In case you're not aware, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a story on how the Drexel Interchange funding discussions in both Franklin and Oak Creek stalled, with both communities not approving any resolution to commit dollars for the project until further information is gathered. While our Common Council's decision, which was a 3-3 split, makes sense, Oak Creek's similar decision last night has generated some negative feedback from several residents commenting below the Journal Sentinel post.
For the most part, the comments are likely from Oak Creek residents, and all have mentioned the need for the interchange for, what else, the continued growth and development of the Howell Avenue corridor in central Oak Creek. Again, Oak Creek residents and, to a certain extent, their leadership have made their feelings quite clear that Howell Avenue needs to be focused on and developed to its maximum extent. An interchange at Drexel is NEEDED due to the redevelopment of the Delphi property at Drexel & Howell Avenue, which Oak Creek has floated several concepts from reusing the current building with a different manufacturing company or ripping the whole thing down and creating a town center development on the parcel.
Regardless of what development decision is made, Oak Creek needs that interchange at Drexel, and a Howell Avenue that is stronger and even more prosperous than it is today only throws a wet blanket on any efforts of high quality economic development occurring in Franklin. Based on what I heard last night, it looks like several aldermen and Mayor Taylor get this. I just hope that when the council comes back to meet in a special meeting prior to May 1st that some of those aldermen aren't going to back down on what right now would be an argument of putting Franklin First.