Thanks in large part to a Wauwatosa Patch reader, the city will put more thought and research into choosing an appropriate name for its first new street in many years.
Wauwatosa will own and maintain a road that will wind through UWM's Innovation Park development and provide access to new county parkland and a butterfly and wildlife habitat preserve. It is up to the Common Council to approve names for new city streets.
The Community Development Committee, meeting Tuesday night, was prepared to send a recommendation forward to the full Common Council when it had only one proposal on the table: Technology Parkway, the name preferred by the UWM Real Estate Foundation, which purchased the land and is directing development.
But suggestions from Patch readers, forwarded to the committee and the city clerk hours before the meeting, were read into the record and gave most committee members pause — enough to vote to hold the item over for two weeks.
One idea in particular, from "Ellen," seemed to resonate with aldermen, even though it was unspecific.
Ellen wrote: "How about a name taken from a Native American tribe from the area? We've been doing that for ages, and it will keep some history alive, as opposed to the new technologies."
Several members were intrigued, and Ald. Jason Wilke suggested, "We should take some time to research the history of tribes in the area." He volunteered to take the lead on gathering that information.
Ald. Jeff Roznowski likewise volunteered to approach the Wauwatosa Historical Society, not just in regard to Native American culture but other significant history of that part of the County Grounds as well.
Ald. Don Birschel, on the other hand, was strongly inclined to just adopt the Real Estate Foundation's proposal.
"Technology Park is perfectly fine with me," Birschel said. "I don't see why we don't just approve what the developer wants."
That would have suited Curt Stang of the UWM Foundation just fine as well, who after sitting through more than an hour of debate on other issues, made the briefest of statements:
"Technology Parkway, that's our preference," he said. "That's what we want. That's all I have to say."
The interest of the general public prevailed, though, and as it turned out, grew.
Acting Mayor Eric Meaux, formerly a member of the committee, made his own suggestions via e-mail: Partnership Pathway, Partnership Parkway or Prosperity Parkway.
In the final comment before the vote, Ald. Jacqueline Jay added to the list by proxy — with a proposal that tries to blend all interests.
"My daughter asked me to submit her idea for the name," Jay said. "Monarch Innovation Parkway."
Below are the names Patch has seen submitted so far, in alphbetical order. Patch will continue to take suggestions from readers and any more submitted to the Common Council and then conduct a non-binding poll:
- Discovery Drive
- Discovery Parkway
- Eschweiler Parkway
- Exploration Parkway
- Migration Parkway
- Monarch Parkway
- Opportunity Parkway
- Partnership Pathway
- Partnership Parkway
- Plank Parkway (for the historic Plank School for Dependent Children, circa 1925)
- Prosperity Parkway
- Technology Parkway
- And finally, "a name taken from a Native American tribe from the area"