Downtown Madison in the year 2025

Editor's note: A uniquely downtown perspective in IB's December 2015 print article, "In the year 2025," was left out of our feature on area leaders' visions for the Capital City in 10 years. Downtown Madison Inc.'s Susan Schmitz was given the opportunity to lend her insight to what downtown will have to offer in another decade.

In 2025, I picture a downtown that is welcoming and offers something for everyone. It is an active bustling downtown where people live, work, shop, and find a variety of entertainment venues. It has a thriving business mix serving thousands of people who visit, work, and live in downtown Madison. The office buildings are attractive to entrepreneurs working at new (and thriving) technology businesses.

Madison in 2025 will have a multimodal transportation system for people living, working, and visiting downtown Madison. In 2025, the greater Madison area will have a regional transportation system that moves people throughout the region with transportation options. There will be a Bus Rapid Transit system that connects workers to employment hubs including the downtown, a Diamond-Awarded bicycle system, an expanded bike-share system, a car-to-go system, an expanded car-share program, and even an electric moped share system. People will be able to move into and out of downtown Madison quickly and seamlessly.

2025 will also offer the Madison community and its visitors better access to Lakes Monona and Mendota. There will be a bicycle/pedestrian public walkway along Lake Mendota that connects James Madison Park to the Union Terrace. On the other side of the Isthmus, John Nolen Drive will go underground at Monona Terrace and come up at Blair and East Washington Ave. The entire area above this underground highway will be given back to the public with amenities that attract people to the lakefront. The lakefront will have restaurants, park space, and a boathouse with places to dock.

Susan Schmitz is president of Downtown Madison Inc. (DMI)

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