In the week since the Madison Common Council approved the final part of the city's plans for the 2006 Halloween parties on State Street, one major element of planning has focused on the fencing and admissions system for access to the event. On Tuesday, Madison alcohol policy coordinator (and key Halloween organizer) Joel Plant confirmed that there will be a total of 13 access points along State Street.
Planning for the types and locations of the access points is nearly complete. "The Parks Department and the Police and Fire departments have been tinkering with these, so we don't have exact locations yet," Plant says. "I know that the city is modifying exactly where the fencing will be."
There are 19 possible road access points, though only 13 will remain open. The city is also encouraging property owners to close alleys and back doors to prevent access. Plant explains details about each access point, moving from west to east along State Street.
- The intersection of State and Lake will allow entrances and exits.
- The intersection of State and Hawthorne Court (between two Badger paraphernalia shops) will be closed, with no access allowed.
- The southern intersection of State and Frances (between State Street Brats and the University Inn) will be closed, with no access allowed.
- The northern intersection of State and Frances (between the Towers and Statesider private dormitories) will be exit only. Plant says the city only allowed exits at this intersection in 2005 on a trial basis, one that "worked really well." Why is this location exit only? "Because that area is one of the flashpoints," Plant continues, "we're trying to dissuade people from coming in there. But we still want to allow people to exit."
- The western intersection of State and Gilman will be closed, with no access allowed. "There's a police staging area back behind the University Inn," Plant explains, with its parking lot adjacent to the first block of West Gilman.
- The eastern intersection of State and Gilman will allow entrances and exits.
- The northern intersection of State and Broom (adjacent to Gilman) will allow entrances and exits.
- The western intersection of State and Gorham will allow entrances and exits.
- The eastern intersection of State and Gorham will be closed, with no access allowed. "One of the entertainment stages is planned for that area," Plant says.
- The western intersection of State and Johnson will be closed, with no access allowed. This is also next to a police staging area. "I believe that's an area where the police will have one of their pre-processing areas set up," notes Plant.
- The eastern intersection of State and Johnson will allow entrances and exits.
- The southern intersection of State and Henry (between the MMoCA and Fontana Spors) will be closed, with no access allowed. Plant explains: "This is one of the staging areas where the police will have buses for people who have been arrested."
- The northern intersection of State and Henry (between the Triangle Market and Cosi) will allow entrances and exits.
- The intersection of Dayton and State will be exit only. "There is a ticketing booth there," Plant says, with partiers directed to enter one block up or down State.
- Likewise, the intersection of Fairchild and State will be exit only.
- The western intersection of State and Mifflin (adjacent to the Veterans Museum on the Square) will be exit only. This is because the second entertainment stage will be located nearby.
- The eastern intersection of State and Mifflin (between the State Historical Society and Miles Teddywedgers) will allow entrances and exits.
- The southern intersection of State and Carroll (adjacent to the State Historical Society on the Square) will be entrance only. Plant says he was not part of the discussions on this access point, and does not have further information about it.
- Finally, the northern intersection of State and Carroll (between the Children's Museum and the Veterans Museum) will allow entrances and exits.
These numbers correspond with those on the map above and in the gallery at top right.
Again, Plant stresses that these plans are not finalized, and are subject to change. But they're close to complete, with Madison Parks Superintendent Jim Morgan describing them as "really firm." In fact, city employees were out around State Street on Tuesday, Sept. 27, placing paint markers on the road to survey the location of the fences.
Generally speaking, the types of access points depend on other elements of the plan, explains Morgan. "It has to do with the proposed stage locations and where the police run the command post," he says. "The parking lot by Pizzeria Uno isn't going to be open," for example, "but the city wants people to be able to exit near there on Gilman." Plant adds that "public safety is a major consideration, with a lot of input from the fire and police departments."
The city is also mapping out where to put sanitary facilities. "Peace Park is where we'll see a good number or most of the Port-A-Potties," says Plant. They will be placed in the concrete portion of the park facing State Street, with fencing behind them. Morgan adds that the city plans to put portable johns and extra lighting near Peace Park and Library Mall, "because that end of the street is much more congested."
Starting Oct. 2, tickets for the event will be available at Library Mall. On Saturday, Oct. 28, they will also be available from three other locations: Carroll Street, by the downtown MATC on Johnson Street, and at another location not yet finalized.
Another unresolved element is entertainment. "There's a promoter who contacted the city and has done a lot of the legwork," says Plant, who declines to name names. "I can tell you that a lot of entertainers and music acts have contacted me in the last couple of weeks," as have "multiple sponsors."
Most of the potential acts are local and regional, from Madison and nearby cities like Milwaukee, Chicago and the Twin Cities. Plant is forwarding these requests to the likely promoter and the student-organized Halloween Action Committee, which has expressed interest in planning for the entertainment element of the party. The city hopes to complete its planning for entertainment within the next week.