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  •  The Grand Plan (3+ / 0-)
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    Will Smith, Puddytat, tlf

    Everyone forgets the grand plan with the freeway system in Milwaukee was the Appleton and Fond du Lac Avenue freeway spurs that were designed to connect to the Lakeshore freeway. These portions were partially built before everyone realized the shoreline park system along the lake would cease to exist.

    The City's plan to present the Lakeshore freeway as being 90% completed before the public notice of what the developers (primarily from Chicago.) intended to do using eminent domain to in a land grab to build high rise office and residential buildings along the lake front once the the shoreline was demolished.

    The grand plan backfired when the Sentinel revealed (Yes we had a liberal paper in town at that time known as the Daily Sentinel.) the real plans for the freeways that were being drawn up in the back room of City Hall.

    The whole sordid affair caused a revolt by everyone who lived in Milwaukee and this why Appleton Ave and Fond du Lac Ave are now used as freeway spurs. Building  those spurs demolished the homes of white working class people and rich people living in their path. Race had nothing to do with the pockets that Milwaukee has today.

    White flight to the surrounding suburbs started after this the grand plan failed and home values dropped as white people and businesses abandoned the northwest portion of the city along those spurs.

    This was around the time when manufacturing was shifted to China and other parts of the world. The long range plans for a vibrant northwest side of the City were mixed and the city unsure what to do simply let the north and northwest side of the city to rot as more and more black American's and slumlords bought up the cheap properties.

    Northridge which was built in the 70's was intended to be the cornerstone for reviving the northwest side but businesses continued to offshore manufacturing and plants that employed a large manually skilled workforce closed leaving the black population who worked those jobs without any jobs that provided a steady to support their families.

    Added to this was wage stagnation as prices for good and services continued to climb pushing more and more black families into poverty and the failure of the city to attract large manual labor based businesses to the area ensured poverty, a failing education system and the high crime rate you find on the north and northwest side of the city today.

    Block grants to rebuild the area from the Federal and State government were siphoned off to build and improve the out lying suburbs. All you have to do to see the effects of this is visit the library on 76th and Mill Road and then compare the facilities to those build in the suburbs to see the effects or inequity of the redirection of funding by states politicians.

    My better half can't remember the last time she's seen a current bestseller added to the shelf's at the Mill Road Library. I guess the logic is since black people don't read and are not as well educated as the white people in the suburbs there's no reason to stock the shelves at Mill Road with the latest books that children, teenagers and adults are reading.

    I could go on forever writing about examples of how decision of the bigots and racist who fled to the suburbs have gutted the inner cities funding on all levels so they can live the good life while the residence of the inner cities continue to suffer from poverty and injustice but it's pointless because the will to fix Milwaukee's problems have to come from the residents of the inner city who need to organize at the community level without all the in fighting and work for the greater good of not only black resident's but all the colors of the rainbow.

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    by hmsjo on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 09:33:05 PM PDT

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