Open-Ended Responses to 2012 Community Survey Question – What do you think the Northside needs?

  • Better bike connections, business in the old Copps space
  • More bike lanes & bike routes please.  The location is wonderful but I think more people would take advantage of biking it if routes were more abundant and safer (with signs and lane markers on the busy streets.
  • Stop promoting low income housing (see above)
  • More buses — More shopping
  • An educated police force that is efficient
  • More crime prevention around the packers BP station area. And enforcing speeding on Kipling—need streetlights on kipling.
  • A grocery store on far Northside near CWC area.  All neighborhood garage sale once a year.
  • Something for single adults to do…
  • On Menomonie, we NEED our creek in back of our houses dredged so that it runs properly.  We do NOT need retention ponds built by the DNR.  We also do NOT need more big retail on the Northside
  • A business in the old Kohl’s site.  A pool at Warner park.  Also more outreach programs for middle age adults.
  • More police at low income housing behind PDQ and a Dist 18 alder who will respond to email questions.
  • Lived here 65 years.  We need a fast food place like Wendys, Burger King or Culvers near Shopko
  • Need to Create Jobs (How about a Dairy Queen or KFC in the Old Popeye’s Chicken on 113?)
  • Better selection of NON-fast food restaurants (i.e. Great Dane)
  • More businesses and shops –Especially at Northport and Sherman
  • Supper Clubs
  • Good police protection.
  • Less crime
  • Bike lanes and Boulevard crossings at stoplights.
  • Need to find a way to keep businesses on the Northside.  Too many empty buildings and lack of restaurants.  People still want to go to big box stores—so get a chain restaurant.
  • Fill empty businesses
  • Some good restaurants with locally grown organic food like Manna ….and clean lake water.
  • Restaurants and Entertainment
  • More dining
  • UW-Credit Union!  Pool and a music venue.
  • Clean lakes & Clean beaches for swimming.  Warner Lagoon needs clean water—Dredging + Native plants for fish and shore habitat
  • More diverse shopping
  • More businesses, less vacant buildings, more restaurants.
  • Less Section 8 Housing
  • Crime Improvement and Businesses ([esp.] restaurants)
  • reduce crime, attract businesses
  • Karate, gymnastics, a diner
  • Crime is everywhere — I feel it reflects the down economy
  • A clothing store
  • Safe school buses; Public swimming pool; a clean public beach & lake; more kids activities at Warner Park community center and a local bank or credit union.
  • A small hotel or B&B.  More small restaurants —ethnic or healthy NOT FAST FOOD.
  • Restaurant or cafe.  Also businesses to support other needs of community.  Find a good use for old Kohl’s space.
  • Another grocery store and another restaurant (Benvenutos has been a welcome addition).
  • For the size of Warner Park there should be more to do.  Would like to see a skate park for middle school kids & teens.
  • More retail.
  • Reduction in crime, more businesses, particularly “destination” spots like restaurants, cafes; a Town square or central hangout spot    Really, really need to fill the spaces in the Town Center – too much parking and not enough businesses
  • a swimming pool
  • A safe bike route to the downtown/campus area.  Riding on N. Sherman is dangerous and riding on sidewalks has it’s own hazards/problems.
  • More responsible landlords and tenant vetting.
  • More music events at Warner Park. The Mallards stadium was used to host Bob Dylan and it was a hug success. The stadium is used a total of 12 weeks out of the year. It could be used to host other outdoor events during the other 40 weeks in a year.
  • A better grocery store.
  • more shopping areas… and to improve the old sherman plaza.. also SAVE the local taverns
  • more small businesses and a community pool.
  • I’d love to see more small business–restaurants, a coop/natural foods option, bike paths.
  • Small cafes. Better race relations. More diversity in organizations. Less F16 noise at airport. Consensus that Warner Park is developed enough and needs to be safeguarded for nature.
  • Retail. A real grocery store in Sherman Plaza. Or a department store. A good bar or brewpub.
  • see above comments. Affordable housing outside of section 8 communities where we can feel safe living (brentwood/trailsway are but is kind of scary to think of living there as well as behind stop n go on packers)
  • Elimination of poverty :), responsible landlords, strong families with good parenting skills, anger management programs.
  • Businesses that people will go out of their way for. A covered space for the Farmers Market
  • More restaurants and places for people to congregate and socialize (not just bars) more shops, like clothing, books, etc.
  • Improved bike access. More attractive businesses such as coffee shops, cafes, and galleries.
  • a pool. more business both manufacturing and retail.
  • More businesses, especially restaurants.
