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Near East Side Responds To Willy Street Co-Op’s Proposed Driveway

September 6, 2010

With a hint of fall in the air no one would think new color could be sprouting up on lawns in Madison.   However if you walk down portions of Jenifer Street on the near east side this weekend there is a new splash of yellow on many lawns, and the ‘plantings’ seem to be spreading.

Concerned residents and neighbors have joined in an effort to push back on a second driveway for the Willy Street Co-op that would be placed on Jenifer Street.  The neighborhood has been upset for many weeks over the idea of more traffic and congestion into their residential community.

After the Co-op alerted neighbors of their plans to construct a second paved driveway this fall there was lots of talk about what could be done to stop the project.  Soon a small group of concerned but energized residents formed a committee, came up with a plan of action, set out to educate others, and petition for the driveway not to be made permanent.

Much of the neighborhood discussion has centered around the upheaval that businesses on Williamson Street will experience next year when a many-month street construction project will take place.  Willy Street Co-op will be effected by the project, and is hoping that part of the solution to reduce traffic congestion is the second driveway onto Jenifer Street.

While there appears to be plenty of goodwill in the neighborhood for understanding the need of an egress during construction, there is far less agreement about keeping the driveway permanent.  For decades there has been an attempt to have main traffic arteries used so that smaller and more densely populated neighborhood streets would not be burdened with cars and noise.

So with petitions in hand, colorful lawn signs under their arms, and a message aimed at homeowners and residents of Madison, a group of concerned citizens are challenging the Willy Street Co-op.   

Agree or not with their message one thing is clear.  While some read the morning paper and feel powerless to act, others have united in the activist fashion that the near east side is so well-known for doing.

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