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Like it or not, it is the only sure thing.

I like change.

My husband is the type who prefers to put a piece of furniture in its "proper" place and then leave it there for the rest of our days.

I am full of ideas and see possibilities. I imagine change = improvement.

The counterweight of my husband's argument, that maybe things are really good as is, grounds me. Sometimes he is actually right. Some changes I like more than others.

Lost Madison is a wonderful project because it provides context for this moment in history and reminds me of all that is lost when things change. I dare say that this particular moment, and the coming 5-10 years, will bring some pretty significant changes for my neighborhood and the city of Madison. Some of the ideas strike me as nothing short of genius, but many seem like they could go any number of ways.

For example, take a look at these ideas, taken from City of Madison's Planning Division, for the Yahara River Corridor and environs. I'm particularly interested in this urban river and parkway, where Yahara Reflections art installations stood earlier this summer and where I walk whenever I need to cross the isthmus, think deep thoughts, or get a dose of nature with my kids. 

(Click on the images to see them larger)

Yahara Corridor Plan
This portion of shows the Yahara Parkway between Sherman Avenue and East Johnson St.
with a new pedestrian bridge. 

Plan for the Yahara River Corridor
I like the idea of an amphitheater! 

Plan for the  Yahara River Corridor
It is hard to say for sure but I think that "Playground Slide" pictures a hillside slide like the Friends of Reynolds Park fought for, and failed to get, when that playground was redesigned recently (see a past post about it here)

Remember, seven earlier plans (drafted between 1994 and 2006) have made recommendations for the Yahara River Parkway and adjacent properties. And remember, there was also a plan for Madison to be connected via high-speed rail to Milwaukee, Chicago, and the Twin Cites. I was so personally attached to that plan, and am still so devastated by what might have been, I am skittish.

According to the City of Madison website, "The purpose of [The Yahara River Corridor Conceptual Study] will be to review these plans and explore implementation strategies. The implementation of these recommendations will require a finer degree of planning and design."

That is not particularly strong, convincing language, so I asked my Alder in District 2, the smart and positive Ledell Zellers, "is this really happening, in your estimation?"

Ledell wrote back: "As with any city plan, some parts happen while others don't.  The parts that fall on city land will require money. And since much of the components are on private land, it would need cooperation from the private landowners, which may or may not happen."

Ed Jepson, who has worked as part of the Friends of the Yahara River Parkway for a long time, says now, as always, the group wants to see changes that keep the parkway "green." Historically, the group has favored plans that increase the public green space and provide a green buffer of landscaping that "compliments the historic landscape plan" as part of the private developments. He says that while some hardscape may be appropriate, he hopes it is kept to a minimum. Two other points of importance, he says, are that businesses or residences should front the parkway, with parking in back, and be built in a way that minimizes storm water run-off into the river. 

I have spent most of my career in the humanities and most of my life as a tantrika, so I believe that context is meaningful and in the end, it's all good. Life is good, and such is life. 

 Not that I don't have opinions. Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be. Still, tell your alder what you think. Change is happening and we can steer the course of it.

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