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Author Topic: Milwaukee  (Read 5606 times)

Alps

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Milwaukee
« on: April 27, 2012, 12:05:31 AM »

Found a white on black guide sign. Let's just say it's in a certain tunnel leading from the I-94/794/43 interchange eastward to some surface streets.

GeekJedi

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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 12:23:40 AM »

That's funny - I see that sign all the time, and I never really thought about the fact that it was rare until you pointed it out!  I'd hazard a guess that it was installed when the tunnel was built.  I seem to remember it being there since I was a kid.
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 11:45:09 AM »

when was the tunnel built?  the sign meets standards older than 1978, when it was mandated that all signage (not just for interstate highways) be green with white legend.
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 01:31:23 PM »

I don't know the exact date, but in the 1960's when the US 141 (now I-43) freeway was built.
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 01:49:42 PM »

Kilbourn Tunnel offramp from eastbound I-94 at the Marquette Interchange.  It passes under the Milwaukee County Courthouse.  Also, note the old-style 'SIGNAL AHEAD' sign.

I have always liked that ramp.  Did you check out its counterpart, the westbound Kilbourn Ave 'Kilbourn Tunnel' onramp to NB I-43?

Mike
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 02:00:57 PM by mgk920 »
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 04:06:17 PM »

I walked the WB - NB entrance ramp from Kilbourn while it was closed during the Marquette rebuild.



Gotta love the rust on that sign "Lane Ends Merge Right".
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2012, 01:17:43 AM »

Trip, did WDOT do any "rehabing" of the tunnels during the Marquette construction? I have not been in either tunnel since it was completed.
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2012, 02:25:51 PM »

Just a new coat of asphalt and some cosmetic stuff, I think.  Because of where I live, I hardly ever use those ramps.
I'm always using McKinley Ave (old Park East corridor) or the Lakefront (794 - Lincoln Mem.)

As to the date of their opening, the Marquette Interchange was finished in 1966 so I imagine those ramps were done by then.
Whenever a question of historical freeway stuff comes up about Milwaukee, I usually consult some aerial photographs the county has from 1963 that provide a nice snapshot of Milwaukee freeway construction.  The area of the Marquette hasn't even begun to be cleared in 1963 and by the end of 1966, the thing is done.  Same thing for the freeways feeding it.
I-794 is still just an idea.
I-43's construction stays north of North Ave. at that time.
I-94 to the west ends at 13th St.
I-94 to the south has only started in a couple spots around Howard and Layton Avenues.

Looks like the Kilbourn ramps were predated by the Howell Ave tunnel under one of the airport runways as the first road tunnel in the state.
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2022, 09:58:29 PM »

Opening up an old thread for a discussion of some ideas for Milwaukee.

First, the two interesting roundabouts in the center of town.  What purpose do they serve?

7th/Winnebago/Juneau has only one main street routing: Juneau east of the circle and Winnebago to the west.  From GSV, I can see that the old configuration simply had Winnebago-Juneau as one street with an intersection with 7th (which is only half a block long as it is blocked from going through).  Juneau to the west was blocked off as a dead end.  The configuration should have stayed in this way as Juneau (to the west ) continues to be a low traffic street.  Since the road is only 4 blocks long (west of 7th) because it is also blocked by I-43 and the road is also narrowed by new development, there is just no need to upset the traffic on Winnebago with this roundabout.

THe 6th/Florida circle makes even less sense.

If we go a bit south, we see that Chase is WI-38 and it appears to be a major street.  By way of orientation, it leads onto S 6th and WI-38 follows S 6th Downtown.  S 6th in this area is not that wide.  IT would seem to make more sense to have WI-38 follow the one way couplet of 4th and 5th on its way downtown.   The one way couplet should follow I-43, so north of Washington, 5th should be NB and 6th should be SB.  This couplet should continue through to Florida Ave and then merge together onto the 6th St bridge.  As the streets come together naturally at this point, there is no need for a roundabout here.

WI-38 probably does not need to be routed north of National Ave.  But the routing of the surface alternative to I-43 does follow Chase - 4th/5th couplet - 5th/6th couplet - N 6th to the North Ave area - 7th/8th couplet to Capitol Dr area. 

The trend of one way streets becoming two way is not a good thing.  A two-way street can really help traffic move better.  To the extent that a street is only two lanes wide anyway, it is far more efficient to have those narrower streets being one way.  5th/6th between Florida and Washington should be a one-way couplet.  These aren't wide streets and the transition onto the 6th street bridge would be easier without the need for the roundabout.  Plus, it is probably easier to squeeze on bike lanes onto the one-way streets as the streets may each be wide enough for one bike lane, but probably not two.

