Milwaukee Presentation

Last year, the Milwaukee city council approved a $64 million streetcar plan on a 10-to-5 vote. But there’s a snag in the plan. Building the streetcar will also require $30 to $50 million to move underground utilities. The city was hoping to force utility companies to pay the costs, but the state public utilities commission may not agree. This just proves once again how easy it is to spend other people’s money.

The Antiplanner’s presentation about the folly of streetcars is available in either PowerPoint or PDF format. People are free to borrow from it if they find it useful.

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3 thoughts on “Milwaukee Presentation

  1. Sandy Teal

    Comments on the presentation:

    1. I like the graphic of routing buses through a corridor for almost constant service down a corridor. Portland does that and it makes it extremely convenient to go from one side of downtown to another, at least before the light rail. Manhatten has almost constant buses north and south which is better than the subway.

    2. The Antiplanner’s numbers on costs per passenger look damning, but the light rail people use numbers that include the federal subsidies, so there numbers will look much better to the cities — maybe even positive.

    3.Whether the street car project or the utility companies have to pay to relocate the utilities is irrelevant to taxpayers. Both will cost the taxpayers, either through taxes or through higher utility base charges. Or would the street car project get federal subsidies for relocating the utilities?

    4. The Antiplanner’s presentation would be stronger if he hit TIF harder. The whole argument for these trains is based on TIF development.

    5. Cool idea to use a driverless car for valet service. I would always want to drive the car when I was in it, but the valet service would be a great boon to lifestyle in many places.

  2. JOHN1000

    The main reasons subways went underground or elevated was so that they could move (much) faster without running over those darn pedestrians trying to cross the street.

  3. FantasiaWHT

    Sandy, re #3 –

    If utility relocation were paid for through taxes, it would come from City of Milwaukee residents. However, if utility relocation were paid for by the utility companies, it would come from those companies’ ratepayers, who are spread out across southeastern Wisconsin and beyond.

    re #1 –

    Milwaukee already does that – we have a ton of busses that run down our main downtown thoroughfare and then branch off. We actually have a very comprehensive bus system. In fact, there is already a bus that runs virtually an identical route as the planned streetcar, and does so more frequently than the streetcar is planned to.

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