  • fewer individuals who want to change everything–if you want to live in Chicago why don’t you move there instead of trying to change what is good here–do not want high rises, do not want boosters for more business, all the rah rah stuff is just, well, irritating–the more you do of this, the more I want to move somewhere else–for example, the Mallards noise and crowds have been overwhelming and excessive–we had to put up with it for almost ten years before it finally got moderated!  Why is this tolerated by boosterish public officials?
  • Needs to be a safer community with more business.
  • A way to end the self-segregation of the different peoples.
  • Better positive promotions and for every negative headlines the media hits us with, be prepared with 2 or more positive ‘Northside’ stories for them to report on.
  • More businesses.
  • Bike paths that are more connected with the rest of the city trails.  More businesses, too many vacant storefronts for extended periods of time.
  • A community center in Brentwood, A place that kids can get bike, .boys and girls club or wheals for winners kind of place.
  • Less crime, less low-income projects, better schools.  More safety.
  • Image improvement.  Town center empty spaces makes the northside look a bit seedy.
  • An enema. Lots of trash and people that don’t give a crap about the neighborhoods.  People just expect the police and local government to do all the work.  Instead of trying to work to get new local business here, work with current companies to stay here/stay open.
  • More restaurants (especially, Latino) and bakeries.  A nursing home or memory care facility.
  • More activities for students after-school and on weekends, such as sports that do charge high fees for youth to participate.
  • more community gardens, more connections between residents and schools
  • More businesses and an objective to fill unused store fronts.
  • A water park/pool.
  • Coordination of grassroots organizing efforts.  More partnerships.  Open dialogues about racism and other forms of structural violence that impact general belief systems and influence how people feel about the place where they live, learn, work and play.
  • more open dialogue. It’s a shame that so many avenues of northside involvement are only open to selected voices: Northside Planning Council; PTOs, etc.
  • Businesses!
  • It all depends on the area of the Northside. There are some great little family friendly neighborhoods but those often go unnoticed due to the other less friendly areas that are often highlighted in the media and filled with crime, drugs, apathy. So based on that I say:  1.Less entitled people who leech off the government and more people who actually work for a living.   2). More jobs/businesses (doesn’t matter what kind ie. factors, food service just get people to work and feel proud that they are doing so)
  • I think the northside needs a mall because I don’t wanna just go aroud catchin buses just to go shopping, and the middle schools need weight rooms but they don’t because they are broke,the northside is broke,there is like a thousand freakin stores that are not in business.
  • I THINK NORTHSIDE NEED MALL AND GOOD EDUCATION FOR SCHOOL
  • Stronger community support for our northside schools.
  • Attention from city govt…we always joke when the power is out or when there is a water problem or potholes…well it is the northside!
  • More restaurants.
  • Gift store/card store.
  • More cafes and amenities that make the area more walkable.
  • Our community is bisected by busy commuter routes which are very difficult for able-bodied adults (let alone kids and people with disabilities) to cross.  We could use some bike and walker bridges.  We also need good administrators (and gifted teachers) at our elementary schools.  Our city services are great, but we could use a more welcoming attitude toward the poor (along with job opportunities, apprenticeships, on-the-job training).  I think that the empty big-box stores should be converted to places where people can learn to work with their hands – crafts - knitting and crocheting, wood-working, welding and forging, brick and stone working, sewing.  Our “Skill Set” is shrinking when it should be growing!  Our library is fantastic but could be even more of a hub (bigger)!  What about a movie theater??  Could people access the arts better?  Maybe foreign language training?  Learning to read poetry or write well?  What about a computer-training center for basic skills??  What about a Hostel for welcoming visitors to Madison (we don’t have much opportunity for hospitality industries even though the airport is in our back yard).  I could go on and on……
  • Youth activities available after school until 6 pm M-F
  • Restaurants!
  • Better public transportation, entertainment venues, better quality and variety of pubs and restaurants, indoor pool at Warner Park, fewer empty stores in Sherman Plaza
  • Bike paths!  And Restaurants.
  • to shut down crime and further combat the negative reputation (that the northside is slowly turning into another southside)
  • I think the north side needs strong leadership from its smaller pockets of communities.
  • More businesses & more sense of community.
  • Reducing the crime in pockets of apartment complexes of Northport.  More businesses in Pierce’s strip mall.
  • A movie theater, more ethnic restaurants, new neighborhood pubs/bars, a reason for people to travel to the North Side.  There is nothing on the North Side that can’t already be found on every other side of Madison.  Make Rhythm & Booms a 3 day festival that will draw more people to the North Side since it is the premier festival for the area.
  • More businesses.  More facilities for children’s activities.
