Down on the Boardwalk

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ouroborus4
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Down on the Boardwalk

Postby ouroborus4 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:25 am

http://www.madison.com/wsj/mad/top/446921

Sorry if this has been posted elsewhere. I took a quick look, but didnt' see anything.

I have mixed opinions about the proposed boardwalk and lake monona park. While I think it would be a beautiful addition to the city, and I agree that city improvements of this sort are needed as the population grows, I think there are some serious drawbacks. The major ones that come to mind are the negative environmental impacts of in-filling 2 acres of lake Monona. For the boardwalk, while I think it would be great in the summer months, I think it also has some serious drawbacks. The biggest one I can think of is the damage it would do to State Street businesses. With a large student population on the near east side, currently the quickest way to get to the libraries and the west end of campus (and back) is to go down state street. I'm sure State Street businesses thrive on this fact, as the students are lured in to buy a cup of coffee on their way to the library, or can't resist the smells that convince them to buy lunch on their way home. With the boardwalk in place, it provides a quick shortcut that bypasses all of the tempations to spend their parents' money (although it sounds like there might be retail and vending along the boardwalk creating new tempations). I think safety at night might also be an issue. Just some thoughts.
what do the rest of you think?

eriedasch
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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby eriedasch » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:59 am

ouroborus4 wrote:I have mixed opinions about the proposed boardwalk and lake monona park.

Other than the proposed roundabout I'm probably against it mainly for environmental reasons.

So they want to fill in part of the lake to build a boardwalk, a marina, and a boathouse on a small polluted lake already surrounded by city? They claim people want more access to Lk Monona. For what? Swimming and fishing? Are there not enough boat landings? Monona is not big enough for the types of boats to be kept at a marina.

I also find it amusing they are holding the meeting at the Overture center of which the planning group boasts as one of it's accomplishments. Maybe they ought to figure out how to turn a profit on that before they take on any more expensive projects like this.

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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby thebookpolice » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:07 am

State Street coffeeshops might thrive on that. But retail businesses thrive on tourist, gameday, and student family traffic. Not much is going to change that.

As for the Mendota boathouse, would this be the same idea that never came to fruition in the 1930's? (see "No harbor" section).

http://www.thedailypage.com/isthmus/art ... icle=23684

fennel
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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby fennel » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:08 am

ouroborus4 wrote:The biggest one I can think of is the damage it would do to State Street businesses. With a large student population on the near east side, currently the quickest way to get to the libraries and the west end of campus (and back) is to go down state street. I'm sure State Street businesses thrive on this fact, as the students are lured in to buy a cup of coffee on their way to the library, or can't resist the smells that convince them to buy lunch on their way home.
The only smells I notice on State Street are diesel fumes from the truck and bus traffic. Between that and the noise, it's not a very pleasant place, really. It would be nice to have some kind of pedestrian-friendly alternative.

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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby Suoiragerg » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:16 am

This plan is silly.

Instead of spending millions on making this lake enjoyable by decreasing the algae level this plan fills in the lake for a marina.

And they do this after the cover a perfectly good park with Monona Terrace.

MeLurkyLongTime
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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby MeLurkyLongTime » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:39 pm

So the Ski team gets pushed out again? The team won't be able to practice there with all of the boat traffic coming in and out. That is a lot of respect for a team that has won nationals in several past years.

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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby AaronTheSnob » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:44 pm

I think it's a great idea to have a boardwalk and a marina in a city where it's winter 6 months out of the year. I think they should go even further: Giant ferris wheels, maybe a roller coaster that dips in and out of the lake (wear wet suits), a wax museum, maybe a ball park. Hell, throw in a giant neon sign that says something like "WELCOME TO THE MADISON BOARDWALK!".

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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby Walter » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:07 pm

Image

Monorail!

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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby Bwis53 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:27 pm

There's already crime along that area, on Summer nights. I guess if they gentrify that area, along with the bus depot, the bums will have to go elsewhere.

