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Officers focus on 3 areas to enforce speed, red-light-turn laws

Officers focus on 3 areas to enforce speed, red-light-turn laws

Police said officers are focusing on three areas of Madison this week to reduce traffic violations.

The Madison Police Department's traffic enforcement safety team will enforce speed limits on the eastbound Beltline Highway on Madison's west side and on the north side on Wright Street, according to a statement released Tuesday.

Officers will also be enforcing restrictions on East Washington Avenue in areas where right turns at red lights are restricted.

The special enforcement team regularly conducts targeted patrols to promote compliance with traffic laws.

Public hearing to discuss Madison Transit Service changes

Public hearing to discuss Madison Transit Service changes

Metro Transit and the City of Madison Transit and Parking Commission will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9, according to a city of Madison press release.

The meeting will be held at the Madison Municipal Building, 215 Martin Luther King Junior Blvd., in room 260.

The hearing will discuss proposed service changes to Routes 8, 14, 15, 19, 26, 36, 44, 48, 50, 59, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74 and 78. Changes are proposed to go into effect during the last week of August.

People are encouraged to attend the public hearing to give feedback. To submit comments on the Metro changes online, visit mymetrobus.com/feedback.

City: Pothole season will be longer, not as severe

City: Pothole season will be longer, not as severe

Madison potholes will become more prevalent as the weather warms up, and the city is already racing to fill more than 15,000 of them.

The cold and the rain put stress on the roads, causing potholes to pop up all over the city.

George Dreckmann with the Madison Streets Division said the year's winter will make the season longer, but that doesn't necessarily mean more potholes.

"Because the frost went so deep this year, the thawing is going to take a little bit longer and that means the pothole season is going to spread out, but it's not going to be quite as severe," Dreckmann said.

The city will temporarily fill potholes and then finish with something more permanent in the summer. They said they'll try to fill them within 24 hours of being reported.

Crews to close Knickerbocker Street for construction

Crews to close Knickerbocker Street for construction

Construction crews will be closing Knickerbocker Street to through traffic Monday through Friday for construction deliveries, according to a release.

McGann Construction will be taking deliveries near the intersection of Monroe and Knickerbocker streets, which will close through traffic on the south end of the 600 block of Knickerbocker Street from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., officials said.

Pedestrian access on the west side of Knickerbocker Street and vehicle access to all residences will be maintained at all times by way of Gregory Street, according to the release.

Officials encourage motorists and bicyclists to use alternate routes to avoid delays.

Gravity powers annual Pinewood Derby racers

Gravity powers annual Pinewood Derby racers

An area car dealership will be handling vehicles on a smaller scale this weekend. 

Smart Motors will host the Annual Mohawk District Pinewood Derby Sunday for the second year in a row. More than 100 Madison-area boy scouts are expected to bring their pinewood creations to the dealership on Odana Road

Kids will learn about a different form of alternative energy -- gravity -- which will power the tiny cars over the 45-foot aluminum track and show how tweaks in aerodynamics or car weight can be the difference between a first place and a sixth place finish.

When not involved in a racing heat, the kids can take "pit stops" to learn about safety topics like why they should wear seat belts, how to escape from a trunk and the devastating effects of a rollover crash. Educational tables are hosted by Dean Care Health Clinic, Safe Kids Madison Area, Boy Scouts of America, Safelight Auto Glass, Dane County Sheriff's Department and the Madison Fire Department.

Extreme cold keeps water main repair crews busy

Extreme cold keeps water main repair crews busy

The extreme cold is creating lots of work for the local water utility.

Madison Water Utility spokeswoman Amy Barrilleaux said that seven water main breaks throughout the city Tuesday morning had all the department's repair crews out. 

Barrilleaux said mains broke Tuesday on:

  • Barby Lane
  • Mohican Pass
  • Havey Road
  • Kingsbridge Road
  • Tokay Boulevard
  • Nautilus Drive
  • and at East Main & Paterson streets

The harsh dip in temperatures is the cause of the multiple breaks, Barrilleaux said. It also makes fixing the breaks difficult. 

"It always makes things a little bit slower because our crews have to take breaks and warm up," she said. The icy streets also have to be salted and drains plowed to take care of the extra water in the roadways. 

But she said the Madison Water Utility prepares for tough weather. 

Crews work overnight to finish plowing residential streets

Crews work overnight to finish plowing residential streets

Madison declared a snow emergency Sunday after several inches of snow fell on southern Wisconsin overnight complicating travel.

Madison's Streets Division said Sunday morning the snow emergency would be in effect through 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Streets superintendent Chris Kelley said 84 crews worked through the night into Monday morning finishing plowing residential streets.

Kelley said crews also worked on salt routes overnight to handle the additional inch of snow that fell through the night.

Kelley said crews will work on clearing up vision hazards and opening up bus stops for the next 7 to 10 days. They also expect to send more crews out
Monday evening to clean up downtown streets.

Residents were asked to find off-street parking if possible. Free parking is available at city-owned parking lots, the department said. Residents can park for no charge from 9 p.m. through 7 a.m. during the snow emergency.