The public was invited to meet Tuesday evening, Sept. 15, to view and discuss University of Wisconsin’s Campus Master Plan.
The meeting addressed the analysis and framework of building projects, outdoor spaces, transportation, utilities usage and other issues that will help guide the 2015 Master Plan update.
The Master Plan was unveiled in 2005 in an effort to make campus more accessible and livable for UW faculty, staff and students.
— UW Facilities (@UWFacilities) September 16, 2015
According to the Campus Master Plan draft, the goals of the plan include supporting UW’s academic mission, protecting and celebrating the lakeside setting, strengthening and reinforcing the authentic identity of UW and reinforcing and uniting on-campus neighborhoods.
Several speakers at Tuesday’s meeting addressed the plans to accomplish these goals by examining the plan’s analysis and framework of future uses of new buildings, off-campus land use, storm water management, transportation and utilities.
UW Hospital parking availability
One of the primary concerns for many dealt with parking, specifically for the UW Hospital.
Many members of the public voiced their concerns for transportation to the hospital, as well as available parking in the area. Members wanted to know how the Campus Master Plan would address this issue.
Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities Bill Elvey explained though the hospital and UW work together in many cases, the hospital has its own plan to resolve issue. The hospital, like UW, is aware of its parking issues.
One thing, however, the hospital plans to do to alleviate this problem is open a new hospital on the east side of town. This would open up much needed space in the hospital and reduce the amount of people in the hospital area, Elvey said.
Lakeshore Path at night
Another topic of debate at the meeting was the use of the Lakeshore Path at night. Many members of the public asked why the plan did not include adding more lights to the unlit paths even though numerous bicyclists and pedestrians use the paths at night.
Director of Campus Planning and Landscape Gary Brown said the area was studied many times when planning to add improvements, but decided — and Madison Police Department agreed — it is safer to keep the path unlit so people are more likely to recognize the dangers of the paths and stay away from them.
“There is a lighted path that students are encouraged to take, as well as having a lot of lights there are vehicles posted nearby that can get access to the areas easily if they need to,” Brown said.
Still, several members of the public raised concerns of possible bike and pedestrian accidents that may occur on the unlit path.
There will be another opportunity for the public to view and discuss the Campus Master Plan analysis Wednesday, Sept. 16, at Gordon Dining Hall from. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.