[I think I saw reports that this stretch of 5th/6th was one-way at some point, but I have yet to see it in a map.]
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SEWIGuy

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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2022, 10:03:56 PM »

The point of turning one way couplets into two way streets was to slow traffic down. When I was at Marquette University, they had multiple one way streets through campus and invariably traffic was too fast. Turning them into two ways was helpful and the businesses along the street prefer it.
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mrsman

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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2022, 09:51:24 AM »

The point of turning one way couplets into two way streets was to slow traffic down. When I was at Marquette University, they had multiple one way streets through campus and invariably traffic was too fast. Turning them into two ways was helpful and the businesses along the street prefer it.

Sure.  Traffic does slow down with two way streets, but two way streets aren't necessary to slow down traffic.  It would be nice to have the efficiency of a one way network that runs slower and it can be accomplished by timing the signals for a slower speed.  It is far easier to synchronize signals on one way streets.

Anyway, even if the 5th and 6th remain as two way, it still seems like the 6th/Florida roundabout is overkill.  Apparently, there are regularly folks crashing into the roundabout, enough that it has led to a youtube channel and twitter feed that documents the crashes.

https://twitter.com/milwaukeecircle?lang=en

Granted, the accidents are due to driver error and probably going way too fast over the bridge, but is an obstruction like a roundabout proper when it is known that drivers speed so heavily through here?  If it is happening so frequently, can't we say that bad design is also at play here.  This is simply the wrong location for a roundabout.

Other ideas for removing the roundabout include just making the 6th-5th-Florida into a regular intersection with a signal.  Given the orientation of the streets leading to the roundabout 6th-Alexander (5th) is perfectly perpendicular to 6th-Florida.  So if one is coming off the bridge, they can go straight to 5th or make a full right turn and continue on 6th.  Or, the orientation for 6th can continue straight and this can become a T-intersection with just Florida with its current angle in.

Ideally, IMO, they can rebuild the rectilinear street grid with Florida ending at 6th and 5th ending at Florida.  Other than parking lots, it appears that there is no building that has taken place over the entire block.  It seems that this neighborhood is up and coming and straightening out the grid will leave more room for private development of the block.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2022, 10:09:12 AM »

Actually I think they intended the opposite.  That the roundabout in place helps smooth the traffic out in the area.  It is somewhat amazing how much nicer that neighborhood is now than it was 30 years ago.  I think the upgrade of the 6th street bridge 20 years ago was extremely helpful in that regard.

As for your WI-38 relocation idea, I think it makes some sense but that's not how WIDOT treats urban state highways.  They aren't necessarily the most efficient routes through town, but are just "holding" state highway mileage that could be allocated elsewhere should the need arise.  (For example, back when WI-62 was sacrificed when WI-794 was created.)  I think most people navigate the city streets without regards to numbering anyway.  Who would use WI-57 to get from the north side to the south side?
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2022, 01:26:58 PM »

To expand on SEWI Guy, Wisconsin is a state which has a capped state highway mileage and state legislators horde their mileage for their own districts. This means it's not unusual for highways that make no sense in urban areas. I grew up in Green Bay. There is no reason for US 141 to exist south of Abrams anymore but it still runs through town from Velp to the Nitschke Bridge to Main St; I never thought of it as US 141 in town though I knew it was because we used it for drives to Iron Mountain, Manitowoc, etc. I also remember going through the Howell St tunnel under Mitchell Airport several times as a kid (an uncle lived in Oak Creek) and never thinking of it as WI 38.

That there are idiots speeding into the center of a roundabout shows even more a need for the roundabout. There's a good chance these speeders would otherwise be crashing into other cars or pedestrians. I'm guessing it's become a shortcut for some trying to avoid bad traffic on I-94. The area looks a lot nicer - and significantly cleaner - than when I remember Walkers Point as a mostly abandoned industrial area with a bunch of dive bars including about half the gay bars in Milwaukee (my excuse for being in the area).
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2022, 09:19:56 PM »

So someone was on here a few months ago saying that the federal government wants state maintained bridges over federal waterways like the Fox River. (Not sure the terminology is correct.)  That could be another reason why US-141 remains since it utilizes the Main St bridge.
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2022, 09:41:40 PM »

^^ The Main Street (Nitschke) Bridge is city maintained.  I believe all other roadway bridges over the Fox River in Green Bay are state maintained.
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2022, 09:42:41 PM »

Business generally dislike one-way streets because it makes it more complicated for people to get there.
In the above example of 5th and 6th in Walker's Point, those are not intended to be major arterial streets.  They exist to serve the neighborhood, primarily, and have very little thru traffic.

