Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Journal Sentinel Blames Walker for Region's Rail Failure: Now What?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's lead editorial lays the blame for Milwaukee's no-rail transit system at the doorstep of County Executive Scott Walker, and it's a fair conclusion.

The newspaper puts it in blodface:

"What Milwaukee needs is a local consensus on rapid transit. But until the county executive sees the value of rail or streetcars, both compromise and progress will be elusive."

This blog has said much the same thing.

Unfortunately, the newspaper is appealing to reason, while Walker disregards the city for his talk radio base and some anti-city suburbanites, so he's unlikely to change on this issue.

The result is a stalemate and an uncompetitive city and region.

Federal dollars set aside for Milwaukee transit improvements are dwindling through inaction and inflation, and crucial planning time is lost as gas prices continue their irreversible climb.

There is a solution.

The newspaper editorially endorsed Walker for re-election in 2004.

If it really wants rail added to Milwaukee's transportation mix, The Journal Sentinel can throw its editorial weight behind a different candidate in 2008.

(Side note: Madison and Dane County are having some of the same problems, too.)

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