WisDOT Open House on Future Parking Lots, Parks, or ?
WisDOT is taking the steps to prepare to issue an RFP for airspace leases underneath the Marquette Interchange and Interstate 794. They’re looking for public input on what should be included, and this is our chance to really say we want something better underneath the freeway that separates the Third Ward and the Milwaukee Intermodal Station from the rest of downtown.
While a mixed-use building probably won’t work underneath an elevated freeway, there are other potential uses other than gravel. The most profitable for the state and county is presumably parking, but there are other options I’ve heard discussed. Multiple times people have suggested putting parks. Now I’m sure a park under the 794 wouldn’t rival Cathedral Square or Pere Marquette in quality, but it might be better than more surface parking (which would hurt nearby parking structure owners). The challenge with a park is the opportunity cost of giving up leasable land , which makes it hard to advocate for a potentially lackluster park.
As it appears now, the land under 794 isn’t attractive to walk through. This is a chance to really suggest something that would make better.
While the state might still be thinking parking as the likely use (their invitation to the event includes a photo of cars parking under an elevated freeway), if we as citizens ever had a chance to impact a WisDOT project, it’s probably now. I would imagine suggesting tearing down the freeway won’t help, so let’s take this chance to voice input while we have it.
The details for the upcoming meetings are listed below:
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Southeast Regional Office has scheduled two open-house public meetings to discuss a new and innovative process of developing a plan to maximize the utility of the land under the Marquette Interchange and other WisDOT controlled right of way in downtown Milwaukee.
The meetings will be held on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Milwaukee Public Market – 2nd floor cafeteria, 400 N. Water Street, Milwaukee and Tuesday, January 27, 2009 from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, 433 W. St. Paul Avenue, Milwaukee.
WisDOT is interested in ideas that can continue the past revenue stream to the state/county, provide a public benefit and/or encourage economic development. The purpose of the meeting is present the specific locations of land tentatively available for lease and encourage the public to complete a Request for Information (RFI). The RFI enables public and private interest in these parcels as well as helps to develop the evaluation criteria for the Request for Proposal (RFP).
Displays of each parcel of land will be available for review along with a handout detailing the process for submitting the RFI forms related to the use of this land. WisDOT and Milwaukee County staff will be available both days to provide information and answer questions. The same information will be presented at both meetings.
We look forward to your participation in this important meeting. If you have any questions, or if you cannot attend the meeting but would like to find out more about the Marquette Air Space Lease Considerations, please contact Dave Kitzman at (262) 548-5941 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.