Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dawdle? How About "Terminate?"

The Journal Sentinel editorially suggests slowing down the consideration of that goofy Interchange to Nowhere out in Western Waukesha County to serve a shopping mall that a) is no longer "high-end," as first promised, and b) doesn't have a solid plan, let alone a shovel of turned Pabst Farms earth in sight.

The $25 million project - - $23.25 million in public funding - - should be scrapped as unneeded and unjustified.

Imagine how many potholes, or crossing guards, or OWI traffic stops - - real needs, indeed - - you could finance in Waukesha County with all that money?

A year ago, when I began writing about this boondoggle, I pointed out that even Kurt Bauer, the emeritus director at the regional planning commission (SEWRPC), thought the entire Pabst Farms project was the wrong place to put a so-called planned community.

Because it was prime agricultural land, Bauer told me it "never should have been built."

Why compound the errors with a full-bore diamond interchange to serve a mall that may never get built, or that may in fact be just a new nest of big-box retailers, surrounded by half-finished subdivisions being crushed by the weight of the home-building/mortgage meltdown mess?

Too much of Waukesha County and the surrounding Kettle Moraine has been lost to 'development;' adding a huge interchange in the heart of the former Pabst Farms farmland will accelerate those losses.

Put the money back into the state transportation fund, or find a better use for it.

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