Funny then how this happens...
The City of Milwaukee has 100,000 more residents than the combined populations of a majority of SEWRPC counties - Kenosha, Walworth, Washington and Ozaukee - but has zero seats on the commission.
Yet Milwaukee County pays the largest share of SEWRPC's operating budget that is collected from the seven counties' annual property tax levies - more than 33%, or $834,000 of $2,370,000 for 2007, records show.
So this is what happens when you give suburban jurisdictions control of the transportation funding that is regional in nature. No wonder they can't get the KRM line built or a reasonable transit network. They are always getting bad planning advice and have no funding clout.
Little wonder, then, that a major SEWRPC activity in this decade has been the creation of a $6.5 billion regional transportation plan that does not contain a single penny for any transit upgrade or initiative.
The plan is about to launch, over the City of Milwaukee's formal objection, a $1.9 billion, eight-year project segment including a new fourth I-94 lane from Milwaukee to Illinois. The plan deliberately omits a commuter rail plan that is available for the same corridor.
Even though gasoline has broken the $4-per-gallon barrier and demand for transit is up, neither the state nor SEWRPC will revisit the plan, its assumptions, spending and goals. That's not planning. That's denial.