Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I-94/Zoo Interchange commuters not enjoying 'improvement'

Traffic westbound out of Milwaukee towards Waukesha County ground to a halt right on schedule Monday afternoon because WisDOT close one I-94 lane into the Zoo Interchange.

I was driving east through the area Monday about 3:30 p.m. and saw solid, crawling traffic from the Interchange east to 27th St., and news media even today are saying the congestion only got worse as rush hour arrived in earnest as drivers approached what WisDOT officials are calling the "zipper merge." (Fill in your own puns):
The state Department of Transportation is watching traffic patterns on westbound I-94  near the Zoo Interchange closely after new lane closures slowed traffic for three miles Monday. 
Major traffic delays nearly halted traffic on I-94 during the evening commute and drivers faced equally difficult commutes Tuesday and over the weekend. 
Imagine the congestion there when it starts snowing. Or when someone like the knucklehead dump truck driver we saw the other day high-balling on I-94 towards the construction zone westbound near Miller Park while on his cellphone finds out he's driving too fast for conditions.

Also on the WisDOT drawing board: another 'improvement' nightmare of up to eight elevated lanes at Story Hill/Miller Park, and a similarly expensive and disruptive I-43 six-lane 'improvement' from Bayshore Mall in Glendale all the way north-south across Ozaukee County.

So motorists in the counties surrounding Milwaukee represented by Republican officials who went out of their way to ban regional transit operations and/or light rail - - might inquire of these ideologues and allied right-wing talk show hosts why they have foisted such a long, wasteful mess on the public.

And why $6.2 billion in regional freeway 'improvements' that include the congestion traps noted above were first approved and recommended by an unelected, suburban-dominated board - - the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission - - with dubious public survey support and without a companion and identified financing plan - - over City of Milwaukee objections.

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