Statewide Coalition Applauds Joint Finance Committee’s Decision Not to Expand I-94
A statewide coalition of 25 groups is applauding the Budget Proposal passed by the Joint Finance Committee earlier today.
MILWAUKEE– A statewide coalition of 25 groups is applauding the Budget Proposal passed by the Joint Finance Committee earlier today. As part of the budget, the Committee did not approve the proposal to enumerate or give the green light to the I-94 East-West Corridor expansion between 16th and 70th Streets in Milwaukee.
On Behalf of the Coalition for More Responsible Transportation, Juan Carlos Ruiz Stated:
“We’re very excited to see that the Joint Finance Committee acted responsibly and heard the community outcry opposing the expansion of I-94 East-West Corridor (between 16th and 70th Streets) in Milwaukee. This will free up almost $1 billion in the next budget that we encourage the Joint Finance Committee to invest in much-needed local infrastructure improvements.
From the beginning, this proposal has been based on questionable traffic data and has led to cries from the community to fund local transportation needs like fixing local roads and investing in transit systems, rather than funding unnecessary highway expansions. We looking forward to working with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to come up with a plan to repair the highway without expansion and instead adopt a much cheaper transit alternative that will connect people to jobs and other goods and services.”
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is proposing to unnecessarily add lanes to a 3.5-mile stretch of I-94, at an expected cost of $850 million. WisDOT has projected strong increases in traffic along I-94 to justify this highway expansion, but recent traffic trends make these projections unlikely to materialize.
The Coalition for More Responsible Transportation (CMRT) is composed of faith-based, public interest, social justice, public health, environmental and transportation advocacy groups, as well as of hundreds of concerned citizens from Milwaukee and beyond. With spending on big-ticket highway expansions skyrocketing statewide at the expense of local infrastructure investments — and increasingly financed by heavy borrowing — CMRT is calling for more responsible, cost-effective transportation spending that better meets local needs.
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