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July 06, 2007


Al Arnold

Give me sidewalks...or give me death!

christopher miller

I've spent some time in Franklin recently, and I've been struck by a thought. I've read your many comments about the attempt to build a coherent "center" for Franklin, and I'm quite familiar with the critique of sprawl--that it lacks density and core areas.

I began to consider what Franklin (and the countless similar places) USED to be like, and it's clear that they were de-centered, sprawled places as well. Sure, there were crossroads taverns or blacksmiths, perhaps a church and a post office, but by and large, the rural Franklin that existed before (sub)urban development came to it was de-centered, "sprawled" and lacking in a "downtown" or other such notion. The rural "towns" of Wisconsin are mostly 6 mile squares that had a small settlement or two, if that. So, is it shocking that a landscape that lacked landmarks or centerplaces remains that way when it is developed for (sub)urban residential use? A perfect example of the centerless town is the phenomena of the so-called "center." In Granville, for example, there was one a place on the map called "Granville Center;" same in the town of Brookfield. These were arbitrary places at the center of the square; they didn't reflect any landmark or geographic feature.

In any case, I share your aesthetic. I am just wondering if it isn't even harder to create a real "place" in a landscape that has already been through one iteration without significant density, center-places, or distinctive landmarks. You would truly be creating something out of nothing, and fighting not only developers, but the imperatives of history.

Bryan Maersch

I would love to see speed bumps. Too bad Wisconsin winters put a stop to that. My residential street is a speedway coming from phase two of our subdivision. It is a straight away coming from their subdivision part which has winding roads.

Our subdivision signed a petition to install Stop signs to slow these people up. A Franklin police officer sat and gave out tickets for about a week but nothing has happened since then.

The funny part is that the other part of the subdivision that the speeders are coming from was peppered last year with about 15 to 20 of these "Slow down" signs.

John Michlig

Regarding speed bumps: While they are often needed on poorly engineered roads and streets, they also make people ANGRY.

However - - that may be a good inducement for public outcry advocating better-engineered streets!

Bryan Maersch

Check out South 47th street between Forest Hill and Drexel. It is a wide straight away (wider than standard subdivision streets.) Perfect for fast exits from the Phase Two of High View Estates that were built by Pulte Builders back in the 90's.

Now traffic has increased with the addition of the Crooked Creek subdivision that is just to the east. You see drivers from these subdivisions using the "straight away" often in excess of the posted 25 mph to exit the subdivision onto Drexel.

This problem was communicated by several residents to the city council as a concern before Crooked Creek was approved and then ignored.

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