Wednesday, July 26, 2006

You Know It's Bad When...

... you get excited that you have to drive through Chicago traffic instead of Milwaukee traffic for a whole day.

And that's what happened on Wednesday, as I had to go to Wheaton, Illinois for work. Wheaton is a western suburb of Chicago, so it's not like I had to go through downtown Chicago, but the expressways in Chi-town are sure to have some type of traffic jam at any time of the day.

But it's getting so hard to get around this bassackwards town of Milwaukee, that I actually relished the thought of NOT driving in it for a day.

For those very, very few readers of mine that aren't from the Milwaukee area, here's a map of the freeway system in the city. It's a very simple design, not like the maze that can be the Chicago freeway system. You can click on the map for a bigger picture.

Looks pretty easy to navigate, no?

Well, where should I start? I happen to live where the star is located on the map. Lets just say that if I'd like to get to the southside of town, the city planners of Milwaukee stick their collective asses out the windows of their offices and invite me to pucker up my lips.

The downtown area ( by the lake, where 43, 94, and 794 meet ) is going through a major construction update, that should be complete by 2034. That interchange is known as the Marquette interchange, and is currently being rebuilt. ( the big letter 'B' ) The first phase of this construction has closed the 94 east ramp to the 94/43 ramp to go south to Chicago.

Which in of itself wouldn't be so bad, except Tuesday, I needed to go to an area just south of the airport ( by where I've typed 'Chicago' ). There's a bypass of 94 that SHOULD make getting to the airport pretty easy, and completely avoids downtown. Except on Tuesday, at NOON, those fucktards thought it would be a good idea to shut down TWO of the THREE lanes on 894 ( the big 'C' ) on the southbound lanes. So I couldn't go downtown, and the one lane that was open was basically a parking lot. To traverse that short stretch of the freeway normally takes 8-10 min. Not Tuesday. 30 minutes. Bitches. Good idea - lets fuck up the ONLY open way to the southside.

My favorite construction annoyance is where the big 'A' is. There's a small spur by Miller Park that goes south and north into the outer Milwaukee city limits, and makes it pretty easy to access the near-western suburbs. I frequently use this spur to go home from downtown, and USED to use it to get on the freeway to go downtown.

Not anymore. They've closed the ramp that goes from the southbound 41 onto eastbound 94 to downtown. Not because they're working on the ramp. Oh, far from it. They're just trying to limit traffic flow to downtown - so they closed the ramp. WTF? Because of the construction, they're redoing just about all the major bridges that cross the river that runs through downtown Milwaukee. In essence, every single east/west street into downtown is closed just before you approach downtown. The only way into downtown is the goddamn freeway!!! Good plan asshats.

One last note about downtown. They've also closed every ramp to get off the freeway downtown, with the exception of two of them. You either have to get off at 6th street, which is basically at the interchange - or you have to go all the way to the lake, then get off. I'm sure business downtown is just loving this. Cuz even if you get there, all the streets are torn up once you're in the black hole that is downtown.

But it's not just downtown that's tearing up it's streets. My lovely town of Wauwatosa is doing the same with just about every east/west street as well. Letters 'D' and 'E' indicate areas you can't hardly get through because of construction.

I think I'm gonna buy stock in the company that makes those big orange barrels. Or go and slap everyone of the city planners that decided this would make a good 'plan' for a construction schedule. Dickheads.


At 8:26 AM, Blogger Nick said...

Quit yer bitchin... I work in the middle of the big B and have to drive through it every day.

Too bad you didn't think of secret option X yesterday. You could have gone through downtown, taken 794 over the bridge to the airport, and then got on the airport spur to reconnect to 94 south.

At 8:56 AM, Anonymous thebeekeeper said...

are you serious?

how about living in a city with that kind of traffic, but not because they're trying to make it better, just because that's how it is. i can't wait to move back to milwaukee, even if they're still doing all that construction.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Lostgirl said...

Yeah trying living in Cincinnati....traffic sucks ASS! You have to either live downtown or well you are basically f-cked. I had little problems getting around when I was in town in June. Only one minor set back of having to take 35th st from the very south side of town to the very northside and then turn onto Capitol Dr. there, uh yeah, needed a shotgun to feel safe. Geesh!

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Nort said...

Yea, dude, you need more things to worry about. They're trying to get things done by 2034, but if you got things your way, and they only worked on a portion of what's currently being worked on, it wouldn't be done until 3034.

At 9:38 AM, Anonymous triticale said...

Take North to Lisbon to 35th to Lincoln to 27th and 27th south to, in this case, Howard. I have a coworker right now who takes 27th south all the way to Rawson to get home. Such a route is even easier for me because I live between 35th and 27th.

Only problem for you in that whole route was that Tosa screwed up North to make it pedestrian-friendly,


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