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Ask NOW: Why is there a cul de sac at Capitol and Lisbon?

Construction crews completed an access road and cul de sac near Capitol Drive and Lisbon Avenue in early December.

Construction crews completed an access road and cul de sac near Capitol Drive and Lisbon Avenue in early December.

Dec. 24, 2013

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Why was a cul de sac built

near Capitol and Lisbon?

Issue:A city reader wants to know the "reasoning" behind the new cul de sac built just a block from the Wauwatosa border, near Capitol Drive and Lisbon Avenue. He worries it might confuse drivers traveling through this busy area.

Status: The project — intended to improve the safety of traffic merging at Capitol Drive, Lisbon Avenue and 100th Street — was completed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and directed by Milwaukee in cooperation with Wauwatosa.

DOT spokesman Michael Pyritz and Milwaukee Alderman Jim Bohl said the new access road and cul de sac is meant to alleviate dangerous driving due to high traffic speeds and multiple turnoffs into businesses and a multifamily residence.

"Traffic coming from the west in particular was dangerous because vehicles slowed down to turn," Bohl said.

Milwaukee's Department of Public Works released a written response to the question, noting the "revised configuration significantly simplified navigation through the intersection, which was complex for drivers and pedestrians alike."

The communication said the old intersection configuration did not fully accommodate school traffic on 100th Street.

The new configuration will reduce the number of traffic signals.

"The previous operation," the DPW statement said, "required four signals and large curves in the eastbound lands of West Capitol Drive as well as a very wide median at West Capitol Drive and North 100th Street. This led to driver confusion and some red light running and failure-to-yield crashes."

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