Seven Dane County lawmakers have joined the city of Madison’s pushback to a planned new DMV location on the Far West Side, saying it is nearly inaccessible by public transit.
The city has filed a federal civil rights complaint against the Wisconsin Department of Transportation over its plans to consolidate two West Side DMV locations at a new site at 8417 Excelsior Drive later this month.
The city and other critics say the location disadvantages low-income, minority and disabled people who more frequently rely on public transit. The site is directly accessible by only one Metro Transit route, the city complaint says, and that route doesn’t serve the area between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
DMV locations are where voters can obtain free IDs to comply with the state’s requirement to show photo IDs to vote.
Given that, “reduced accessibility to the DMV is particularly alarming,” the lawmakers wrote.
“Those who lack transportation to get to the new location are likely to be the same individuals who are most likely to be disenfranchised,” they wrote.
The letter also says the new location is not pedestrian or bicycle friendly.
Signatories to the letter were Sens. Mark Miller, D-Monona, and Fred Risser, D-Madison, and Reps. Jimmy Anderson, D-Fitchburg, Terese Berceau, D-Madison, Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, Lisa Subeck, D-Madison, and Chris Taylor, D-Madison.
The DOT chose the new DMV location to replace two other centers it plans to close, off Sheboygan Avenue and Odana Road.
A DOT spokeswoman said in a statement last week that the new location would be more “cost effective” and have easier access to the Madison Beltline.