For those who commute to points north and west from South Milwaukee, people like me, this is big news …
You can now travel 50 mph (legally) on the Lake Parkway.
I say “legally” because few actually followed the posted 40 mph speed limit (including me, I must admit).
New signs were posted Tuesday.
Check out coverage from Fox 6 … and post your comments below!
South Shore Supervisor Pat Jursik has published a new edition of her E-News update, and it includes a number of noteworthy news items, including an update on the Lake Parkway extension and the scheduling of a “South Shore Option 2.0” economic development forum for Thursday, Sept. 27.
Check it out here. And here is the 794 update …
Lake Parkway (794) Extension
In May 2012, the County Board recommended extension of the Lake Parkway (State Trunk Highway 794) through a resolution which was signed by the County Executive. Following through on the process, I spoke with the WisDOT Southeast Regional Director and Engineering Chief as well as the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) Director in August. Several steps are required before an extension can occur.
- SEWRPC must complete an Air Quality Conformity Analysis regarding the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. This analysis is already being conducted. A final analysis should be available in September or October 2012.
- Once this Air Quality Analysis is finished, the technical advisory committee will be asked to make a final recommendation to the SEWRPC board. The SEWRPC board must receive the advisory committee’s recommendation and then take final action. This may conclude by December 2012.
- WisDOT is concerned about limited funding. WisDOT is completing many projects around the state.
- Racine and Kenosha Counties would also need to reach an agreement to demote some current state highways to local status and to embrace a “Lake Corridor.”
- An extension of Lake Parkway would probably need to connect to Highway 31 and, ultimately, to Highway KR at the Racine/Kenosha border, according to the perspective of WisDOT.
We will need to work cooperatively with Racine and Kenosha to establish any such Lake Corridor. Our neighbors in Racine and Caledonia have already expressed interest in extending the Lake Parkway. I welcome further dialogue about this issue.
South Shore Supervisor Pat Jursik has published her August Enews newsletter, with items on Layton Avenue improvements, an extension of a bus route, an update on the Lake Parkway extension and information on an advisory referendum being placed on all Milwaukee County ballots this November.
Check out the newsletter here.
Here is what Pat wrote about the proposed Downtown Transit Center project:
The County Board passed a resolution authorizing negotiations with Barrett Visionary Development for the purchase of the Downtown Transit Center site. This resolution addresses many concerns. It affirms that: the County Board expects to receive fair market value; the Economic Development Director must more closely investigate whether any of the site is filled lakebed subject to the Public Trust Doctrine; and the Economic & Community Development Committee will solicit public input prior to making any final recommendation to the County Board.
The Board also passed a related resolution which aims to protect an open and equitable procedure for the sale of public property.
The recent process used at the transit site was flawed. It lacked transparency and appeared to be a sweetheart deal for a chosen developer who hired an expensive lobbyist to influence decision makers. The process was further flawed by lack of a thorough public hearing due in large part to the actions of the County’s Economic Development Director, an out-of-County resident seemingly unconcerned with seeking input from the citizens of Milwaukee County. To the credit of our Board Chairwoman, Marina Dimitrijevic, a compromise was reached which will assure compliance with the Public Trust Doctrine, aim for fair market value and include a public hearing.
A Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission panel has formally backed a plan to extend the Lake Parkway from Edgerton Avenue to Highway 100.
Check out the story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and here is a press release from County Supervisor Pat Jursik.
Now, the hard work starts: securing the political will, and money, to actually get the $207 million roadway built. It probably won’t happen until at least 2022, and probably longer.
But at least it’s on the drawing board — and I thank County Supervisor Pat Jursik and others for leading the charge to get us this far.
I also credit the SEWRPC panel in using the passage of this plan as an opportunity to call for a more sustainable solution to transit funding. The Lake Parkway should be just one part of a comprehensive transportation plan for the region. Mass and bike transit must be others — giving commuters a variety of transportation options that involve not just cars.
To quote Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and others, the Department of Transportation is too often the Department of Roads.
Absolutely, let’s build new roads, and fix old ones. But let’s also not neglect the other elements necessary for a strong, and diversified, approach to getting people from point A to point B.
The Lake Parkway extension, under the current plan introduced last month, would inlude a pedestrian and bike path — a detail explored in much greater detail in this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog item.
Learn more about the extension in my previous blog post.
And check out these other local headlines …
Also, NOW has published a new South Shore police blotter, which includes a number of burglary and theft reports in South Milwaukee in recent weeks.
As expected, the Export-Import Bank voted Thursday to reverse course and approve loan guarantees for an Indian company looking to purchase $400 million of equipment from Bucyrus International.
The decision is expected to save hundreds of jobs in the area that were in jeopardy after the bank originally voted against the guarantees.
Read the Journal Sentinel story here and check out these other headlines of interest from around the area …