Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Streetcar Backers Say They Have the Votes

Aldermen Witkowski and Perez now favor it, and touted plan to extend the line into their south-side districts.

By - Jan 20th, 2015 12:56 pm
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Aldermen Witkowski and Perez now favor it, and touted plan to extend the line into their south-side districts. Back to the full article.

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6 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Streetcar Backers Say They Have the Votes”

  1. Casey says:

    With the 6th street/Mitchell Airport extension this system finally would become pratical. Extend to UWM and down FLD to Midtown and we’ll really have something.

  2. Hereiam says:

    @Casey did you look at the extension map? Seems like it is headed that way.

    Dave, do you have any idea if they are planning to use a streetcar for the 6+ mile trip to the airport? Might that extension be in the form of light rail? If not, how long would a streetcar trip to the airport take?

  3. max says:

    Being an Alderman Zielinski constituent and supporter of the streetcar, it’s going to be interesting how he navigates these waters since he claims he is all about developing robust retail along KK.

    This very well may come back to bite him. I know I’ll be looking for alternatives the next election cycle.

  4. Bill says:

    Here’s a pretty basic question:

    Who’s going to pay for all these extensions? How will that be funded?

    I mean we seem to lack the funds to repair city streets, so it’s hard to fathom how we will be able to fund all these extensions that will be far more costly than the current route.

    I would tend to agree that the streetcar as proposed needs to be expanded if it’s to have a shot at being successful, but I don’t see where they money is going to come from.

  5. Hereiam says:

    @Bill I’m sure there are people who read this site with a much deeper understanding of how projects like this get funded, but generally it will be funded primarily through TIFs, federal funds, and eventually a dedicated tax.

    TIFs are abused by certain municipalities to fund projects that will not create the needed benefits. Transit lines, on the other hand, are basically the ideal projects for TIF funding. A transit line adds a strong incentive for development along a very specific area. Therefore, its relatively easy to identify your TIF district and the funding it can support. The city won’t rely on a single source, but economically you could probably fund the build out of a massive system with TIFs alone.

    The federal government, while facing tons of other issues, is looking at trillions of dollars in needed infrastructure investments. There is going to be a stream of funds from the federal government for infrastructure projects that will last at least a generation. While the DOT probably won’t give Milwaukee more money until shovels are in the ground, but once the starter is in place we will be an ideal candidate for federal funds to be used for expansion.

    While regional transit authorities seem to have been caught up in some weird Wisconsin-only political pissing match, that structure is the only sensible way to manage and operate a mass transit system. Think of the MTA, MTBA, CTA, etc. Once an RTA is in place it will need a dedicated funding source (i.e. a portion of either the property tax or sales tax levy).

  6. David says:

    Ald. Zelinski could care less about Bayview. He’s planning on running fro Rep. Moore’s seat and wants his opposition to the streetcar to win political points within her district. He’s just an opportunist.

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