Anti-Streetcar Petition Dies
Paging General Bob Donovan, what happened?
Neither snow nor sleet nor rain nor spring nor the gorgeous weather of this summer has made it possible for the opponents of the Milwaukee streetcar to get enough signatures to stop its construction.
A brief story yesterday in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel referred rather inaccurately to the “grassroots effort,” letting us know the push “to require Milwaukee to hold a binding referendum before expanding the downtown streetcar appears to have fizzled out. Why or when the petition drive ended was not clear… Stop the Milwaukee Streetcar responded to an email, asking if the petition drive was still on, with a simple: ‘No.’” The end of the drive was also noted by the Daily Reporter.
I have previously written about lamentable problems streetcar opponents have had with the weather. The original petition drive was launched in January, with Chris Kliesmet of the CRG Network declaring that “sentiment in the city is wildly against” the streetcar, but in March he let the media know the drive would be postponed due to… chilly weather. The drive had failed despite help from out-of-town staff and volunteers provided by the Koch Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity.
The effort was postponed till spring but somehow never arrived, though the weather did. Organizers then pointed to July to relaunch the drive, but by then had given up on stopping the current streetcar project, but instead were circulating petitions that would prevent potential future extensions of the streetcar.
The result was the same: once again the group failed to collect the 31,500 signatures that must be gotten within a 60 day window.
Ald. Bob Donovan had thundered military-like after the first failure of the petition drive, declaring “this is not a retreat but a strategic withdrawal. We will regroup, and we will live to fight another day.” But alas, Commander Donovan was MIA, and could not be reached to discuss the petition drive’s latest retreat, the JS reported, though with a tad less literary color.
I was able to reach Kliesmet, once so bullish about the drive, but now, it appears barely connected to it. “CRG is often not the coordinator or ‘face’ of citizen action and is not in this case,” he responded. “We provided legal and organizational consulting and a small amount of financial support. After that, we have had little contact with the group. I would direct you to a gentlemen named ‘Steve’ who can be reached at this private number…”
Given that the number is private I won’t divulge it, so don’t even try to weasel it out of me. But I must note the gentleman named Steve did not respond to my call, nor did queries to the Stop the Milwaukee Streetcar official phone number and email result in any answer. The effort that began with such a bang has ended, it seems, with the whimper of one sad and monosyllabic answer: No.
Urban Milwaukee Streetcar Coverage
- Scott Walker Aids Milwaukee Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – July 13th, 2015
- Streetcar Construction Starts in October – Jeramey Jannene – July 10th, 2015
- The Strange Politics of Anti-Streetcar-ites – Bruce Murphy – June 18th, 2015
- Anti-Streetcar Petition Drive Fails – Bruce Murphy – March 5th, 2015
- Streetcar Signing Is Quite a Celebration – Michael Horne – February 13th, 2015
- Milwaukee Streetcar Approved – Jeramey Jannene – February 10th, 2015
- Who’s Lobbying for the Streetcar – Bruce Murphy – February 5th, 2015
- Will Streetcar Help the Inner City? – Bruce Thompson – February 4th, 2015
- City Attorney Says Streetcar Petitions Might be Moot – Bruce Murphy – January 30th, 2015
- Millennials And The Streetcar – Bruce Thompson – January 27th, 2015
- Streetcar Responses Show Wide Support – Jeramey Jannene – January 22nd, 2015
- Streetcar Approved, but Held – Jeramey Jannene – January 21st, 2015
- Koch-Funded Group Backs Anti-Streetcar Drive – Bruce Murphy – January 20th, 2015
- Streetcar Backers Say They Have the Votes – Jeramey Jannene – January 20th, 2015
- Who is Funding the Anti-Streetcar Effort? – Bruce Murphy – January 20th, 2015
- Will Anti-Streetcar Referendum Succeed? – Bruce Murphy – January 9th, 2015
- The Story Behind the Streetcar Referendum – Michael Horne and Bruce Murphy – January 8th, 2015
- Council Delays Streetcar Until January – Jeramey Jannene – December 16th, 2014
- Committee Takes No Action on Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – December 10th, 2014
- Committee Approves Milwaukee Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – December 9th, 2014
- RACM Approves Tax Funding for Streetcar – Michael Horne – December 8th, 2014
- How to Sell the Streetcar – Michael Horne – November 28th, 2014
- Next Stops for the Streetcar – Michael Horne – November 24th, 2014
- Barrett Moving Forward with Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – November 18th, 2014
- Who Will Be Streetcar Operator – Michael Horne – May 8th, 2014
- A Streetcar Named Cooperation? – Dave Reid – April 27th, 2014
- How a Streetcar Spurs Development – Angie Schmitt – November 3rd, 2013
- Streetcar Social – Michael Horne – September 12th, 2013
- Mayor Says Streetcar is a “Trojan Horse” – Michael Horne – April 17th, 2013
- Whoops, We Changed Our Mind – Dave Reid – September 27th, 2012
- Battle of the Bobs: Donovan vs Bauman Streetcar Press Conference – Jeramey Jannene – May 18th, 2012
- Important Hoan Bridge and Milwaukee Streetcar Meetings This Week – Dave Reid – November 14th, 2011
- Milwaukee Streetcar Passes Common Council – Jeramey Jannene – July 26th, 2011
- Keep the Milwaukee Streetcar Moving Forward – Jeramey Jannene – July 8th, 2011
- Milwaukee Streetcar at Apex – Jeramey Jannene – June 16th, 2011
- Milwaukee Streetcar Takes Key Step Forward – Jeramey Jannene – May 6th, 2010
- Milwaukee Streetcar Meeting This Thursday – Jeramey Jannene – October 5th, 2009
- Milwaukee Streetcar Routes Unveiled by Mayor Barrett – Jeramey Jannene – September 21st, 2009
- Milwaukee Streetcar Round-Up – Jeramey Jannene – April 19th, 2009
- Vote for your Favorite Milwaukee Streetcar Route – Jeramey Jannene – March 25th, 2009
- Design Your Own Streetcar Route – Jeramey Jannene – March 23rd, 2009
- Streetcars Coming to Milwaukee – Dave Reid – March 14th, 2009
For more project details, including the project timeline, financing, route and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.
- Transportation: First Streetcar Smart Kiosks Installed - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 3rd, 2021
- Plats and Parcels: Lakefront Streetcar Extension Scheduled for June 2022 Opening - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 6th, 2020
- Transportation: Should Milwaukee Stop The Hop? - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 13th, 2020
- Transportation: The Hop Now Wears a Mask - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 18th, 2020
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Is A Couture Deal Finally Coming? - Jeramey Jannene - May 13th, 2020
- Transportation: SUV Driver Runs Into The Hop - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 28th, 2020
- Transportation: Streetcar Kiosks Could Bring In $500,000 Annually - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 20th, 2020
- Thanks A Million, Hop Riders! - The Hop - Feb 19th, 2020
- Transportation: We Energies Will Sponsor Streetcar - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 10th, 2020
- Transportation: Streetcar Ridership Up in January Versus 2019 - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 7th, 2020
Read more about Milwaukee Streetcar here