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John Michlig
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ABOVE: Meijer artist rendering; retail as far as the eye can see .... As Franklin faces the impending addition of a gigantic Meijer big box, dismantling the Crossroads Regulating Plan in the process, the rest of the commercial world sees... Continue reading
Above: A Meijer community meeting in Franklin. Here's an article that oversimplifies a more complex issue. As a member of Franklin's Economic Development Committee and Plan Commission, I can tell you that there are, actually, myriad issues that have NOT... Continue reading
Will do. I had erroneously thought it was a CNU photo.
Ever see that huge LEGO CITY section at Toys R Us? How does it stack up in the eyes of city planning theorists? Safety is a watchword in Lego City. The Mobile Police Unit is ready to be deployed at... Continue reading
I had a great time at the grand opening of the Milwaukee Bike Federation's new headquarters earlier this week. Brew City appears to be transforming itself -- slowly but surely -- into a bike-friendly city. From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:... Continue reading
Clearly, I need to get out of my parents' house next time I visit!
Some excellent news to report. I gave a couple of presentations on the benefits of Complete Streets to the City of Franklin Plan Commission as well as the Common Council. Consequently, by unanimous Common Council vote, the Franklin Trails Committee... Continue reading
Ten reasons opposition to the House transportation bill is growing Ends three decades of dedicated federal funding for public transportation. Cuts overall transportation funding for nearly every state and relies on risky and speculative funding sources. Takes away local control,... Continue reading
With all due respect, Anonymous, a quick look at Google Maps will show you that, if Franklin DOES employ a grid, it is not a HUMAN-SCALE grid by any stretch of the imagination. The main roads (which are the only ones that can be remotely thought of as "gridlike") are aligned with the mile-square platting that original survey maps provided. Subdivision developers, in fact, plotted their roads to ELIMINATE the possibility of a grid. This means that Franklin, like many suburbs, is auto-centric and full of places you can SEE but cannot get to safely on foot. Furthermore, emergency vehicles have to take circuitous routes to reach, for instance, Pleasant View Elementary School. That's not to say that there aren't discrete areas of Franklin where a pseudo-grid exists; it's a huge suburb. However, this is a city built for FAST CARS, and woe to you if you are elderly, differently-abled, or a kid. Further information (with maps and illustrations) The Collector Road: Roads as sewers:
ABOVE: On the STROAD again in Franklin, WI. From the always-vital STRONG TOWNS blog: The STROAD design -- a street/road hybrid -- is the futon of transportation alternatives. Where a futon is a piece of furniture that serves both as... Continue reading
ABOVE: Rawson Avenue - non-vehicles beware. Subdivisons full of children who attend a nearby elementary school face this barrier. After decades of catering to cars and the people able to drive them at the expense of people who cannot or... Continue reading
It's always extra funny when these things occur right next to the word "spells," of course.. From FranklinNow. Continue reading
If the Segway could gain a foothold as a Zipcar-type shared device, we'd see them all over the place downtown. My eyes would have popped out of my head if I would have happened upon you and your Segway here in Franklin ....
I learned recently that the Franklin Public Library has a nice bound archive of HUB newspapers that you can look at.
“Instead of becoming the next Bill Gates or Henry Ford, Kamen might find himself ending up like another great American inventor, Preston Tucker, who in the 1940s built the Tucker, a car too far ahead of its time.” I think... Continue reading
That sounds like a bit of nirvana, David. Next year my daughter starts high school right across the street from us - however, it's about six or seven city blocks door-to-door (HUGE parking lot, etc.). Hopefully, we can make a habit of walking together once a week or so. Then again, what high schooler wants to walk with their dad to school?
The picture above is one I took this morning while out for a walk. While this blog is often where you see horrific examples of asphalt gone wild in the suburbs, anyone who lives in a community like mine can... Continue reading
Mark Dudzik (pictured above with his wife, Denise, and children Austin and Kaela), is a Franklin resident and newspaper reporter/editor for the Burlington Standard Press, Waterford Post and Westine Report. Mark was critically injured in a bicycle crash on Sept.... Continue reading
Aware of the crushing costs of continued sprawl, the ’burbs are embracing slightly higher density and giving rise to a new generation of urban villages and mini cities. At last night's Trails Committee meeting, we began the process of putting... Continue reading
Pardon my lack of subject-verb consistency in that last sentence.
A man-made physical blight is bad enough when it disfigures the land it occupies, but these acres-wide Wal-Mart megaplexes are destructive for blocks and blocks beyond the area upon which it sits.
South Milwaukee, look what YOU -- and the State of Wisconsin's Medicaid program -- just bought: After trying to mollify its critics in recent years by offering better health care benefits to its employees, Wal-Mart is substantially rolling back coverage... Continue reading
I see your point, but the cleanup accounts for "only" $1.8 million of an estimated $3.05 million in costs to the city. That estimate does NOT take into account infrastructure and utility improvements that the city will have to make and maintain in order to serve the Wal-Mart megaplex. You can be sure that Wal-Mart will enumerate their requirements and expect the city to deliver. Consider road/street costs alone - lights, turning lanes, etc. Then add in the new wear-and-tear on existing roads and streets nearby. Wal-Mart's tiny $275,000 in annual property taxes will not even cover that aspect of the impact. And, the already-strangled school district, which relies on property taxes for funding, will see NOTHING from this investment until AT LEAST 11 years have passed. Believe me, 11 years is very, very optimistic. The tax revenue-per-square-foot of these retail monoliths is pitiably TINY compared to a much smaller multi-story, multi-use structure. On top of that, you can count on detrimental effects to surrounding businesses that pay family-supporting wages. No, the city of South Milwaukee has been taken for an expensive ride.
Is the death-spiral of the Middle Class still mysterious to people when municipalities PAY to have cash-larded retailers come in to help shutter any and all local businesses? Wal-Mart throttles South Milwaukee: The city will spend $800,000 to clean up... Continue reading
ABOVE: The Franklin Quarry - a rare peek inside. Yes - it's BIG. Lack of posts does not indicate a lack of activity. Since being appointed to the Plan Commission a few months back, I've not seen a site plan... Continue reading