I agreeto Idea Enhance parks with active uses
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Enhance parks with active uses

It would be great to see small cafes/restaurant in some of Madison's wonderful parks. Imagine being able to get a coffee/ice cream/sandwich/drink at Tenney, James Madison, Olbrich, Brittingham, etc then being able to sit on a nice patio and enjoy the parks. Milwaukee has several highly successful examples of local businesses operating in parks, drawing more people/activity to parks and creating a revenue stream for the parks department. Alterra on the Lake, Northpoint (Bartolotta's) and the new Estabrook Park beer garten are some examples in Milwaukee that are very popular.

Response: The Parks Division recently created a Request for Proposal to seek interest of small business to vend in unused park facilities. The efffort resulted in a new vendor in Brittingham Park. The Parks Division will again issue a Request for Proposal to seek interest at Marshall, Olbrich and James Madison Parks.

Submitted by alpinextreme 11 months ago

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(latest 20 votes)

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  1. Status Changed from In Review to In Progress
    5 months ago
  2. Status Changed from Active to In Review
    10 months ago
  3. The idea was posted
    11 months ago

Comments (8)

  1. If you support this idea you should come to the community meeting at the beach house (near the corner of Proudfit St and W Brittingham Place)in Brittingham Park tonight at 5:30. The owner of Wingra Boats is planning to add a new location there and some neighbors have expressed opposition to it. I am not the owner just a neighbor who supports this idea.

    11 months ago
    0 Agreed
    1 Disagreed
  2. One of the new improvements in the planning stages for Olbrich Gardens is a place to get some refreshments and sit while enjoying them. (Currently there are vending machines for visitors to use.)

    11 months ago
    1 Agreed
    1 Disagreed
  3. Why not allow space in certain parks for food carts to set up at peak use times. Wouldnt that be a fun thing! It would be great to see a coffee cart with pastry along a few of the bike paths where their is sufficient traffic to warrant them.

    11 months ago
    5 Agreed
    1 Disagreed
  4. I like the idea of food carts more than perm. structures.

    11 months ago
    3 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  5. I like the idea, but I'd want the vendor to pick up the trash that some irresponsible users might discard in the park: napkins, cups, straws, bags, and the like. Right now, my neighborhood's main throughways are trashed with litter from MacDonalds and other fast food and liquor places.

    11 months ago
    0 Agreed
    1 Disagreed
  6. I'd like to propose one amendment to the idea of coffee-and-pastry carts along the bike paths: how about some combination of real lemonade, kombucha, smoothies, fresh fruit, protein bars, etc.? That seems like a better fit with the notion of biking as a healthy activity. (Or at least offer healthy options alongside the standard fare.)

    10 months ago
    2 Agreed
    2 Disagreed
  7. Parks are for nature not for coffee. Cheapens nature to add commercialism. Also hurts peoples attempts to loose weight if their place of exercise offers junk food and sugar coffee temptations everywhere.

    10 months ago
    4 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  8. Regarding Milwaukee County Parks and their permitting of private businesses to use our public parks for their profits, keep in mind that it was Scott Walker who, as County Executive, de-funded the county parks so much that out of desperation (and to the dismay of many in the Left and Right communities of Milwaukee) they decided to allow private businesses to sell within public parks to make money. Now it feels like these parks have become strip mall attractions (tons of extra traffic, parking, trash, and rude people who don't care that they are in a park with nature lovers; rather they think they're in a restaurant or party and act accordingly. Meanwhile the public can no longer enjoy the beauty and history of the old park buildings (like the publically owned Pavilion at Lake Park where Bartolatta's restaurant is now located.) You have to pay to go inside the beautiful old building that used to be open to the public. While those private businesses within community parks are popular to some (read: yuppies from the suburbs who don't remember how nice it was to enjoy parks without for-profit businesses located within them,) it's insulting to the very concept of publically-owned, non-commercial spaces. What next: Starbucks in the libraries? McDonalds in the Capitol? Billboards along our bike paths? Burger King in public schools? Parks are for enjoying nature, family, friends, solitude; a peaceful retreat away from cars and commercialism. Milwaukee was wrong to lease parks to private businesses, and we would be wrong to do so as well.

    10 months ago
    1 Agreed
    0 Disagreed