Every Friday, Off The Record looks to other Milwaukee publications (and beyond) for bits of news we missed throughout the week.
After years of anticipation (heavy breathing), years of doom-and-gloom scenarios (heavy breathing intensifies), and years of promises that a bus on tracks will finally thrust Milwaukee into the 21st century (uncontrollable moaning), the love-it-or-hate-it Milwaukee streetcar—a.k.a. The Hop—will finally begin service Friday, November 2, at noon. No more taking pictures of people taking pictures of the thing—now you’ll finally be able to ride the thing. OH GOD IT’S HERE IT’S FINALLY HERE. ALL 2.2 MILES OF IT.
“This is a historical milestone years in the making and one we’re excited to celebrate with the entire community,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, taking a drag of a cigarette (not really). “The Hop will be a tremendous asset to the city and a key contributor to the renaissance we’re experiencing in Milwaukee. Whether you live downtown, work downtown, or just enjoy experiencing all of the incredible energy, excitement and amenities the city has to offer, ride The Hop and help keep Milwaukee moving forward.” Mmmmm…
To celebrate this (wipes brow) historic milestone, a three-day celebration called (sudden intense breathing) the “Grand Hop-ening” will kick off November 2 at Cathedral Square Park. Following the festival, The Hop will begin its normal schedule for folks who orgasm over public transportation but never ride the bus: Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-midnight; Saturday, 7 a.m.-midnight; and Sunday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Rides will be free through at least November 2019, thanks to a $10-million, 12-year sponsorship deal with Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. YES YES YES. [Urban Milwaukee]
• Ahem. In other transportation, news, the Milwaukee Common Council voted 9-5 to approve “surge” pricing for the city’s parking meters. Urban Milwaukee has the details:
The first step is to increase the three hourly base rates from $0.50, $1.00 and $1.50 to $0.75, $1.25 and $2.00. That change alone will net the city $1.9 million annually based on 2016 data, says the report. With that change comes the expansion of metered time, with the department now able to have the meters in effect until 9:00 p.m. if demand warrants the change.
But those changes, along with allowing event-based pricing, will not be the biggest change. Parking prices will now be able to be changed on a block-by-block basis.
When average occupancy is between 80‐100 percent, the hourly rate will be increased by $0.25
When average occupancy is between 60‐80 percent, the hourly rate will not be changed
When average occupancy is between 30‐60 percent, the hourly rate will be lowered by $0.25
When average occupancy is less than 30 percent, the hourly rate may be further reduced by $0.25 increments or lifted entirely
“This is not a revenue-raising measure. Technically it has nothing to do with the budget,” said Ald. Bob Bauman, who also noted the council wouldn’t be able to touch the estimated $2 million revenue increase in time for the 2019 budget. [Urban Milwaukee]
• Crews are currently knocking down the American Family Insurance Amphitheater on the Summerfest grounds. A new amphitheater will be ready for Summerfest 2019, after which even more renovations will take place. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Indie pop outfit Limber Brain released a new album, Seizures, and it’s really, really wonderful. [Bandcamp]
• Fuel Cafe and Too Much Metal are organizing a “Pedal to the Forum” bike ride on Sunday, November 4. Riders will depart from Fuel 5th Street at 1 p.m. and head to the Fiserv Forum for the 2:30 p.m. Bucks-Kings game. Fifty bucks will get you a ticket to the game, a pair of Too Much Metal Cream City socks, and two Good City Brewing beers. [Too Much Metal]
• Milwaukee’s StandEatDrink Hospitality Group unveiled its first food truck: Paella Police. The mobile operation serves up lunchtime paella pails, salads, and burritos Monday through Friday. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Enlightened Brewing Co. is moving out of the Lincoln Warehouse in Bay View, and into the former Louis Allis Co. building at 427 E. Stewart St. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Someone stole some sculptures from Black Cat Alley during last weekend’s Doors Open Milwaukee event. [WISN12]
• But at least there are six new, theft-proof murals to enjoy! [OnMilwaukee]
• Have a great weekend, Milwaukee!