Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In which WisDOT shows its demographic ignorance

This shocker just in from the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Zoo Interchange reconstruction:

"Wauwatosa West and Whitman Elementary Schools have a lower minority percentage than the neighborhoods surrounding the schools."

Minority enrollment at each of those schools is about 30%. Anyone who knows the least bit about western Wauwatosa, where those schools are located, knows that the minority populations in those immediate neighborhoods are nowhere near 30%. (The city as a whole is about 94% white, according to the 2000 census.)

There are not many ways to look at this gross misstatement of fact: either WisDOT knew that its assertion was false, but made it anyway, which is fairly hard to believe; the folks at Madison-based WisDOT are truly that ignorant about Milwaukee demographics; or WisDOT is careless in preparing project documents and readers should be wondering what else it got exactly wrong in this one, the agency's justification for launching a $2 billion plus construction project.

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