Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What's In the Water in Milwaukee?

Apparently something that draws conservative radio jockeys to that city like moths to a flame. Have you ever wondered about why a fairly dense city with good historic fabric has failed to do any fixed guideway transit planning and is slowly suffocating its bus system because the economy will be so good everyone will be driving cars?

Well Urban Milwaukee has the story and the lowdown on the local politics of transit. It might be similar to the situation in your city. Also if you're interested, check out James Rowen's Political Environment which covers a lot of transit, growth and development issues in the region as well. Great writing going on up there, just wish they could win a few political battles.


Dave Reid said...

It is sad because some of the anti-rail discussion enters into the realm of racism. And then it is just this strange anti-rail phobia by the conservatives in the region.

James Rowen said...

Hey, thanks for the shoutout.

Sadly, rail has become a code word around here, as commenter Dave Reid suggests.

The losing candidate in the city's 2000 Mayoral election, a long-time downtown gift shop owner, warned that a proposed light rail system might bring "strangers" to suburban communities.

That wierd paranoia, and demagoguery about taxes that also inflames suburbanites, has made rail a dirty word in these parts.

Such a shame: the city once had trolleys and the Interurban connection to Chicago that ran many trains daily at more than 100 mph.

Matt Fisher said...

Here's another right wing guy on talk radio on Milwaukee who's against light rail: Mark Belling. He's a frequent fill-in for Rush Limbaugh.