Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Streetcar Responses Shows Wide Support

Eleven out of 15 aldermanic districts, and 76 percent of all respondents support the proposed streetcar starter system.

By - Jan 22nd, 2015 02:00 pm

Eleven out of 15 aldermanic districts, and 76 percent of all respondents in the city support the Milwaukee Streetcar. This is according to tabulated results of a Common Council and Mayor contact form we’ve put on our website that allows individuals to voice their opinion on the project.

The city’s Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) went through the data we have been regularly sending to map and tabulate the results by district. As of January 20th at approximately 5 p.m., 2,937 contacts had been made, with LRB verifying 1,886 of them as valid city addresses (a number were from out of the city, a small amount were not an accurate address and just a couple were duplicates).

Beyond the promotion we have given to the form, groups both for, against and neutral on the project have encouraged their members and customers to fill out the form.

Alderman Robert Bauman praised the Urban Milwaukee information in a January 8th interview with my colleague Bruce Murphy, noting “It’s the most effective communication format I’ve seen in all my years here in City Hall.”

Streetcar opponents have criticized the form for opening with the “Yes” radio button automatically selected. But this has not prevented over 700 total submissions in opposition. The vast majority of submissions have used a custom message, some of great length, to state their case either for or against the streetcar. Certainly, the data does not provide a scientific sampling of voters, but it does provide insight into the feelings of citizens with the strongest views, both pro and con.

Breaking Down the Data

Responses were not uniformly spread across the city, with council members Ashanti Hamilton (10), Joe Davis (11), Willie Wade (10) and Robert Puente (16) each receiving less than 20 responses. On the flip side, council members Nik Kovac (567), Bauman (323) and Tony Zielinski (298) each received well over 200. Council members Kovac, Milele Coggs, Jose Perez and Zielinski received contacts from citizens of which more 80 percent were in support of the streetcar. Only Joe Dudzik received contacts less than 40 percent in support.

Council Streetcar Form Contacts as of January 20th, 2015

Council Streetcar Form Contacts as of January 20th, 2015

Tony Zielinski’s District

This may be the most interesting district in the city on this issue. Ald. Tony Zielinski has repeatedly stated that he will vote the way his district feels on the project and he has opposed it. But the return of contact forms from people in his Bay View district to date shows that 80 percent are favor the streetcar. As I reported Tuesday, two streetcar supporters announced their intent to push for an extension of the starter system to the airport that would bypass Bay View. That may up the stakes for Zielinski, putting him in a tougher position with constituents who favor the project and want a connection to Bay View.

Data Maps

Two maps were prepared by the Legislative Reference Bureau that map form responses. Predictably, they indicate greater support for the system closer to the proposed starter route and proposed future extensions.

Streetcar Response Map

Streetcar Response Map

Streetcar Response Map - Near Route and Extensions

Streetcar Response Map – Near Route and Extensions

Full report from the Legislative Reference Bureau. Please note that the mapping does not include all contact to the offices of the Mayor or council members, just those contacts that came via the Urban Milwaukee – Take Action on the Milwaukee Streetcar Form.

Make Your Voice Heard

As we reported on yesterday, due to a rarely used parliamentary procedure, the final vote on the streetcar system was held until February 10th. You can still use our form to contact the council and mayor.

Urban Milwaukee Streetcar Coverage

Maps and Renderings

More about the Milwaukee Streetcar

For more project details, including the project timeline, financing, route and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.

Read more about Milwaukee Streetcar here

11 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Streetcar Responses Shows Wide Support”

  1. Chris says:

    Fascinating break down. Curious to see how quiet Donovan’s district was. I suspect there’s an age issue relative to internet-based form submission.

    FYI – You have Zielinski and Witkowski’s favor/opposed note flipped.

  2. Dave Reid says:

    @Chris the Voting column indicates which way they are voting on the streetcar (not which way the district is voting).

  3. Bill says:

    So you’re telling me 76% of a liberal websites mostly liberal readers support the streetcar?

    I guess you should have no worries about this issue going to referendum as based on this headline you should win easily and being able to spike the football Gronkowski-like

  4. Laverne says:

    Bill, from the very same article you are commenting on: “Beyond the promotion we have given to the form, groups both for, against and neutral on the project have encouraged their members and customers to fill out the form.”

  5. capper says:

    I polled two people and it was unanimous that the streetcar should be built but in a way that will actually benefit the city. It has a less error rate than this poll. Just because I said so.

    Both sides have gone to the point of being ridiculous.

  6. Tim says:

    capper, why the false equivalence? Alderman Dudzik is against the Streetcar and literally was on WISN radio saying “There’s going to be a couple of assaults, maybe a rape, or a shooting on one of these streetcars”…289503931.html

    Where is his liberal doppelganger? “Both sides do it” is lazy, ignorant & a lie.

  7. Rich says:

    ““There’s going to be a couple of assaults, maybe a rape, or a shooting on one of these streetcars””
    Who cares? The same happens on the bus. This is a societal problem, not a transportation mode problem.

  8. PMD says:

    Ugh stupid fearmongering. I mean we might as well ban automobiles and never build another road or fix broken ones since so many people die in car accidents year after year.

  9. Steve says:

    Imagine a streetcar down through KK and past the west side of Humboldt Park, home to Chill on the Hill and the newest beer garden, and then on to the airport. Hmmmmm. Imagine all of those hotels by the airport that will have easy access to downtown and Summerfest!

  10. Kari says:

    So this streetcar means more than black children’s education… Oh ok, I didn’t realize.

  11. Tim says:

    Kari, why do you only mention black children’s education? A great education should be available for ALL children in Milwaukee, stopping the Streetcar doesn’t help that cause. Attracting development like Johnson Controls’ new HQ puts more money in MPS’ budget; what are some other ways to improve education for ALL children in Milwaukee?

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