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May 03, 2008


Janet Evans


See, I told you that was a great photo. Too bad you didn't get one of the same street/area when it had to have been impossible for the kids to walk safely during the winter.

John Michlig


How long, I wonder, will Franklin settle for being the "before" picture in comparisons of good and bad community planning?

Steve Davis

As I told John, we had that photo floating around here at SGA and didn't know where it had come from. Thanks for alerting us to its source! I'll make sure it get noted. And I guess congratulations are in order for Franklin???


Actually Kunstler made Franklin, WI famous for sprawl in "Geography of Nowhere" where he uses Franklin, WI as a prime example of sprawl and "nowhere USA".

Nick Aster

This is slightly tangential to the post, but I wanted to say (as a former Milwaukeean) that I'm very happy that someone with your vision and persistence is blogging about these issues. It seems Franklin is at the crossroads of becoming something special, or just another Blue Mound Road. I hope you're getting the readership and attention you deserve!

Bryan Maersch

It looks as though the subdivision that you are required to drive through to get to Pleasant View was built in the Mid-50's and I know Pleasant View is one of the older grade schools.

Why did the city not put in sidewalks back when Pleasant View was built. Aren't the city fathers at that time, primarily to blame?

John Michlig

Bryan, the folks in charge at the time the neighborhood itself was being built were presiding over a very rural community. When the SCHOOL was sited, they should have immediately begun the process of making sane walkways to the building.

But they didn't. And they don't.

John Michlig

Thanks, Nick. I just discovered your site at http://www.triplepundit.com/ and I'm already bookmarking things.

Bryan Maersch


First off, as you know I am all for sidewalks in the area of schools. This area too.

I use to live on S. 36th Street in an older subdivision without any sidewalks. The rural nature of this area was the reason the whole neighborhood petitioned the city not to install sidewalks in our old subdivision.

I wonder if this is still the case in the 46th street subdivision.

If memory serves me correctly too, and I know someone will correct me if I am wrong.

Didn't Kristen Wilhelm push to prevent sidewalks in the Pleasant View area due to an encroachment of the sidewalk on some wetlands? This would have been in the past 5 years, before she was an Alderwoman.

John Michlig

I believe the issue was a proposal to carve paths or roads on the east side of the school so kids could access the neighboring subdivision and a "relief road" would then exist for routing either parents in cars (of which there are MANY MORE than there should be) and buses.

Because of some sort of disagreement with the property owner nearest the route, it is pushed into an area designated as wetlands.

Neighborhoods petitioning for "no sidewalks" is just another sad development in our evolution toward complete self interest, I'm afraid. This has its roots in the short-sighted "tax revolt" movement that eventually freed developers from any responsibility toward creating actual NEIGHBORHOODS as opposed to collections of garages attached to dwellings attached to roads attached to freeways.

You reap what you sow.

Kristen Wilhelm

How does information like this get so turned around?
First, it was the neighbors who took this on in an attempt to prevent another unfriendly pedestrian area like the photo. I provided my opinion during a meeting after they were not taken seriously. By this time the road extension to remove the only safe waking access to the school was in motion.

Early on, decision-makers failed to put in sidewalks or a path during construction of the newer (in comparison) Countryside Estates development. Over the years, people accessing the school on foot created their own path. (Google earth this area to see the well-defined path for yourself).

It’s about retaining a safe, walkable zone to the school & playground year round. However, under the proposed plan, wetlands and woodlands would be impacted. (NO EC input was given as required per ordinance). This road extension will mix cars with children so habitat for cars can once again trump habitat for people. The sidewalk stub to nowhere was an add-in as an attempt to quiet the neighbors. Should we say shame on walkers/bikers for NOT taking the bus a few blocks to their neighborhood school or could we benefit from fewer taxes used on road construction, maintenance and busing by leaving the walking path?

John Michlig

The alderman you replaced, Alan Hammelman, was the source of my initial info about the obstacles facing the side street construction.

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