I want to remain optimistic about modern transportation's eventual arrival in my fair city. But, it's getting harder and harder.
For years, Milwaukee and Milwaukee County have dragged, discussed, debated and generally done nothing as cities and counties around the country pass us by.
Milwaukee lags behind in the modern transportation game. Visit any large and many medium-sized city in America and you can expect to see an efficient, modern and innovative transportation system of roads, rail and busses in action.
Denver, Houston, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Portland ... the list goes on and on ... many cities are passing Milwaukee by.
Today, County Executive Scott Walker's office sent an e-mail basically saying that he wants more buses. Here's the text from his office:
County Executive Scott Walker will unveil Milwaukee County's Suburban and Milwaukee Advanced Rapid Transit (SMART) plan tomorrow (Thursday) at the Northwestern Mutual Franklin Campus. The SMART plan provides an express bus system that will connect workers to jobs like those at Northwestern Mutual throughout Milwaukee County and provides the most practical use for the $91 million in federal funds allocated to improve Milwaukee County's transit.
Please! The "most practical use for the $91 million" for who?
Where is our bold leadership and vision on transportation? In the past year, OMC has broken two major stories on possible options -- Ald. Bauman's plan and Mayor Barrett's plan. They are similar and need to be considered. Both Bauman and the Mayor, sadly, helped kill the Connector to trumpet these ideas. But, that's in the past and now on the eve of yet another plan, it's time to make something happen! Something that works for everyone, not only the busses of Milwaukee County.
Let's put petty politics behind and improve transportation in Milwaukee.
Transportation isn't a Republican or Democratic issue; it's a simple, quality-of-life improvement, like the Marquette Interchange project. And, Mr. County Executive, it's not just about traditional busses and cars. It's about innovation and improvements in our entire community.
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.