Everyone wants to be able to get around a city easily.Â Itâ€™s simple in stuff.Â Cities need bike lanes, roads, side walks, taxis, rail, trolleys, buses and other forms of transit to move people from here to there. Â
I love my car.Â I love driving. And, as youâ€™ll note in my record, I like driving fast.Â I blame my Dad for this. Regardless of my love for automobiles, I embrace and support increased mass transit opportunity for our state.
Simply put, once we park we need easier and more efficient ways to get around.Â Especially in greater Downtown. Â Debate on transportation shouldnâ€™t be a cars vs. everything else battle. Â
So, letâ€™s consider this.Â We want to spend $1.7 billion on a taxpayer funded rebuild and expansion of the Zoo Interchange.Â $1.7 billion.Â Itâ€™s crazy.Â But, no one is batting an eye.
Yes, the Zoo Interchange needs work.Â Trucks and cars have beat it down over the years. Â
A recent ruling, though, by federal Judge Lynn Adelman finding that the state Department of Transportationâ€™s Environmental Impact Statement supporting the Zoo Interchange is deficient and violates federal law may just send a strong message that highway building and road expansions in southeastern Wisconsin at the expense of public transit and other projects should at least be better analyzed.Â $1.7 billion.Â Wow. That could build a needed Downtown arena, fund several schools, pay for the Streetcar and repair roads.
Ald. Robert J. Bauman said yesterday that Judge Adelmanâ€™s decision "is a strong endorsement that southeastern Wisconsinâ€™s transportation needs must be reflected in balanced investments in local roads, freeways and transit which serve the economic and social needs of all citizens and all areas of the region."
Bauman is recommending the DOT immediately consider a new alternative. That alternative would spend $370 million to reconstruct I-94 from 25th St. to 70th St. and allocate the savings between this option and the expansion option â€“ as much as $830 million â€“ to three other infrastructure investments.
Specifically, he says the state should spend on third of the savings on repairing and reconstructing local roads and streets which, especially in Milwaukee, are in badly deteriorated condition; spend one third on repairing other state highways and bridges; and spend one third to expand the Milwaukee Streetcar to UW-Milwaukee on the East Side, Miller Park on the West Side, the 30th Street Corridor on the North Side, and to Walkerâ€™s Point on the South Side.
Itâ€™s all about balance, and doesnâ€™t a balanced approach to investing in transportation infrastructure make sense?
Yesterday, U.S. Pirg, a nonprofit advocacy organization released a report noting Americans drive fewer total miles today than we did eight years ago, and fewer per person than we did at the end of Bill Clintonâ€™s first term.
There are several reasons for this, but sticking with a "thatâ€™s the way weâ€™ve always done it" funding approach isnâ€™t the best way to move forward.
Milwaukeeâ€™s moving forward with a streetcar, the trolley is back this summer and a few other cool shuttle options are coming soon, too.Â Options are good.Â Cars are great.Â They both work well together.Â Letâ€™s make it so here in Wisconsin.Â
As Iâ€™ve written before, transportation isn't a Republican or Democratic issue; it's a simple, quality-of-life improvement. It's about innovation and improvements in our entire community.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published June 28, 2016
The fest that made Milwaukee famous, Summerfest is here. Jeff Sherman loves it. It means energy, 50-90,000 new people Downtown every day, good music, food and more. It's great, and it gets better every year. Here are his music picks.
Published June 23, 2016
Check out the latest podcast from Bill Simmons featuring Jimmy Butler - and, germane to us here, including several Marquette and Milwaukee mentions. In fact, Butler says several times "I love Milwaukee," citing his days and degree at Marquette.
Published June 21, 2016
Former Milwaukee Bucks guard Ray Allen and his wife have opened one of the country's first all-organic "fast food" restaurants in Miami. Called Grown, it's getting rave reviews on Facebook, and, from the photos I've seen, I want to eat there right now.
Published June 11, 2016
We're a few months in, so here are six things I'd change about the Milwaukee area's newest Metro Market store, on Oakland Avenue in Shorewood. The better you are, Metro Market, the more of our money you'll get!
Published June 7, 2016
There's growth everywhere in Downtown Milwaukee, but still opportunities and eyesores. For me, these four spaces have been vacant for too long. I see them all nearly everyday. Let's all chime in and help the owners or leasing agents find the right new tenant.
Published May 25, 2016
The "Best Bars in America" feature has been around since 2006. And - of course - a lot has changed on the drinking scene here and in every city in America. One change, no Milwaukee bars appear on this year's list.
Published May 23, 2016
To help celebrate 30 years of "Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams," the T-Bone Burnett-produced debut by Milwaukee's own BoDeans, Milwaukee-based Sprecher Brewing is releasing BoDeans Original Ginger Brew.
Published May 20, 2016
This warms my Milwaukee heart. Not only am I a Bucks and NBA fan, easily one of my favorite restaurants in the area in the Calderone Club. Both got some national love this week.
Published May 14, 2016
If you are tackling your lawn on your own this spring and summer, it's always good to consult an expert first. I've done just that here.
Published May 12, 2016
A few weeks ago, Donald Driver and Bo Ryan were inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. I recently found the 1995 induction ceremony featuring emcee Bob Costas and an amazing list of inductees including Al McGuire, Robin Yount and The Big O.