Last Updated: 10/29/2021

Project Description

The proposed project includes pavement reconstruction, curb and gutter, existing sidewalk spot replacements and repairs, new multi-use path/sidewalk, Americans with Disabilities Act compliant curb ramps, storm sewer replacement, new street lighting, replacement of sanitary sewer and water main, new pavement marking and new signs.

A portion of the street will have on-street bicycle accommodations as part of the project (see recent public mailer below). The exception being between Fair Oaks Avenue and Oakridge Avenue. Inbound cyclists have the opportunity of continuing on-street in a shared peak hour/parking lane or divert to the nearby Capital City Trail. Due to space constraints, outbound cyclists can either continue from the west on-street or utilize Fair Oaks Avenue on-street bike lanes to navigate to nearby adjacent routes including the Capital City Trail to connect into Atwood Avenue. A wider 7-foot wide sidewalk will be provided on the south side of Atwood Avenue within this segment to accommodate added pedestrian volume and small children with a destination of Lowell Elementary School. The north sidewalk of Atwood Avenue will have spot replacements to the 5-foot sidewalk.

The new bike path with adjacent sidewalk will primarily run parallel on the south sidewalk of Atwood Avenue and connect into Lakeland Avenue. The path will include a new pedestrian/bike bridge crossing over the Starkweather Creek parallel to the roadway bridge. New parking areas and street lighting are also included.

An 7-foot wide path will run along the north side of Atwood Avenue between Walter Street and Sugar Avenue to provide access to facilities including Olbrich Gardens and Olbrich Park. An additional 10-foot wide path will run along the north side of Atwood Avenue between Dennett Street and Walter Street to provide connectivity to the Capital City Trail.

Off-street bike facilities include a 10-foot wide path with an adjacent 5-foot wide sidewalk that extends along the south side of Atwood Avenue, between Oakridge Avenue and Dennett Street. On-street bike lanes will be provided from Dennett Drive to Cottage Grove Road. In addition, travel lanes are minimized from 11 feet to 10 feet at the intersection of Atwood Avenue and Cottage Grove Road in order to maintain the on-street bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the street without having large impacts to adjacent buildings and landscaping.

Project Limits

Atwood Avenue - Cottage Grove Road to South Fair Oaks Avenue

Project Schedule

Design: 2016-2019
Construction:  2025  City is currently trying to move this up to 2023

Current Plans

Fair Oaks Ave to Walter St
Walter St to Cottage Grove Rd

Aug-Oct 2021 Proposed Path Geometry Revision

The proposed multi-use path geometry was considered for a revision in the Olbrich Park Area. The revision includes routing the multi-use path through the western area of Olbrich Park. Two of the options (1 & 3) allow for the sledding hill to be uninterrupted with pavement during the winter season. This was discussed for recommendation at the Aug 25, 2021 City Transportation Commission, where the commission recommended moving forward with Option 3.   This was also discussed at the Oct 13, 2021 Board of Park Commissioners, where the commission recommended also moving forward with Option 3.  Link to meetings can be found here: meetings
3 Path Options

Public Involvement

There are a number of points of contact during this project where the public is encouraged to give feedback as part of public information meetings and public hearings. Dates and times are indicated below:

Past Public Information Meetings

Oct. 4, 2017 Public Information Meeting
The City held a public information meeting 6:30-8 p.m., Oct. 4, 2017, at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in the Atrium, 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI. The City presented the preliminary design, answered questions and gathered input.  
Press Release
Preliminary Plans - Signal Alternative
Preliminary Plans - Roundabout Alternative

April 9, 2018 Public Information Meeting
The City held a public involvement meeting 6:30-8 p.m., April 9, 2018, at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in the Atrium, 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI. 
Press Release
Preliminary plans - Fair Oaks Ave to Olbrich
Preliminary plans - Olbrich to Cottage Grove Rd

June 12, 2018 Public Mailer 

This postcard was sent June 12, 2018 to residents and businesses along the corridor. View Mailer
Since the most recent public meeting on April 9, 2018, the following design changes have been proposed based on the feedback that was received.

  • Add bike lanes on the both sides of the roadway from Dennett Drive to Cottage Grove Road. This change would include removing the multi-use path from Dennett Drive to Cottage Grove Road. This change removes the need for bicyclists traveling northbound on Monona drive to cross the street at Cottage Grove Road. This change also moves the bicyclists onto lanes in the roadway along the portion of the corridor with the most driveways. This will increase sight distance and visibility of bicyclists from drivers exiting the driveways.
  • The pedestrian sidewalk is being moved to the outside of the multi-use path on south side of Atwood Avenue in the area adjacent to Olbrich Park. This change will result in less conflicts between bicyclists and pedestrians as bicyclists move onto the on-street bike lanes. Exhibits showing the changes can be found here.

Plan - Fair Oaks Ave to Walter St
Plan - Walter St to Cottage Grove Rd
Typical Section - Fair Oaks to Oakridge
Typical Section - Oakridge to Dennett
Typical Section - Dennett to Cottage Grove Rd

Fall 2018 - 30% Design

The 30% design for the project is complete. Exhibits showing the proposed street layout can be found here:
Atwood Ave Exhibit 1
Atwood Ave Exhibit 2

Geometry Approval Meetings

City committees reviewed the project geometry at the following public meetings:

  • June 26, 2018 – Pedestrian, Bicycle & Motor Vehicle Commission - Approved
  • July 11, 2018 – Board of Public Works - Approved
  • July 24, 2018 – Common Council - Approved
  • Aug 25, 2021 - Transportation Commission - Path revision Option 3 approved
  • Oct 13, 2021 - Board of Park Commissioners - Path revision Option 3 approved