Alderman Donovan to Mayor Barrett: “What is happening with the streetcar project?”
Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan December 3, 2013
Everywhere I go, people are asking me the same question: “What is the latest on the downtown streetcar project?”
I tell them that it has been eerily quiet on the streetcar front – like the soft sound of crickets on a quiet summer evening.
If one looks at the official streetcar timeline, it is far, far behind schedule. In fact, the actual cars were supposed to have been purchased by now, and construction of the project was supposed to have begun about a year ago. But nothing is happening, and this ridiculous waste of money has not even come close to “leaving the station!”
In my view, the citizens of Milwaukee deserve to know what the holdup is, and they deserve to hear that from the mayor. So I am publicly asking – are we or are we not going to have the streetcar project go forward? If we are, Mr. Mayor, then why the delay?
Mr. Mayor, while I’m ecstatic that this boondoggle of a project – your “baby” and sadly the only major public works initiative folks can really point to during your 10 years in office – is stuck in the mud, can’t you please (at the very least) have someone update the project’s website so it is somewhat in line with reality?
Could it be that our mayor is actually starting to listen to the citizens of Milwaukee, who are overwhelmingly opposed to the project? Or is he paying attention to Mr. Michael Cudahy, who called the project “stupid?”
Or is he back pedaling because of the November 5 election result in Cincinnati, where voters elected anti-streetcar candidate John Cranley as mayor (Mr. Cranley made canceling that city’s $133 million streetcar construction project a central issue in the campaign).
According to our city engineer there have been and will continue to be meetings scheduled with We Energies concerning the project. It would be nice for our citizens to know what those meetings are about and what, if anything, will come from them.
Either way, our mayor needs to come clean about why the streetcar project is stuck in “park.”
The people of Milwaukee deserve an answer.
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