Thursday, July 9, 2009

Let's not lose out to Gary, Indiana

Just read this amusing letter-to-the-editor in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about transit (or lack thereof).

My favorite part:

"By 2016, Gary, Ind., will more than likely have a more viable transit system than Milwaukee and probably a new venue or two. Then Milwaukee can stand up and proudly say it lost jobs and income to Gary."

In a related MJS article, the Urban Mobility Report produced by the Texas Transportation Institute said that traffic congestion in Milwaukee cost about $307 million in extra fuel and lost time in 2007.

So, let's get our transit improved in Madison so that we don't lose time or money or lose out to Gary, Ind.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Approve the Edgewater Hotel expansion

For a city built around beautiful lakes, it's a shame there are only a handful of public places (non-beaches/parks) to gather on the lake. Take Lake Mendota, for example: you have the Memorial Union and the Edgwater Hotel (places like Captain Bill's are not adjacent to the lake, as they claim).

Developers have proposed expanding the Edgewater Hotel, and plans include giving the pier a make-over. Of course, with every proposal in the city, it has to be fought tooth and nail. As reported by the Wisconsin State Journal, the proposal is supported by Downtown Madison Inc., the Wisconsin Alumni Association, nearby First United Methodist Church and several neighborhood leaders, but not by Capitol Neighborhoods Inc. and the Mansion Hill Neighborhood Association.

An issue that was raised was concern over traffic and noise. That's odd, since the Edgewater is one block from Gorham (very busy) and on Langdon Street (home of Greek row). Anyone living in that vicinity should already be used to traffic and noise!

One thing that former Mayor Paul Soglin correctly points out in his blog is that we need to have density in downtown or face more sprawl.

Lastly, I think the Edgewater would make a nice north-of-the-Capitol complement to the south-of-the-Capitol Monona Terrace (which should also have a terrace like the Memorial Union's--save that for another blog).