Bayview or Racine
May 9, 2008 8:12 AM   Subscribe

Which commute is better? Racine, WI to 94 and 45 in Milwaukee (Wauwatosa area) or Bayview area in Milwaukee to just south of Racine?

We are moving to SE Wisconsin from Madison this summer. My boyfriend will be working just south of Racine. I will either be working at home or in Milwaukee (near where 45 and 94 meet). I am leaning towards the job in Milwaukee and am trying to gauge the commuting choices.

We are going to be renting, and ideally it would be a house (rather than apt) and would have a fenced in yard (small-tiny is okay) for our dog and allow gardening. A walkable neighborhood is best, with close local grocery, bars, restaurants being ideal.

Which living arrangement is likely to lead to the easiest commute? Keeping in mind commuting to work would probably be early in the morning (before 7) either way. Which place (Bayview vs. Racine) is likely to offer the type of living we would like?
posted by sulaine to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
Bay View is very walkable if you hunt around a bit, and there's a couple different quick ways you can commute to Racine. The problem with commuting from Racine is that the city itself is pretty far from the freeway (about 9 miles) so it usually takes a long time (30-40 minutes) to get from there to Milwaukee (at least it did for me when I was dating my now-wife).
posted by drezdn at 8:28 AM on May 9, 2008

I'd rather live in Milwaukee than Racine but the commute from Racine to Milwaukee (the Zoo interchange) is going to be easier because you avoid the whole Marquette interchange fiasco. I forgot that Bay View to Racine avoids the Marquette interchange as well. Jesus, it's only been a year since I moved! Traffic will not be bad at all on I-94 that time of morning. It really doesn't get bad except near downtown Milwaukee, and south of the IL border near Gurnee (and all the way from there into Chicago). I base this on my fiancé's extensive commuting between the UWM area to Brookfield and to Chicago.

If you live in Bay View and work near the zoo, take 894 rather than 94. Like drezdn said, Bay View has everything you want re: walkability and housing. Racine will be less expensive, but crime will be higher. If you want really specific drilled-down info on Bay View, there are interactive maps of Milwaukee at Map Milwaukee. In terms of walkability to cool stuff, I'd concentrate on the area closest to Kinnickinnic Ave (which the locals call KK) between Lincoln and Oklahoma.
posted by desjardins at 8:51 AM on May 9, 2008

Oh, and you could very easily take a bus from KK to the Zoo area. More time consuming than driving, obviously, but saves on gas and there's only one transfer (15 to the 10 or 31). Plus, there's a good coffee shop at the transfer point (with a bookstore across the street), and the Milwaukee Public Market is right on your route.
posted by desjardins at 8:55 AM on May 9, 2008

The main body of rush hour traffic moves towards Milwaukee so if you commute in the reverse direction you will be better off. Keep in mind that within a few years I-94 will be completely under construction so that any commute in either direction will not be fun.

I lived in Racine for four years and much prefer Milwaukee although West Racine was nice at the time. While I don't know what you'd like, I prefer the bigger city.
posted by JJ86 at 8:56 AM on May 9, 2008

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