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The road to progress needs a better name, aldermen say

Feb. 14, 2012

Butterflies, local history and technology all come together as part of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Innovation Park project.

The name of the road that connects Watertown Plank Road and Swan Boulevard on the site should reflect those components said members of the city's Community Development Committee on Tuesday. They're looking suggestions from the public to find an alternative to the street that the Board of Public Works previously approved as Technology Parkway.

"That name is so common that it could be in any development or any research park in the country," Alderman Jason Wilke said.

With a little thought, a more innovative name could be found that reflects more than just the science and technology activities that will occur on the campus, he said. He threw out "Monarch Pass," to showcase the commitment to preserving the butterfly habitat; or "Exploratory Drive" to encompass science and nature.

The name was an attempt to bridge those aspects, said Paulette Enders, city economic development director.

"The 'technology' and the 'parkway' were an attempt to bring those two together," she said.

The UWM Real Estate Foundation prefers the Technology Parkway name, Curt Stang, chief operating officer of foundation, said. That was good enough for Alderman Don Birschel.

"I'll leave it up to UWM," he said. "They're the guys that are going to put it all together."

If there isn't much opposition or interesting options the Technology Parkway name could still stick, committee members said.

The Common Council has the final determination when it comes to naming public streets and it's been awhile since it has had the opportunity. Committee members decided to hold off on a recommendation for two weeks for the Wauwatosa Historical Society time to research the historical significance of the land and field some suggestions from city residents.

"It's worth taking the time to come up with something unique for this site," Wilke said.

To suggest a street name, send submissions to reporter Stefanie Scott at sscott@cninow.com by Feb. 23 and the ideas will be provided to the committee.

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