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The solution to Zoo Interchange woes: a roundabout!
The solution to Zoo Interchange woes: a roundabout! (Photo: pisaphotography / Jason McDowell / Shutterstock)

It's time to scrap the Zoo Interchange rebuild in favor of a better idea

Last weekend, I was headed to Cascio Interstate Music in New Berlin to check out guitars and my route took me through the mess that is the current zoo interchange, now into its fourth year of rebuilding.

Merging into bumper to bumper traffic thanks to more closed lanes – and pondering at least four more years of this – I thought, "there must be a better way."

As I entered the music store, an aging rocker with a shiny turquoise Strat resting atop his thigh plucked out the familiar harmonic intro to a famous Yes song, unwittingly providing the soundtrack to, and inspiration for, a solution.

The answer to the overcomplicated, overwrought zoo interchange rebuild is simple: a roundabout!

After all, when Milwaukee began introducing roundabouts around the city a few years ago, they were an instant hit. Roundabouts, like Marmite and blood pudding, are a United Kingdom invention that all Americans, particularly Milwaukeeans, love.

And it’s easy to see why. They’re totally intuitive, simple to navigate and, therefore, all drivers move through them with skill and with ease. 

Just imagine the tens of thousands of cars during rush hours commutes edging up to the yield signs, their drivers looking around carefully and then effortlessly integrating into the sweet annular circulation as the traffic hums along, moving everyone efficiently to their destinations.

This would never happen ... right?

It’s a beautiful thought, isn’t it? It’s not too late to turn this project around ... around a roundabout.

Alderman Bob Donovan disapproves of the plan.

"Any which way you look at it, the streetcar and the Barrett Administration are taking us all for a ride," he said.

When reminded that the question was actually about the zoo interchange, which is a state project, not a city one, Donovan responded, "Any which way you look at it, the streetcar and the Barrett Administration are taking us all for a ride."

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This concert could well mark the Stones' final Milwaukee appearance.
This concert could well mark the Stones' final Milwaukee appearance.

10 songs I want to hear the Stones play at Summerfest

This is likely my only shot. Assuming I get to see the Stones at Summerfest, it may well be the one opportunity left to see a legendary band I’ve never experienced live before, despite having been a fan since I was a kid.

Here, then, are the 10 songs (in no particular order) I’d love to hear the Stones play on June 23 at the Marcus Amphitheater, regardless of whether or not any of them is likely...

"Get Off My Cloud"

One of the best moments in rock and roll. As a drummer, I want to see Charlie do this one.


"Dead Flowers"

This one seems like a gimmie since the Stones are expected to play "Sticky Fingers" in its entirety.

"Memory Motel"

A sappy, long-time favorite from "Black and Blue," the first Stones record I can remember being released and the first one I devoured, along with the "Hot Rocks" comps.

"Out of Time"

Two reasons: it’s a brilliant song and, secondly, because it would surely start a discussion about the experience itself.

"King Bee"

Down and dirty Slim Harpo cover from the first record.

"Far Away Eyes"

Hearing the b-side to "Miss You" will make me feel 12 all over again and remind me of plugging coins into the jukebox in the Pizza Hut in Glens Falls, N.Y. to play it.

"Wild Horses"

Keith's love song to his infant son – and Mick's to Marianne Faithfull – is one of my all-time favorites. See "Dead Flowers."

"She’s a Rainbow"

This send-up of, or tribute to, psychedelia is one of the band’s most alluring compositions, whether or not John Lennon was right that it was an attempt to copy "All You Need Is Love."

"Happy"

Gotta hear Keef belt out at least one, and this is surely the best.

"Honky Tonk Woman"

Because I can’t imagine a more rock and roll experience than the Stones playing "Honky Tonk Woman" ... even when they’re in their 70s.

Which Stones tunes are on your wish list for what could very well be the last time the band plays Milwaukee? Post them using the talkback feature below or via Facebook.

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Roland Dickey Sr. will celebrate the opening of his family's 500th barbecue restaurant this week in western Tosa.
Roland Dickey Sr. will celebrate the opening of his family's 500th barbecue restaurant this week in western Tosa.

Tosa location will be 500th Dickey's Barbecue Pit

More Tosa restaurant news has emerged today: The family-owned Dickey's Barbecue Pit will open its 500th restaurant on Thursday, April 2. The new eatery is located in the Lowe's outlot at 3180 N. 124th St., at Burleigh.

The Dallas-based franchise chain's chairman, Roland Dickey, Sr., will be at the restaurant on Friday to mark the opening and to give away copies of his book, "Mr. Dickey's Barbecue Cookbook."

"It's hard to believe the one-room barbecue joint my grandfather founded is now a national chain with 500 locations," said Dickey in a news release. "I'm so proud of what our team has accomplished in building our brand to where we are today."

Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., was founded in 1941 by Travis Dickey, and today boasts locations in 43 states.

The chain, which offers free kids meals on Sundays, has been named "Top 10 Growth Chain" by Nation's Restaurant News three years in a row. Technomic called it the "Fastest-growing restaurant chain in the country."

"We're thrilled to be the 500th location and have Mr. Dickey at the celebration," said local franchise owner, Sherri Povolo in a statement. "My family loves being part of the Dickey's Barbecue brand and serving authentic barbecue throughout Wisconsin."

The first 50 dine-in guests on Thursday will get gift cards ranging from $5 to $50. On Friday there will be $2 pulled pork sandwiches and a range of giveaways. More giveaways follow on Saturday.

For more information, visit dickeys.com.

Haymarket has some vintage buildings crying out for restoration and repurposing, like this one currently in development.
Haymarket has some vintage buildings crying out for restoration and repurposing, like this one currently in development.

Arena discussion should turn around and look north

Every day, I drive along the northern border of the Haymarket neighborhood and I wonder why it's so neglected. Sure, there's activity there (see below) – the neighborhood is hardly a secret – but it seems ripe for so much more.

Since the Park East freeway spur no longer slices it off from Downtown, Haymarket can be a vibrant bridge not only between Downtown and Bronzeville but also between those areas and the booming (former Pabst) Brewery complex and Brewers Hill, too.

The neighborhood is adjacent to Schlitz Park, which edges closer and closer to full occupancy. On King Drive, in Haymarket, are the Park East Enterprise Lofts. There's a new park and bank branch along McKinley Boulevard, across from National Ace Hardware, the city's best hardware store. Bartolotta Restaurants is headquartered in the neighborhood and so is Miller Bakery.

Across the Park East is the Aloft Hotel and the Moderne residential tower. There's new development on the western edge, including a new $21 million Sojourner Family Peace Center building going up across 6th Street in Hillside at Walnut.

Across Walnut, in Bronzeville, there's a new development on tap for the old Garfield Avenue School.

In all of the discussions of the siting of a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, the discussion has been about connecting to Wisconsin Avenue and points south of the current Bradley Center, or to the river. But, let's not ignore the other side.

A new arena on the land north of the Bradley Center – which appears to be the favored location now –and a range of related mixed-use developments in the Park East corridor could cause development in Haymarket to go, well, haywire.

There's some amazing vintage building stock that could be transformed and there are a number of vacant sites – mostly surface parking lots – that would appear ripe for construction. Look at the satellite view in Google Maps and Haymarket land looks more empty than not. Much like the Third Ward, not all that long ago, th…

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