Mayor Tom Barrett
Press Release

Mayor Tom Barrett released the following statement regarding streetcar expansion

"Today’s decision makes it far more difficult for those benefits to ever fully reach the residents of Bronzeville, Walker’s Point and all of our other great neighborhoods."

By - Jul 23rd, 2019 04:51 pm

“The decision reached by the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee today to hold the streetcar files needlessly slows down the incredible momentum we as a community have worked so hard to create. We’ve seen the tremendous benefits of the streetcar already in driving connectivity and development in the central business district. Today’s decision makes it far more difficult for those benefits to ever fully reach the residents of Bronzeville, Walker’s Point and all of our other great neighborhoods.

“I’d like to thank Alderwoman Coggs for her leadership today in helping advance the streetcar. I believe as strongly in The Hop and its ability to connect our city and serve as an engine for economic growth today as I did before, and we will continue to work hard to build upon the system’s early success and ensure the benefits are enjoyed by the entire community, not just those along this initial route.”

More about the Milwaukee Streetcar

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

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3 thoughts on “Mayor Tom Barrett released the following statement regarding streetcar expansion”

  1. Thomas Martinsen says:

    Dear Mayor,

    Keep fighting for the expansion of the HOP. This city will thrive if we can develop diversified transportation options. It will be choked to death by increasing #s of cars of increasing size and speed if we continue to favor cars over all other forms of transportation.

  2. Barbara Richards says:

    For years and years the streetcar funds languished in debate. Now the naysayers are in control again and stopping what is barely going forward. As is, the streetcar is the toy the naysayers claim it to be. Will they win on this one and create a self fulfilled collapse of mass transit possibilities? We need, as George Martin said recently at the city council vote on the Clean Energy Task Force, “all options on the table”. The streetcar is electric. At present most vehicles traveling though our city are powered by fossil fuel. If we kill the streetcar expansion we are killing the opportunity for a clean energy future in transportation, unless you think more of the same “AUTO” controlled devices is the way forward…flying ones, especially??!!

  3. TransitRider says:

    There are two separate issues here:
    • Extending the streetcar 2000 feet (3 blocks) to serve the DNC
    • Extending the streetcar miles to serve Bronzeville, Walkers Point, and beyond

    The first issue doesn’t require solving gentrification or setting the streetcar’s exact route through Walkers Point; it doesn’t require laying any track on 5th Street or converting the 4th & Wisconsin parking lot into a new public plaza. It just involves building 3 blocks of single track and one new station—both of which are needed in all visions of expanded streetcar service.

    Assuming the 3-block extension doesn’t involve expensive utility relocation and assuming the detailed engineering has already been completed, the cost for 3 blocks of single-track extension should be small. Unlike the initial system (which included costs for a spare vehicle and a garage), this extension avoids many costs:
    • It needs no overhead wire or electrical substations (existing streetcar batteries can be used)
    • It doesn’t require buying an additional $4 million vehicle
    • It’s only single-track (half the cost of the double track used elsewhere)

    The Hop already runs single-track (north- and south-bound cars sharing one track) on Vel Phillips (fka 4th St); that operation could just be extended another 3 blocks to a new station somewhere between Michigan and Wisconsin.

    Single-track operation is viable for short stretches. I know that Milwaukee’s original streetcar system used single-track for the last half-mile of its North Milwaukee line (on 35th Street between Villard and Silver Spring).

    The new track would be built on the west side of Vel Phillips. It would be separated from other traffic by temporary concrete “Jersey barriers”. After the line is later extended to Fiserv Forum, this new track would become one-way southbound and the concrete barriers would be removed. (The northbound track would run up 5th Street and across a new public plaza—currently the 4th/Wisconsin parking lot.)

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