Report: 21st Century Transportation

Fix at Six

A sustainable alternative to expanding I-94 in Milwaukee
Released by: WISPIRG Foundation, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Environment, Sierra Club - Wisconsin Chapter, ACLU of Wisconsin, and Midwest Environmental Advocates

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The segment of Milwaukee’s I-94 East-West highway between the Marquette and Zoo interchanges is a deteriorated, 3.5-mile long, 60-year old stretch of legacy highway. The road should be repurposed, redesigned, and rebuilt to perform a new role in advancing the transportation, economic, environmental, and social goals of the 21st century. 

The case against expansion is stronger than ever. The expansion of I-94 and the construction of enormous interchanges will increase vehicle miles traveled, increase greenhouse gas emissions, promote sprawl development, and damage the social and economic fabric of the neighborhoods it traverses. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) traffic projections don’t make sense in the context of today’s changing commuting patterns. Nationwide, the evidence shows that highway expansion only makes congestion worse. In fact, many cities are rethinking their existing highways. An alternative approach can make things better for all greater Milwaukee area residents.

WHAT SHOULD THE I-94 PROJECT LOOK LIKE?

A sustainable, equitable alternative to the expansion proposal should meet three tests: it should promote racial equity, it should confront climate change, and it should be demonstrably feasible. The Transit/Rehab Alternative, also referred to as Fix at Six, proposed here meets these criteria.

This alternative will:

• Repurpose, redesign, and rebuild I-94’s roadway to meet 21st century needs.

• Build a modern rapid transit system to improve mobility in the East-West Corridor.

• Promote thriving, walkable/bikeable neighborhoods in the East-West Corridor

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