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OPINIONS AND COMMENTS ARCHIVE
Rep. Kramer and Sen. Zipperer say no to $50 million in savings. May 15, 2011
Representative Kramer and Senator Zipperer refused to support defunding the unneeded Waukesha West Bypass extension on Saturday May 14th at Representative Sensenbrenner's listening session in Waukesha. Cutting this road building project could save the State, County, and City 50 million dollars! When it comes to cost cutting, it seems like everything is on the table except road building! Here are my comments, made at the meeting.
Public comment made at Representative Sensenbrenner’s listening session at the Waukesha Public Library on May 14, 2011
My name is Allen Stasiewski. I live in the Town of Waukesha Wisconsin. I’m here today representing a growing coalition of individuals and groups opposed to the Waukesha West Bypass expansion. As residents learn more about the negative impact of this unneeded highway expansion project, opposition to it increases.
When proponents try to justify this project they often state that “it’s been on the map for 40 years”. Well, Waukesha has changed in 40 years. When this bypass was proposed it was a bypass, today it cuts right through neighborhoods and back yards, next to a school, through wetlands, and over streams. There’s a reason it’s been on the map for 40 years. It’s our version of the bypass to nowhere! It was bad idea 20 years when this bypass was defeated, and it’s a bad idea now. This road expansion project as proposed will damage our environment, cause increased noise and light pollution, put our children in danger, decrease property values and more.
We challenge all of the assumptions on which this expansion project is built.
We especially object to the wasteful spending 50 million dollars. We can’t take care of the roads we have, and now we’re going to expand another highway that we won’t be able to take care of? There isn’t a road in the Waukesha County that doesn’t need repairs right now!
This is an easy win. We’re asking you to stop the wasting of 50 million dollars to build a road that isn’t needed, that residents don’t want. We propose that existing roads be improved at a fraction of the cost.
In the upcoming weeks we will be requesting that the Town of Waukesha, City of Waukesha, Waukesha County, and the State withdraw support and funding of the Waukesha West Bypass expansion. With all the budget problems we have in this State, with growing deficits, with cuts in important services, we shouldn’t allow unneeded highway projects like this to be built, even with dedicated highway funds. This 50 million dollars should be re-diverted to improving safety, repairing potholes, fixing our deteriorating bridges and improve transit.
Will you support defunding the Waukesha Bypass to save 50 million dollars?
By Pass, By Pass, everywhere you look.... a By Pass During the Waukesha Common Council Meeting of October 2010, it seems that the Board of Public Works asked the City Common Council for approval to improve and resurface the section from E. St. Paul Ave./E. North St. from Madison St. to W. Moreland Blvd. Road. If this is actually happening, then the City is continuing its efforts to improve the another Waukesha “bypass”.... a I-94 to HWY 164 to HWY 59. This route is essentially a straight shot from I-94 to HWY 59, and it's already in place! Remember, the city has already widened St. Paul on the South end.
(to see the route) So why then, go through all the costs and trouble of building yet another bypass on HWY TT to Sunset to HWY 59 if an existing and more efficient route is already in place and being improved? (Don’t forget the massive HWY 83 improvements happening right now) Allen Stasiewski VP WEAL 04/18/2011
We hear that the State of Wisconsin is broke. The city of Waukesha and county are struggling. People are losing their homes, gas is near $4 a gallon, everyone is cutting back! Except for the DOT! Have we ever seen so many road construction projects in SE Wisconsin and Waukesha County? And we're not talking about road maintenance, we're talking about new road construction. All of which will require more funding in the future to maintain. The more roads, the more plowing, the more potholes, the more repairs, etc, etc. Its time for the people of Wisconsin to put the DOT on a diet! Allen Stasiewski VP WEAL 03/29/2011
When is Enough, Enough? This is a question that is rarely discussed at hearings when a new road project is being discussed. When the question is brought up the answer is usually, "the traffic count warrants it". It's as if when some magic number of cars per day is reached an alarm goes off in some secret room at the DOT. And so the planning begins...add more lanes, wider lanes, maybe a brand new road through a wetland (path of least resistance, those wetlands), cut down the hills, fill the valleys, remove the trees, and straighten the curves. It's always the same, but why? It seems that "roads" have now become the "be all, do all". They are not just a means to an end anymore. They're not just a way to get somewhere they are the somewhere. Ask yourself, when does it end, two lane highways are turned into four lane highways that are turned into six lane highways. When does it all stop? Where in Waukesha County can you go where you don't see a road or a highway or even worse hear one!.According to on-line resources Waukesha County has a population of 381,629, and 2917* miles of state, county, city, and town roads. Let's do the math. Waukesha County has 7.6 miles of roads per 1000 residents. That doesn't sound like a lot, but thats a lot! When is enough enough?And by the way, those traffic counts I referred to earlier? They don't tell the whole story. Think of it this way. Let's say that 10,000 cars a day drive past a specific point. Does this mean that there are 416 cars per hour (10,000/24 hrs) driving past a certain point? No, it doesn't. That's not the way it works. What it will look like is more like this. Most cars travel will travel the route during just 2 or 3 hours a day (rush hour). So the question is? Is it worth spending $10 million for those two or three hours, what about $30 million or how about $40 million? Let me ask my original question again. When is enough, enough? Allen Stasiewski VP WEAL 03/23/2011 www.tn.waukesha.wi.gov/docview.asp?docid=5767&locid=176
If Governor Walker was really looking for a quick win on behalf of the state budget shortfall he'd cancel the state's contribution to the Waukesha Bypass. With one phone call the Governor could save the State $38 million! With safety improvements on current roads there would be no need to build this mega-highway. The fact that this hasn't yet been done brings the Governors true motives into question! In addition, lets be honest, this "bypass" isn't really a bypass, its an expensive road expansion project. It might have been a bypass 25 years ago, but today its just a line on an city map! Allen Stasiewski, VP WEAL 2010
The City of Waukesha would be wise to abandon its Lathers well field, if it is at all serious about acquiring Lake Michigan Water. The DNR sent the city's 1st application back for more information this summer. A big problem with the application is that it didn't adequately address that there no other options available for the city. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to get an application approved by any serious approving body if the city is drilling shallow water aquifer wells while at the same time it is claiming that the city has no viable water options available.
So many Waukesha residents lack any real connection to the natural world...the real world. To many its all about making more money than the next person...collecting more things. And then, before you know it its over. Its about getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible. So many Waukesha residents have forgotten the joy of the journey. At the Waukesha Bypass Open House last week some residents were willing to sacrifice the Retzer Nature Center so that they can drive straighter, smoother, faster from one side of town to the other. What a shame. So shortsighted. So out of touch with what's important...for what? A legacy of blacktop.
Its a shame that politics and short sightedness has prevented Wisconsin from moving into the 21st century. On election night, Governor Elect Walker claimed "Wisconsin is open for business!". Governor Walker, building high speed rail would have been an actual signal that Wisconsin is "open for business", and not just a cliché! Before he even takes office Walker has stuck a blow against Wisconsin's environment, its people, and businesses. By becoming part of a regional high speed rail network, cars would have been taken off the highways, we could have provided an efficient and speedy transportation alternative that would move people across the state, our air would be cleaner, and we would have created jobs...right out of the station! I'm afraid this might just be one of many decisions the new Governor will make that people will look back at and say "How could he have done that!" VP weal, 2/15/11
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