One of my pet peeves is the under use of public spaces (I know, I'm a dork).
Case in point: Red Arrow Park in Downtown Milwaukee in the summer. During the chilled months, it's a vibrant ice rink that's filled nearly every day and night. Music is piped out and the tenant, Starbucks, is busy and buzzing.
During the summer months, though, the ice rink area sits vacant. A few chairs are scatted about and once or twice Starbucks uses from a tasting event or a concert. But, mainly, it sits vacant, void and lifeless.
Why can't the rink buzz during the Summer? Let's open it up to roller and in-line skaters. Start renting skates, too. Heck, skate boarders should be welcomed, too. Good ideas? I think so. But, we'll need the blessing of Milwaukee County.
"It's a great concept and one that we need to consider, said Jeff Baudry, Marketing Director Milwaukee County Park System, via e-mail.
"The immediate hurdle is finding someone to fund the purchase of in-line skates for rentals. Perhaps there would be a manufacturer that would like to get some PR out of a community minded donation," he added.
Wow, ask and you shall receive: "We will move forward and see if we can locate such a partner -- if nothing else we can see if we can include something and budget towards it for next year," Baudry added.
Whatever happens, skating or no skating, Red Arrow's rink needs to be better used. Plants, public art, better seating. Something!
"It is a well situated park in the heat of downtown that could and should be utilized more in the summer," Baudry said.
I couldn't agree more.
Jeff | June 12, 2008 at 8:54 a.m. (report)
I am still saddened by what they did to that park. As the previous poster said, it was THE skate spot in Milwaukee. Twenty-four hours a day there were people skating there. We would spend hours and hours skating there. It had so many different things to skate on and there would often be several business professionals enjoying their lunch and watching skateboarders.
Then they decided to improve the park and now nobody uses it unless the skating rink is open. They did all of these "improvements" before skateboarding was socially acceptable.
Red Arrow used to big one of the most popular skate spots in the city in the early 90's. It was banned, then they removed all the benches and planter boxes. Even if you opened it to skaters, they wouldn't just come to skate the flat ground. Roller Bladers or Skaters - maybe.
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