Thursday, June 12, 2008

Frank Busalacchi's response misses the truth

Does WisDOT Secretary Frank Busalacchi truly not understand his own department and its workings or is he a flat-out liar? Top city officials wrote to Busalacchi to advocate the $200 million budgeted for expanding North-South I-94 be used for transit instead.

Frank responded with a letter that contained a couple of whoppers. One response Busalacchi makes contradicts itself entirely within two short sentences. Busalacchi first summarized a point in the city's letter, then stepped immediately in to Delusion Land:

The FEIS acknowledges that freeway expansion in most sections of the I-94 North-South corridor would result in little or no changes in drive times

This is correct. The expansion is absolutely necessary to maintain little or no change in drive times; without expansion, driving conditions will be much worse.

Yup. Frank believes both that freeway expansion won't help drive times and that it is absolutely necessary or conditions will get much worse. He really should give up smokin' those exhaust pipes.

Here is what WisDOT's own Environmental Impact Statement says about what the expansion would accomplish.

The Safety and Design Improvements with Added Capacity Alternative would decrease travel times on SB I-94 during the evening rush hour by over 10 minutes between Howard Avenue and College Avenue in 2035, compared to the Safety and Design Improvements Alternative. Travel times would not vary by as much south of College Avenue. In Racine and Kenosha Counties, there would be little difference in travel times between the two alternatives.

The EIS also said that in Racine and Kenosha counties, "existing travel times within the corridor are not currently encumbered by congestion -- reductions in travel time will be minimal."

Maybe Frank should actually read the report before he embarrasses himself, his agency and Gov. Doyle again.


Dad29 said...

No embarassment at all, Gretchen.

Frankie is Doyle's stooge. The unions wanted this road-project and union members vote.

So Frankie did what he was told: piss away a couple hundred million.

Anonymous said...

Was the EIS written in the era of $2 per gallon gasoline, $3 per gallon gas or $4 per gallon gas?

A major argument for the freeway expansion was it was necessary to move commerce.

With the cost of diesel fuel soaring beyond gasoline, it's not feasible to move commerce by truck any more.

Does the EIS provide any alternatives?

Anonymous said...

The EIS relies on traffic projections based on gasoline costing $2.30 per gallon, based on 2005 dollars, with 3% annual inflation predicted. That would put the projected price of gasoline at $2.51 per gallon today.
The local average is $4.09, which is one reason that driving nationally has dropped 4.3%.

The assumptions used to justify the expenditure have been decimated by reality, but this will not stop DOT, unless they are stopped by taxpayer litigation.

enoughalready said...

There has to be a not-so-apparent reason -- other than jobs -- for this very questionable proposed freeway expansion (which, as noted, even the Journal Sentinel supports), doesn't there? And Doyle is on board, too, isn't he? How strange. What are we missing?

I have an idea, but it would just be a guess and I am not sure I should mention it in public yet. But just ask yourself who might benefit from a plan that widens highways -- and excludes rail? And along a route that is not currently congested. (I wonder if following the money would lead to what my guess is?)