Thursday, May 3, 2007

Milwaukee County Board Committee Backs Widening Freeways In Milwaukee

With little fanfare, a Milwaukee County Board committee has endorsed widening freeway lanes within Milwaukee, reversing an earlier position also held by the City of Milwaukee - - no widening of I-94 and I-43 within Milwaukee.

That widening has been endorsed by the regional planning commission, and is included in the long-range plan sent to state highway planners, but the local objections would make expansion difficult.

The committee tied its approval to finding financing improvements for transit, but there are no guarantees that such financing can be found: the county committee's action will primarily be seen as fresh political support for freeway expansion with its loss of homes, businesses and tax base along the corridors.

It is particularly bad news for the Story Hill neighborhood and the already noisy environment alongside three cemeteries on either side of I-94 near Miller Park.

That's where the state wants to build a long elevated lane bridge to accommodate the widening scheme that the county board committee just endorsed.

County Board members email and phone comtact information can be found here should people and groups wish to urge them to defeat this committee recommendation when it gets to the full board.

1 comment:

Daniel Cody said...

I was at this meeting yesterday and found the overall tone of the meeting to be incredible. All the Supervisors seemed to agree that widening the freeways would be a bad idea, and yet, four of them put that particular concern aside to endorse the overall plan with it's caveats for financing etc...

I couldn't get a copy of the powerpoint presentation the SEWRPC reps were referencingo when they were outling which sections of the freeways would recommended to be widened, but there was a great amount of concern from a few of the Supervisors about the problems associated with that, and the public backlash that would follow.

I don't live in the story hill neighborhood, but I'm close enough and see the obvious downsides to increasing capacity on the freeway as the sole means to deal with traffic problems in Milwaukee County. The best bet going forward is to be continuing to put pressure on ALL Supervisors - not just those who represent relevant districts - going forward.