Milwaukee Downtown, BID 21
Press Release

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 endorses Mayor’s streetcar plan

“The Milwaukee Streetcar is a game changer for downtown.”

By - Dec 8th, 2014 09:37 am
Milwaukee Streetcar.

Milwaukee Streetcar.

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (December 8, 2014) – Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21’s board of directors has voted to support Mayor Barrett’s current $123.9 million streetcar plan. The motion to endorse the initiative was approved at the Dec. 4 board of directors meeting.

“Given the availability of significant federal funding and the potential for economic development in the central business district, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 supports Mayor Barrett’s streetcar plan, including funding the streetcar with tax incremental financing,” said Joe Ullrich, chair of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “The Milwaukee Streetcar aligns with the goals of our organization’s strategic plan and is consistent with Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21’s prior support of regional public transit.”

Since 2005, over $2.6 billion has been invested in completed private and public projects in and around the central business district, spurring a dramatic turnaround that has re-established downtown as a vibrant center of activity. In addition, $980+ million is currently being invested in projects under construction, and another $1.2+ billion awaits in proposed projects – indicating a trajectory of growth for downtown Milwaukee.

Other indicators such as downtown’s 80,000 employees, 25,000 residents and 5.5 million visitors annually, also substantiate downtown Milwaukee’s ability to support fixed transit. According to the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau, Milwaukee ranks 14th as the most densely populated city in the U.S. Among the top 25 most densely populated cities, Milwaukee is one of only three communities in which fixed transit currently does not exist or is not already under construction.

“The Milwaukee Streetcar is a game changer for downtown,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “We look forward to seeing this catalytic project come to fruition and know the success of the starter system will prompt expansions to near-downtown neighborhoods and beyond for the benefit of our city and region.”

As demonstrated by cities with fixed transit, Mayor Barrett’s 2.5-mile system, which includes new connections to the Lakefront and Couture, would spur investment near and along the route, attract and retain businesses and talent, appeal to millennials who are less likely to own cars, and further establish Milwaukee as a world-class city that can compete globally.

“Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 recognizes that a modern streetcar system is one major component of an overall comprehensive and well-connected transportation system,” said Matt Dorner, economic development director of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “The Milwaukee Streetcar will build upon downtown’s momentum and further increase our attractiveness from an investment perspective and more competitively position the city as a place to live, work, play and do business.”

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2 thoughts on “Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 endorses Mayor’s streetcar plan”

  1. Spencer Hoyt says:

    If spending the money allocated for the light rail system is inevitable, let’s connect all of the major tourist attractions located along I-94 & down the central spine of our metro area FIRST!

    Connecting the Zoo, State Fair Park, Miller Park, Potawatomi Casino, Harley Davidson Museum / Train Station, the Historic Third Ward, and finally the Summerfest grounds is a fantastic idea that is far more plausible as a starter connector for any rail system.

    Adding neighborhood & business district connectors to the North / South & West makes better sense with a rail system located here vs the proposed downtown location.

    Aligning the millions of annual tourists these year round destinations draw would spur economic development we all seek eminently better than current proposals.

    Further, I believe any light rail system use in Milwaukee will massively struggle because of our climate. I am confident a monorail elevated above street-level would better meet our needs if a rail system is inevitable.

  2. Lyle Lanley says:

    Lyle Lanley:
    The name’s Lanley, Lyle Lanley. And I come before you good people tonight with an idea. Probably the greatest—Aw, it’s not for you. It’s more a Shelbyville idea.
    Mayor Quimby:
    Now, wait just a minute. We’re twice as smart as the people of Shelbyville. Just tell us your idea and we’ll vote for it.
    Lyle Lanley:
    All right. I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll show you my idea. I give you the Springfield Monorail!
    (everyone gasps)
    I’ve sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!
    Well, sir, there’s nothin’ on earth like a genuine bona-fide electrified six-car monorail! What’d I say?
    Ned Flanders:
    Lyle Lanley:
    What’s it called?
    Patty and Selma:
    Lyle Lanley:
    That’s right!
    Monorail…monorail…monorail… (continue over the following lyrics)
    Miss Hoover:
    I hear those things are awfully loud.
    Lyle Lanley:
    It glides as softly as a cloud.
    Is there a chance the track could bend?
    Lyle Lanley:
    Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
    Barney Gumble:
    What about us brain-dead slobs?
    Lyle Lanley:
    You’ll be given cushy jobs.
    Grampa Simpson:
    Were you sent here by the devil?
    Lyle Lanley:
    No, good sir, I’m on the level.
    Chief Wiggum:
    The ring came off my pudding can.
    Lyle Lanley;
    Take my pen knife, my good man.
    I swear, it’s Springfield’s only choice!
    Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
    Lyle Lanley:
    What’s it called?
    Once again!
    But Main Street’s still all cracked and broken.
    Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!

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