WEAL

Representing the Waukesha County community for the protection of Waukesha County's natural resources through dedicated grass-roots participation and action.

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Comments and opinions by WEAL members

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Important Next Action in Bypass Fight. Forward Your Comments to FHWA

Posted by webmaster on October 27, 2014 at 10:50 PM

 

Bypass Opponent,

Great job! Excellent response! Wonderful! What else can we say! Thank you for all your letters to the County and the Waukesha Freeman on the Final EIS on behalf of the Bypass fight! I think we were heard! (that's an understatement)

We can only speculate what will happen next, but we believe the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is in the drivers seat right now (pun intended).

So, we'd like to keep the pressure on.

We can't be sure if FHWA staffers and leaders in Washington DC will even read the comments we sent. We need to make sure that they know there is opposition to this terrible Bypass! So, here's our next recommended action! We want to make sure that they see our comments and know that there is controversy surrounding the building of the bypass!!!

Starting tomorrow, we're asking everyone who submitted comments toforward your comments and letters to the FHWA at the e-mail below. However, instead of sending them all at once we'd like to trickle them in over a period of about 3 weeks.

Here's the schedule on when to send your message:

October 28th thru November 3rd: Last Name starting in A thru G

November 4th thru November 10th: Last Name starting with H thru P

November 11th thru November 17th: Last Name starting with Q thru X

Forward your previously written comments and/or your letters to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) at the e-mail below. Say in your e-mail that you wanted to be sure that your comments are taken seriously! Tell the FHWA that you want to make sure that all decision makers know that this project is controversial and that there is no regional consensus to build the West Waukesha Bypass!

And if you didn't get your letter into the County on time? Write and send one now! We won't get many more chances!

Here's the e-mail address (copy and paste into your browser):

execsecretariat.fhwa@fhwa.dot.gov

Thank you!

Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass Steering Team

Fall Highway Cleanup

Posted by webmaster on October 27, 2014 at 8:45 AM

WEAL's Fall Highway Cleanup

Saturday November 1st at 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Rain or Shine or Cold

Hwy N, between Hwy 59 and Hwy ZZ

 

Wear old clothes, warm layered clothing, work gloves, and comfortable shoes

 

Directions: Take Hwy 59 SW from Waukesha through Eagle to Hwy N, then turn right.

Meet at the parking area in the middle of our segment, across from the "Scuppernong Prairie State Natural Area" sign.


Waukesha Freeman Wednesday October 22nd 2014

Posted by webmaster on October 22, 2014 at 10:10 PM

A Huge Thank You!

 

 

Thank you to all who submitted comments opposing the West Waukesha Bypass these past few weeks. We can't overestimate how important these letters are. Each and every letter will now be added to the record. And. all the arguments made in our letters are now permanently recorded. This will be especially important should we decide to continue this battle in court later on. So we can't thank you enough!

 

 

We won't let up on the pressure.

 

 

Watch your e-mail for next steps in our fight against this terrible highway expansion!

 

 

And, thank you for your great letter below, Karen and Bob!

 

 

 

Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass

 

--------------------------

 

Waukesha has grown successfully without bypass

 

 

To the editor: We are writing with our concerns about the West Bypass. We are residents of Kame Terrace, a subdivision that will be enormously affected by this major undertaking. We built our home here because of the beautiful, quiet countryside surrounding us. Our home sits on the edge of the Retzer Nature Center, another natural area that will be greatly affected by this bypass.

 

 

We know that the plan for this has been on the books for 50 years, but feel strongly that Waukesha has successfully grown and thrived without this impact on homes and the environment. How is this going to affect the many children who attend Meadowbrook school and Waukesha Christian Academy? How will this impact the use of the Glacial Drumlin bike trail that intersects this road?

 

 

Merrill Hills Road is in need of improvement, but improvement that will not affect the peaceful rural setting of this beautiful landscape. The road does need wider shoulders, a bike and walking path that coincides with the wonderful Glacial Drumlin state bike path. It needs improvement for safety, not for increased traffic of commercial vehicles. Highway 83 is already being converted into a four-lane road and certainly will serve as a bypass.

