U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore
Press Release

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."

By - Dec 23rd, 2014 05:35 pm

December 17, 2014

The Honorable Tom M. Barrett
Mayor
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.

Sincerely,

Gwen Moore
MEMBER OF CONGRESS

Letter of Support for Milwaukee Streetcar (pdf)

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore

Passage of GOP Tax Scam Puts the Well-Being of Millions in Peril

In response to the passage of the House Republican tax plan, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, issued the following statement:

Malicious GOP Budget Neglects Single, Working-Class Mothers

In response to the passage of the GOP’s FY 2018 Budget Resolution, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) issued the following statement

Congress Must Unite to Protect DACA

In response to speculation the Trump administration will soon phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) issued the following statement:

9 thoughts on “Letter of Support for Milwaukee Streetcar”

  1. Tom guthrie says:

    Take a look at what long beach uses instead of street cars. Small shuttle busses that can be used on any route where the pele need it,
    Wake up Milwaukee you had stret cars until 1958

  2. MARY GLASS says:

    December 24, 2014

    Happy Kwanzaa!

    U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore, 4th District
    “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.”
    ===============

    As one of the six or seven businesses in the city of Milwaukee that took the voice of the people to the United States Federal Transportation in Washington, DC, in a class-action suit and locked-the-funds – the reason we did so, Congresswoman Moore, was to seek benefits in transportation for the Core Constituents, the People – Milwaukeeans – many of whom seeking transportation benefits to employment and travel issues using federal funding – just like now. They needed transportation to/for employment and quality of life facilities. They wanted the transportation to have their DNA on it. Not every Tom, Dick, Harry-Sue-Sally-Jane that do not represent them. Yes. 20 years ago.

    Fast forward, 2014, the only difference now – on your watch, I might add – is less of the original hundred-millions going for everyone but the Core Constituents. It is for the downtown Vegas plan of mayor Tom Barrett, the haves and the wanna-be.

    How can we put our heads around bait-n-switch promises – create jobs, expand the tax base and enhance and increase mobility in Milwaukee for workers – without specifics? The last part of your first sentence is correct, “tourists, and others with the addition of a streetcar”.

    The People, Milwaukeeans of the 4th Congressional District, do not need a Streetcar that fails to give upfront and posted true agreements – contracts – oversight that says they will have family supporting jobs for the long haul with quality of life benefits. A street car that runs to Midtown – down Fond du Lac and connect to defined points-of travel for the people and visitors (i.e., North Avenue, Holton, Capitol Drive, MLKing Drive, Atkinson, Cesar Chavez, Green Bay) as the first arm with an expanded plan. This is REVITALIZATION. This is the People seeing commerce being brought to and through their business neighborhood arteries that force other necessary changes that will help remove Enduring Concentrated Poverty. This might be worthy of support.

    There must be vetted Core Constituent individuals and businesses in-the-lead of the creation/construction of this project – planners, designers, attorneys, prime contractors, engineers, architects, apprenticeship programs with DNA details, subcontractors, work agreements, People of Color neighborhoods in the start-up and an expanded plan as well as Core Constituents accountability not appointed by the mayor and his posse.

    We need the Core Constituents “fingerprints” here – the ones the money is for.

    We are tired of our elected officials, especially African Americans, appearing to carry water for projects that do absolutely nothing for the People they represent.

    We are disappointed with your letter that speaks to fluff. You can do better. The bait-n-switch T-shirt does not become you. This is “Do-nothing” politics for your constituents.

    Mary Glass – Milwaukee Professionals Association LLC

  3. Steve R. says:

    Excuse me, I’m not very good at hearing dog whistles… can you tell me what you mean by “Core Constituents”? I’ve lived in the city of Milwaukee for the majority of my life, from the East Side to the Northwest Side, down to Bay View and many years in Riverwest. Am I a “Core Constituent”?

    I wish I was wrong but I see Mary Glass is outlining her racist vision for the city of Milwaukee. Milwaukee will not be a better place by carving out quotas for the respective skin colors that call this place home.

    In order to spread development & prosperity, we need to build the Streetcar to reach the entire city. That’s why it starts Downtown and can tie together the rest of the city.

  4. L. B. says:

    There will be jobs during construction, but after that its semi-automated? Whos gonna benefit from this project really?

  5. Dave Reid says:

    @L.B. Streetcars, just like buses, have drivers as well as repairs / maintenance. But who will benefit? Milwaukeeans.

  6. Dave says:

    The streetcar is a foolish waste of transport money. The money should have been directed toward developing and expanding an energy efficient system of busses and shuttles that can quickly respond to changing demographics, business centers, and travel patterns. More jobs, more flexibility. Why a fixed-rail streetcar system became the holy grail to the federal government is beyond me.

  7. PMD says:

    A lot of streetcar opponents contend that it would be better to improve the bus system. How would you do that? More express routes? Bus-only lanes on city streets? Bring back routes that were eliminated?

  8. Andy says:

    Bus routes are more flexible and can indeed chase unstable neighborhoods and put the routes were people go. However, a fixed line system can help stabilize a community and bring the people to it.

  9. PMD says:

    I took the bus a lot when I was in college. Mostly I used it to go from Marquette’s campus to the east side. I believe the routes were the 10 and 30. That’s what, about 4 or 5 miles? I could (and did) walk it faster. It took about 30-45 minutes to cover that distance. Stopping every two blocks. Fighting traffic and lights. It got me where I needed to go, but it took its sweet time. I wonder how long it would take the streetcar to cover the same distance. I was really never in much of a hurry, but if I was going to a job and needed the bus to get there and back, it would have added hours to the workday and wouldn’t have been very efficient.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *