The entire streetscaping project seemed like a pain from the beginning ... the minute they tried to justify the beginning date of construction because of the Criterion bike race, I knew it would be an irritating process.
Far be it from me to criticize the actual process of construction having not done it myself, but the first thing they did was tear up the sidewalks on the west side of Oakland (where I live in an apartment building), and it looks like those will be the last spots to be filled in. For almost two and a half months now I've had to walk through the mud, piles of rocks, or the middle of the street to get to my car or walk to class. Not so much a walkable community.
It's also very dangerous. With the impeded walking routes and the dearth of light fixtures, people are forced to walk randomly and on occasion have to dodge cars. I ride my bike to class each day and cheat death each time I am on Oakland.
The parking situation affects me twofold as I have nighttime parking in the east lot of the high school, right by the fitness center, which is the only parking available. Back to the timing, they could have easily started this when school was not in session so the closing of the SHS parking lot was less cumbersome. Some intrepid Saturday drivers have managed to find their way into the lot anyway by driving on the sidewalk.
Anyway, I'm a full time grad student at UWM and I have no need for my car, so now I have to wait until 10:30p each night to get my car into the lot and take it out by 7a. I park west of Oakland on Beverly taking the only open road outside of Morris to get there: Newton. Not many people know of Newton because it's partially obscured by haphazard construction barrels, raised concrete, and mud. But it works.
Judging by how few cars are parked over there, I am guessing the businesses I live above are suffering because the casual person would not know of any place to park. Beverly east of Oakland provides a few street spaces for consumers, but that's highly difficult to turn on if you're coming from the north ... with the street light out at Menlo, cars have no reason to stop and this stretch of Oakland becomes even more dangerous.
Some of what I ramblingly written can't be fixed, but the least the village could have done was schedule this construction when SHS wasn't in session and when UWM was in summer session so that the crews could focus on the work without the significant amount of traffic they've had to deal with this fall. Particularly amusing is the letter the village sent this week saying they were "considering a proposal." Great, make a decision and get it over with already.
Thanks for the time,
Following are Trustee Dawn Anderson's comments (underlined) and my responses (in italics) to her:
Halloween can be traced to ancient times, when some pagans set aside a day to commemorate the end of summer. The spirits of dead people returned to earth at this time, they believed, taking the forms of cats and witches and the like. Fearful that these spirits might do them harm, people attempted to scare them away by building fires and displaying pictures of grotesque faces. They would also place food offerings at their doors, hoping that any visiting spirits would take the treat and forget the trick. Our lighted carved pumpkins, masks, and trick-or-treat rituals have their origins in these practices. …Richard MoawEvery year schools around the country have similar discussions. Should Halloween be celebrated? Well, let’s think. Other than it recalling happy pasts in us adults, feeding the economy and keeping dentists in starched, monogrammed shirts, why DO we make it such a big deal? Is it a tip of the hat to paganism, carrying on our country's proud tradition, or just one more reason to go out drinking?
Pictures of Oakland Ave 4400 block --- no parking for business customers and no work being done --- same picture going on third week
Kirk Juffer, the principal of Lake Bluff grade school makes his job look easy --- probably because he loves what he does --- and he has the experience and wisdom to see problems while they are still in a potential state.
I believe I have met Kirk about half a dozen times --- mostly, just “hello – how’s it going”. Additionally, I have probably seen two or three presentations he has made over the years. I don’t remember the exact topics of those presentations, but I know that each time, I thought “wow” this guy is good --- and he even has common sense !
Amazingly Shorewood Village Officials have still not addressed the parking situation on North Oakland despite NO CONSTRUCTION WORK HAPPENING.
The NO PARKING signs are still up --- prohibiting customers of the local businesses from parking.
