Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Who hates WisDOT's 27th Street plan? Just about everybody

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is taking special aim at Milwaukee's S. 27th St. business corridor. First, WisDOT recommend that an interchange be built at Drexel Ave. in Oak Creek. Building that interchange will hurt efforts to redevelop 27th Street in Milwaukee. WisDOT acknowledges this little inconvenience in its I-94 North-South draft Environmental Impact Statement -- and just about nowhere else. WisDOT doesn't like to talk about it, and mostly isn't.

And then there is the little matter of taking away the 27th Street ramp for people driving northbound through the Mitchell Interchange. WisDOT says that keeping the ramp open would mean the destruction of several houses. 27th Street business owners, fearful that closing the ramp will hurt them even more, are telling WisDOT to work harder to find a better plan.

Tom Graebner, ower of the Hospitality Inn at 4400 S. 27th St., says that "the closure of the westbound 27th Street exit will directly impact my business and its value to the community."

"I'm told an alternative would be to use the Layton Ave. exit," Graebner wrote in a letter. "In my opinion people will not choose to exit two miles from their destination, in the midst of a city they may not be familiar with, and navigate westbound through three stop-and-go lights before reaching 27th Street. I don't choose to do it, and I live here. Whatever problems are caused by congestion are limited to a small portion of the day, and are certainly no worse than on many other areas of the freeway. In addition, valuable taxpayer money has already been spent on improving and tweaking the area in the past. Why the sudden desire to rob 27th Street of a great asset?"

Letter after letter from business owner, telling Frank Busalacchi and the rest of the paveheads at WisDOT what a terrible idea they've come up with.

Stay tuned for more.

No comments: