By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 07, 2011 at 9:46 AM

With gas prices on the rise and new policies and ideas on the table, it's time to look at how we get around. We all need to get someplace and we use many different modes of transportation to do so. As we kick off 2011 at, we're taking an in-depth look at how we get around with a special "Transportation Week," featuring all kinds of stories about how Milwaukee gets where it's going. So, buckle up, hop on and all aboard.

I know, I know, I keep yammering on about how cool it would be -- if certainly unrealistic at the moment -- for Milwaukee to have a subway. But, amazingly, enough it's not at all unrealistic for Cincinnati to build one.

The city -- which has about half the population of Milwaukee (though its metro population is larger than Brew City's) -- actually got started building a subway early in the 20th century.

But although tunnels and above-ground rights of way and even some stations -- below and above ground -- were completed, the project came to a dead end before cars ever rode the rails.

However, according to the new book, "Cincinnati's Incomplete Subway: The Complete History," by Jacob R. Mecklenbourg, many of those stations, rights of way and stations are still around.

"Contrary to commonly heard sentiments," he writes, "the subway is in excellent physical health and can accommodate the types of modern trains that operate on the country's newest light rail systems. ... The subway has been maintained continuously since it was built and the $3 million Rapid Transit Tubes Joint Restoration Project undertaken in early 2010 ensured its viability for generations to come."

Plus, adds Mecklenbourg, it's not a massive financial stretch to get a working subway up and running in Cincy, either.

"Its assessed value can be used as a local match for a federal award that could cover much of the $115 million cost of rehabilitating the tunnel, rebuilding its stations and installing track and electrical systems."

Are we SURE there are no forgotten subway tubes running under Milwaukee's streets?!


Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.