Pedestrian bridges? An expanded terrace? City asks for help to connect Lake Monona with downtown

Pedestrian bridges? An expanded terrace? City asks for help to connect Lake Monona with downtown
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The city of Madison is planning what’s next for a downtown lakeside park. It’s working on developing a report on Law Park, which is the green space on both sides of the Monona Terrace.

Now, the city is asking for your help.

Law Park already has a public boat launch, benches, and floating piers, but workers want to know what else the public wants to see, as well as how to better connect the waterfront park to downtown Madison.

The city is holding a series of public input sessions about the future of the park starting Thursday, Aug. 15. The first is at the Workshop at the Atrium on Park Street from 6 until 7:30 p.m.

The sessions are part of the city’s nearly $200,000 planning phase, which could bring years of lofty visions to life.

Some of the suggested improvement include building pedestrian bridges or even a terraced park over John Nolen Drive and the railroad tracks.

Other proposals include expanding the park with lake fill and building a public boathouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Flood mitigation is also a top priority, after the lakeshore path along Law Park was flooded and closed for more than a month last fall.

Law Park first opened in 1843, and since then, there have been many proposals to connect it with the downtown. Now, the city says they’re committed to investing in the park and surrounding area, as evidenced by the major road construction project happening down the street at the “hairball” intersection, which will be complete in 2022.

In addition to Thursday’s meeting, there are three more public information sessions scheduled:

Wednesday, August 21, 6:00-7:30 PM, Workshop at Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 1625 Northport Dr.

Wednesday, September 18, 6:00-7:30 PM, Workshop at Madison Central Public Library, 201 W. Mifflin St.

Tuesday, October 1, 6:00-7:30 PM, Open House at Badger Rock Neighborhood Center, 501 East Badger Rd.

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