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Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials indicated that if La Crosse doesn’t want the $140 million allocated for a north-south corridor, there are other communities that do (Feb. 2 Tribune).

Joe Olson, the DOT’s southwest region director, said his department needs to consider whether to take the corridor off the books.

Such language causes some people to think we better take the money or we’ll lose it, even though the money can only be spent on something we don’t want, a road through the marsh, which voters overwhelmingly rejected in a 1998 referendum.

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On Tuesday, DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb told a group in La Crosse that Wisconsin’s transportation system faces a shrinking revenue stream. I can tell Gottlieb where he can find $140 million to ease that burden — take La Crosse’s north-south corridor off the state’s books.

Gottlieb says he wants public input. As someone who once was silenced by the DOT at one of its informational meetings because officials didn’t like what I was saying, it’s my belief the only input they want is input they agree with.

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(32) comments

David Lee

And there you have it folks, Buggy admitting he is a jerk and that's just the nature of the beast.


David Lee Report Abuse David Lee - April 13, 2014 1:26 pm Holy smokes buggy, someone agrees and you still rant. I will revert to my prior thoughts about you. You really are a ignorant jerk.


Buggs Raplin - 22 hours ago Doesn't bother me a bit, David. to my own self I must remain true..

Grand Dad's Bluff

Pile of money looking for a problem to solve.

David Jarzemski

OK folks...let's be honest here...the marsh is a haven for mosquitoes that cause diseases in humans...I say, pave the marsh over...and add to the property tax base...

Buggs Raplin

David, what do we do with the river?

PaulK

.

capedcrusader

davejar - Yes, be honest for a change instead of trolling. You know the marsh is never going to be "paved over". It's never going to happen because were never going to let it happen. As far as another road through the marsh, how exactly will that "add to the tax base"? That's nothing buy empty promises and wishful thinking. But, you already know that too. There has never been a NEED presented to the tax payers to justify building ANOTHER road through the marsh. The state doesn't keep Lang Drive up now and so far that has been their track record.

Jobaba

Now, Chip is wrong in saying take it off the books, and right in that it doesn't need to go through an ecologically sensitive area.

But it is needed now.

And that means it will still be needed later.

Jobaba

La Crosse still needs an efficient North/South corridor. Yes I understand the people don't want it, but that means the people see no need, not that the need doesn't exist.

And every year it waits, the cost goes up.

PaulK

There is a need for better north-south transportation. The problem with many road corridors is that people want to build on them -- houses, apartments, and businesses. But, a parkway through the marsh area would not have this problem. It would simply be a road through a ecological area (like Lang Drive.) It would be scenic because nothing could be built on either side of the road. It would help move traffic quickly from the Interstate to the Downtown area. It would be raised to water could flow and so water would not flood the road. And, it would guarantee the future protection of the wetlands.

Buggs Raplin

Oh, such a sweet euphemism; folks, it's not a highway; it's a parkway....man, I tell ya, the pro-road folks are getting desperate.

capedcrusader

PaulK - You have a lot to learn. First of all, your idea of "scenic" and mine are very different. I don't consider another road through the marsh that they won't keep up "scenic" in any sense of the word. Highways through ecological areas are never "scenic". Second: There is no reason whatsoever to invest tax payers money of this magnitude in a road project to move traffic from the interstate to downtown. Do you understand the cost of building another road for that purpose? It would simply be another road through the marsh that they won't keep up. They don't maintain the road you speak of (Lang Drive) now and it's a state highway. Third: The marsh area right now helps guarantee the protection of the city of Lacrosse as it pertains to being a flood plain. The marsh has protected and saved this city many times through the years from flooding. Keep tinkering with the marsh area and this city will be another New Orleans without the hurricanes and that's not a good thing.

Jobaba

I like many others have lived in a wide variety of cities…many that make La Crosse seem very, very small.

So, in one city there was an alarmist alderwoman who was assigned to some silly committee that had some kind of stupid oversight on hazardous cargo…you know, the kind of big government we all want to go away (roll eyes).

This alarmist just would not stop on insisting that hazardous cargo should not be trucked through the downtown area. You know how annoying that can be?

So one day a gas tanker was coming through a light, and an old guy…(you don't have old people here, do you?) ran the light, got caught under the rear wheels of the tanker, caused it to leak, and it caught fire.

Now once it had burned through the skin of the tanker, it leaked and ran down the gutter…down hill. And this was in the heart of the downtown area. So as it ran down the gutter it torched every parked car on this little hill, one after the other.

The best part? It was the street City Hall was on.

Jobaba

Yes, and don't get me wrong. I agree with Tower that traffic is piffling here. That is not to say it isn't problematic because WI has some of the worst drivers in the country, but it isn't what it could be.

And I hate to be the one that points out that you could get an eye put out because of a dangerous situation…I will leave that excuse to our valiant emergency workers, long may they wear their drop leg holsters and insist we don't know what they do.

