I love your car, your bike, your shoes. You look good. Even you, you streetcar opponents. I don't, though, understand why you are so scared about a streetcar. Probably never will.
Oh well, that's life in the big city. Reality is that Milwaukee is behind the modern transportation times. Sure, we have other – some may say – bigger challenges. True. But we don't effectively connect our highly populated areas to jobs, and we haven't used fixed-guideway transit and streetcars as tools to help focus and direct economic development.
We haven't, yet. But, we will or better yet soon will. And, it's about time. So, if you care about the future of Wisconsin's largest city you should contact the mayor and/or your alderman. Now. In advance of this week's council meeting.
All things happen as they should and as Milwaukee gets closer and closer to realizing the economic potential of a streetcar system it's time to think of this project for what it is – a part of our infrastructure that includes roads, cars, buses, trolleys, rail, bikes, trails, buildings and more.
The streetcar isn't a catch all solution to Milwaukee's problems nor is it a problem in and of itself. It will help shape the brand and identity of Milwaukee, though. Go to any city. They all have buildings, people, stores, etc. People talk about what's new, what got them from here to there. The Milwaukee streetcar will do this, and more. Watch a sporting event. What do the networks showcase in their opening city scene coverage? It's always pictures and video of water and a trolley, train or a streetcar. Always.
The streetcar is about economic development and building a more sociable and connected state. We already are a very sociable city, but it's hard to get from one part of town to another without a car. And today and into the future, people expect to have this option. Employers know this. So, don't forget that this is about recruitment and retention.
As a Downtown home owner and business owner, I'm truly looking forward to the next phase for our city's largest neighborhood. This includes the innovation that comes from modern transit and the streetcar's initial route. Key word in the last sentence? Initial. This is an initial route that begins in the heart of Downtown and eventually extends into other areas of the city.
Want more information on the streetcar? Below is a round up of recent coverage. Enjoy. And, Onward!
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.