottles on the streets during Halloween and Mifflin was outrageous,” Verveer said. “The bottles were even used as weapons some years.”

Several years ago, the City Council adopted an ordinance allowing it to propose the resolution each year, Verveer said. The resolution is annually approved without controversy to enhance the safety of the block party, he said.

According to Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, students will be issued a ticket if they bring glass onto Mifflin Street during the time frame established by the resolution.

Resnick added the clean-up process was also considered when adopting the resolution. Aluminum bottles are easier for clean-up than glass ones, he said.

Despite the alternative event to be held on campus May 4, Verveer said the Madison Police Department still anticipates large crowds on Mifflin Street. Police are planning to implement the same strategies as last year for that date, he said.

At the meeting, City Council members also denied an appeal to block the construction of a new apartment complex at 1360 MacArthur Rd. by a vote of 16-1.

The 36-unit apartment complex and day care center was proposed by CareNet, a Christian pro-life pregnancy center in Dane County, and the owner of the land. Several community members appealed the Plan Commission decision to grant a conditional use permit for the project.

Sean Phillips, a resident of the neighborhood, said the area could not support such a high-density project. He said the neighborhood consists primarily of single-family homes and an apartment complex does not belong in a small residential neighborhood.

Phillips added the neighborhood and MacArthur Road are already congested and would not be able to handle an influx of people.

Ald. Joseph Clausius, District 17, also voiced his support for the project. He said he is a strong supporter of affordable housing. The day care center that would also occupy the building would be a benefit to the neighborhood as a whole, he added. 

“I think a day care center would slow things down [on MacArthur Road], because people have to be aware,” Clausius said.

While the council approved the building for construction, Resnick said city funding for CareNet’s project is tabled indefinitely.