Why do they have to do an infill? I mean, how wide does this boardwalk have to be? And what about all those lanes of stinky traffic along John Nolan?

ouroborus4
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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby ouroborus4 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:45 am

Good points. After further consideration, I am definately against both of these proposals. Not that i'm against city improvements and more public space in general, but it should be done in a responsible, well thought-out manner. I think these posts clearly illustrate problems with these ideas. While it would be "neat" to have a boardwalk and downtown lake park, that is not a reason to ignore the cost, environmental degredation, lack of need/desire, and safety issues. I like the idea of using that money to make the lakes more enjoyable by cleaning them up (and establishing policies to keep them clean), although I realize its not an easy task. I also think an aqua ferris wheel that submerges you for a while every time around is the coolest improvement suggestion I've heard for madison in a long time.

misterlinguistr
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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby misterlinguistr » Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:48 pm

Thanks to everyone for bringing up all these interesting points. My first reaction to the idea of the boardwalk was positive, and I think it still is, if we can get the city to somehow allow small business owners to dominate the spaces. I'm sure I'm not alone in knowing many people who would like to open their own restaurants or shops but simply can't assuredly bring in the $2000 a month rent most landlords require. Isn't there some way we can make the boardwalk an opportunity to showcase all of these people?
Furthermore, I'd like to see them do something that I noticed the city of Zurich does the last time I was there and that is to rotate commercial space as needed seasonally. If the ice skating shack needs to close up in April, for example, let it become an ice cream parlor those other months.
I realize this is simplistic--I've just started chewing on this topic--but if we can address environmental concerns and allow ten people to open up businesses that would not have been able to afford to on State/Monroe/Atwood/anywhere, that's a conversation I'm willing to have.

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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby ilikebeans » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:03 pm

ouroborus4 wrote:I also think an aqua ferris wheel that submerges you for a while every time around is the coolest improvement suggestion I've heard for madison in a long time.

Seems like a good idea on the face of it, but I'm thinking a close-up view of algae, seaweed, and dead carp might not be the best tourist attraction.

fennel
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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby fennel » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:06 pm

misterlinguistr wrote:Thanks to everyone for bringing up all these interesting points. My first reaction to the idea of the boardwalk was positive, and I think it still is, if we can get the city to somehow allow small business owners to dominate the spaces. I'm sure I'm not alone in knowing many people who would like to open their own restaurants or shops but simply can't assuredly bring in the $2000 a month rent most landlords require.
Analogous to the aphorism, "Never eat in a restaurant of which there is more than one," wouldn't it be nice if such businesses were required to be locally-owned and one-of-a-kind? I mean, it seems the last thing we'd need is another Benny Jerry's or Chocolate Sloppe.

Also, I'm perplexed by the in-fill proposal. I thought boardwalks were constructed over water, not land. (On piers, generally.)

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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby snoqueen » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:14 pm

I am perplexed by the in-fill proposal too. I think the DNR would have a few things to say about that one.

But a boardwalk along the edge of Lake Mendota from the campus to Madison Park might not require any filling at all because of the existence of riparian rights on navigable waters. Basically, this means there's a margin along the edge of navigable bodies of water (and Lake Mendota is definitely one) where the public has the right to be. If the boardwalk was built on the edge of the lake within that boundary (it's just a few feet, but it applies to private property as well as public land) it might function as a nice extension of the campus lakeshore path. It shouldn't have to cost a fortune to build, either.

Riparian rights are very old and have strong legal support -- it's very hard for a private landowner to argue successfully against them. I think it's time we took more advantage of these established public rights, which date from a time when it was thought everyone had the right to enjoy and use our natural resources freely, not just those wealthy enough to own a chunk of them.

A boardwalk of course poses security issues but so does the lakeshore path today.

Bringing more public access to the lakeshores can only accelerate the push to get the lakes cleaned up.

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Re: Down on the Boardwalk

Postby narcoleptish » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:46 am

These are nice ideas but I can't help but bring up the fact that Madison seems to have a problem lately with upkeep on the parks that we already have.

I also want to know what the people are smoking who think Madison lacks for public lake access? When I have more time, like an hour, I will list off all the parks and places in the Madison area where anybody can access the lakes.

Also, if we start employing riparian rights, Madison should be prepared to lose a substantial amount of property tax revenue. There's a big difference between having 150 feet of private lakeshore access, and 150 feet of public access to your backyard. Lake home owners aren't going to pay 10-20K a year to live with that and I wouldn't blame them.


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