Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Still Hoping for Rail

Today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported: "Federal economic stimulus money could be used to build a Midwestern high-speed passenger rail system that would link Chicago to Minneapolis with stops at Milwaukee, Madison and even Green Bay, Gov. Jim Doyle told Milwaukee business leaders."

I am and have been an ardent supporter of this idea, but my optimism is not high. Look at Milwaukee: the city was granted $289 million 17 years ago for public transit but still hasn't done anything with it.

What's funny is that we (e.g. Dane County, Milwaukee County) can't even create a referendum to decide whether or not to create a Regional Transit Authority. So at best, we're still two steps away (re: years) from even working on any rail plans.

What combination of traffic, tolls, gas prices and drunk drivers will it take for people to share this desire?

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