Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ruling On Zoo Interchange Rooted In Earlier Decision, Complaints, Transportation Practices

US District Court Judge Lynn Adelman has ruled that plaintiffs raising economic justice and procedural objections to the way the state conducts highway planning and public spending at the expense of transit riders and low-income residents can continue to sue over the Zoo Interchange project.

The plaintiffs explain, here.

This is a step towards genuine transportation program balance in a state where highway planning is getting billions for expansion and transit systems are being starved - - with severe consequences to low-income residents in their search for jobs and housing, as the ACLU of Wisconsin and others have repeatedly noted.

A hearing is planned and it is unclear what the final determination will be, and what, if any remedy will be ordered, but the judge has said it appears that the plaintiffs will prevail so there may be profound consequences ahead for the project scope and perhaps for additional projects, too.

Observers should not be surprised by this turn of events.

Adelman ruled a couple of years ago that planning had been deficient in the implementation of the Highway J/164 project in Waukesha and Washington Counties.

And the discriminatory issues had been raised repeatedly in formal complaints against state and federal highway planners, and against SEWRPC, the regional planning commission, where much of this planning originates. with an institutional and structural bias against cities, minorities and low-income residents.

More commentary later.


Anonymous said...

What would be a remedy? More money for bus lines, light rail?

Allen Stasiewski said...

We are fighting the West Waukesha Bypass in Waukesha County and will likely file a lawsuit as well. The DOT has got to see that the handwriting is on he wall and stop ramming huge highway projects down the throats of Wisconsin taxpayers. The West Waukesha Bypass highway builders had a predetermined goal and wrote the project's Environmental Impact Statement to suit that goal. It's creative writing at its best. Watch for yard signs to pop up soon. Another DOT battle!

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