Grassroots Radio Conference 11
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To Madison by air
To Madison by car
     GRC-11 Rideshares
To Madison by bus
To Madison by rail
Within Madison
From the Madison Airport to downtown

Additional information at the UW Visitor's Guide page.

Info about conference support funds at the registration page.

To Madison by air

Good places to look for cheap flights include:
- - a flight aggregator
- - especially if your dates are flexible
- - Has daily crazy-cheap deals that don't last long

For what it's worth... we have secured a 5% discount on American Airlines flights for GRC conference goers. For the AA discount, one must fly into Madison and use the authorization number A517BB. The same 5% discount applies to Avis car rentals; use
worldwide discount code B136001.

Direct to Madison
The Dane County airport (MSN) is inside the Madison city limits, and relatively close to downtown (~5 miles).  The airport includes service by the following airlines (or their subsidiaries): Northwest, United, American, Midwest, Comair/Delta, and Continental.

Prices into the Madison airport range from pretty good to pretty bad, depending on where you're coming from, on which airline, on which dates, and how lucky you feel. Ain't that the way with airlines?  But it's worth checking out.

Getting to downtown Madison from the airport is relatively easy.  See the "From the Airport" section below.

via Milwaukee
The Milwaukee airport (MKE) sometimes has better deals than Madison, but it's usually not enough difference in price to justify the extra travel time & cost.  However, if you happen to find a very cheap flight into Milwaukee, there's a $32 round trip bus that runs from the Milwaukee airport to downtown Madison several times per day.  See "To Madison by bus" below.

via Chicago
The Chicago Airports (O'Hare [ORD] and Midway [MDW]) very often have flights that are significantly cheaper than Madison or Milwaukee.  Discount airlines like Southwest use Midway as a hub, while O'Hare has many others.  Once you land, you can take the $48 round trip Van Galder bus directly from the airport to downtown Madison - in fact, the last stop in Madison is just a half-block from the conference site.  
See "To Madison by bus" below.

To Madison by car
Chances are, you'll be coming into Madison via I-90/94/39 from the North/NW or South/SE.  Unless you're driving from Iowa or the Great Plains, in which case, you'll probably come in on US-151 from Dubuque.

Share a ride! Check out the GRC-11 Rideshare page to offer a ride or to see what rides are available.

These are directions to get you into town.  Driving inside of Madison is another experience, and explained below.

From the South on I-90/39
Follow I-90/39, and exit *left* at Exit 142A onto the Beltline Highway.  The Beltline is also US-18 W / US-12 W.  Follow the Beltline for about 6 miles, then 
merge onto John Nolen Drive at Exit 263.  Follow John Nolen for about two miles (pretty view of the town on your right!), turn left on Broom Street, follow Broom for a couple blocks and you're smack downtown, just four blocks west of the Capitol.

From the North on I-90/94/39
Follow I-90/94/39, and Merge onto US-51 South via Exit 132.  Follow US-51 for 4.5 miles, then turn right onto US-151/East Washington Ave.  You can follow E. Washington Ave. all the way to the Capitol building 4.2 miles later.

From the Southwest on US-151
Just keep following signs for US-151 North, and you'll actually end up right in downtown Madison.  US-151 takes you onto the Beltline; you'll exit at #261B and travel north on Park St.  If you follow Park Street to its end - about 2.8 miles - you'll be within spitting distance of the conference site.

Traveling to Madison by bus

Madison has a Greyhound station right downtown on the corner of W. Washington Ave. and Bedford St.  It's walking distance to the conference site and downtown locations, and is only one block from WORT's studios at 118 S. Bedford St.

If you're coming from the Milwaukee airport, you'll likely take the Badger Bus, which is $32 round trip from the airport to downtown Madison.  You can get off at the Badger Bus terminal (same as the Greyhound terminal) or at the UW Memorial Union, which is right next door to the conference site.  These two stops are only about a mile apart.

If you're coming from one of the Chicago airports, you'll likely take the Van Galder Bus. The cost is $48 round trip from O'Hare, $52 round trip from Midway. The Van Galder Bus stops at the UW Memorial Union.

Traveling to Madison by rail
Madison does not have an Amtrak stop.  The nearest one is in Columbus, WI, but then you're about 45 minutes away from town.  If you want to go with Amtrak, you would probably do well to train into Chicago, then take the Van Galder Bus from the downtown Amtrak station -  a $48 round trip.