But I will tell you a funny, funny story.

capedcrusader

This issue really isn't as complex as some would have you believe. For me personally, this is about Need, Safety, priorities and spending the tax payers money wisely. The pro marsh road people haven't addressed any of those issues directly in order to have a satisfactory answer. Highway 35 is one of the most dangerous highways in Wisconsin and highway 16 isn't far behind. Another road through the marsh will not make those roads safer and they know it. Before any new road building occurs the State should demonstrate the NEED for it after they have properly maintained the current roadways. They are currently not even coming close to doing that as evidenced by Lang Drive. We need to hold them accountable for spending the tax payers money wisely. If we don't do that, the only thing another road through the marsh will guarantee is that they keep their jobs a little while longer.


tower

The other day my wife and I drove down to NW IL. I live in the Town of Ona and at about 10am we drove from our home down Hwy 35. It took us 20 mins to go from home to the Hwy 14 turn off on the extreme Southside. I used to travel a lot up Hwy 16 to Hwy 157 at rush hour. The bottle neck is all the stop signs between CTH B and the I system. This was supposed to be fixed long ago by connecting Hwy 16 to Hwy 53. The City of Ona and Festival Foods were the largest fighters against this as it limited access to Crossing Meadows. I am one of those "out of towners" but I don't want a freeway across the marsh. People in the area have no real idea about traffic problems are. Driving here at any time of day is a joke compared to many other cities.

lookout

Your right tower I lived in Tampa Fl. for a long time before moving back and traffic here is a walk in the park, compared to many places down there. The problem is the lay out of Lacrosse. There are very few options and getting it solved before there's a real problem and no money, to do is the key. If city leaders can't plan ahead, their always behind the problems. If we want this place to grow an attract new businesses, we have to change the way we do business and stay ahead of the game, not wait till it's over.

oz

If the DOT wants to spend $140 million in La Crosse, they should spend it on a light rail system from Cursing Meadows to Shelby Maul (via downtown, Gundersen and Trane), where lots of existing rail tracks and beds are still available.

Buggs Raplin

Letters to the Editor are limited to 250 words..so let me expand a bit here. It should be kept in mind that pretty much the entire political establishment went along with the DOT's 5B1 corridor plan in 1998. I remember that John Medinger, Mark Meyer, Mike Huebsch, and Bryan Rude all endorsed it. The Tribune endorsed it after running extremely biased coverage the week before the referendum touting the need for the road. The TV networks were no better. And, of course, those fighting against the road were heavily outspent by the pro-road folks. Still, we won, and we won big. The road was defeated overwhelmingly by the people of La Crosse. But you know special interests. They NEVER give up. They still want their road through the marsh, and I'm assuming they're working on something to achieve that goal, probably through that group dominated by the suburbs known as the La Crosse Area Planning Committee. Will they ignore the will of the people of La Crosse? Stay tuned.

Jobaba

There are still three options, Losey, downtown, or marsh. The idea that it is out-of-town commuters pushing for a through route is incorrect.

By only having low speed, traffic light ridden, surface streets available means that semi truck traffic and smaller delivery vehicles must mix with all traffic.

Without a through route La Crosse will wither and die on the vine like a cut off river town.

Buggs Raplin

Same language the DOT used in 1998.

Jobaba

And still true today! Except more expensive.

lookout

The city of Lacrosse needs to let the people of Lacrosse decide if this should be built or not by letting them vote on it. The few people that go to city hall meetings or post on line doesn't even come close to finding out what voters think about it. This can't be settled by just a few people when it affect all of us.

David Lee

We did vote. The answer was no.

lookout

How long ago was the vote held Dave?

Buggs Raplin

1998; opposition remains the same

Tiger

Sorry Chip, nothing is "off the table" in this homeowner's association on steroids we call government. Your protectionist ideas of the marsh to serve your lifestyle ideas is by no means fair and equitable for all citizens.

Buggs Raplin

Tiger, just in case you've forgotten, we live in a democracy. You know ..will of the people. By the way, it was the DOT who brought up the 'if you don't want the money, there are communities that do" and "taking it off the books" language. I'm just tossing back to them.-Chip DeNure

capedcrusader

Good article Chip. It's time to "allocate" that money for cities that could use it for something legitimate. I believe the State has been hoping that enough people would come forward requesting another road through the marsh. They forgot one big thing though. It's not needed and nobody has been able to demonstrate otherwise. Heck, they don't even keep Lang Drive up now and most people forget that's a State highway. Spend that money somewhere else where it's needed in Wisconsin Fix up Lang Drive, Highway 16, and highway 35 before anymore roads are built that they don't maintain properly.

David Lee

To the point, no conspiracies, just a statement of facts of the reality of the north south corridor. See, you can do it.

Buggs Raplin

Oh, David, what do you call it when the media, the DOT, the local power structure, and the politicians get together to try to shove something like the corridor down our throats? That's what occurred in 1998.

David Lee

Holy smokes buggy, someone agrees and you still rant. I will revert to my prior thoughts about you. You really are a ignorant jerk.

Buggs Raplin

Doesn't bother me a bit, David. to my own self I must remain true..

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