Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bluemound Blues

The 800-pound canary (DOT) is squawking and moving; but will it simply be another Adventure in Spending??

Bluemound Road has become a bonanza for auto body shops, with 1.5 accidents/day between Moorland Road and Barker Road (156 to 212 west.) As a result, DOT studied the situation and has a plan consisting of two major parts:

1) Close a number of crossovers; and
2) Require "right-turn-only" from drivers entering Bluemound Road from businesses.

The road will look more like a limited-access highway if DOT has its way. Of course, that has the consequence of making it more difficult for drivers to get to their destination, if that happens to be one of the hundreds of shops, stores, or offices along Bluemound.

This is not why those businesses put their facilities on Bluemound Road. So they are a bit restive about the plans.

One thing DOT has not considered is allowing traffic to use the "bus-lane-only" lanes, which means that 25% of the roadway is underused. And DOT has not granted permission for vehicles to execute U-turns at controlled intersections, which would also be helpful.

Very little of the western portion (from Brookfield Road to Barker) has service-road access compared to the eastern portion, and that which exists in the eastern portion is largely on the north side of the road. Kudos to the City of Brookfield, which extracted a service road from developers.

The Town, on the other hand, has not been as helpful with service-road demands, nor does it have a clue how to fix the problem caused by the I-94/Barker/Bluemound intersection, where westbound drivers jockey from lane to lane attempting to get into the "I-94" lanes--which also happen to be the "north on Barker" lanes. A real remedy for that problem would involve property demolitions, which is not likely to happen "on the cheap"--the Town's favorite method of doing things.

So the State is likely to prevail.

Of course, DOT will spend a lot of money to close the cross-overs, instead of just dropping concrete barriers into them (which are not beautiful, but certainly work.)

And on and on it goes...


m.z. forrest said...

Can't we let the free market work it out? If people know they will get schmucked on Bluemound, they won't drive on it, right?

I agree that the concrete barriers would be the better route to go. Part of the problem is that we are straining to maintain that this is a highway. It is not, despite the pretty Hwy 18 marker. It is a local road, a high speed local road, but a local road nonetheless. The State really shouldn't be meddling period.

Disgruntled Car Salesman said...

See what happens when they make it "right turn only." You think accidents are bad now? Just imagine that jerk who has to turn left at whatever cost. Andy H. is lobbying heavy against this, btw.

Headless Blogger said...

This is a really stupid idea. Did it come from Madison?

Have they thought about lowering the speed limit? 45 mph is really too high for those driving conditions. Drop it to 35 and enforce it, and watch that accident rate drop. How about an exit from 94 at Calhoun? That would help a lot, too.

I've got my short-cuts and back roads figured out, so with only minor planning I can avoid any left turns on Bluemound.

Dad29 said...

There's discussion of dropping the speed limit--check the linked blog to find it.