Pro-Sprawl, Anti-Transit Policies Help Make Milwaukee the Most Segregated

Via Streetsblog:

Among the myriad insights from the new Census is another blow to Milwaukee. The metro region was once again rated the most segregated in the country, beating out notoriously divided metros like Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago and LA.

We’ve written before about how metro Milwaukee’s development policies encourage sprawl, isolating people of color and the poor in the city (while degrading the environment in the suburbs). In its analysis, Salon takes another tack. Anti-transit policies, like the ones endorsed by former Milwaukee County executive and current governor Scott Walker, serve to further isolate the region’s disenfranchised populations. Salon elaborates on the local atmosphere:

Suburban whites are notably hostile to building any form of public transit to connect city people to suburban jobs, further exacerbating segregation’s ill effects. If you’re wondering if this can somehow, some way, be blamed on union-busting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the answer is yes. Walker took the lead in a campaign against public transit to connect the suburbs to the city during his time as county executive. He thought the funds would be better spent on highways.

James Rowen at Network blog The Political Environment points the finger squarely at local leadership:

As I’ve said before about our region’s appalling segregation, well done, Milwaukee suburbs, regional planners — and, as this new article quoting UW-M development specialist Marc Levine notes — Scott Walker, too.

Rowen adds that the region’s continuing segregation problem is another argument against allowing suburban Waukesha to build a pipeline to pump water from Lake Michigan, which would allow for further sprawling development. Waukesha County, incidentally, is facing charges of housing discrimination:

Why should the City of Milwaukee sell one teaspoon of water to the City of Waukesha – – largest community in Waukesha County – – when official policies throughout the county reinforce these regional population and economic disparities?

The situation in Milwaukee goes to show runaway sprawl and transit disinvestment don’t affect everyone equally. Scott Walker is aggravating the already egregious problem in Milwaukee by pushing through $1.7 billion in suburban highway expansions, while decimating transit budgets.

-A.S.

3 Comments

Filed under Featured, Race Relations, sprawl

3 responses to “Pro-Sprawl, Anti-Transit Policies Help Make Milwaukee the Most Segregated

  1. Sean

    Wisconsin in general has the worst transit of any place I’ve been to in the United States.

    It is virtually impossible to get to any place in a timely manner using mass transit.

  2. Pingback: The Milwaukee Identity Project Launches « Shutter Speed of Light

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