State looking to locate two Park and Ride lots along I-94

County Executive Jim Kreuser distributes information on a proposed Park and Ride lot at I-94 and Highway 142 to the Paris Town Board at a meeting Tuesday in Paris.

County Executive Jim Kreuser distributes information on a proposed Park and Ride lot at I-94 and Highway 142 to the Paris Town Board at a meeting Tuesday in Paris.

The state Department of Transportation is working with Kenosha County to locate two Park and Ride lots along I-94.

County Executive Jim Kreuser and county Highway Commissioner Gary Sipsma presented information on the project at a special meeting of the Paris Town Board Tuesday evening.

One lot is set to be just east of I-94 along Highway K and the other just west of I-94 north of Highway 142 in Paris.

Park and Ride lots are free parking lots set up buy the state to encourage car pooling. People can meet at the lots and leave some vehicles behind while commuting together.

The state believes more such lots are needed along I-94 to keep people from parking in the lots of businesses, Sipsma said. There is only one such lot in Kenosha County, in Pleasant Prairie near the RecPlex.

The state will pay for the construction of the lots, but the county will then assume maintenance and security costs for the lot, Sipsma. The state owns the land in both cases, but it might transfer to the county eventually.

Paris officials were not opposed to the concept of a Park and Ride lot along I-94, maybe even in Paris. But they were unhappy with the state’s chosen spot. They see it as a prime spot for commercial development at a time when business building appears to be poised to explode along I-94 in Kenosha County.

“This could be a very good corner,” said town Chairman Virgil Gentz. “Highway 142 is kind of the gateway to the town of Paris.”

Supervisor Ron Kammerzelt said the DOT is aware of the town’s preference to not have that property developed as a parking lot.

“I’m not thrilled by this idea because it eats up valuable property…,” Kamerzelt said. “If I’m going to be mad at somebody I’m going to be made at the DOT … I wish we could have brought some tax revenue here instead of a park and ride.”
Supervisor Ken Monson questioned the location of a park and ride on the east side of teh Highway 142 and I-94 interchange, saying it woul dbetter fit traffic patterns to be on the east side near an existing gas station/convenience store travel center.

But Kreuser said the lot is targeted for where it is because the state already owns that land.

“It’s about cost,” Kreuser said. “They have the land they want to use it.”

The lot might be able to be moved elsewhere if the right potential developer were to come along and be interested in the Highway 142 site, especially if ownership of the site passed to the county, Kreuser said.

Next to the location, town officials were most concerned with the aesthetics of the site.

The county officials said they welcomed any feedback from the town about how the lot should look.

Kreuser said the Highway K lot seems likely to begin next year, but the timeline for the Highway 142 lot is less firm, though it may start construction in 2015 as well.

The Highway K lot should hold about 35 vehicles while the Highway 142 lot could hold between 85-100 vehicles, Sipsma said.

The location of the proposed Highway 142-I-94 Park and Ride lot is shown here in cross hatched orange.

The location of the proposed Highway 142-I-94 Park and Ride lot is shown here in cross hatched orange.

The location of the Highway K proposed Park and Ride is shown in orange cross hatch.

The location of the Highway K proposed Park and Ride is shown in orange cross hatch.

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  1. MK says:

    A park and ride where the old Star Bar once stood is a lot better than what’s it’s been for the past five years – a giant weed patch. Why should they worry about revenue that “could” be made – they pretty much gave the property across from the proposed park and ride to the City of Kenosha – where was their worry about that revenue? Is the Town collecting taxes on the parking lot now?

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