I-94 East-West Econ Connect FAQ #9
I-94 East-West is over 50-years old and is reaching the end of its useful life.
Q. Why focus on the highway at all? Some say people aren’t driving as much as they used to – wouldn’t it make more sense to invest in transit?
A. Recent data from theWisDOT, the U.S. Department of Transportation and others confirms that vehicle miles traveled is once again on the rise – and in fact has reached record highs – after dipping during the recession of the mid-2000s. The contention that “millennials” no longer want to own cars or don’t like freeways has also been disproven by several recent studies.
Nonetheless, transit is an important component of an effective regional transportation system – it’s just not an “either-or” proposition. The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) has determined that even if transit offerings were to DOUBLE, it wouldn’t be enough to effectively address traffic congestion on the East-West corridor. The solution is a robust transit element in conjunction with required capacity and safety improvements to the freeway.
The freeway and transit projects are complementary, and both are important to increasing safety, reducing congestion and promoting economic development in the region.
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