What I said about this intersection (and I’m somewhat surprised it did not make it in the Gazette story) is that this stoplight highlights the disfunctionality of West Milwaukee street, which the council voted to turn into two-way street at some point in the future, a few weeks ago. What is happening at West Milwaukee and Academy, to me, is similar to someone speaking to an overweight person and saying “Well, you can either get your eating in order and lose some weight… or we could get you a bigger pair of pants.” Taking out the stoplight would’ve been buying a bigger pair of pants while turning the street back to two-way would be removing the problem of traffic speeding at high speeds through a commercial retail district. Not taking out the stoplight did little to help the problem – the traffic in that area is still high and moving fast – and the intersection remains challenging for pedestrians. But the overweight person – West Milwaukee street in this case – was told to make do with pants that are way too small.
I don’t have too much to add to what Marcia Nelesen wrote in the Janesville Gazette about last night’s meeting: Janesville City Council to spend more on business incubator — GazetteXtra other than to reiterate that decision affecting the stoplight at West Milwaukee and Academy Street was a difficult one. I have a tremendous amount of respect for residents who speak to the council, in particular Burdette Erickson, who spoke in favor of keeping the stoplight. However, based on the sheer numbers involved – cars vs. pedestrians – it made sense to me to follow recommendation of the Traffic Committee and the Public Works department in this instance.