 

 

Some of our major objections are: The cost of another road when repairs are needed in so many other areas Schoolchildren of Meadowbrook school facing a dangerous street crossing and children of Waukesha Christian Academy whose playground butts up to the road Impact on the wildlife of Retzer Nature Center and Pebble Creek Wetlands Noise and air pollution Increased speed limits Impact on the Glacial Drumlin bike trail.

 

 

Land and property values Water pollution to surrounding creeks and rivers.

 

 

The impact this will have on so many people, wildlife, and environment is enormous. Such a beautiful rural setting will be gone forever. We have thrived for 50 years without this bypass ... surely we can thrive another 50 with road improvements rather than a four-lane highway.

 

 

Karen and Bob Poser

 

 

Town of Waukesha

Waukesha Freeman Saturday October 18th 2014

Posted by webmaster on October 18, 2014 at 7:30 PM

West Waukesha Bypass unnecessary, wasteful

To the editor: The proposed West Waukesha Bypass to be built is:

 

Unnecessary: In all the times I’ve driven the proposed route, the traffic is not heavy enough to justify a fourlane road. Furthermore, Highway 83 is just a few miles west and is being expanded to four lanes.

 

Wasteful: Why spend money building yet another road when our existing roads are in poor shape? If the proposed route is improved, it would more than satisfy the requirements.

 

Damaging: The proposed bypass would damage the neighborhoods it passes through with pollution, noise and high-speed traffic. Furthermore, it is routed through the Pebble Creek Environmental Corridor where it will do untold damage with polluted runoff and noise.

 

Fiscally irresponsible: At a time when highway funds in inadequate to maintain existing roads, there is no point in spending $65 million-plus to build another road when we don’t have the money to maintain what we have already built.

 

Caryl McAllister

 

Delafield

 

Can You Take Bus to Madison Press Conference...

Posted by webmaster on October 18, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Can You Take Bus to Madison Press Conference on Unnecessary Highway Building? Are you Available?

 

One of our partners, WISPRG, is holding a press conference in Madison on Tuesday October 21st. A bus has been arranged to take us, if we can attend. We would like to have representatives of our Waukesha Bypass fight there. Can you attend?

 

If you can attend please contact Shannon ASAP by e-mail at smajewski@wi.rr.com.

Here are some details

 

They can take 3-5 people from our coalition

We have to know who will attend by end of TODAY (Saturday) to get back to him. I’d say 3:30/4:00 to be safe.

There will be no cost for transportation (sounds like it is being funded)

Bus will arrive at pick up location at 8:30am, and depart at 9am (they are inviting media to the departure). Departing from 1862 W. Fond du Lac Road in Milwaukee

The bus should arrive back 1pm or shortly thereafter (11am press conference that lasts 30 minutes, and a 1 hour, 15 minute ride back to Milwaukee)

 

· The Platform/Agenda: The message is groups all over the state are fighting wasteful and unnecessary highway expansions while other needs are neglected. Basically, “no new highway expansions, no new taxes” The goal is to call on Walker to tell us what he is going to do. But, we want to keep the message on waste and unneeded highways and the fiscal arguments. The environmental arguments won’t help us convince Walker who is our target, so it is broader in scope but we’ll be rigid about having a message that helps us move the campaign forward.

 

Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass

 

 

Waukesha Freeman Thursday October 15, 2014

Posted by webmaster on October 15, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Waukesha Freeman 10/15/2014, Page A06

 

 

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

 

Bypass plans too expansive

 

To the editor: The proposed West Waukesha Bypass is overdesigned, more extensive than is necessary and will be an unjustified tax burden. What is missing from the project Environmental Impact Statement is a staged approach mixed with spot improvements, a recognition of the lack of certainty about future traffic projections and the perhaps unseen capacity of the public to live with a less than perfect roadway. The project Environmental Impact Statement is out for our comment until Oct. 20.

 

This design may represent the conventional approach taken by the engineering profession. Their design results in the best design they can present. But, it may be more than we want to pay for.

