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November 16, 2010



Yes-a bit dense to get through. But I picked up on the gist. A few thoughts-1)"generation Y" is not buying cars at the same rate. They don't like them, and probably can't afford them. 2)The boomers are going to be too old to drive. This removes many autos, calls for more transit, certainly reduces traffic. 3)Some roads are as hard to cross by foot as it is hard to swim across the mississippi. For people who never walk, it wld be eye-opening to see a video --maybe with a "cam" strapped to the person --of someone trying to cross difficult roads...also with a digital clock running in the bottom of the screen to show time elapsed waiting.

John Michlig

You read my mind. I plan to use a small camera to show the reality of car speed and proximity on most of our streets. It'll be a hi-def camera, so LOCAL DRIVERS BEWARE; license plates are legible.

Fred Keller


With regards to sidewalks on College Avenue; I was told by Jack Takerian, Director, Milwaukee County Department of Transportation and Public Works, that the reconstruction plan includes a sidewalk on the south side of the roadway, from 51st Street to 27th Street.

And as my final word on the reconstruction of College Avenue, I’ll share with you and your readers, an email I sent to the mayor on one particular bullet point in his letter, which touches somewhat on the economic development of Rawson Avenue; including his response and my follow-up:

Wednesday, November 17

Mayor Taylor:

In your April 23, 2010 letter to Mr. Jack Takerian, Director, Milwaukee County Department of Transportation and Public Works, and Mr. Kenneth Yunker, Executive Director, SEWRPAC, regarding the College Avenue Reconstruction, you wrote—among other things—in opposition to the County’s plans:

A four-lane College Avenue that will end at 51st Street will drive more traffic onto 51st Street and hasten the need for reconstruction on 51st Street within Franklin limits, placing addition burden on Franklin taxpayers.

...I am requesting any and all City of Franklin records, traffic studies and reports, and other pertinent documents from 2008, 2009 and 2010 that lead you to this conclusion.

Monday, November 15

Mr. Keller,

I have contacted the City of Franklin's Assistant City Engineer Mr. Ron Romeis regarding your request for information concerning alleged City of Franklin studies and traffic reports for College Avenue between the years 2008 to 2010.

I asked him if he would be willing to meet with you to go over any City records regarding College Avenue and he indicated that he would be happy to do so. I am not in possession of such records nor have I been in possession of such records and I am of the understanding that no such City documents exist for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010.

You may contact Mr. Romeis by calling 425-7500 and then ask for the Engineering Department. I will send a copy of this reply to Mr. Romeis so that he will be aware that you may contact him.

I believe you are aware that Alderman Wilhelm wrote the letter in question and she asked County Supervisor Borkowski and myself for support for her letter. After having much discussion with the alderman and after listening to her rationale I agreed to support her position as did County Supervisor Borkowski.

The final word on any decision on the reconstruction of College Avenue will be Milwaukee County's given it is their road and therefore the letter is a letter of recommendation and it in no way binds any policy maker from choosing another course of action.

I support having sidewalks along this stretch of road. Given that the road lies between two very well established residential areas I do not support a widening of a road to four lanes that would invite heavy truck traffic nor do I believe the residents in that area would want this type of truck traffic.

I have concerns with the widening of a road that would take up current space between the traffic and the home owners and it is my belief that a pedestrian path is and has been needed down this stretch of road for many years.

I believe the Common Council should support Alderman Wilhelm's position regarding College Avenue given that it may provide a greater level of safety to the people in the area.


Tom Taylor

Tuesday, November 16

Mayor Taylor:

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly, I know how busy you are.

First, I was not aware that Alderwoman Wilhelm wrote the April 23, 2010 letter, nor am I concerned with who actually wrote the letter. As far as I'm concerned, by signing the letter you and Borwowski are essentially agreeing with its content. Secondly, my primary concerns lie with the “facts” you presented in your letter and how you framed your argument against this project. It can be described in one word; misleading. After doing my own research, I am also concerned by the fact that claims made by the three signatories (all elected representatives of the people of Franklin), are—at best—nothing more than half-truths and baseless rhetoric. I know this now because I spoke with Jack Takerian and Mark Borkowski yesterday; and I now know the facts and have a clear picture of the truth.

Thank you.


Fred V. Keller

In my opinion “the letter “ was nothing more than the major’s first piece of campaign literature to the voters in District 3.

John Michlig

Oh, Fred.

You employ the well-worn provocateur tactic of "requesting any and all" records related to the soup you want to stir up; however, when called on your bluff, you ignore the material provided.

Fred: Do you know that a pedestrian or bikers chance of death jumps from 45% to 85% when the speed limit jumps from a sane, residential 30 MPH to the Franklin-standard (and enforced by engineering) 40 MPH?

Why would anyone walk or bike on a road engineered for 45mph and above?

And, further, why would a county official -- who is rewarded for the amount of asphalt-pouring contracts he awards -- EVER consider anything less than the maximum lane count?

Fred, with all due respect: Don't bring your dogmatic, public-records-requesting beef with the mayor here without substantive facts or at least the bare attempt to address the material I was patient enough to bring forth.

My son will not be able to drive when he turns 16. You and your dogma are hindering his ability to travel independently -- not to mention strangling the economic development potential of Franklin, Wisconsin. You are free to do so, but come at me with substance and don't hide behind an open records straw man.

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