In fall 2023, the Commission initiated the 2024 Review and Update of VISION 2050 to keep the plan current and address federal requirements. A previous interim review and update of the plan was completed in 2020. You will find current information prepared for the 2024 Update on this page and can provide input using the comment form at the bottom of the page.
What will the 2024 Update include?
Review of VISION 2050 Recommendations and Implementation to Date (August 2023 Draft)
Review of VISION 2050 Forecasts (August 2023 Draft)
Review of Transportation System Performance (August 2023 Draft)
Updated VISION 2050 Recommendations
Updated Financial Analysis
Updated Equity Analysis
Review of Targets for National Performance Measures
Updated Milwaukee Metro Area Peer Comparison
We will be adding information to this page throughout the process. Check out the draft report materials above and summary information below to explore what we’ve developed so far and provide your feedback.
The land use component of VISION 2050 focuses on compact development and presents a development pattern and recommendations that accommodate projected growth in regional population, households, and employment in a sustainable manner. The compact development pattern recommended under VISION 2050 ranges from high-density development such as transit-oriented development (TOD), to neighborhoods in smaller communities with housing within easy walking distance of amenities such as parks, schools, and businesses.
VISION 2050 recommends developing urban service areas with a mix of housing types, including multifamily housing and single-family housing on smaller lots, which helps provide affordable housing choices for households with a wide range of incomes. The plan also recommends mixing land uses to create walkable neighborhoods with housing near neighborhood amenities such as parks, schools, and businesses. Following national trends, most new housing units in the Region since 2010 have been multifamily, which tend to support the recommended development pattern. However, single-family housing development during that time period has been mostly at lower densities than recommended, with 88% of single-family lots within sewered areas being greater than 10,000 square feet.
New Housing Units,
Other notable land use-related activity:
About 95% of primary environmental corridors—areas that encompass the best remaining features of the Region’s natural landscape—are currently protected through various means.
Transit-oriented development opportunities have increased around stations for The Hop streetcar and the new CONNECT 1 bus rapid transit line between downtown Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.
The Commission is preparing a Regional Food System Plan.
Milwaukee completed a Climate and Equity Plan.
The transportation component of VISION 2050 includes the following six elements: public transit, bicycle and pedestrian, transportation systems management, travel demand management, arterial streets and highways, and freight transportation.
Previous financial analyses identified a funding gap for the recommended regional transportation system. The portion of the recommended transportation system that can be achieved with reasonably expected revenues is referred to as the “Fiscally Constrained Transportation System (FCTS).”
VISION 2050 recognizes the many reasons why a robust public transit system is essential for Southeastern Wisconsin’s future. Among them, public transit:
Expands capacity in heavily traveled corridors and densely developed activity centers
Provides an alternative to congested roadways
Can guide development by focusing jobs and housing around transit stations
Assists residents in aging in place
Is vital for residents without access to a car
Can provide employers with access to a larger labor force
Is more affordable than owning a car
Can decrease demand for parking
Can reduce carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels
With these benefits in mind, the plan recommends significantly improving and expanding public transit, which would result in a more than doubling of service levels. Improvements would include rapid transit lines, commuter rail lines, and significantly expanded local bus and flexible transit services. However, transit service under the FCTS would be expected to decline due to insufficient current and reasonably expected future revenues, and limitations on how those funds can be used. Not improving and expanding transit service will likely result in significant negative consequences, particularly for those without access to a car, disproportionately impacting people of color, low-income populations, and people with disabilities.
In recent years, the Region has experienced an overall decline in transit service levels and an even larger decline in transit ridership, impacted significantly by the pandemic and ongoing driver shortages. Changes in travel patterns and revenue associated with the pandemic have exacerbated many of the funding constraints that already existed, resulting in transit service providers eliminating routes or reducing service. On the positive side, some progress in implementing the transit element has been made. The Milwaukee County Transit System began service on the Region’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) line, CONNECT 1, and Commission staff assisted the County in completing a study for a second BRT line along the 27th Street corridor. The Region’s first on-demand microtransit service, FlexRide Milwaukee, was also initiated to connect Milwaukee residents with jobs in nearby suburbs.
Public Transit Service Levels
National Transit Database and SEWRPC, 9/2023
Passenger Boardings on Local Transit Services
Note: Includes Kenosha Area Transit, Milwaukee County Transit System, Waukesha Metro, RYDE Racine, and The Hop Streetcar.
National Transit Database and SEWRPC, 9/2023
Please use the comment box below to send us your comments or questions at any time during the 2024 Update process.