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 April 22, 2016
Eating and drinking inside the Milwaukee Public Museum isn't usually allowed. But for events like Moveable Feast and, of course, the annual Food & Froth Festival, it's embraced, encouraged and wonderful.
Published April 21, 2016
I'm happy and honored to host Monday night's YP Week event called "The Interview." It's NEWaukee's twist on the typical career fair.
Published April 20, 2016
As plans for a new Grand Avenue continue to develop, which grocer would be the best for the heart of Downtown Milwaukee? Which store do you want on Wisconsin Avenue?
Published April 18, 2016
Brian D. Till is the James H. Keyes Dean of Business Administration at Marquette University, a position he has held since July 2015. Jeff Sherman sat down with him recently to talk about MU, Milwaukee, business education and more.
Published April 13, 2016
"Cheap drinks, Midwestern soul food and a sensibility that incorporates equal parts worldliness with small-town friendliness." This is how a new New York Times' Frugal Traveler feature on Milwaukee ends. Quite fitting, I'd say.
Published April 6, 2016
Amazon Prime members in Charlotte, Cincinnati, Fresno, Louisville, Nashville, Raleigh, Richmond, Sacramento, Stockton, Tucson and right here in Milwaukee can now enjoy unlimited same day delivery.
Published March 18, 2016
Milwaukee's changing. You could argue it's changed for the better and a bit of the worse over the past 20 years. While the good and some of the bad may be at odds, that's OK if our challenges are being addressed and tackled with vigor and creativity.
Published Feb. 19, 2016
To help in the fight for a cure for breast cancer, I'm sporting a pink wig and fashioning myself as a "Big Wig." Sure, I shaved my head many moons ago and have no need hair. Yet, my Emo Philips-inspired wig is means serious business and I'm asking that you help me raise important funds.
Published Feb. 5, 2016
The new Shorewood Metro Market, 4075 N. Oakland Ave., opens Feb. 16, less than a year after the company bulldozed its old Pick 'N Save location that stood just north of the new building.
Published Jan. 28, 2016
The Milwaukee Muddpie, a pizza featuring chicken, pepperoni, bacon, BBQ sauce, ranch, jalapenos and banana peppers will debut Friday at the Bucks vs. Heat game. It was created by five team members.