A couple honest answers to questions about Fitchburg (Madison, Brandon: apartment complex, leasing)
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A couple honest answers to questions about Fitchburg
I had a couple of questions about Fitchburg being that I am moving from out of state. We are going to be moving into The Pines apartments that are at the intersection of Fish hatchery rd and high ridge trail.
The questions are?
1. What is this area of town like, is this the ghetto or madison or is it just a pretty normal area. (ghetto = scared to drive there with your family, constant break-ins and drug dealers on stoops).
2. How is the bus in Madison? Scary to ride on or is it something everyone uses?
3. Any other comments you have about fitchburg or madison or comments about the town with relation to where The pines apartments are.
I would really appreciate some honest answers they seem hard to find.
Here is a news story about the apartment complex you are moving to:
Former Ridgewood Apartment Complex In Fitchburg Has Been Getting An Expensive Makeover And Won A Major State Award.
Wisconsin State Journal
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
A huge Fitchburg apartment complex that just two years ago was known primarily for fires, police calls and unchecked maintenance-code violations has been named "Property of the Year" by the Apartment Association of South Central Wisconsin.
Tenants say the award is no joke -- the place really has turned around.
The 800-unit property, known during its troubled years as Ridgewood Country Club Apartments, has a new owner, a new management company and new names.
E.J. Plesko & Associates of Madison bought the property in the fall of 2005 and split it into two campuses -- The Pines (305 units) and The Fairways (330 units). Each has its own leasing office.
The complex is about 200 units smaller now. Two buildings were torn down due to fire damage and eight buildings are vacant while the new owners mull redevelopment options.
The site has a poor history. Three fires in three months in 2004 left dozens of families homeless. The city filed nearly 100 building and fire code violations as tenant complaints and safety concerns mounted. At one point, a city building inspector worked full time at the complex.
Since buying the property, Plesko has spent nearly $3.5 million on improvements, including siding, signage, energy-efficient windows, carpeting and appliances, said spokesman Brandon Scholz.
Tenant Tracy Nelson, 37, said she worried about moving to the property because of its prior reputation. So far, she's been pleased.
"They're real open," she said. "They'll listen to your needs, and if they can help you, they will."
To anwser your questions:
#1: As far as being in the "ghetto", the answer would be no. The good area and bad area (defined by crime and police calls) is seperated by the Nine Springs Golf Course. The closer you are to the Beltline (12&18), the worse it is. Your complex is closer to Highway PD, an up and coming area with nice hotels, banks and restaurants.
#2: I can't really speak on how the bus system is and who uses it most. I haven't been on one in over 15 years. I hear they're decent, but you'll always have trouble makers as well. They have had some trouble with the transfer points at some locations however, be it fights or crime. Maybe someone else on these forums can shed some light on the bus system.
#3: I think the Pines Apartments are situated in a good area. You are close to Highway PD, which connects you to a large movie theatre, banks, convience stores and a Super Target. You're also close to the Beltline (which is what us locals call Highway 12 & 18, which runs from the west to the south to the east along Madison. You won't find the term "beltline" on a map.) The beltline easily connects to 18 & 151 if you decide to go into SW Wisconsin. Fish Hatchery Road runs north straight to Park St. From there, you simply go left towards downtown or two main hospitals. In all, it's a good location to live to branch out in whatever direction you want to go, without having to drive too far.
Good luck, and if you have any more questions, please let me know. I've lived in the city all my 36 years of life.
I've lived in Fitchburg since 1999 and all of Monty's advice is spot-on. I can help with the bus system question though. I had the same question when I started riding it a couple of years ago when I went back to school at UW-Madison. Although I would exercise caution at the transfer points because there have been incidents there, the system is not scary to ride. People ride the bus in conjunction with biking (there are bike racks on the front of the bus) or because they work downtown/on campus and don't want to pay for parking or (obviously) because they don't have a car, which includes lots of students. So, it's more of a big-city type public transportation system, with everyone riding it, versus a suburban bus system, which hardly anyone rides.
"1. What is this area of town like, is this the ghetto or madison or is it just a pretty normal area. (ghetto = scared to drive there with your family, constant break-ins and drug dealers on stoops)."
If this is your definition of ghetto, then it doesn't exist in Madison, much less in Fitchburg. There are rough patches here and there that no normal person with the means to live elsewhere would move to and you wouldn't want to walk around in at night, but there is no part of Madison that fits the stereotypical image of an urban jungle. Madison makes Des Moines look like a crime-ridden pit.
When I lived in Madison, the only thing "scary" about the bus was when the driver would get lost from the route and then suddenly switchback, jumping a curb and sending everyone's belongings flying into the aisles. This actually happened several times. And the time I sat in a seat full of fresh urine. Aside from that the system is fairly "non scary," but when I was using it, it was a terrible system. Frequent late buses, buses oftentimes blowing through their stops early, buses running every half hour during "peak times" and every hour thereafter. Some might call Madison's bus system "big city," in the sense that "everyone uses it," but unless there's been a massive explosion in ridership since I left Madison, I would call it a sparse, barebones system that barely qualifies as mass transit.
I was answering the OP's question about whether or not the system was scary to ride on. He didn't ask how good the system was. But I stand corrected, in part. Please substitute "people from all walks of life" in place of the word "everyone" in the last sentence of my post.
I rode the bus to and from work when I worked downtown and found the system to be a good one in many respects. I did not find it scary to ride, and in fact got to know a number of the regulars who rode the same bus at the same times that I did. It was a nice opportunity to sit and relax for a small chunk of the day.
That said, the Madison bus system is not well designed. This is partially due to the limitations imposed by the city's geography - siting a city smack dab in the middle of two large lakes does interesting things to one's travel routes - and partially to the city's decision a decade or so ago to modify all routes to a transfer-point approach. I live an easy 20-minute drive away from my current employer's location, but if I were forced to take the bus, it would take me a whole lot longer than that to get from home to work. It would take so long, in fact, that bussing to work is frankly not an option for me any more, as I generally spend 11-12 hours a day at the office. Adding another two hours of travel time per day (plus the time required to walk over a mile from the bus stop to my office) is simply not a practical possibility, no matter how much it hurts to fill the gas tank.
However, if you are one of the fortunate ones who both live and work close to bus-stops on major routes (even better on the same route!), you will likely find the Madison bus system to be very useful. Check your planned route here: Madison Trip Planning and see how close you can get.
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