"The best option possible:" County Board approves compromise agreement on Southridge bus stop

MILWAUKEE COUNTY (WITI) -- Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik says a compromise agreement on the location of a new bus stop at Southridge Mall was “the best option that was possible” in resolving the issue.

The Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee approved the agreement on a 4-3-vote, and the full County Board approved it on a 14-3 vote.

According to an agreement between the county and Southridge Mall management, the compromise “will move the current stop west about 200 feet, to the corner of the ring road and the parking lot access road. This would eliminate the worst of walkway issues, including eliminating the need to cross the access road and the temptation to set out diagonally across the parking lot. Work is required to make the corner suitable for a bus stop. The walkway will be improved with the addition of traffic markers for at least a portion of its length; the curb on the west side of the walk will remain in place. In addition, a second bus stop will be added at the south end of the mall, about 350 feet from the building. Southridge will construct a dedicated ADA compliant walkway from this stop to the mall. The walkway will be set off for now with traffic markers and future improvements are expected.”

Southridge management, Simon Property Group, of Indianapolis, moved regular bus stops at the mall entrance on November 1st, 2013, requiring people to walk 1,000 feet from the replacement bus stop to the mall entrance. The new stops will be closer to the mall but will not replace the former stop at the mall entrance.

“This compromise agreement is the best option possible. We cannot get Southridge to agree to re-establish the former bus stop at the mall entrance. The new stops will be much safer than the former stop 1,000 ft. from the mall entrance that was established last year. Now bus riders, especially those with disabilities, will have a safer route to the mall entrance. We must respect everyone’s rights, including those of bus riders, and this compromise agreement will provide for stops at the mall that respect those rights," Jursik said.

Jursik said that while not all community disabled and aging groups involved in the dispute with Southridge support the new stops, there was no other option.

“The fact is we weren’t going to get the mall entrance bus stop back. After more than a year of negotiations, I am pleased that we could come to a compromise agreement that makes everyone safer at Southridge," Jursik said.

Mary Mokwa, general manager of Southridge Mall, today issued the following statement regarding an agreement with Milwaukee County on bus service to the mall:

“We are pleased that we could work cooperatively with Milwaukee County to provide expanded bus service for the convenience of our customers. This is a positive agreement that enhances bus service for everyone who visits Southridge. The new plan calls for having two stops rather than one, both of which will be closer to the mall."