The city of Madison has opened a storefront office where people can stop by and talk to city planners about a new Downtown Plan.
"If you can't make the public meetings or don't want to make an appointment with city staff, you can stop by for a few minutes," says Bill Fruhling, a city principal planner. "We're trying to create as many opportunities as possible for people to participate."
Fruhling says the city did something similar when it redesigned State Street. "That was such a popular idea. It worked so well."
The office, at 125 W. Mifflin St., costs the city about $1,000 a month. It's open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Residents can study the past Downtown Plan and offer their own ideas for how it should be updated.
Some public meetings were held this summer. "We didn't hear anything too wild and crazy," says Fruhling, noting most people simply wanted improved access to the lakes. "Right now it's pretty limited."
The city is considering ways to enhance the lakefront, including creating a bike pathway along the shore. It will hold another round of public meetings in November.
"There hasn't been a comprehensive plan done since 1989," he says. "There really is a need for an overarching framework."