  • designated bike lane on Sherman or separate bike routes to get downtown in a safe manner  better Metro connections
  • Bike friendly signage and speed limits (eg 15mph max) on ALL side streets without centerlines. This will create a truly walkable and bikeable human environment safe for kids and old folks as well as adults, from every Northside home to every Northside school, park, grocery store, church, etc.  The existing and growing network of special bike lanes and paths are great connectors, but they cannot provide a full safe route from home to destination.  This requires making all the side streets ‘bike lanes’ by making them really people-friendly and not just car-friendly.  Every home is within a few blocks of a fast street with a center line, so going a bit slower within neighborhoods is reasonable and will not impact total car travel times to further destinations more than a minute at most.  Take the ‘chevron’ idea and make it every side street is a bike chevron street.  No new concrete or costs needed, just some relatively cheap signage.  Much safer, friendlier, quieter, better neighborhoods mean more happiness, less crime, higher home values.  it’s a win-win-win.
  • better restaurants  more communication between different disparate cultural and economic groups on the Northside  better public transportation system – more options than just the bus
  • More nice businesses
  • Businesses, activities for kids, attractions (better playgrounds, spray parks, pool, indoor playground, etc.).
  • Another anchor store where Copps used to be, corner of Northport and Sherman Ave.  A direct bus route to the West Side and Middleton  along County M.
  • less low income housing;, more senior housing-especially assisted living facilities, more dining
  • More policing of the recurring crime in the same areas.  It is ridiculous that they don’t have some kind of deterrent to keep the criminals from hitting the same areas.  Need more police presence.  I can’t believe there are thefts and other crime right by Londonderry Police Station!  The police has to have more neighborhood meetings to hear the concerns of the community.  Also, quite destroying the wildlife!  More diverse restaurants in the area.  Organic grocery store.
  • A resource guide of all services
  • More unique local businesses; variety in restaurants.
  • To reduce the amount of vacant store fronts.  It would be nice if the Towncenter looked like the northgate shopping area.  Their face lift looks great.  The TownCenter looks shabby and makes a poor reflection to the entrance to the neighborhood.
  • Develop new businesses in the empty stores and commercial properties.
  • Eco-cultural development in  a way that enhances social equity, to improve the QOL for all, while overcoming the perception that the Northside is “unfashionable.”
  • more ethnic restaurants–mexican, middle eastern or Thai
  • Less multiplex apartment buildings.
  • nature center
  • Less emphasis on policing, more on services. business hubs. to keep our green spaces green.
  • More restaurants; I’m also worried about the poor and lower income families with children, particularly whether or not they’re getting education/services needed to truly break cycles of poverty – I go to the playground with my kids and I wonder what we can be doing for these kids who have so much potential and yet are so obviously weighed down by their personal circumstances. This impacts our overall quality of life.
  • a smoothy shop like jamba juice (like on State Street)   assisted living facility for the Elderly to remain in the neighborhood
  • More retail and a movie theatre.
  • More places eating establishments
  • Advancement of the Northside Pride and to advocate a place to start a business.  Many business on the Northside have been here for decades and successful!  How can we find that “key to success” and mentor more business for some jobs for Northsiders…..
  • The NPC should return to its original focus of being a council and not yet another nonprofit that focuses on business development.  There’s plenty of resources for that but how many planning councils successfully fight changes in city services?  None.  Especially now that our own NPC doesn’t get involved in that stuff anymore.
  • More businesses/restaurants.   A pool at Warner Park.
  • A plan that encourages new business growth AND the retention of existing business.  In addition, the increase in crime needs to be addressed.
  • Better schools that challenge student to learn and do not lower teaching standards to the lowest level which appears to be the case on the Northside.
  • Pool
  • Entertainment venues–a space for both film and live performance.  More locally-owned restaurants
  • A good bakery, better bike route options
  • restaurants, a good cafe/coffee shop, a swimming pool  quality of life measures to focus efforts
  • Fewer subsidized housing areas.  We have more than our share and they do bring a variety of problems that are difficult to deal with. Consumer business is less likely to thrive because of weak purchasing power.  Industrial businesses probably have a better chance.
  • Bicycle trails
  • more jobs
  • more kids activities
  • More small business.
  • See #2?  I’ve heard that things are improving, but I haven’t been here long enough to comment on that.  I’ve lived here ~5 years now, long enough to see a number of businesses close and remain vacant since, which over  this small period of time, doesn’t seem like improvement.
  • Enforcement of speed laws on Northport Drive.  Stable businesses in the Northport/Sherman “mall.”  More food/restaurant choices for those that eat out alot.
  • I’d love to see a couple more cool restaurants on the Northside, and a good pub with craft beers.  But Ale Asylum’s new location will be great!
  • More ethnic restaurants would be nice; even more connections between people and organizations would be helpful; business developments that both fill Northside niches and bring new people to the Northside; a big all-ages, all-interests community event that does not involve fireworks.