 

I have lived just west of Highway TT for 40 years. When I moved here, I knew that Meadowbrook Road (Highway TT) was the longrange corridor for the west bypass. In the last few years I supported the bypass initiative, seeing it as the logical projection of the past. I travel Meadowbrook Road every day. The traffic is a nuisance, but I now realize I don’t need to have the easiest traffic flow for me.

 

Traffic on TT thins the further south you go. It isn’t any different than what I experience in other areas of the region. I don’t buy the allegation that it is cheaper to do the whole job at one time, rather than piecemeal. By reducing the scale of the project, it provides for updated experience in having better design parameters for later stages. And, saving money now by not building roads we don’t need now is common sense. The public knows that.

 

I’ve now changed my mind as I think more of my neighbors will also.

 

Dennis Briley

 

City of Pewaukee

 

Waukesha Freeman Monday October 13th 2014

Posted by webmaster on October 13, 2014 at 9:15 PM

 

Waukesha Freeman 10/13/2014, Page A01

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Waukesha County Business Alliance supports bypass

 

To the editor: The Waukesha County Business Alliance, a countywide chamber of commerce with more than 950 members, supports the West Waukesha Bypass via the Pebble Creek West Alternative, based on the final Environmental Impact Statement, which was approved on Sept. 11, 2014.

 

Completion of the West Waukesha Bypass presents a great opportunity to increase the efficiency, capacity and safety of traffic flow for businesses, property owners and tenants on the south and west end of Waukesha. Travelers currently face extended delays when trying to navigate north and south throughout the city and Town of Waukesha, and beyond. In addition, there are numerous safety concerns due to capacity issues and current roadway design.

 

The current two-lane structure on this stretch has reached its capacity, as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation generally considers improving to a four-lane system when traffic counts exceed 13,000 vehicles per day. By 2035, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission estimates that traffic counts on this stretch will range from 20,000 VPD closer to Interstate 94 and 13,000 VPD by Sunset Drive.

 

Waukesha County has worked very closely with numerous state and federal agencies, including WisDOT, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Highway Administration to ensure that the Pebble Creek West Alternative will be completed in a safe and environmentally friendly fashion.

 

Completion of the West Waukesha Bypass is long overdue and the Alliance supports the construction of the Pebble Creek West Alternative.

 

Suzanne Kelley

 

President Waukesha County Business Alliance

Only 7 Days Left

Posted by webmaster on October 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 There are only 7 days left to the West Waukesha Bypass Final Environmental Impact Statement Comment Period. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was released in October of 2012. The Final EIS was released in September 2014. It took the Bypass Planners 2 years to update the draft EIS and they give the public 1 month to submit comments on the 1000 page document. And the Bypass Planners wonder why we are a little grouchy??? It sure seems like the process is setup to benefit the Bypass Planners doesn't it? So we have to hurry.

 We can't let them win. Please submit your comments and tell the Bypass Planners that you don't agree with the assumptions they make in the Final EIS that the West Waukesha Bypass will be good for all of us!

 We know you are busy and will probably not be able to read the 1000 page EIS. So to help you with your comments we have developed a list of talking points. Please feel free to use any of the talking points below. Just put them into your own words and add your own personal thoughts. We apologize that there are so many points listed, ans that some are rather technical. This just represents how bad this project and its EIS is.

 Crash statistics in the Draft EIS are inflated. The Final EIS does little to clear up the confusion. It appears that East Bypass crashes and cross street crashes were included as occurring on Merrill Hills/Hwy TT. An independent 3rd party should verify these very important statistics After all, they are being used to justify the project.

The Purpose and Need is written to support building of a 4-lane Bypass, so in fact all the 2-lane alternatives were eliminated from the very beginning.

There was no 3-Lane alternative discusses even though there are some studies that show the 3-lane alternative to be safer than 4-lanes.

Traffic counts are based on old date and actual measurements were conducted during a very short time frame of a year or two. Recent studies show that people are driving less. The BYpass is being proposed based on old information

The Bypass is being proposed even as Hwy 83 just 5 miles west is being expanded to a 4-lane highway (similar to the proposed Bypass). Saylesville Rd and St. Paul have also been improved. Does a single community need 3 Bypasses?

