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Franklin — Residents living on North Cape Road in both Franklin and Muskego have submitted a petition to Franklin's Common Council opposing an entrance to a new middle school planned for the area.

The new middle school would service the Muskego-Norway School District and be built in the city of Muskego on the west side of North Cape Road and south of the Muskego Recreation Trail. North Cape divides Franklin and Muskego, with Muskego residents living on the west side of the road and Franklin residents living on the east side.

The petition states: "We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge our leaders to act now to oppose any entrance to the new middle school off of North Cape Road. The traffic impact to our neighborhood and our new Franklin road will be dangerous and obnoxious. The result of this will be hundreds of cars and a fleet of buses daily creating undue traffic congestion." 38 residents signed the petition.

The new school will be built on the opposite end of the district as the other middle school, Lake Denoon, which is on the far west edge of the district. The district purchased the land for the new middle school in 2008.

Traffic concerns

According to Franklin city engineer Glen Morrow, the entrance itself would be built in the section of North Cape Road that runs directly north to south, which is completely within Muskego.

However, residents who live on the street are concerned about the traffic impact the entrance may have on the rest of the road.

According to officials with the Muskego-Norway school district, a firm known as TADI (an acronym for Traffic Analysis and Design Inc.) completed a traffic impact study that indicated the district is "not at a threshold close to having to make any improvements on North Cape Road."  In other words, officials feel the construction of the school is not enough to require any major road construction.

The study did suggest a small accommodation: paving a passing lane on the northbound shoulder of Forest Home Avenue onto North Cape.

According to the study, most of the traffic for the new middle school will be coming from the north off of McShane Drive around 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

However, that also means most of the traffic would be driving on North Cape Road, and residents are concerned about the number of buses and other cars that would be traveling through their neighborhood.

School officials say this is the only place for an entrance, given that the only part of the property close to a road is right off North Cape.

Communicating issues

A few residents also said that they felt there had been a lack of communication between the residents and the various entities involved.

"I think the reason for the frustration on the parts of the residents who live in the area (was that) nobody knew that this was happening. They found out from some flyer that was put in some of the mailboxes, not all of them," said Alderwoman Susanne Mayer, the alderman for the district, at the common council meeting when the petition was received and placed on file.

Franklin resident Juli Stefanczyk said the main reason she signed the petition was in hopes that it would facilitate communication, as she did not know about the specific plans until a neighbor had mentioned it.

"I thought maybe it would help us to have a conversation," Stefanczyk said.

Muskego-Norway held a neighborhood meeting Nov. 22 and notified residents via fliers. However, Stefanczyk said that she did not received a flyer, and so did not know about the meeting until after the fact.

Officials with the Muskego-Norway school said that the neighborhood meeting Nov. 22 went well.

"The meeting was overall positive, and we were able to respond to many questions related to the project, traffic and location of the school," Muskego-Norway superintendent Kelly Thompson said in an email.

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