For Milwaukee, this is happening at a break-neck pace
The older you get, the faster time flies. Trust me on that one.
Which makes what happened last week along Milwaukee's lakefront even more jaw-dropping. Not only is our town getting some spiffy new buildings and redone streets where downtown meets the water, it's all going to happen really, really fast--as in, within our lifetimes.
No mean feat for a city that's known for crushing progress with endless blue ribbon reports, white-paper studies and commissions.
We're still debating what to do about the BMO Harris Bradley Center, even though the Bucks have made it abundantly clear that they can't financially survive there for very much longer. But remember the angst, the discussion, the debate and the lack of progress that preceded the construction of the BMO/BC itself? The team had pushed for years to get a larger, more modern facility but no one at City Hall did much of anything to move the chains--you might still remember Mayor Henry Maier pretty much telling the Bucks that if they didn't like the old Arena they could leave town. It took Lloyd and Jane Pettit to come to the rescue--again--to save the bacon and even then, the city almost looked the gift horse in the mouth by getting into a protracted argument about where the new building should go.
And, let's not even get started about the Miller Park battle. The wounds are still too fresh, to the point where they may be what's holding up progress on a new arena now.
The Park East? The freeway system we have as opposed to what planners originally envisioned? The former bridge to nowhere? Those are just a few of the other things that progressed at glacial paces amid review, study, furrowed brows and relative inactivity. Even the city flag remains an object of occasional debate--it's horribly dated, yet no one seems to want to bring it up to speed,
When they do, I hope someone has the good sense to add a new local mantra: "For God's sake, will somebody DO something?"
So congrats, Michael Cudahy, on helping to get stuff done at the lakefront. The new plan preserves the area's integrity, takes care of old mistakes, adds tax base and--most importantly--adds a badly needed pedestrian crossing over Lincoln Memorial Drive.
All in our lifetimes, which is a huge accomplishment for a town like ours.