The City of Wauwatosa has perhaps found a new way to say "innovation," "research" and "technology."
It is "discovery."
As in Discovery Parkway, the overwhelming choice Tuesday night of members of the Community Development Committee for naming the city street that will run through UWM's Innovation Park development on the County Grounds.
The committee voted 6-1 for Discovery Parkway after hearing a range of choices, many provided or prompted by solicitations and polls conducted by Wauwatosa Patch. The recommendation will advance for approval by the full Common Council on Tuesday.
The results of a two-part Patch poll that narrowed reader preferences to four top choices was presented to the committee earlier Tuesday, with Discovery Drive falling one vote behind Monarch Parkway as top picks.
- Discovery Drive 29 (32%)
- Eschweiler Parkway 20 (22%)
- Monarch Parkway 30 (33%)
- Technology Parkway 11 (12%)
"I think 'discovery' encapsulates it very well," said Ald. Bobby Pantuso, who made the motion for Discovery Parkway after hearing other submissions. "I told a story about going out there as a kid to see the monarchs and discovering them and the many birds and plants we found there.
"It incorporates the discovery of nature as well as of new technologies."
A multi-purpose pathway
Technology Parkway had been the choice of the UWM Real Estate Foundation, which is developing the public-private project on land purchased last year from Milwaukee County.
Conservationists reacted immediately and negatively, though, to the idea that accessing technology was the only purpose for the roadway, which after all is a city-owned and maintained street.
The road will also provide access to a butterfly habitat preserve on the UWM grounds as well as to new county parkland set aside to the east of Innovation Park.
Eddee Daniel, the author of "Urban Wilderness," a book that explores nature in urbanized metro Milwaukee, and of the Wild Wauwatosa column that appears in Patch, made the initial complaint but accompanied it with a positive suggestion.
Ultimately, it was Daniel's thinking that prevailed — he recommended either Discovery Drive or Discovery Parkway, saying he preferred to have the road recognized as a parkway but offered "Drive" for its alliterative quality.
"We felt that we didn't need that alliteration," Pantuso said, and agreed that all parties, including UWM, believed the road should be recognized as a parkway.
On to other issues for Daniel
"I am grateful to the committee for their decision," Daniel said Wednesday, "and I look forward to a continuing discussion about issues that are more important, such as the size of the roadway."
Daniel told committee members in an email Tuesday that he was pleased by the consideration of a more appropriate name but questioned the width of the proposed route.
The UWM Foundation and Wauwatosa Public Works have presented a plan for a 60-foot-wide divided road with a broad median and bike lanes on either side.
Daniel said that the design eats up too much property and is not in keeping with the concept of other parkways, none of which are boulevards.
Native and local history ideas put forward
At the first hearing of the street-naming question, two committee members, Alds. Jason Wilke and Jeff Roznowski, offered to do a little research into Native American and local historical names as well.
After consulting with Diane Amour, coordinator of Native American Student Services at UWM, Wilke offered these Ojibway terms:
- Mikaajigan (Discovery)
- Gikangasowin (Knowledge)
- Inendan (Idea)
- Oshki Mikana (New Road...in the sense of new thinking)
Roznowski discussed it with the Wauwatosa Historical Society, discerning who were some of the earliest property owners in that area. Based on land maps dating from the mid 1800s, the following were identified: Daniel Wells, Mrs. E. Moore, Hugh Reiley and C.T. Fisher.
"We felt that any of those choices, while intriguing, would just take too much explanation," Pantuso said. "It's not like we're not going to get another chance to name things as this and other developments out there go forward."