Saturday, May 30, 2009

$2.3 Billion Should Be Used for Alternatives

Here it is, the Journal's article about the zoo interchange reconstruction:

I'm sometimes at a loss for words (not often enough according to my friends!), but this makes me speechless. A state legislator talked about how the interchange is not suitable for the "modern economy."

Maybe the modern economy needs alternatives to concrete. It's easy to sit back and deride the lack of progress on public transportation when people don't use it.

But if public transportation, including rail and bus, was cheap, easy, and available, you have to think people would use it more often.

And if gas prices continue to rise, as they will as demand increases and supply decreases, more people will look for those alternatives.

So why do we continue to invest in highways? Lawmakers, I assume, find it easy and safe. Build more roads. Why is it so hard to invest in light rail, more efficient buses?

I understand our cities, Milwaukee as an example, are laid out so that public transportation is a challenge. For instance, to get to my doctor's appointment at Froedert on Thursday, it would take a long time to get there using buses.

Why not change our mindset? Why not change how we start to look at transportation? What will we need in 50 years? Will gas be plentiful? Probably not, so let's look at the alternatives now.

Notice I haven't mentioned bikes yet. With fewer cars on the road (given more public transportation), Milwaukee is a pretty easy town to get around in by bicycle.

This is such a huge topic to consider. And I'm not doing it any sense of justice here.

But before this massive Zoo interchange project goes forth, I want to see a lot more discussion and movement on public transportation.

1 comment:

  1. so get the conversation started. how, I have no idea, but it's been burbling in Milwaukee for a while - maybe this is the time it can get some attention.
    public transportation in Milwaukee is a sad state of affairs. maybe the current economic situation is just what is needed to change things. go agitate something or someone.