The Capitol Square is the heart of our downtown. As downtown residents, we are fortunate to be able to access the square relatively easily and enjoy the experience of walking around the square, dining at any number of establishments, and visiting locally-owned boutique stores.Over the next two years, the City of Madison will undertake the reconstruction of the Capitol Square in two phases. The first phase will involve the replacement of the pavement and utilities on the north side of the square in 2016 and the second phase will involve the replacement of the pavement and utilities on the south side of the square in 2017.
This project provides the city with an ideal opportunity to think about how traffic and parking around the square can be reconfigured to best serve a new generation of downtown residents, businesses and visitors. For much of its history, the Capitol Square included angle parking on one or both sides of the street. One idea being implemented in cities around the country is reverse angle parking, where cars back into angled parking spots, providing drivers with better sight lines when entering and leaving.
Restoring angle parking on one side of the street around the Capitol Square would increase the number of available parking spaces to provide easier access to businesses around the square. Angle parking combined with two-way bicycle lanes (such as those on a number of the streets leading up to the square) would also improve safety and traffic flow for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
The downtown has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and its popularity among residents, businesses and visitors continues to increase. Forward-looking improvements to the Capitol Square such as increased parking and improved bicycle access would support the continued growth and vitality of downtown Madison and improve access to the Capitol Square.