Thursday, May 29, 2014

Walker Sabotages Wisconsin's Economic Future, forcing our kids to pay the bill for Upgrades.

Scott Walker is like so many other Republicans; living for the moment. Their lack of vision is applauded by their rabid “small government” supporters (small liberal government, but BIG conservative government).

Ignoring Millennials desire for Mass Transit. Killing high speed rail and Milwaukee’s planned street cars were two huge mistakes that Wisconsin will be paying for many decades to come. Republicans incredibly put off creating a regional metroplex by connecting Chicago to Kenosha to Racine to Milwaukee with high speed rail. This delay only sticks the price of these projects onto the next generation, the very kids the GOP is supposedly so worried about. And high speed rail would have connected that regional hub to Madison and eventually Minneapolis. 

I know when I rode the "L" (Chicago Transit Authority) from Rosemont to and around Chicago, on the blue and red lines with my family, I suddenly realized how much easier and fun getting around could be. If you've never experienced it, than I can see why you might not be excited about the possibility. But it changed my perspective completely.

Which leads me to Urban Milwaukee's Bruce Murphy. His column hits on this growing trend in a way that should make a lot of voters think long and hard about who they have planning what looks like a stuck-in-time future.
As a recent New York Times story noted, … young people raised in the suburbs seem to find cities far more interesting places to live … the proportion of these households with money owed on an automobile dropped from 44 percent to 32 percent. And for technology-oriented young people, using their mobile phone to check when the next bus or streetcar or subway train is arriving, or to order a ride from an Uber driver, is a simple, convenient way to live.
An April 2014 survey of Millennials in 10 U.S. Cities by the Rockefeller Foundation and Transportation for America found that 60 percent of Millennials want access to better transit options and the ability to be less reliant on a car. About 54 percent said they would consider moving to another city if it had better transportation options, and 46 percent said they would seriously consider giving up their car if they have a range of transportation options available.

WISPIRG study of Wisconsin’s Millennials found similar results: 84 percent said that it was either “very important” or “somewhat important” for them to have transportation options other than a car to get around and 60 percent said they would be “somewhat more likely” or “more likely” to stay in Wisconsin after graduation if they could live in a place where they could get around without driving. 

As the statistics suggest, this is about more than just economics ... It’s about a different way of viewing the world, seeking more urban, more connected and more green ways to live. Yet it’s not at all clear that our politicians and policymakers are taking note of this trend, and how it should shape our decisions on transportation and a host of other issues.

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