Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Waukesha County Transit Fails Milwaukee Water Sale Criteria

[First published Tuesday, 3:35 p.m., then updated] You will remember that the City of Waukesha suggested the City of Milwaukee look to Waukesha County's Regional Development Plan and website for the kind of transit and housing commitment, cooperation and performance that might come on behalf of four smaller Waukesha-area towns to accompany a water sale by Milwaukee.

Milwaukee has said a water deal must include commitments to housing and transportation programs from the water buyers.

[Update: For the towns - - Pewaukee, Delafield, Genesee and Waukesha - - inclusion in the City of Waukesha's application for a diversion of Lake Michigan water under the terms of the multi-state Great Lakes Compact raises separate questions about the Compact's water conservation and public participation requirements imposed on communities receiving diverted Great Lakes water.

Since all eight Great Lakes states must approve the City of Waukesha's application, the Towns may find that one or more of the states - - or the eventual water selling community, such as the City of Milwaukee - - will consider one or more of towns essentially as co-applicants by virtue of their receipt of diverted Great Lakes water via the City of Waukesha, thus being required to supply information, plans, processes and implemented policies - - from water conservation programs implemented to hearings to public participation guarantees of their own - - all of which may be problematic and costly.

So far, the Town of Waukesha has not decided whether to participate, throwing into doubt the City of Waukesha's projected need for the amount of water it wants to divert water.]

So I took the suggestion in the City of Waukesha letter, checked out the County plan, and  discovered in "Chapter 8, Transportation," that Milwaukee won't find much of a priority on transit from Waukesha County.

Let's just say the transit "concerns and weaknesses" out-stripped the "strengths," and do not meet the "adopted and implemented" criteria that the City of Milwaukee spelled out for water buyers in a 2008 resolution.

In addition, for purposes of Common Council review, the community which has applied for water service from the City of Milwaukee shall submit a written report to the aforementioned communication file indicating that the community has adopted and implemented: 
D-1. A comprehensive plan pursuant to s. 66.1001, Wis. Stats., and, if the plan has not been completed, indicate the status of the community’s compliance with each of the 9 requirements which comprise s. 66.1001 (2), Wis. Stats.
D-2. A comprehensive housing plan and can demonstrate that such plan has resulted in the creation of affordable housing opportunities that have resulted in racial, age and income diversification, with data on the percentage of population in assisted and affordable housing that is age 30 or less, above age 30 and below 65, and age 65 and above. 
D-3. A comprehensive public transportation plan and can demonstrate that such plan has resulted in the expansion and improvement of public transportation links between persons living in the City of Milwaukee and job opportunities in the community which has applied for water service. Such plan may include, but is not limited to, participation and inclusion in the Southeast Wisconsin Regional Transportation Authority or an equivalent entity.
This is how the transportation chapter opens in the plan the City of Waukesha suggested the City of Milwaukee water sale negotiators :
STRENGTHS, CONCERNS, AND WEAKNESSES

The Waukesha County Comprehensive Development Plan Land Use, Housing and Transportation Subcommittee expressed the following transportation strengths, concerns, and weaknesses.

Transportation Strengths

•    Easy access to the Interstate Highway System •  Advanced planning and implementation of highway facility improvements •  An established County Trunk Highway System that is effective • Provides appropriate access to roadways •    Availability of other modes of transportation (ie. airports, trails) • An increase in official mapping being completed by municipalities for improved inter-connectivity to roadway systems • A continued commitment to funding County road improvements through a capital improvements program.

Transportation Concerns and Weaknesses

•    A lack of a dedicated regional institutional structure for a high level inter-county transit system. The County and Region has a mass transit plan in place, but there is a lack of a comprehensive regional mass transit institutional structure and a dedicated source to fund it.
•    Municipalities and the County over-rely on State and Federal funding for local transportation initiatives. A lack of a dedicated funding source exists for transit at the municipal or county level of government. • A tendency for municipalities and the County to upgrade highways after volume or impact is realized instead of doing a more effective analysis of projecting these changes. • A lack of county-wide or regional understanding of the impact of road construction (ie. bypass or road widening).
•    A lack of continued re-education and endorsement of long-range comprehensive planning and the impact of not planning long-range or failure to implement these plans.
•    A lack of grade separation between competing transportation uses such as road and railroad crossings. • Road improvements are not being made because of current jurisdictional control and conflicting plans. • Excessive local street road pavement widths.

5 comments:

Paul Trotter said...

This is key: Municipalities and the County over-rely on State and Federal funding for local transportation initiatives. A lack of a dedicated funding source exists for transit at the municipal or county level of government. • A tendency for municipalities and the County to upgrade highways after volume or impact is realized instead of doing a more effective analysis of projecting these changes. • A lack of county-wide or regional understanding of the impact of road construction (ie. bypass or road widening).

The notion of continuing to build and / or widen roads to keep up with volume is incredibly shortsighted.
TRANSIT COOPERATION FOR WATER.

I have yet to shop in that Moorland / Barker road area without seeing orange barrels and being completely confused by the massive expansions of roads just for shopping. Ever exit at Barker road and feel overwhelmed? Wait time at some of those intersections is over 4 minutes. Try to walk in that area. Not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

FYI- The Town of Pewaukee incorporated into a city years ago. Now there is a Village of Pewaukee adjacent to Pewaukee Lake and The City of Pewaukee which encompasses a rather large area and has a municipal well system with a valved off interconnection to the City of Waukesha water main. Makes you wonder why the water request is in excess of current production (not consumption). With all the growth in the City of Pewaukee...

Paul Furrer said...

Waukesha's water request would be viewed with greater skepticism if it underestimated possible future use. Should not a best guess of the future use the highest realistic numbers?

James Rowen said...

@ Pual Furrer: The Compact allows the states to grant water out of the basis as an exception to a diversion prohibition. So the ask has got to be documented.

I'd also like to hear you explain how the City of Waukesha - - and the Towns - - will meet Milwaukee's requirements for housing, jobs, development and transportation cooperation, as this was the subject principally of this post.

Thank you.

JR

James Rowen said...

Oops. Sorry for tranposing the letters in your name.