There is no strong community support for building the West Waukesha Bypass. There never has!

The cost of this project is near 55 million. Where will this money come from. We can't afford to maintain what we have.

The EIS says that the Glacial Drumlin Trail will go under the Bypass. The Bypass looks to be 125 ft wide at least. How will this long tunnel be lit, maintained, drained of water, etc? There are no details in the EIS that we can find.

How can the County justify building a huge highway through the Pebble Creek Prime Environmental Corridor when just a few years ago the County was advocating for its protection.

How will the County prevent run-off pollution from cars (gas, oil, particulate matter) from being washed into Pebble Creek.

Recent studies are now showing negative health impacts from living near busy highways. How can the Count justify building this huge highway through residential neighborhoods and past Meadowbrook School. Our health and the health of our children is more important than saving a minute off of someones commute.

The EIS does not say definitively whether Sound Barriers (walls) will be installed. These are important and if not done well could cause property values to drop. Is the cost of these barriers included in the projected cost of the Bypass? If not it should.

Sunset Rd needs to be repaired. If the Bypass was built on the current footprint of Hwy X/Sunset the County would save millions. It should be left as 2-laines. Otherwise Sunset Rd will need to be repaired at another time costing taxpayers more millions of dollars. This is a waste of taxpayers money!

There are errors in sections of the EIS. In the final EIS, Section 2.4.2.1 Two lane On-Alignment Alternative With Limited Intersection Improvements option has the same exact cost estimates as the 2.4.2.2 Two lane On-Alignment Alternative With Full Intersection Improvements. The costs can not be the same when option 2.4.2.2 contains many additional improvements. This discrepancy raises the possibility if other costs are not inaccurate for the 2015/2016 cost projections in the final EIS

The West Waukesha Bypass is not needed. Don't waste tens of millions of dollars on a 4 lane road. Don't increase the gasoline tax and vehicle registration fees for unneeded roads. Be responsible with our tax dollars and be prudent by saving money on road expansion by:

  • 1) Improving the current 2 lane route (county TT and Sunset drive) with turning lanes and stoplights at major intersections.
  • 2) Better maintain our current roads which many are still in disrepair from last winter.
  • Roads don't cause accidents, people cause accidents. Apply practical and logical solutions now by:
  • 1) Lowering the speed limit from 45 to 35. It is a very common practice to drive 5+ mph over the posted speed limit. At 45 mph almost everyone drives 50 mph. So at 35 mph everyone will still be driving 40 mph. It is a proven fact that lower speed limits reduce accidents.
  • 2) It is also a proven fact that inattentive driving is a major cause of accidents. All drivers should be responsible by not texting or talking on their cell phones while driving.
  • The EIS addresses damage that can occur to existing agricultural enterprises and even admits to permanent damage. It also states that some of the best soils for absorption of runoff/storm water are being messed with, so why is the County forging ahead with a project that admittedly will destroy successful farm operations, cause erosion, and affect groundwater And the project goes against the county’s farmland preservation documents/beliefs/ordinances.
  • The following is what the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) states about important environmental corridors like the Pebble Creek Corridor. The BYpass should stay out of important environmental areas
  • “Environmental corridors are in effect a composite of the best remaining elements of the natural resource base. Protection and proper management of the resources found within them helps prevent serious environmental problems. For example, maintenance of corridor wetlands as open space will allow them to function to their full natural capacity. The benefits may be protected wildlife habitat and fish spawning beds, filtration of stormwater runoff, storage of floodwater, and the preservation of diverse, rare, or endangered plant communities. Saving high quality woodlands provides many complementary benefits. These include scenic beauty, upland plant and animal habitat, and protection against soil erosion that occurs with their loss. Unseen, but vitally effective, is the forest’s infiltration of precipitation for groundwater recharge. This provides clean, cool groundwater inflow to lakes, streams, and wetlands, and replenishes well water supplies.”
  • Since the State of Wisconsin has already shown a budget deficit, the clearly stated economic benefit (in the EIS) of a No Build/Improve would be enormous. The No Build/Improve option is without a doubt the more cost effective, conservative and safe way to go forward. Improvements need to be made, but in comparison to the huge costs of building the proposed highway ( including the loss of tax income from the proposed buildings to be removed) the No Build/Improve alternative is the most responsible, rational alternative.

