Ray McInerny, Sr., and his wife Jean, have lived in New Berlin for 32 years. A retired graphic artist, he now paints for his own enjoyment. This blog will attempt to present items of general interest to his New Berlin neighbors.
The Plan Commission meets again tonight at City Hall. The Wilbur Drive issue was sent back to the Plan Commission from the Council for reconsideration, acceptance of new ideas and hopefully a solution to keeping the peace in the neighborhoods.
Sadly this has opened old wounds. It shouldn't have but it has.
Some on Wilbur Drive between Sunny Slope Road and 147th Street want all traffic closed into the City Center at 147th Street and Wilbur Drive.
There are other living on Wilbur Drive who want it open, and to stay open.
This road has cost the City of New Berlin a lot of time and money. Further it has cost some Condominium owners a lot in property value loss. The City Center is really the focal point of this whole situation. I am sure, but not positive, that is the driving force to close Wilbur Drive.
I believe closing Wilbur Drive completely would bring on more federal lawsuits. I think the Justice Department would not let this stand. If another law suit is brought the solution wouldn't make happy campers of us taxpayers.
My proposal for the Wilbur Drive/147th Street situation, has been since the last Plan Commission meeting, to close Wilbur Drive slightly east of Spruce Road at approximately 14420 and 14440 Wilbur Drive. This would allow traffic from Redwood Drive and Sunny Slope north of Wilbur Drive and Beechwood Trail and Crimson Lane south of Wilbur Drive to carry traffic into 147th Street.
In order to facilitate Police, Fire and Emergency traffic in this area I suggest that a permantly mounted swing gate (much like those at a Railroad crossing) be placed in this spot. The swing gate could be controlled from Police, Fire and Emergency vehicles and snow plowers so that there exit/entry into this area wouldn't be hampered. For the rest of us we would use the routes outlined above.
What solution is the perfect one I don't know. I think this should keep the majority of us happy and we will have privacy in one area and access to the City Center for the rest of the City residents.
As a side note I have personally traveled on Wilbur Drive from Sunny Slope Road through to the City Center a minimum of three times a day since the last Plan Commission meeting. I have encountered no "heavy" traffic during this period. It's not scientific but I know what I see when I'm traveling Wilbur Drive.
Hopefully the Plan Commission will accept these suggestions, improve on them, or offer a better and different solution so that we can get on with the City's business.
NOTE: On a 4-2 the Plan Commission will send a recommendation to the Common Council to keep Wilbur Drive Open. Apparently the emails,letters, calls and visits to City Hall let them know the majority feeling on this matter. Next Step! Common Council.