Monday, March 17, 2014

WisDOT Wants To Re-Route State Highway Through School Lot, Antique Mall

People in Milwaukee's Story Hill neighborhood north of Miller Park where WisDOT wants to build an eight-lane, double-decked monstrosity over several cemeteries, or along State Highway 164/J between Waukesha and Washington Counties where WisDOT is trying to gouge extra lanes through miles of farm and residential frontage will not be surprised the agency has a people-hostile plan for the Village of Walworth:

Re-routing State Highway 14 within a few feet of an elementary school - - along with 'moving' parkland and tearing down an antique mall - - to better serve through traffic.

The local paper has some details, here:
WALWORTH — The Walworth Elementary School Board took its first official action Monday night to oppose the plan that reroutes Highway 14 closer to its location at 121 Beloit St. 
At the recommendation of the Village Board, the Department of Transportation intends to implement a reroute of Highway 14 that relocates Heyer Park to the east, which allows the road to curve around the square. 
The plan also calls for the Antique Mall to be torn down. With the Antique Mall gone, the road would travel through its old location, which eliminates all right-hand turns. 
Walworth Elementary School officials are concerned that bringing the road closer to the building will put students at risk who walk to the campus. 
An earlier story noted that the re-routed highway will be so close to the school - - 53 feet - - that some of the school's parking lot will be taken; a separate story put the new proximity of the highway to the school at 38 feet while quoting a WisDOT official saying the plan will bring about a "smoother" flow.

WisDOT data indicate about 600 trucks a day on average would use the highway and also about 6,000 cars.

Sounds to me like the same old WisDOT game: Highway 'planners' and their road-builder pals see contracts and wider lanes - - 'added capacity,' in the jargon - - where the rest of you see assets in a grade school, homes, businesses, farm fields and cemetaries.

The very institutions that define a community without treating it like a high-speed thruway.

This ill-conceived project hasn't moved into the 'it's-too-late-to-do-anything-about it' phase, so let's help the good people of Walworth get the word to transportation and elected officials that elementary-age kids and semi-tractor trailers don't mix.

1 comment:

Barb said...

I really don't understand how anyone in their right mind would think moving a highway closer to a school is a good idea!? I don't feel like the board is representing the majority of the community? Isn't that why we elect them?