The roundabout at 6th and Florida replaced a total fustercluck of a junction.  What I think you are missing is the fact that Florida Street can get one to the other side of the railroad tracks east of 1st St which makes it a busy turn.  As others have noted, it's an important speed control mechanism as vehicles come off the 6th St Viaduct and enter a neighborhood.  So I think it's very good roundabout placement, despite the bell-enders who make some video compilation.  Those wrecks would be far more grisly if that was a 'normal' junction.

As for the other roundybout by the Pabst redevelopment, it seems like a good way to provide access to some parking lots and West Juneau Street all at once while at the same time, slowing down traffic that probably picked up speed crossing I-43 on Winnebago and coming downhill to this point.  Frankly, that one is an elegant solution to what is functionally a five-way junction.  Keep in mind that area is also a campus for Milwaukee Area Technical College, so more pedestrians than your average center city neighborhood.

When it comes to WI 38, I wouldn't be sad to see the whole thing decommissioned so its two-digit number could be recycled to eliminate one of the state's many long and pointless duplexes.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2022, 05:32:13 AM »

^^ The Main Street (Nitschke) Bridge is city maintained.  I believe all other roadway bridges over the Fox River in Green Bay are state maintained.


Ah yes. Perhaps I should have said state owned, because it is co-owned but city maintained. Do you have the back story on that?
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2022, 11:25:28 AM »

When it comes to WI 38, I wouldn't be sad to see the whole thing decommissioned so its two-digit number could be recycled to eliminate one of the state's many long and pointless duplexes.

None of WI-38 is directly duplexed with any other route. I don't agree with this take.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2022, 12:00:05 PM »

When it comes to WI 38, I wouldn't be sad to see the whole thing decommissioned so its two-digit number could be recycled to eliminate one of the state's many long and pointless duplexes.

None of WI-38 is directly duplexed with any other route. I don't agree with this take.


I think his point is that it could be used elsewhere.  But I don't really think Wisconsin's duplexes are much of a problem.
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2022, 03:41:35 PM »

^^ The Main Street (Nitschke) Bridge is city maintained.  I believe all other roadway bridges over the Fox River in Green Bay are state maintained.


Ah yes. Perhaps I should have said state owned, because it is co-owned but city maintained. Do you have the back story on that?
This article states it's city-owned. However, this 20-year-old article agrees with your statement of coownership. It could be it's now city-owned, but I probably just added more confusion to the ownership issue.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2022, 05:25:07 PM »

^^ The Main Street (Nitschke) Bridge is city maintained.  I believe all other roadway bridges over the Fox River in Green Bay are state maintained.


Ah yes. Perhaps I should have said state owned, because it is co-owned but city maintained. Do you have the back story on that?
This article states it's city-owned. However, this 20-year-old article agrees with your statement of coownership. It could be it's now city-owned, but I probably just added more confusion to the ownership issue.


Thank you.  I wonder if that is a historical relic from when the first bridge was built between "Fort Howard" on the west side of the river and "Green Bay" on the east side.
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2022, 05:45:43 PM »

^^ The Main Street (Nitschke) Bridge is city maintained.  I believe all other roadway bridges over the Fox River in Green Bay are state maintained.


Ah yes. Perhaps I should have said state owned, because it is co-owned but city maintained. Do you have the back story on that?
This article states it's city-owned. However, this 20-year-old article agrees with your statement of coownership. It could be it's now city-owned, but I probably just added more confusion to the ownership issue.


Thank you.  I wonder if that is a historical relic from when the first bridge was built between "Fort Howard" on the west side of the river and "Green Bay" on the east side.
The first bridge built was where the Walnut St. (Starr) bridge is now.
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2022, 07:14:28 PM »

If they did get rid of STH-38 (and there's no way they would), I doubt the number would be moved back to its original 1917 alignment: US 141 from Abrams to Wausaukee (extended to Wisconsin/Michigan border in 1919; renumbered as STH-57 extension in 1923; renumbered to present-day US 141 designation in 1928).
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Re: Milwaukee
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2022, 01:32:48 AM »

Found a white on black guide sign. Let's just say it's in a certain tunnel leading from the I-94/794/43 interchange eastward to some surface streets.

The signs have been replaced after the Kilbourn Tunnel was rehabilitated last year and it’s now a green sign.
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