Dave Reid

Kitty Corner, Across the Freeway

By - Mar 24th, 2009 03:00 pm
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“Kitty Corner, Across the Freeway.”  This is how County Executive Scott Walker described just how close UW-Milwaukee’s new Engineering School could be from the Milwaukee County Research Park.  I don’t think I could of summed it up much better myself.  Kitty corner, across the freeway.  That was actually used as a reason given by our County Executive as to why this is such a “great” site for UW-Milwaukee to build its Engineering School.  Kitty corner, across the freeway.  Not across the street, around the corner, or down the block, but across the freeway.  This speaks directly to the inherent problem of UW-Milwaukee expanding in Wauwatosa.  Because it sure sounds to me, like requirement number one to take part in all this collaboration and education will be ownership of a car.  This requirement brings with it a checklist of “features” in the same way that new products from Microsoft include a list of “features.”

  1. Higher cost.  Check.
  2. Decreased accessibility.  Check.
  3. Increased congestion.  Check.
  4. Increased pollution.  Check.
  5. Lost opportunity.  Check.

It appears that UW-Milwaukee and the Milwaukee County Board are on the fast track to check each and every one of these “features” off the list, which is a shame because ten years from now when UWM Chancellor Carlos Santiago has long since left Milwaukee for greener pastures, all of us, will be stuck paying the tax bills.  All of us, will be left wondering if there was a better plan and why wasn’t it researched?  All of us, will wonder if there was a checklist that would of included lower costs, increased accessibility, decreased congestion and pollution, and the opportunity to truly grow our region by building our core.  Of course we all know, there was one.  Downtown Milwaukee.

Categories: Real Estate

10 thoughts on “Kitty Corner, Across the Freeway”

  1. Nick Aster says:

    Walker is obviously not thinking very deeply.

  2. But once all the new public transit gets built, you won’t need a car to get there. 😉

  3. Mike Pandl says:

    The Milwaukee region continues to be wholly devoid of a visionary, from either the public or private sector, to come forward with a professional, alternative vision to the planned UWM Engineering School expansion in Wauwatosa. Many editorials have been written opposing the plan, but UWM can hardly be faulted for pressing forward when it hasn’t been presented with a compelling alternative.

    As currently constituted, the UWM and Marquette Engineering expansions will both benefit Milwaukee, but will not provide the multiplier effect that expanding them next-door to one another would.

    Imagine for a moment the student, faculty, corporate recruiting and fundraising potential of a brand new, river-facing, pedestrian-only engineering district including UWM Engineering, Marquette Engineering and covering, for example, the 12, 13, 14, 16 and 17 Park East blocks downtown. What Urban Designer or Architect wouldn’t jump at the chance to design this?

  4. MilwaukeeD says:

    Mike, how do you know UWM hasn’t been presented with alternatives?

  5. Suzanne says:

    Mike- you’re right that there seems to be a lack of regional, visionary planning here. It’s so sad. Your Park East idea seems like something worth further investigation.

  6. Meghan says:

    What about using the Grand Avenue Mall Space?

  7. Sheila says:

    I just moved to Wauwatosa from Chicago and I am completely against the idea of UWM expanding in Tosa. The downtown idea makes so much more sense!! Do you have any suggestions for Tosa residents who oppose this deal? Or is all hope lost?

  8. Dave Reid says:

    Sheila,
    Right now suggest people email or call their county supervisor and ask them to vote against this deal. Thanks

  9. Corrina says:

    Gee….I am shocked you ineffectual liberal clowns are blasting Scott Walker, what a surprise! You bozos sure are amusing with your group think tendencies. Walker is the one elected official in this socialist city of ours that actually is contributing fresh and innovative ideas. He also is trying to keep taxes and spending in check. The fact that all liberals, the local media, common council, and county board dislike this guy make me like him even more.

  10. Urban Advocate says:

    I actually like the Grand Avenue idea. They already have adequate space and also have a parking garage. With Old Navy leaving, they need tenants as well. It’s a win win.

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