[Update: Here is a wonderfully-detailed record of the 2004 input session, which the 2008 and 2012 sessions echoed. Hat tip, Gretchen Schuldt.]
In several posts over the last few days, I wrote about the quadrennial federal hearing that was to take place Tuesday evening in Milwaukee where the public could weigh in whether the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission should retain its federally-funded and sponsored transportation planning and spending authority.
At the hearing, I decided at the last minute to make a few remarks about the Groundhog Day similarity of many of the previous comments earlier in the evening to complaints aired at the 2004 and 2008 iterations of the same meetings and processes, and I asked the federal reviewers (at least two raised their hands when I asked if they had been present at the 2008 session) why they thought there was so much comment carryover, and thus so little action on transit and other social justice issues people were raising.
Today I went back to the final recertification report the feds issued to SEWRPC after the 2008 session, and offer below the reviewers summary (see p. 11, pdf) of the main points citizens raised in 2008.
Certainly the first eight of ten categories of comments as the feds summarized them validates the point I made last night that we've heard it all before.
I wish I'd copied it out and simply read it the meeting, but will send this posting as a written comment. That deadline is July 16th, at this site: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Anyway, here's what the reviewers heard in 2008 (and again last night):
The predominant comments relating to the SEWRPC transportation planning process can generally be characterized among the following themes:
* Non-representative Commission structure;
* The population or interests of the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County are underrepresented;
* The Commission lacks minority and low-income representation in decision-
making structure, therefore, not equitably representing its constituents;
* Planning process provides inadequate consideration or support for mass transit improvements and favors road expansion;
* Lack of public involvement relating to Commission’s public participation process.
* Decisions are not responsive to the public input received;
* SEWRPC has not made meaningful efforts to investigate and address the needs of low income and minority communities in their planning process;
* Concerns with the Commission’s support to expand I-94 and I-43 to eight lanes within the City of Milwaukee;
* Commendable work done to improve the bicycle facilities in the region. There was some concern expressed regarding a number of bicycle accidents that have occurred; and
* Recognition for SEWRPC involvement with the newly formed transportation coalition that is working on trying to achieve a dedicated source of funding to meet the needs of mass transit in the region.