SkyscraperCity banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,696 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am not sure how much interest there will be in a forum like this, but I have seen some discussion about the Skywalk system on the main forum before and so I thought maybe it would be good to create a place for people to talk about it if they wanted. Below is a map and a link to a brochure about the system as it currently exists, I personally am not aware of any plans to expand the system anytime soon. I know our system is not nearly as extensive as somewhere like the Twin Cities but it still is a decent sized system.





EDIT: Keep in mind that this system / map does not include the fairly extensive skywalk system that exists around the Northwestern Mutual campus downtown or the US Bank Center. I thought one of the topics of discussion on this forum could be if people would like to see this skywalk system and the one existing closer to the lakefront connected one day?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
I recall reading in the last week that the Couture will have a connection to 833 East somehow which will connect it to the US Bank Galleria. I'm not a huge fan of skywalk systems but I think they do have some practicality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,696 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I recall reading in the last week that the Couture will have a connection to 833 East somehow which will connect it to the US Bank Galleria. I'm not a huge fan of skywalk systems but I think they do have some practicality.
I guess this was one of the reasons I started this forum, to see if people think that there should be an effort made to connect the skywalk system pictured above to the one that has developed on the eastern edge of downtown.

Right now we have the Northwestern Mutual campus all connected by skywalks, there will be new ones added after the completion of the Tower and Commons and the mixed-use tower. Plus we have the US Bank building that is going to be connected by skywalk to 833 E Michigan, the Couture, and the Westin via the Galleria.

There was a plan in the 80's to finish the skywalk system on the eastern side of downtown and I am sure the city still has it laying around somewhere. Should this plan be implemented or is it a bad idea?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
Right now NM has one tiny skywalk connecting the North Building to the parking structure. There will be two new ones (looking much less like gerbil tubes) from the Tower to the North Nuilding and the Commons to the Van Buren Building. They're also looking to possibly do one from the apartment tower to the rest.

In either case they take key cards to get in and out so I doubt it would be able to be connected to anything else at this time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,696 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Right now NM has one tiny skywalk connecting the North Building to the parking structure. There will be two new ones (looking much less like gerbil tubes) from the Tower to the North Nuilding and the Commons to the Van Buren Building. They're also looking to possibly do one from the apartment tower to the rest.

In either case they take key cards to get in and out so I doubt it would be able to be connected to anything else at this time.
I was unaware of that so I guess then remove the NML campus from the equation but you still have the cluster centered around the US Bank Center and I forgot to add that renderings of the Couture show a bridge or skywalk across Clybourn to the site of the potential JCI building. That is really why I am asking, should all of these already connected buildings on the lakefront be somehow tied into a system.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
Unless it makes sense to connect a building to it I don't feel like the city should attempt to connect it all together. With the construction of the Couture where it is, it makes sense that it would connect to 833 East which then connects over to the Galleria. I don't think the city should pressure anyone to connect the buildings in between the eastern side of downtown to and the current system. If it happens over time and developers find it worthwhile ok, if not, oh well. I think the streetcar will be a much more efficient tool to get people from one side of downtown to the other when it's completed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,499 Posts
I think this is a great topic. A city that spends a solid 2 or 3 months of the year in what most people would consider bitter cold with treacherous sidewalks should have this alternative. It doesn't have to mean that the sidewalks are left empty. I'd say most people like walking outside in beautiful weather too. We can have both and that will only enhance the livability of the city.

Since the 80's I have always wanted to walk inside from Marquette to the lakefront and then take the lake/river walk back to where I park my car. Keep them going, I say.

There will be a skywalk or two between the Bucks' parking garage and the arena. I read that fairly recently.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
766 Posts
I think this is a great topic. A city that spends a solid 2 or 3 months of the year in what most people would consider bitter cold with treacherous sidewalks should have this alternative.
Is anyone familiar with the concept of heated sidewalks? I saw that they do this in Japan but am wondering if this is done anywhere in the USA. Seems like it could be a draw for commercial minded streets like Brady and Water in the winter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,696 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Is anyone familiar with the concept of heated sidewalks? I saw that they do this in Japan but am wondering if this is done anywhere in the USA. Seems like it could be a draw for commercial minded streets like Brady and Water in the winter
Could you elaborate on what they consist of? Are they covered and heated or is the pavement just heated. I have heard of heated sidewalks and driveways that have steam or electric coils under them and their only purpose is to ensure that there is no snow buildup or ice on the surface, they provide no extra comfort to people walking on them. That is kind of why I was wondering if you could explain what these heated sidewalks are in Japan.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
766 Posts
Could you elaborate on what they consist of? Are they covered and heated or is the pavement just heated. I have heard of heated sidewalks and driveways that have steam or electric coils under them and their only purpose is to ensure that there is no snow buildup or ice on the surface, they provide no extra comfort to people walking on them. That is kind of why I was wondering if you could explain what these heated sidewalks are in Japan.
They weren't covered. I am not sure how they functioned but they were placed in commercial districts for the comfort of pedestrians. At least that was my understanding. As heat naturally rises, I have always wondered why certain busy districts wouldn't heat the sidewalks. Not to 72 degrees but, more moderate like 50. After doing some digging, this led me to discover that they do that in Japan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
They weren't covered. I am not sure how they functioned but they were placed in commercial districts for the comfort of pedestrians. At least that was my understanding. As heat naturally rises, I have always wondered why certain busy districts wouldn't heat the sidewalks. Not to 72 degrees but, more moderate like 50. After doing some digging, this led me to discover that they do that in Japan.
Holland, MI has heated sidewalks.

