Monday, July 26, 2010

I Smell a TIF Request

The organizers of Madison's World's Largest Brat Fest have a grand vision to improve the John Nolen Drive corridor.

The city has been coy about the details of the proposal, but Economic Development Coordinator Tim Cooley reportedly told the paper via email:
"Today, you can travel from the Beltline to the end of Olin-Turville Park without ever seeing the lake, and with limited opportunities by the public for recreation and enjoyment of the area."
I sincerely hope he didn't mean to imply that the lack of lake views along John Nolen between the Beltline and the end of Olin-Turville Park is a problem that needs to be solved.  I can think of several ways it could be addressed, none of them good:
1. Re-route John Nolen Drive to hug the lakeshore along the length of Olin-Turville Park.
2. Cut down a bunch of trees (and level the hill) at the park.
3. Demolish the Sheraton.
4. Elevate John Nolen Drive and create an urban park underneath to connect the Alliant Energy Center with Olin-Turville Park.

I'm just fine with waiting until I reach the causeway to enjoy the lake view from my car.  A pedestrian bridge isn't a bad idea.  Some nice plantings along the road would also improve things without breaking the bank.  Let's see what they are actually proposing and how much it is likely to cost Madison taxpayers and schools.

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