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Roundabouts in Wisconsin
Roads and transportation infrastructure are important
investments in our communities. This year alone, the State
Department of Transportation will spend over $3 billion on
transportation needs. Taking a closer look at transportation in
Wisconsin is essential. One trend that emerges when looking at
transportation spending and priorities is a familiar story to
many of us: a significant increase in the number of roundabouts
in our communities.
According to the Department of Transportation (DOT) there were
just seven roundabouts on State Trunk Highways in 2005. Ten
years later, there are 223 in our state. Nationwide there are 22
states, including Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, and
Indiana that are now incorporating roundabouts. Roundabout use
is increasing dramatically nationwide.
I recently introduced a bill aimed at giving our local
communities more say in whether roundabouts should be
constructed. Senate Bill 242 makes it a requirement for the
Department of Transportation to receive approval from
municipalities when a roundabout is proposed. I believe our
local elected officials understand traffic patterns, including
pedestrian and business patterns, in their communities better
than bureaucrats in Madison. If the DOT were required to obtain
local approval for roundabouts, it is my hope this may enhance
the communications between DOT and local officials. With the
Department of Transportation increasing use of roundabouts, the
goal is to ensure communities have a decision in the process and
to ensure that these roundabouts benefit our areas.
Currently, the Department of Transportation indicates that
installation costs are similar between roundabouts and signal
intersections. The Department estimates it costs anywhere from
$750,000 to $1.5 million to install roundabouts or signalized
intersections. I also asked the Department to provide figures on
what it costs to maintain both of these intersections. A single
lane roundabout costs roughly $7,500 to maintain over a year
while a four signal intersection costs roughly $13,100 annually.
Estimated Annualized Cost of Roundabouts and Signalized
||Estimated Annualized Cost
|Single Lane Roundabout
*Source: WI Department of Transportation
While roundabouts may save the state money long term on
maintenance costs, they can be disruptive to local traffic flow
and patterns, especially when truck and semi traffic is
considered. With an increasing amount of roundabouts, I feel it
is important to ensure communities have a voice in whether or
not they are beneficial and appropriate.
For more information and to connect with me, visit my website
http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/17/marklein and do not
hesitate to call 800-978-8008 if you have input, ideas or need
assistance with any state-related matters.
Senator Marklein’s 2015 Fall Legislative Survey
If you haven’t already, please take my 2015 Fall Legislative
Survey. Below you will find a link to a 10 question survey
seeking your thoughts on a number of relevant legislative issues
and concepts that we will be discussing in the coming months.
This survey is available online at
http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/17/marklein or please feel
free to print out a copy from the link below and return it to me
at PO Box 7882, Madison, WI 53703 or via fax at 608-282-3557.
Please submit your survey by October 30, 2015.
For a PDF version of the survey, click
2015-16 Blue Books
The 2015-16 Blue Books have arrived at the Capitol! If you would
like one, please let me know, I would be happy to make sure you
receive a blue book.
In the District
Vernon Area Rehabilitation Center (VARC)
Last week, I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Vernon
Area Rehabilitation Center at their Sauk Division in Reedsburg.
VARC, Inc. specializes in customized contract assembly and
packing. VARC, Inc. has grown from a small, nine person
operation into four divisions with 500+ workers throughout
Western Wisconsin. The organizational purpose of VARC, Inc. is
to administer a comprehensive and cooperative program for the
general wellbeing and advancement of persons with varying
I had a great tour of the facility and was able to learn more
about what they do on a daily basis.
*Patrick Griffin, General Manager, Senator
Howard Marklein, and Elizabeth Filter, Executive Vice President
Labor Day Parades!
We had lots of sunshine and warm temperatures for the Kendall,
Benton and Gratiot Labor Day parades last weekend. It was great
to see a number of people at each of the parades!
*Senator Howard Marklein at the Gratiot Labor Day
Listening Sessions on Monday, September 14
On Monday, I will be having 3 listening sessions in Reedsburg,
Plain and Spring Green with Representative Ed Brooks and
Representative Todd Novak. I would love the opportunity to speak
with you about your questions and concerns. Below is the
information on Monday’s listening sessions.
Monday, September 14, 2015
Reedsburg – Reedsburg Public Library, 370 Vine Street, Reedsburg
11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Plain –
Green TTEC Building, 1110 Leed Parkway, Plain
Spring Green – Spring Green Library, 230 E. Monroe Street,
Rep. Brooks will be attending the Reedsburg listening session
and Rep. Novak will be participating in Plain and Spring Green.
addition to the listening sessions on Monday September 14, I
will also be holding listening sessions on Monday, September 21,
in Richland Center, Lone Rock and Boscobel.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Richland Center – Brewer Library, 325 N. Central Avenue,
Lone Rock – Community Hall, 220 Pearl Street, Lone Rock
Boscobel – Boscobel Public Library, 1033 Wisconsin Ave.,
Rep. Novak will be attending the Lone Rock listening session.
For a complete list of all of my upcoming listening sessions,
please visit my
WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Earlier this week, the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and
Consumer Protection (DATCP) released information about possible
Salmonella contamination on cucumbers. See the full release
DATCP advices Wisconsinites to avoid consuming some cucumbers
due to possible Salmonella contamination
Date: September 9, 2015
Media Contacts: Raechelle Cline, 608-224-5005 or Bill
Cosh, Communications Director, 608-224-5020
MADISON – Wisconsin food safety officials are working with state
and federal partners to investigate a nationwide outbreak of
Salmonella Poona infections that appear to be linked to
eating garden variety cucumbers grown outside of the United
States. More than 340 cases have been identified in 30 states
including 70 hospitalizations and two deaths. To date, only two
cases of the infection have been found in Wisconsin, but the
product has been widely distributed.
Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego, CA initiated a
voluntary recall of all cucumbers sold under the Limited Edition
label during the period from August 1, 2015 through September 3,
2015 because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. Other
cucumber suppliers are currently under investigation. No
cucumbers grown in Wisconsin or the U.S. have been implicated in
Salmonella Poona can cause serious and sometimes fatal
infections in young children, pregnant women, frail or elderly
people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy
individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high
fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and
diarrhea. Anyone who is experiencing these symptoms after
consuming cucumbers should consult a physician as soon as
The products were distributed nationwide to retail stores,
restaurants and institutions. These cucumbers are often sold in
bulk displays without any packaging and may not be easily
identifiable. Washing the cucumbers may not effectively minimize
the risk of infection. Andrew & Williamson is concerned that
infected cucumbers may be in consumer homes. Consumers who have
purchased these products are urged to return them to the place
of purchase for a full refund or throw them away.
Consumers with questions may visit the A&W website at
# # #
*Senator Marklein is pleased to provide this
legislative E-Update to the constituents of the 17th State
Senate District. Please feel free to share this update with
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