St. Croix Crossing
The St. Croix Crossing bridge connects Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, and St. Joseph, Wisconsin. (Image courtesy of Minnesota Department of Transportation)

A guide for reporters

Transit and transportation

Posted July 24, 2019

In 2017, roughly six out of every 10 workers living in Pierce and St. Croix counties traveled at least 20 minutes to their jobs, according to U.S. Census data. Travel to and from the Twin Cities has been eased by projects such as the widening of Highway 35 from River Falls to Interstate 94, and by construction of the long-awaited St. Croix Crossing bridge between Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Yet, transportation issues remain. For example, lack of mass transit in western Wisconsin means most travel is by automobile. The growing popularity of Hudson as a destination has created parking problems in the city’s downtown district, while in River Falls during the academic year lack of convenient parking is a frequent complaint of university students.

For journalists interested in covering transit and transportation issues in western Wisconsin, several resources provide data and story ideas.

Airport directory

The state Department of Transportation maintains this list of airports around Wisconsin. Data include PDF downloads with information such as runway configurations.

Crash statistics

Information about traffic accidents is tabulated by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Data include historic and current reports on fatalities by county.

Northwest Weekly Construction Updates

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation provides an interactive map of state road construction projects. This one covers the northwest region, including Pierce and St. Croix counties.

Railroad crossings

The Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis maintains an inventory of all at-grade crossings, as well as a database of traffic accidents at crossings.

Traffic counts

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation monitors traffic counts around the state, information that is used in making decisions about road improvements. Continuous counts are available in various locations on the state highway system.

Wisconsin Deer Metrics

The Department of Natural Resources tracks deer-vehicle crashes (known as DVCs) in Wisconsin. Data for the state and individual counties are available.