No Interchange Until Developer Is Lined Up
The project I love to hate, the Pabst Farms development, won’t be the recipient of a new interchange with Interstate 94 anytime soon. The state won’t be building a new interchange until there is a new developer lined up.
This is a positive sign of some restraint on interstate spending by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. A department who appears to have no problem building a massive, remodeled interchange on the edge of downtown, planning to rebuild the Zoo Interchange in a few years, and then diverting traffic away from those new interchanges at the drop of a hat by building a new interchange on the edge of the Milwaukee-metro area.
Wisconsin continues to build out this massive network of highways by simply expanding the number of lanes and expanding the size of interchanges. The Pabst Farms interchange is yet another sign of a state that doesn’t have a strategy to deal with transit except for throwing more money into the wind, while state’s like Colorado build out efficient, modern mass transit networks and Illinois looks to continue to expand the Metra system and improve the L.
For now it looks like the battle will continue. Urban visionaries will continue to campaign for the destruction of urban freeways (see Norquist and the Park East Freeway), while suburbanites campaign for the development of new interchanges on the edge of the metro area. This back and forth is going to continue until the state of Wisconsin is able to come up with some kind of people-moving strategy that doesn’t involve continually building massive concrete structures that eventually fall under disuse.
People: John Norquist
Government: Wisconsin Department of Transportation