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Roads Going West

May 21, 2006

When I go to work I travel East on interstate I-94. When I am not going to work – when I am going to do some shopping or if it’s a weekend – I much prefer to travel West and on roads less traveled by. This is true even if similar or better destinations can be had by going East. If there is a better department store or a better movie theater to the East, it doesn’t matter. When my time is my own I’d rather go West than East and forgo the speed of the interstate. Going East means work; going West means leisure. Interstate I-94 says Monday morning; US highway 18 says vacation.

That is why when I go to a department store I go to Delafield rather than to Brookfield. It’s why when I go to the movies I’d rather go to Hillside than to West Point. Whereas my weekday commute is characterized by interstate traffic and increasing urbanization, my westward travels are characterized by farm fields, livestock and two-lane roads overhung by trees. A typical route West might look like this:

Take highway 18 West
Turn right on University Drive
Turn left on Northview Road
Turn right at the Swinging K ranch (Elmhurst Drive)
Turn left at Silvernail Road

I could go East, but I don’t. And no matter the direction I could take the interstate but I don’t. I prefer the gorgeous drive that the above route affords. I wonder if other people change their travel and shopping behavior based on such aesthetic reasons.

New! Here’s a satelite map showing the drive down Northview Road to the Swinging K. Zoom in on that. Would you rather take 94 or Northview? Me, too.

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  1. US highway 18 says vacation, To me it says effed up stoplight timing, and people-LOTS AND LOTS of people who Can’t-no won’t drive any faster than 25 MPH (at least from the West county line-124th Street all the way to Goerkes Corners)


  2. Ah, you’re talking about 18 from Milwaukee towards Brookfield. I’m really talking about from Waukesha westward. Radically different experience. And even so, it was a bad example on my part. Even 18 isn’t that great. I prefer to take roads like Northview out of Waukesha, even if they don’t go that far before you have to get on something else.


  3. I live in the Village of Pewaukee, and back when I was in High School -I graduated in ’92- Anything West of Hartland was all farm fields and farms of course- now it’s all Subdivisions and Golf Courses.

    I actually remember when the family would go into Milwaukee, and someone would ask where I was from and I’d say Pewaukee, and their response would be “where the hell is that?’ and I’d say “exactly!”
    Damn I miss those days!!!

    Anyway back to the point, once you get past Meadowbrook road on HWY 18 it really hasn’t changed too horribly much. There are still some farm fields between Wales and Sullivan, although those are becoming subdivisions too. -just not as quickly as those from Summit east to Wales.

    The BEST thing in my opinion is the subdivision Moratorium that parts of Jefferson and Walworth Counties have in place to preserve the rural character of those 2 counties. It is something I wish Waukesha County would have done 20 years ago.



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