From the development of North Avenue to improvements in the Village of Wauwatosa, the city has seen a number of profound changes in recent years. Now, city staff is homing in on areas around the Watertown Plank Road and U.S. Highway 41/45 freeway interchange — an area commonly referred to as 'the quadrant.'
There's no clear vision what the area will become, said the city's Director of Development Paulette Enders, and that is why city officials and its partners in the effort are leaning on the input of local residents and community leaders to help shape what comes next.
'We're looking to the future,' said Enders during an open house held May 17 at city hall, 7725 W. North Ave. Throughout the workshop, members of the public were invited to ask questions, explore information presented on posters and participate in interactive exercises.
Enders said that through the open house and subsequent online surveys and town hall meetings, city staff hopes to create a clear vision for the Wauwatosa Quadrant Master Plan, which would be a collaboration between the city, Milwaukee County, and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.
Among the conversations held May 17 were talks about improving circulation and traffic, creating enhanced shared public spaces, designing integrated streets and buildings and developing concepts for housing and other ideas for mixed uses.
Enders said while the vision is still developing, planning professionals hope to incorporate a balance between open spaces and new development.
The planning area includes a number of major players in the greater Milwaukee area including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Innovation Campus, part of the Mayfair Road corridor, the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee County Research Park.
The workshop presented the following information about the makeup of the quadrant:
· On average, 34,000 cars travel through the intersection at Mayfair and Watertown Plank roads on a daily basis, according to information presented May 17.
· About 16,000 people are employed at the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.
· There are 489 acres of green space and environmental features in the planning area.
· There are 4,600 people employed at Milwaukee County Research Park and the UWM's Innovation Campus.
The area in question has seen its fair share of change over the years; the grounds have housed the County Hospital, the Milwaukee County Insane Asylum and the Milwaukee County Home for Dependent Children, among other things.
Those who were unable to attend the May 17 workshop are invited to provide input and view meeting materials online at the city's website, wauwatosa.net from May 18 through June 30. An online town hall will also take place on the city's website. The town hall portal encourages interactive conversations, Enders said.