Sunday, June 29, 2008

Milwaukee needs catalytic public infrastructure investment

UWM professor Marc Levine's Crossroad's article challenges the strategic timidity of Milwaukee's political and business elites. He writes:

The dismal failure of Milwaukee’s civic leaders to bring the region’s public transit infrastructure up to 21st-century standards is more than just another run-of-the-mill breakdown in leadership.

It is a public policy debacle that threatens the very economic viability of this city and region — and it comes at a time when we already are struggling with stagnant growth, spreading poverty and shockingly high rates of joblessness in the inner city.

Skyrocketing gas prices and awareness of climate change are reshaping the way Americans live, work and play. Mass transit ridership is surging in cities with rail transit systems, as commuters seek alternatives to $4.50-a-gallon gasoline. Suburban and exurban communities, whose growth was predicated on cars and cheap gas, are facing bursting housing bubbles and an uncertain future.

In this new era, the economic winners will be cities and regions that have invested in state-of-the-art mass transit. Unfortunately, few metropolitan areas are less prepared for these changes than Milwaukee.

This article should be required reading at the next M7 meeting!

It is linked.

1 comment:

Dave Reid said...

Yes he has been making saying this for years now. He argues that a large light-rail system would have the impact of 1 immediately pointing thousands of people to work. And then once completed would allow people access to the some 40,000 (I think that's the number) jobs in the metro that go unfilled everyday. Makes sense to me.