Traveling Within Madison

The Layout of Madison
Madison is on an isthmus, that is, a narrow strip of land between two bodies of water. The bodies of water are Lake Mendota (to the north) and Lake Monona (to the south). Right in the middle of the isthmus is the Capitol.

Since the city lies on this isthmus, the biggest roadways travel East-West.  Well, at least that's what we call 'em. In some cases, the actual compass direction is more like NE-SW, but don't let that confuse you.

West of the Capitol
, the main East-West routes are W. Johnson St. (travels east only) and University Ave. (travels west only).  W. Washington Ave. and Regent St. also combine to form a popular east-west route a few block south.

East of the Capitol, there are three primary East-West routes: 1. E. Johnson (travels east only) and Gorham St. (travels west only) (Gorham turns into University Ave. at State Street.); 2. E. Washington Ave.; and 3. Williamson Street.

State Street: The commercial hub of Madison is a seven block strip of shops, restaurants, bars, etc. that runs between the UW campus and the Capitol. Cars are not allowed (except cabs, police, deliveries, buses, etc.). You're likely to hear many references to it.

Address numbers indicate how many blocks north, south, east, or west of the Capitol a property lies. So for example, WORT's studios are at 118 S. Bedford St., a block and some change south of W. Washington Ave. WORT News Facilitator Nathan Moore used to live at 1235 E. Johnson St., 12 blocks and some change east of the Capitol. Downtown blocks are pretty short; on the near east side, they can get quite a bit longer.

Driving within Madison

Driving within Madison - particularly downtown - can be a pain in the neck. There are a number of one-ways and peculiar quirks, and any driving near the Capitol is fairly slow going. Parking spaces can also be tough to procure, particularly in the State Street/campus area, which is right where the conference is.

That said, if you do drive to the conference, your best bet for parking is the Frances St. or Lake St. parking ramps.  Both are located between University Ave. and State St., with entrances on Frances and Lake Streets.  They're only a couple blocks from the Pyle Center.

Also, c
heck out the GRC-11 Rideshare page to offer a local ride or to see what rides are available within town.

Biking within Madison
Madison drivers are used to seeing lots of bicyclists, and the town is pretty bike-friendly overall.  There are many bike lanes and bike paths, not to mention marked bike routes where a dedicated lane doesn't exist.  You can download the city's "Cycling in Madison" map at the this site.

Getting your bike to Madison may be tough, naturally, so there's a "free" bike option. Check out Budget Bicycle Center at their 903 Regent St. location, where they run the Red Bikes Project. They loan out bikes for a $40 deposit for the bike and a $20 deposit for a lock. The user is responsible for the bike. When it is returned, the deposit is returned.

More info for bikers at the UW Visitors Guide page.

Taking the Bus in Madison
There are many bus routes that run down University/Johnson.  Depending on where you're staying, you may find yourself using one or more of these routes. From any of these buses, get off at Lake Street and walk north a couple blocks to get to the Pyle Center (corner of Lake and Langdon) to get to the conference.

A ride on the bus is $1.50 no matter how far you go.  You can also get 10-ride passes for $12.00.

Maps, routes, schedules, and online ticket sales are at the Madison Metro page.

Taking a taxi in Madison
Madison has several taxi cab companies. Union Cab is nice, since it's worker owned and operated, and their fares are comparable to the others in town. They've also got a nifty fare estimator online.

Walking in Madison
Madison is a quite walkable town. We'll have downtown street maps for you when you come to the conference.

From the Madison airport to downtown

By Conference Shuttle
We'll be running a *free* shuttle to and from the airport on Thursday, July 27 and Sunday, July 30. Schedule to be posted, based on when people are arriving at the airport.

By Taxi

If you take Union Cab, it'll run about $15.00 from the airport to downtown locations.

By Bus
Madison Metro bus runs the #24 line from the Airport to the North Transfer Point every 30-60 minutes (depending on time of day). From the North Transfer Point, you'd take the #2 bus to get downtown (departing every 30 minutes). The last #24 bus leaves the airport at 9:39pm.  Check schedules at Madison Metro.

By Car
If you rent a car at the airport, it's pretty easy to drive to downtown. Follow International Lane out of the airport, then turn left on Packers Ave, which you'll follow for about two miles.  Packers Ave. becomes E. Johnson Street, which becomes E. Gorham St. a few blocks later.  Follow East Gorham for a couple miles to get to downtown.

GRC11 - Grasshopper logo
GRC-11 -- July 27-30, 2006 Madison, WI

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