I feel like there was something important I was supposed to do today…
If you haven't already done so, you know what needs doin'. And since I'm sure that every newspaper and Facebook/Twitter status (including mine) is right now encouraging you to do that thing, I suppose there's no need for me to remind you.
Now we should be all set, yes? You've got until 8 p.m. so no excuses!
Seventy percent of all statistics are made up
At least, that's what I'm telling myself for now as I await returns for the Feingold/Johnson senate race. FiveThirtyEight, my most trusted source for at least vaguely accurate polling numbers, gives my man Feingold a measly 3.5 percent chance of holding onto his seat tonight.
I should be resigning myself to losing one of the most hard-working and truly progressive senators we've ever been fortunate enough to have representing us all because of some blank slate, billionaire upstart benefitting from some ill-conceived right-wing discontent with incumbents (despite all reason) but instead I'm holding onto a shred of hope that my fellow Wisconsinites will come through and surprise the statisticians by bucking the polls in favor of Russ.
Otherwise, I don't even know you guys. I just don't.
Can't stop this train
A nice little vaffanculo to any potential Walker takeover of the governor's office, courtesy of outgoing Gov. Doyle:
Transportation officials confirm Wisconsin and federal administrators have signed a deal to commit the state to spending all $810 million of federal stimulus cash allocated to a proposed Milwaukee-to-Madison high-speed rail line.
Essentially what this means is that the Doyle administration is now free to get any/all of the associated contracts signed for work on the rail line, putting a pretty big hitch in any plans the anti-train crowd may have had should they take over for the next term.
This is, of course, what Doyle had planned all along; to get the project moving as soon as possible to start creating jobs as soon as possible. But I don't think there's any denying that the move makes for a nice little bow on the end of Doyle's time in office, and somewhat of a steaming pile on the doorstep of any incoming Republicans.
Again, I'm having a hard time understanding the arguments being made against the Milwaukee-Madison rail line. The federal government is paying for the whole damn thing, and I'm personally OK with a minor tax increase (if necessary) down the line to see that the system is properly maintained. After all, not everyone in the state can fit into Rebecca Kleefisch's minivan plenty of us really would benefit from train service between the cities.
P.S. The Walker/Kleefisch ticket is not an inevitability. The Sconz lays out one of many compelling arguments for why Barrett/Nelson is the far better ticket.
This driveway will be the end of the near east side as we know it!
Or so sayeth Tim Wong, in his recent opinion piece right here on TDP regarding the installation of a co-op driveway onto Jenifer Street. Wong is not alone in his disdain for the project, either. There has been much to-do about the new vehicle egress on the neighborhood list-serv, online forums, blogs, and of course the old clipboard-in-hand petitioner on the sidewalk.
Folks certainly have a right to oppose the driveway and to do what they can to halt its construction, but I've never really understood their arguments against it. Now, of course, it's too late since the work is already underway.
Frankly, the co-ops reasoning has made the most sense to me: Willy St. will be under major construction next year, making it incredibly difficult for delivery trucks and car driving customers to access their parking lot currently only accessible from one driveway on Willy St. which is already the site of many near-misses and full-on accidents.
The co-op has gone above and beyond to be a good neighbor promoting less vehicle traffic through their participation in the Bicycle Benefits program, ample bike parking, and simple presence of the shop in a dense, mixed residential/commercial area that's incredibly walk-able.
They've even offered to close the new driveway to car traffic once the street construction is done, reverting it back to a pedestrian and bike only thoroughfare.
And yet you'd still think the co-op was threatening to install a sewage treatment plant onsite for all the anger and NIMBYism the new driveway project has engendered from certain neighbors. Will it increase traffic on Jenifer? I doubt it will be much of an uptick compared to what happens now during rush hour, when cars that want to turn left out of the parking lot are forced to go right, and then double back using Jenifer St. anyway. And I'm sure more people are going to be driving on it during construction, anyway.
In the end, the thing I'm more concerned about is the financial impact the Willy St. construction might have on the various businesses that line the road. Hopefully residents and visitors will be just as determined as ever to patronize them more on bike and foot, maybe but I can't imagine it's going to be easy. We should all be planning ways to support these local shops through rough times, not harping on them for trying to find ways to alleviate the stress.
The election returns, of course!