 

Here's where to submit your comments!

 The Final Environmental Impact Statement was approved on September 11, 2014. The document is available on the Environmental and Technical Reports page as well as at the Waukesha Public Library, Pewaukee Public Library, City of Waukesha DPW office, WisDOT SE Region office in Waukesha, and Waukesha County DPW office. A review period began September 19 and will end October 20, 2014. Comments on the Final EIS are due by October 20, 2014 and should be e-mailed to westbypass@waukeshacounty.gov or mailed to:

Gary Evans, PE

Waukesha County Department of Public Works

515 Moreland Boulevard

Waukesha, WI 53188

 

Waukesha Freeman Saturday October 11th 2014

Posted by webmaster on October 13, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Here are two more Anti-Bypass Letters published in the Waukesha Freeman on Saturday (scroll down)! We can defeat the Bypass if you help!!! Please pass on this e-mail to anyone who can help.

 

 

Write your comments soon. The deadline is October 20th. Please also submit your comments to the Freeman as a Letter to the Editor. See how at the bottom of the Letters.

 

 

Join us and protect our neighborhoods, our environment, our health, and our hard earned tax money!

 

 

Thank you Mary Jo and Cathy for making a difference!

 

 

Visit our facebook page at stopwaukeshabypass

 

 

Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass

 

 

Here's where to submit your comments!

 

 

The Final Environmental Impact Statement was approved on September 11, 2014. The document is available on the Environmental and Technical Reports page as well as at the Waukesha Public Library, Pewaukee Public Library, City of Waukesha DPW office, WisDOT SE Region office in Waukesha, and Waukesha County DPW office. A review period began September 19 and will end October 20, 2014. Comments on the Final EIS are due by October 20, 2014 and should be e-mailed to westbypass@waukeshacounty.gov or mailed to:

 

Gary Evans, PE

 

Waukesha County Department of Public Works

 

515 Moreland Boulevard

 

Waukesha, WI 53188

 

 

 

 

Waukesha Freeman

 

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

10/11/2014, Page A09

An alternative suggestion for bypass

 

 

To the editor: As a person who has watched the bypass development all my life, I must say: Don’t do it.

 

 

Meadowbrook Road is fine from Interstate 94 to Summit Avenue with a walking path, good vistas, and ample room. South of Summit Avenue it all breaks down. Make the stretch from there to Sunset Drive wider, flatter, and with a trail beside it. It will be wonderful! Problem solved.

 

 

Mary Jo Hultman

 

 

Wales

 

 

Practical solutions eliminate need for bypass

 

 

To the editor, the state Department of Transportation and elected officials of the county, city and Town of Waukesha: The West Waukesha Bypass is not needed. Don’t waste tens of millions of dollars on a four-lane road. Don’t increase the gasoline tax and vehicle registration fees for unneeded roads. Be responsible with our tax dollars and be prudent by saving money on road expansion by: 1.) Improving the current two-lane route (Highway TT and Sunset Drive) with turning lanes and stoplights at major intersections.

 

 

2.) Better maintain our current roads, many of which are still in disrepair from last winter. Roads don’t cause accidents, people cause accidents. Apply practical and logical solutions now by: 1.) Lowering the speed limit from 45 mph to 35 mph. It is a very common practice to drive 5 mph or more over the posted speed limit. At 45 mph, almost everyone drives 50 mph. So at 35 mph everyone will still be driving 40 mph. It is a proven fact that lower speed limits reduce accidents.

 

 

2.) It is also a proven fact that inattentive driving is a major cause of accidents. All drivers should be responsible by not texting or talking on their cellphones while driving.

 

 

It is the duty of the state DOT and our elected officials to spend our tax dollars wisely and it’s up to everyone to drive more responsibly.

 

 

Cathy Ganiere

 

 

Town of Waukesha

 


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