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Madison Growth

Medians that are wider than 6 feet, like those on East Washington Avenue, can be filled with enough soil to support landscaping. 

Q: Why do some medians get landscaped while others are just paved over?

A: Madison’s Traffic Engineering Division decides whether a median will be landscaped based on its width and the amount of soil it can contain, according to city engineer Jeremy Nash.

If a median is narrower than 6 feet, Nash said, it can’t easily be landscaped.

“The lack of space does not provide enough soil volume to sustain plant growth, and it also creates difficulties when it comes to maintaining the grass,” he said.

If the median is wider than 6 feet, there is more room for soil that can sustain grasses, plants and trees.

City Engineering and the Parks Division determine what sort of landscaping will go in, Nash said.

“The factors considered when deciding the type of landscaping are maintenance and aesthetics,” he said.

— Shelley K. Mesch

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Shelley K. Mesch is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. She earned a degree in journalism from DePaul University.