27th Street Study Seeks Public Input
Regional planning commission expands public comment period to April 18th.
Milwaukee County and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) are studying a new mass transit project for the 27th street corridor, and they want more public input.
The project, called the “North-South Transit Enhancement Study” is looking at ways to enhance transit along one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the county. Currently the strip is served by the Milwaukee County Transit System’s (MCTS) Purple Line bus route.
For this reason, SEWRPC recently extended the public comment period for the first round of public meetings to April 18. The first of three rounds of public meetings were held virtually in February.
Plans and presentations can be viewed and public comments submitted on this website.
As Urban Milwaukee reported, the two preliminary route options include developing a new transit option along 27th Street from W. Hampton Avenue to W. Drexel Avenue. The other route option would see the main drag run along the 30th Street Rail Corridor from W. Hampton Avenue to W. Lisbon Avenue.
In both options, the transit service would ultimately run the entire length of the county north to south.
There is a mix of transit options on the table including commuter rail, light rail, bus, streetcar and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
BRT is a high-frequency service that uses a number of technologies, like off-bus ticketing, and infrastructure upgrades, such as dedicated lanes, to improve the frequency and speed of service along the route.
In County Executive David Crowley’s 2021 budget, he noted that the county was studying transit enhancements in the corridor and said “Racial equity will be given deliberate consideration in the study, as this corridor is accessible to environmental justice populations and a high density of jobs.”
Within a half mile of the 27th Street corridor 63% of residents live in poverty, one in five families are without a car and 76% of residents are people of color, according to a report by MCTS.
Along the corridor, MCTS stated, there are 49,223 jobs, four major medical facilities (including Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center), 63 K-12 schools, 31 grocery stores, five big box stores and 12 community resource centers (which include job centers).