THIS IS AN E MAIL I RECEIVED FROM A READER COMMENTING ON THE RECENT STREETSCAPE WORK, D2D, ETC
You walk into the cafeteria at work and posted on signs sticking up from the middle of each long table are numbers: 20-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 40-45, 46-50, and 50+. You sit down with your brown little bag of celery sticks and peanut butter, and a big bouncer type guy comes up to you and asks you your age. No reason to lie here, you give it willingly. He shakes his head and unfolds his arm leading to an arrow-tip index finger. The 55 year olds sit at THAT table. You look at your friend who is 49 and back to the bouncer. You tell him that you are friends and want to eat together. You want to talk about your new baby or grandchild or boyfriend. The bouncer says he’s sorry, which means just shut-up and move ‘cuz he’s not budging on this, and tells you it just doesn’t work to mix everybody up that way. It’s too hard to keep track of things. The younger employees need more help, the thirty-somethings always tease the new hires by stealing their desserts and besides, everyone finishes at a different time and that leaves people scattered all over the room. Add to that the known fact that old timers want to be left alone and the only solution is staff segregation. So you pick up your vitamin water and move. Later that day, back in your office, an email memo circulates reminding employees of the new cafeteria policy. Break it and you are subject to a charge of insubordination. You take the gauntlet out of your “In Box” and throw it down. Before you know it there are gauntlets flying all over the place.
In today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, was a proposed Light Rail plan by Michael Cudahy.
I won't repeat his reasoning for Light Rail here. If you are interested and don't have today's paper, you can look it up online at http://www.jsonline.com/
Those who have not had experience with contractors especially in relation to public agencies do not realize how difficult it is to control schedules, services and even the quality of services and materials. Coordination is also an important and difficult factor of this type of activity.
I'm hoping for a surprise surge by our contractors on Oakland. It won't be until the final design elements go on that we'll see that there is any change.
The problem is that we don't know when the first days of winter are coming. We didn't know how the towers of the former University Club parking lot were going to look until the final cladding was installed. Now they look pretty good up there in the air.
Shorewood is made up many grand people. I've always felt that way about this community and I'm very grateful to those involved in service to it.
Wherever there's a condition for group survival, in clans, in small villages and now in nations, government inevitably emerges.
I was shopping on North Oakland again this afternoon. It wasn't raining but a bit wet and sort of sloppy for construction work; yet I saw one worker and a truck.
There was evidence of fresh concrete, so I'm sure that there must have been more than one worker earlier. The bolts in what seemed to be curred concrete indicate that the light standards could be installed at almost anytime.
In attendance at the first Shorewood Village Board meeting of the month, I found that with only five members present that the Board acted more informally than during any of my other experiences. I've always thought that a 7-person board functions too ceremoniously in its actions. A five-member board seems to be just right
With all the various plans for Shorewood completed, paid for and absorbed in the minds of Shorewood's leaders they can now be stacked away. The steps that followed and are to follow are their conversion into priorities and the rationale for their order.
It appears that few public officials enter the local blogosphere as few if any comments are made by elected “representatives.”
It may however, be the case that some of Shorewood's informed citizens do read these postings; therefore it might be wise for elected officials to know in advance what they may be held accounted for.
As I was driving on North Oakland the other night, I suddenly realized that even though the Village has torn out half of the streetlights --- there was more than enough light for driving and pedestrian purposes.
Even though the lights on the west side of the street are gone - the ones on the east side do more than an adequate job. The question I have therefore is -- why do we need so many lights ?
Now is the time for Shorewood to consider the dynamics of urban design and the means for creating potential commercial activity areas.
We want to do more than remain an ordinary community where walking is pleasant and where children can attend good schools.
I often feel that Autumn may be the best season of all -- brilliantly colored leaves reflecting bright sunlight are a treat for the eyes - weather just cool enough for maybe a light jacket, a nice respite from the heat and humidity of August - something almost magical about walking through the carpet of leaves the trees have given to the ground - walking on rustling clouds of color - that induce one to a contentment of the moment mixed with a melancholy contemplation of the past and future.