Milwaukee is a city on the move. Every day brings new luxury apartments you can’t afford, new increases in rent you can’t afford, and other new developments you can’t afford (though being white helps). Long a low-key, under-the-radar place to live, Milwaukee has finally succumb to the reinventing, reimagining, and rebranding song that has lured in dozens of former “rust belt” Midwest cities before it. The sirens’ call is strong, and that call has only one lyric: “Gentrification….”
Then there’s Milwaukee’s lakefront, a glistening jewel that has forever given young and old alike an affordable escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Thankfully, that may change, too: According to WISN, Milwaukee County is mulling a parking fee along the lakefront, citing a $2.5 million budget shortfall for 2017. A vehicle registration fee is also on the table. Not young, healthy, or hip enough to tool on over to Bradford Beach on a Bublr Bike? That’ll cost you!
How much would it cost to access the once-frightfully free lake? Officials are kicking around a $1 an hour parking fee, and an annual $40 car registration fee just for good measure. The new fees would reportedly bring in about $1.5 million to the cash-strapped county. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is organizing a series of listening sessions to discuss these potential fees; the first is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 10, at the Washington Park Senior Center.
“Either it’s raising revenue or it’s cutting services,” WISN quotes Abele as saying. “I don’t begrudge people for using coupons. If people are concerned about it, they should change the law,” the Journal Sentinel quoted Abele as saying earlier this month when he was asked why he hadn’t paid state income taxes in 14 years.