6.2.17

IS ROSENDALE A RURAL FERGUSON?

That's Rosendale, Wisconsin, at the crossing of State Highway 26 (linking Interstate 41 at Oshkosh and Interstate 94 at Watertown) and State Highway 23 (Sheboygan west to Waupun and beyond).  I've passed through it a few times on a convenient (now that much of 26 is to expressway standards) route from DeKalb to Oshkosh or Green Bay, without getting a speeding ticket.  That's a tribute to prudence, as the place has long been notorious as a speed trap, so much so that the convenience stores sell t-shirts.

Local officials will defend the speed enforcement as providing a safer environment for pedestrians, but there might be something more afoot.
Rosendale gets $30 of the fine for each ticket it writes for low- and intermediate-level speeding citations that ends in a conviction. Income from traffic citations averaged just over $100,000 from 2013 through 2015, or about 14 percent of the village’s revenue, according to village clerk Emily Wirkus.
That's the Ferguson connection ... Ferguson being the notorious St. Louis suburb that lost out in the suburban growth ponzi scheme, local business taxes and utility revenues being inadequate to meet city payroll and maintain the roads and water mains in a state of good repair, and local police perhaps serving as tax collectors issuing citations for defective tail lights and the like.  Perhaps the same downward mobility of once-vibrant suburbs is also affecting rural towns that served as market centers in the days when farmers brought crops to the elevator and the railroad using a wagon and team.

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