Friday, May 10, 2013

Smarty-Pants GOP May Fail To Kill Milwaukee Streetcar

Supporters of the Milwaukee streetcar line have plenty of reasons to think that the downtown transit and development project Walker and GOP legislators are trying to kill through a utility cost ploy is far from dead:

Ald. Robert Bauman, who represents the downtown Milwaukee area and is a major supporter of the streetcar project, said that the utility relocation costs for the project will be insignificant and predicted that the project will move forward despite the state budget measure, which still needs to be approved by the full Legislature and signed by Gov. Scott Walker.
As a Milwaukee transit advocate, Bauman was involved more than a decade ago in crafting a civil rights/environmental justice settlement with state and federal officials to ensure that funding available then - - and now ticketed for the streetcar project - - be used for Milwaukee transit projects.

Here is a link to the settlement.


Pt said...

Fantastic news!

Anonymous said...

If street cars are a good idea, why did Milwaukee get rid of them?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, if they're such a bad idea, why are Milwaukee's discarded streetcars still running in cities like Zagreb, Croatia?

James Rowen said...

Streetcar systems across the country were ripped out for buses - - thanks to GM, Standard Oil and Firestone - -

Anonymous said...

Because the history of urban planning and development in the United States is littered with bad ideas.

DH said...

Streetcars are an urban planning fad. The city planners cannot resist a free chunk of money from Obama. Its a terrible idea. It will not bring business since property tax and rent is not coming down. Grand Avenue is the prime example of why business leaves the downtown. Mass transit is not the answer.

Anonymous said...

"Streetcars are an urban planning fad."

$4 gas is certainly not a fad. Public transit that is not sensitive to the price of diesel gas is certainly not a fad.

"The city planners cannot resist a free chunk of money from Obama"

As opposed to the GOP, which cannot resist giving away money to shoddy road developers.

"It will not bring business since property tax and rent is not coming down"

If rent isn't coming down, that's a sign that demand is up. Which means it IS bringing business in. And that's what's happened in every city that has build new street car lines. Portland, Seattle, SLC, Charlotte, all saw storefront rents rise where their streetcar lines run.

DH said...

Fact is demand is not up, but way way down in Milwaukee. Most of the stores of Grand Avenue are empty, empty land is all over the place, and rent is still high. The city keeps rent high because it is trying to get the most that it can from the few renters left.