Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Old Friend Mickey Kienitz Produces Must-See Madison Video

A hot urban development issue is in the hands and lens of veteran Madison photojournalist Mickey Kienitz.


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

21 apartments, and some moderate amount of commercial space, does not create the kind of impact to the neighborhood that these folks are describing, and as the one woman says, traffic due to 21 apartments will have a negligible impact.

I have no doubt that traffic has increased. Interestingly, higher density development can actually help control traffic, by creating a more walkable neighborhood.

I notice there are no interviews with developer, architect, or City planning people.

Betsy said...

FYI, we do not live in the neighborhood, but we do use businesses located on Monroe Street which is simply too crowded. Across the street from Knickerbocker and up around the corner are lots of popular restaurants and businesses that have loads of traffic. Edgewood College and High School are a few blocks down the street and dominate parking and traffic. I lived on Monroe Street in college in 1972 and back then it was noisy and busy. Cannot imagine how adding more apartments and retail space will *not* negatively impact the neighborhood.*Interestingly, higher density development can actually help control traffic, by creating a more walkable neighborhood* Really? Have you (ZRM) ever walked or biked Monroe Street?

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I confess I haven't, not recently. But I have worked on similar neighborhoods in Milwaukee, and faced similar challenges.

It does sound like the area needs a bit more master planning. But I stand by my assertion that the addition of this particular development will have a negligible impact on the existing traffic; I mean, 21 cars in daily traffic of 20,000? And the traffic from apartments is pretty limited timewise; early morning and evening, to/from work.

I was more critical, though, of the video having no input from any of the planning folks involved, especially Traffic.

Every neighborhood has seen increased traffic since 1972. The chaining of parking and cars to residential is what has to be broken, ideally through pedestrian-oriented development and increased public transit. Mixed use zoning is a necessary part of that, and can be one of the hardest things to get over NIMBY objections; but how can you have a walkable neighborhood when all the places you would walk to are zoned out of walking distance?

I don't know the answers for this particular street, but am admittedly extrapolating from professional experience in similar situations. It sounds to me like the neighborhood is struggling with change and blaming the changing conditions on the most visible changes, rather than the underlying structural issues. The increase in traffic predates both of these developments.