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Madison City Council is right to question BRT route down State Street -- Roberta Gassman
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Madison City Council is right to question BRT route down State Street -- Roberta Gassman

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Thank you, State Journal, for supporting Downtown Madison, especially as the Madison City Council will soon vote on the mayor’s plan to bring huge buses through Madison’s heart, State Street.

Special thanks to the group of City Council members -- President Syed Abbas and Alds. Barbara Harrington-McKinney, Sheri Carter, Mike Verveer and Charles Myadze -- for introducing an amendment to this plan, requiring that no city funds be spent on the route design until approved by the council.

Full plans with detailed images were not shown to council members before the plan went forward, as promised. This amendment corrects that.

Decades of work have gone into Madison’s Downtown revitalization, turning what was a shuttered Downtown into a vibrant place for all with museums, public spaces, Overture and other arts and entertainment venues, retail, restaurants, housing, Concerts on the Square, Farmers' Market, Monona Terrace and hotel rooms. Our thriving Downtown's tax base supports public services for all, especially the vulnerable.

State Street is a jewel in our unique city. People want to walk it, from the Capitol to campus, explore shops, eat a meal, take in a show and visit. But it’s fragile, especially given COVID-19. We should not burden it more.

We must think big picture -- not in a transportation silo.

Roberta Gassman, Madison

Follow along as State Journal cartoonist Phil Hands draws a cartoon about the Green Bay Packers' unvaccinated quarterback testing positive for COVID-19

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