October 27, 2004

No, please, no, not streetcars!

Madison officials carted in the designer of Portland's light rail system to extol the benefits of what he makes his living designing. According to Madison's Mayor Cieslewicz:
"What we're talking about now is not so much whether or not we'll have a rail system in Madison ... We're debating what kind of rail system we'll have in Madison: whether it ought to be electric or diesel, whether it ought to be primarily a commuter system or a system that works for urban development."

When did it already get decided?

UPDATE: Streetcar email of the day:
Sorry, but streetcars/light rail are ever-so-much better than buses, because.... ummm... well... their wheels are metal, that's why! As far as
the question posed by your mayor:
whether it ought to be primarily a commuter system or a system that works for urban development.

He left off the true choice, which is "a system that works for urban developers."

The emailer adds that he "lives in Tacoma, WA, one terminus of the unimaginably stupid Sound Transit rail system, and also the cute little 'Train to Nowhere' rail link between the major transit center and downtown, and cost a mere $60+ million in construction costs to do what buses could to better with lower running costs."

Note to readers: send more streetcar horror stories. I'm committed to printing anti-streetcar material! I'll listen to the other side as well, but ...