State, Local Governments Clash over Highway Planning

A clash between transportation planning mentalities is playing out in Milwaukee over a proposed highway expansion—on one side the car-centric concerns of the state; on the other, the placemaking concerns of the city.

"In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker and Mayor Tom Barrett are brawling in the press over a proposed highway project — a fight that exemplifies the enormous rift in America about what transportation policy should accomplish," reports Angie Schmitt.

"Walker insists on plowing a $1.2 billion expansion of Interstate 94 through Milwaukee. Among the options on the table is a proposal to double-deck a portion of the highway through a densely populated neighborhood."

"[Milwaukee Mayor Tom] Barrett told the Journal Sentinel that he’s “mystified” by Walker’s refusal to pull the double-decker option off the table. He said he would do everything in his power to stop the additional highway deck, which would have a “negative impact on property values and disrupt the lives” of residents of the Story Hill neighborhood."

Schmitt also examines a case study of a similar political situation in Cleveland, where local leaders tried to convert the West Shoreway friom highway to Boulevard, only to have the state dissent.

Full Story: Moving Cars vs. Investing in Places — The Struggle for American Cities

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