If you've never been to the Madison Street Festival, chances are you've never been to downtown Madison, much less even knew there was one. Downtown Madison consists of a handful of single-story row of shops and restaurants along Main and Church Streets, plus a small historic district of homes bordered by Sullivan and Church Streets and Mill Road.
Now, some Madison residents are looking into plans to expand and enhance their downtown. The Times notes that the "new downtown" boundaries would include the area surrounded by Sullivan, Browns Ferry, Hughes, and Madison Blvd. This area includes Madison's City Hall, post office, stadium, and one school (Madison Elementary-- see map below for locations).
However, this new downtown zone also has many suburban features, including a Wal-Mart, an industrial park, and a strip of motels and fast-food joints along Madison Blvd next to the interstate. It will be interesting to see how Madison, a city that has had a laissez-faire attitude towards development and sprawl for many years (and paid the price with overcrowded schools and roads), does with this introductory experiment in urban development.
Proposed downtown expansion (click to expand)