Monday, June 18, 2012

"Lack of" Transit Undermines Waukesha Water Bid

A couple of months ago I posted information from Waukesha County's comprehensive plan that shows how hard it will be for the City of Waukesha and four smaller neighboring communities to convince Milwaukee officials there is sufficient reciprocity of basic services to support a sale of Lake Michigan water by Milwaukee.

In fact, the difficulties are surfacing before a crucial Milwaukee City Hall Wednesday meeting on Waukesha's water bid.

Basically, the comprehensive plan for the County in which Waukesha is the largest city says the roads are great, but you'll have a hard time getting there from here if you don't have a car.

Which leaves out many Milwaukee residents who might want to access jobs, housing or other opportunities in Waukesha - - a requirement in Milwaukee's water-sale polities.

And in the County plan, transit is described as hamstrung and rail servicew gets no mention as an "other mode," (having been killed in the planning stage by Waukesha in 1997, fyi): hence the repetition of the phrase "a lack of" six times in rapid-fire succession with regard to transit availability, funding and planning.

This has been the trend, for years.

2007, for example.

Or 2010.

From the transportation chapter in the County plan Waukesha water planning officials said Milwaukee should consult:


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.

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