Letter of Support for Milwaukee Streetcar
"I strongly support efforts to improve public transportation options, improve mobility, and create economic development in Milwaukee through the creation of a modern downtown street car."
December 17, 2014
The Honorable Tom M. Barrett
City of Milwaukee
200 E. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3515
Dear Mayor Barrett,
I write to express my strong support for your efforts to help use longstanding federal transportation dollars to improve public transportation options, improve mobility, and create economic development in our city through the creation of a modern downtown street car.
I support your vision to revitalize our downtown, create jobs, expand the tax base, and enhance and increase mobility in Milwaukee for workers, tourists, and others with the addition of a streetcar. This project has been thoroughly studied and debated for a number of years and deserves to move forward. If it does not, these federal funds will be lost, along with the resulting benefits to our city.
As you know, it was only a few years ago that members of the Wisconsin delegation in Congress worked to ensure that federal funds that had been targeted to improve transportation options in Milwaukee were not lost. After nearly twenty years of debate, a decision was made to split up $91 million in federal funds remaining from a pot originally allocated to help improve transportation in our community in the early 1990’s.
The Federal Transit Administration made crystal clear a few years ago that these federal funds must be used for the Streetcar project. Any attempt to change the purpose for these funds would require additional federal legislation, a prospect that would face daunting obstacles, including earmark bans in the House and Senate and new fiscal and political realities here in Washington, DC.
It is time to use these funds to spur economic development in our city and to improve transportation options, the purpose they were originally allocated. I support your efforts to move this project forward and ensure that these federal funds are used for an important project that will connect to existing transit routes, reduce the need for private cars in the most congested parts of our city, and support job creation and economic growth.
The project can be a major win for our city and all stakeholders. I would hate to see Wisconsin once again send back federal transportation dollars back to Washington, DC that could create jobs and promote development and economic growth right here in Milwaukee. Investing in transportation infrastructure is a formula for success for our city.
MEMBER OF CONGRESS
Mentioned in This Press Release
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