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July 2014

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Officials say extension of Oconomowoc Parkway is a low priority

Village of Summit - The long and winding road of a local street expansion discussion has reached a stop sign after county and municipal officials have said there are no plans to extend Oconomowoc Parkway.

Village of Summit Trustee Dave Zimmermann met recently with representatives from the City of Oconomowoc and Waukesha County to discuss safety issues related to Valley Road/Highway B and the status of the extension of Oconomowoc Parkway.

Village of Summit Administrator Henry Elling said Zimmermann requested the meeting as a followup to information received in 2011.

"It's an ongoing concern that residents have expressed over time," Zimmermann explained.

Also at the meeting with Elling and Zimmermann were county highway engineering manager Gary Evans, county Supervisors Cathleen Slattery and David Falstad and Oconomowoc city engineer Stan Sugden.

City of Oconomowoc Administrator Diane Gard said the city does not have a timeline for construction of the parkway and added that it ranks last among three connections the city has under consideration.

"As far as road extensions, Thackeray Trail was identified as the first priority, the extension of Lake Bluff Drive second and the Oconomowoc Parkway third," she said.

The standings were based on benefits to the city. The parkway status is low because Valley Road is in place to serve as an east/west connection.

In a previous meeting, Zimmermann voiced safety concerns over the absence of pedestrian sidewalks and shoulders along Highway B, and concerns about residents crossing to access their lake frontage and users of the boat launch.

The county had a senior civil engineer assess signs in the area and felt they were "adequate and properly placed," Frye said in a memo about the meeting.

Those safety concerns by the boat launch were evaluated using the county's three-year crash history for the section of road between Highways Z and 67.

According to the findings, in 2009-11 there were 11 reported incidents, equating to 104 crashes per 1 million vehicle miles. The statewide average for this type of road is 160 per 1 million vehicle miles.

A 2010 traffic study reported the average daily traffic count at 6,400 vehicles per day, which is considered moderate traffic volume.

Based on that information, no federal or safety grant dollars would be available to assist with the extension.

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