Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Streetsblog

Has Scott Walker Finally Found a Way to Kill the Milwaukee Streetcar?

Building a streetcar in a Midwestern city without rail transit is political bloodsport. As Cincinnati can testify, something about the threat of adding rail transit to a city that doesn't have it really agitates some elements of the Midwestern right wing establishment.

false

In Wisconsin, Republican state lawmakers already did their best to kill the Milwaukee streetcar, back in the 1990s, under Governor Tommy Thompson. But those efforts were thwarted when representatives of the city of Milwaukee lodged a successful civil rights complaint through U.S. DOT, securing hundreds of millions of dollars for a Milwaukee transit project.

But James Rowen at the Political Environment reports that as the project is nearing construction, rail-hating state officials may have found a way to sabotage it without violating their consent agreement with the feds. Republicans on the state's budget committee have proposed a rule that would prevent the cost of construction from affecting utility bills, a move the Journal Sentinel said would "likely would kill the project" as it  approaches the utility relocation phase.

Rowen says Governor Scott Walker is trying to appeal to his talk radio base, at the expense of the state's largest city:

Just as Walker obeyed city-fearing, suburban-focused talk radio and denied the two largest state cities a federally-funded Amtrak line - - and the state a spot in a regional rail network connecting cities with major university and research center employers - - Walker continues to marginalize Milwaukee over the streetcar plan.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

SEE IT: How Much (Or How Little) Driving is Going on in America’s Top Metros

Check it out: The lowest-mileage region isn't the one you'd think.

April 21, 2024

Justice Dept., Citing Streetsblog Reporting, Threatens to Sue NYPD Over Cops’ Sidewalk Parking

The city is now facing a major civil rights suit from the Biden Administration if it doesn't eliminate illegal parking by cops and other city workers.

April 19, 2024

What to Say When Someone Claims ‘No One Bikes or Walks in Bad Weather’

Yes, sustainable modes are more vulnerable to bad weather. But that's why we should invest more in them — not less.

April 19, 2024

NYC Transit’s New Operations Planning Chief Wants To Fight ‘Ghost Buses’

One-time transit advocate and current MTA Paratransit VP Chris Pangilinan will oversee bus and subway operations for the whole city.

April 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Gimme Bus Shelter Edition

The days of the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewing every proposed bus shelter in landmarked districts may be no more. Plus more news.

April 19, 2024
See all posts