You have to drive to the movies. Marcus won't include bus, bike facilities in far east side complex

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

From an article by Mike Ivey in The Capital Times:

Marcus Corp. won't have to include special bike and bus facilities at its proposed 16-screen movie theater complex on vacant land at U.S. 151 and Nelson Road.

The Madison Plan Commission Monday night OK'd a rezoning to allow development of a 47-acre parcel on the city's far eastern fringe.

Milwaukee-based Marcus hopes to have the entertainment complex, including 12 lanes of bowling and a sports bar, open for the Christmas season of 2009.

The project includes 900 surface parking spaces. There also is no transit service to the theater, which would employ 10 full-time and 250 part-time staff members.

City planners had raised red flags over parking, traffic and layout of the development -- which was once eyed as a pedestrian-oriented "lifestyle" residential, office and shopping complex.

Some members of the city Urban Design Commission have also been critical of the plan, saying the one-story theater building is "not even a good example of a suburban retail center."

But Marcus told the city it would drop the plan if forced to include additional bike and bus amenities, including a $1.5 million pedestrian/bicycle overpass at Nelson Road.


Ed Blume said...

A comment from Hans Noeldner:

Marcus Corp. won't get any patronage from me at its proposed theatre complex on Nelson Road – ped/bike overpass or no. I have bicycled thru this area a number of times on my way from Oregon to Sun Prairie (High Crossing to O'Keeffe); it’s like being on the moon. I doubt that any planning professional, government official, developer, or high-powered attorney has EVER locomoted himself thru this area sans automotive exoskeleton. If such people were forced to do so on a regular basis, such places would never get built. And it is ludicrous to imagine that a pedestrian-oriented "lifestyle" complex could thrive amidst a congested high-speed tangle of on-ramps and off-ramps. 900 surface parking stalls on 47 acres says it all.

We have not begun to grapple with the fact that the motorist is a highly invasive, terribly disruptive species – one which undermines, destroys, and prevents the formation of pedestrian-oriented, bicycle-friendly, transit-supportive habitat. If a television documentary showed a large, fast, heavily-armored species driving out a small, slow, defenseless one; everyone would understand perfectly what was going on. But we can't seem to see it when we're doing it to ourselves.

Or maybe it's that most of us don't WANT to see it. It would be a real bummer to feel guilty about driving everywhere, and of course cutting back is out of the question (it’s that non-negotiable thing). Better to worry about reusable grocery bags and compact fluorescents. COEXIST bumper sticker for the Prius, anyone?