Milwaukee’s Freeway Enlargement Will Make a Meals Desert Even Worse

Temporary highway directional signs in Milwaukee

Simply construct another lane. It’ll repair visitors!
Picture: Raymond Boyd (Getty Pictures)

The Wisconsin Division of Transportation (WisDOT) plans to expand a 3.5-mile stretch of Interstate-94 in Milwaukee. The $1.2 billion growth would see the freeway widened from six to eight lanes between seventieth and sixteenth Streets within the metropolis. WisDOT claims the modernization venture would scale back congestion and chase on this part of I-94 which passes American Household Subject, the house of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball crew.

Together with completely ignoring the idea of induced demand, the I-94 growth venture has confronted important backlash from the communities adjoining to I-94. Many of those marginalized neighborhoods could be getting double-tapped after the freeway’s preliminary building within the Nineteen Sixties.

A type of impacted neighborhoods is Piggsville. Piggsville sits on an city peninsula with I-94 to the south, the Menomonee River to the west, and Wisconsin Avenue and the Molson Coors brewery to the north. There are not any supermarkets, grocery shops or fast-food eating places in Piggsville. It’s a meals desert the place the one native place to purchase meals is a fuel station. Any journey to purchase meals on this part of the town and not using a automotive requires a mile-long stroll to and again.

Urban Milwaukee reported that the growth of I-94 would end result within the demolition of the neighborhood’s fuel station. An pressing care heart and a Black-owned bar would even be torn all the way down to accommodate the venture.

There’s a coalition of group organizations advocating for an alternate modernization venture known as Fix at Six. The plan would name for the freeway to be repaired however stay at six lanes. The funds for freeway growth could be diverted to increasing Milwaukee’s public transportation system on this space of the town, together with a brand new bus fast transit line. Ideally, this plan would scale back demand on I-94 and make adjoining communities safer for pedestrians and bicycle riders. Repair at Six would even be $40 million cheaper than the eight-lane growth.

Nonetheless, the Milwaukee County Board voted against a non-binding Fix at Six resolution yesterday. The decision did not move by a single vote. Seemingly, federal intervention could be the one methodology to avert the eight-lane growth. Contemplating the federally-funded project to take away I-375 in downtown Detroit, a change of course wouldn’t be out of the query.