Monday, January 12, 2009

Conservative Waukesha Opinion-Maker Wants Pabst Farms Projects Stopped

Blogger and Freeman columnist James Wigderson says its time for the stalled and discredited Pabst Farms mall concept to be shelved, along with the I-94 Interchange to serve it - - a highway expansion I have often called the Interchange to Nowhere.

This widens the scope of opposition to the mall and its wasteful interchange, which added Mark Belling the other day.

The ACLU of Wisconsin has filed a federal civil rights complaint over the interchange, noting it would spend public funds discriminatorily on a highway project while there is no transit in the area.

The interchange would be funded almost entirely by the public sector except for a 7% share paid in by the mall developer.


Anonymous said...

Okay ... let's be clear.

Wiggie is right and the ACLU is on something that even Jeff Wood wasn’t caught with.

An interchange in the burbs does not equal a civil rights violation.

I could recommend some history books for the supposed spurned and oppressed minority groups that think rail transportation has something to do with their bright future.

James Rowen said...

To Anon.
$23.1 million public dollars spent on an interchange to nowhere in the transit-free exurbs of W. Waukesha County is a civil rights violation if money is spent fairly on all forms of transporttion for all income groups.

Your comment about the supposed spurned and oppressed speaks volumes bout your anonympous self.

Anonymous said...

Last I checked this was not a gated interchange being built? "Fair" is a very arbitrary qualifier. An extra lane of traffic from Madison to Milwaukee would be infinitely less expensive (probably mostly accomplished with paint), improve safety, improve fuel efficiency, improve local and state economies more than rail ever could imagine. Folks like you fight this b/c you know a horribly clogged freeway system is the only way to push through a rail solution. Don't let the facts get in the way.

Pabst Farms is failing because the developer is charging too much for rents and is not being accomodating to choice tenants. They cannot even fill their restaurant pad next to Starbucks while the new Chili's is incredibly busy across the street. If they really believed in their concept, they would scale back rents until the entire project was complete or tie rents to traffic or revenues.

James Rowen said...

To Anon: I hear this argument all the time that rail proponents want clogged freeways to support the rail argument.

That is ridiculous.

We already have clogged freeways; rail offers an alternative to a mono-modal approach that produces the congestion.

Pabst Farms is failing because housing and retail demand, always tenuous in W. Waukesha at that location given its distance from much of the existing population, was crashed into the recession.

The upscale mall envisioned there is dead, so why spend $25 million on an interchange dedicated to bringing fewer people to a cookie-cutter strip mall and some redundant big boxes?

If the developer wants the interchange, it can build the interchange.