Scroll down to "Culture".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland,_Michigan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,891 Posts
I am not sure how I feel about the skywalks. Milwaukee's streets can be pretty dead downtown during the winter. I did not realize that until after I visited Madison this weekend. It was even colder there than here and State Street was still alive with people. Milwaukee could really use a street similar to State Street that is mostly pedestrian and is mixed with some boutique shops and big retailers. You can't have this kind of activity though if everyone downtown is using skywalks downtown.
 

·
🚲 🚲 🚲 🚲 🚲
Joined
·
3,389 Posts
I am not sure how I feel about the skywalks. Milwaukee's streets can be pretty dead downtown during the winter. I did not realize that until after I visited Madison this weekend. It was even colder there than here and State Street was still alive with people. Milwaukee could really use a street similar to State Street that is mostly pedestrian and is mixed with some boutique shops and big retailers. You can't have this kind of activity though if everyone downtown is using skywalks downtown.

Milwaukee doesn't just have one, it has several:

Brady St., North Ave, KK.. to name a few.


I do think that Milwaukee could benefit by closing a street like Brady St. to automobile traffic, much like State St. in Madison. There is enough pedestrian/bicycle activity along that corridor, that it could really help the Brady St. neighborhood flourish even more. I can see transit (streetcar, bus) using the street but no automobiles, just like State St. as a successful formula in Milwaukee.


I'm also in agreement with you about skywalks-- I think they're not a good idea. They pull pedestrians away from the streets, and are honestly a bit of an eyesore.
They are a silly Jetsons-style experiment without consideration of the city as an organic entity that needs people on its streets, first and foremost.

I was in Montreal and in Moscow in the winter (which are both far colder than Milwaukee could ever be), and the streets were bustling with people, even in the sloppy, icy, windy, bitter cold conditions.

What would befit Milwaukee is a true subway system, with underground stations and walkways under the streets, where small shops could flourish along a subterranean transit line.
This is highly unlikely to happen anytime soon, but I think at some point in Milwaukee's long term future, it would make sense to invest in this. I would rather spend a billion dollars on a Milwaukee subway line than on widening the freeways around here...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,891 Posts
I agree that those areas have higher foot traffic, but it would be nice to see foot traffic downtown as well. Also, Brady and North don't have as many big names to draw people like State Street yet. I guess State Street reminded me of a shopping street because it has some stores like Urband Outfitters. I think one of Milwaukee's biggest weaknesses is shopping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,183 Posts
I like the skywalk system. It adds another dimension to Milwaukee's walkability and ways to explore the city. Pedestrian activity might drop off in the winter but that's just meaningless appearances. Hopefully the skywalk system can be extended. Maybe from the Hyatt north to a redeveloped Journal Sentinel building, new arena complex, Bradley Center, MATC-Police HQ-MacArthur Square, and up to the Pabst Brewery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,499 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
I think this is a great topic. A city that spends a solid 2 or 3 months of the year in what most people would consider bitter cold with treacherous sidewalks should have this alternative. It doesn't have to mean that the sidewalks are left empty. I'd say most people like walking outside in beautiful weather too. We can have both and that will only enhance the livability of the city.

Since the 80's I have always wanted to walk inside from Marquette to the lakefront and then take the lake/river walk back to where I park my car. Keep them going, I say.

There will be a skywalk or two between the Bucks' parking garage and the arena. I read that fairly recently.
IMHO skywalk opposition is an example of forum memberrs applying national norms to a unique locale. Ive seen plenty of office workers bite it on the sidewalks and lets be honest office attire is not below freezing attire.

A better skywalk network would make downtown a more palatable environment for business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,891 Posts
IMHO skywalk opposition is an example of forum memberrs applying national norms to a unique locale. Ive seen plenty of office workers bite it on the sidewalks and lets be honest office attire is not below freezing attire.

A better skywalk network would make downtown a more palatable environment for business.
Cities in the North East get really cold too and get much more snow than Milwaukee, yet they survive without skywalk systems. Chicago does not have an extensive skywalk system either as far as I know and it probably has the most similar weather to Milwaukee. Skywalks reduce street activity. People still use the skywalks even when it is nice out in the spring/summer/fall. If all the people using the skywalks downtown used the streets, downtown would feel a lot more alive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,499 Posts
Cities in the North East get really cold too and get much more snow than Milwaukee, yet they survive without skywalk systems. Chicago does not have an extensive skywalk system either as far as I know and it probably has the most similar weather to Milwaukee. Skywalks reduce street activity. People still use the skywalks even when it is nice out in the spring/summer/fall. If all the people using the skywalks downtown used the streets, downtown would feel a lot more alive.
I don't see it that way at all. If it's nice outside I will walk outside. I believe most people by far would. But if some want to stay inside they should have that option. Milwaukee is considered Siberia by popular culture, so most people have a poor image of it that don't know it. Anything we can do to reverse that image is worth doing.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top