  • Better bar/restaurants to hang out at.    I’m not talking dives.
  • More small businesses, shops, restaurants, etc.
  • Restaurants with healthy food.
  • See number 2 – bike lanes and/or paths.  More pedestrian friendly spaces.  Mall parking lot at Northport and N Sherman is not at all pedestrian friendly.
  • More neighborhood activities to get to know each other.  An Indian restaurant. A Little Library post.
  • A good bike route to downtown.
  • more businesses and restaurants
  • An occupant for the former Kohl’s grocery store building (corner of Northport & Sherman).  Empty store fronts are a poor reflection of a community
  • Place to buy shoes. Thai restaurant. More opportunities for different ethnic groups/ages to mingle and become acquainted. NPC members that accurately reflect the diversity of the Northside and also NSN should reflect that diversity in photos and writers and opinions. Maybe some guest columns or editorials. Medical clinic for Dean Care, Phys Plus, those with no insurance. Mobile dental clinic and asthma clinic for uninsured. Mental health and AODA treatment in the neighborhood, maybe at East High. New auditorium for East High. More clubs that play a variety of music. Coffee house/restaurant in outdoor grassy area that welcomes bikes and dogs.
  • More businesses, fewer empty storefronts
  • To make sure all the sections of our population feel welcome and included and having a voice in the resources, information, planning and decision making. Continue the work on the economic development to fill in the businesses that are vacant.
  • Safe cross-walks on Sherman Ave (perhaps with those orange pennants for pedestrians to hold), more shops in the Strip Mall where Pierce’s is, extended workout-gym hours at Warner Park, bike lanes/signs about bicycle safety, involve more apartment residents in community activities and RESTAURANTS!!!  Good, clean, moderately healthy options available….
  • Businesses for the 30-40 somethings!  I leave the Northside to buy groceries, dine and go out.  I spend much more money in the Isthmus/downtown neighborhoods – it’s where I go when I want to go shopping for food, art, gifts, housewares and go out to eat or get a beer.  I live and work on the Northside, but I leave for everything else!
  • Less low income housing…this is increasing crime on the northside.  Fill up empty buildings – Sherman Plaza, the gas station on Packers Ave, the restaurant across from the police station, the former bank and restaurant on Dryden/Northport Drive. Adding police personal so there can be more of presence to continue to help decrease violent crimes/drug activity that the low income areas are attracting.
  • Additional businesses – fill in the town center (old Kohls, hardware, video), empty storefronts (old Hardees, Brennans, etc.), need additional restaurant variety
  • More nighttime police patrols. Stop so many police from working in the daytime, and put them on patrol at night when the real crime occurs,
  • Stronger businesses – there is far too much business turnover and unsustainable businesses.  I really wish there were more major businesses with a strong regional or national presence here that have sustainable business models and can offer stable jobs.  The East Towne area seems to be far more attractive on that front than the Northside.  There are also too many vacant commercial buildings here, a sign of the inability of the Northside to attract strong businesses.  This may sound bad, but in this day and age, locally owned small businesses just can’t be sustained in areas that don’t have the attraction of larger businesses like Target, Kohls, Home Depot, and national brand restaurants.  Bottom line is that people don’t want to come to the Northside to do business as much as other areas of Madison and Northside residents are forced to go to other areas of Madison to do business.  Eliminate alcohol, drug, gang issues – zero tolerance for these things.  I do not go for walks after dark here ever.  I am tired of finding liquor and malt beverage containers in my yard weekly.  There seem to be people here who feel they have the right to ruin the community and do whatever they want and the message needs to be that if they choose to do these things, they will be promptly removed from the Northside community.
  • A walkable section on North Sherman with a concentration of restaurants, shops, coffee shops, etc. A Willy st or Atwood for the Northside.
  • See my comments in #2.  A city initiative providing financial incentives to property owners to improve landscaping and other aesthetics on major thoroughfares would be one way to help foster these improvements.  Free or low cost flowering trees (for example) for the green spaces in between the sidewalks and streets on thoroughfares targeted for beautification is another of many possible ways to accomplish this.
  • I’d like to actually see our police department IN the community…walking, smiling, greeting people, interacting with people.  I only ever see them writing speeding tickets and driving around/sitting in vehicles in troubled neighborhoods with a gruff, unapproachable look.
  • Better and more Asian restaurants. We have a great Asian population that maybe needs a little encouragement and business help.  More businesses and stores.
  • Attracting new local business to the Northside Town Center.
  • more businesses with good jobs
  • community gardens
  • businesses to fill the empty buildings
  • safer bike paths – more street / business facade improvements – some places look pretty run-down.