Thursday, July 5, 2007

Madison, Dane County Follow Wise Transit Path, As I Suggested

OK, it's not the most important part of the story, which is that the City of Madison and Dane County are finally on the same track, so to speak, when it comes to rail transit planning.

That's a great development for the Dane County region, and statewide, too, as planners in railophobic areas like Milwaukee County could learn a thing or two about inter-governmental cooperation and transit opportunities from Madison and Dane County.

But this two-track path was suggested two months as the right approach, in a column I wrote for the Capital Times.

Rest easy, taxpayers: I am not submitting a bill to the city and county for my services. But if the system gets up and running in the next few years, please invite me to the opening.


Anonymous said...

Well I predict that the ref will go down the tubes. Your 'on the same page' is just Dave and his trolley follies trying to avoid the democratic process.

Soglin and many others on left end of Madison's political spectrum have stated they will vote No. I would have supported the country rail plan, but with Dave's trolley folly included I will vote no.

What's sad is the county plan has some basis in reality (leaving cars on the periphery) where as Dave trolley folley is rail to nowhere.

James Rowen said...

If you're for transit, you don't argue against your own agenda. The anti-transit right will do that just fine.

Anonymous said...

the "sides" SHOULD be - for transit, or against it. We should be comparing the money spent on roads to the money spent on transit - not pitting different kinds of transit against each other. Maybe some day Milwaukee will figure that out.

Anonymous said...

Dave promised an up or down vote on the trolley, he lied. The majority of Madison is against the trolley although many like myself would support the county rail.

Rail is not a right or left issue. You yourself have argued it will increase development, the last I checked most were Republican.

Why I support the county rail is it has the potential to keep traffic at the periphery of the city (Middleton, East Town Mall). Dave's folly does not even connect with other forms of transportation like bush hubs - rail to nowhere I like to call it.

If it will help development so damn much let the development community pay for it. Don't try to tell us a piece of corporate welfare will alleviate our transit problems.

James, talk to Dave tell him to take his trolley out of the plan. Then it will have the support of Madisonians. Maybe we are just waking up, years ago Paul told us we should buy him a parking lot with hotel attached to it, and now Dave want us to buy him a train set. Sorry, not on my watch.

James Rowen said...

Everytime someone disagrees with a politician, the politician is lying. The rhetoric and anger is useless.

And development spurred by public investment along a rail corridor or around stations isn't corporate welfare.

Be happy that your community is at least having this debate, or conversation, and I hope you all sort it out. Most of this is off the table in Milwaukee.

I think if people in Madison and Dane County are innovative, and are flexible, and explore dual-use vehicles, you can all win.

James Rowen said...

One more thought about development. Sure, there are developers, and sure, they sometimes get subsidies they don't need.

But development will follow stations and train lines. The market will take care of that. It has happened in so many other cities.

And just because there are developers, they do not constitute a community. Done right, development helps the larger community, with jobs, and if transit-centered, less impact on the environment, clean air, water table, public budgets, sprawl costs, etc.

If you want your community to grow, you certainly want it to grow along rail lines, and at hubs and stations. Not off highway interchanges, where, right now, most of it is going.

With your tax money supporting it, too, even if you are a bicylist and don't buy gasoline.

The comment from Purple Avenget is right on. Don't fight transit; fight highway spending.