Mayor Dave Cieslewicz is back in town this week following his trip to Freiburg, Madison's sister city in Germany. I was in Germany myself a few weeks ago, but up north in Berlin. Visits to that part of the world must be bittersweet for alternative transit advocates like Mayor Dave. Riders of trains and bikes are rewarded everywhere you look. In Berlin, there are two rapid-transit systems (the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn), a tram system (operating much like Cieslewicz's proposed streetcar plan) and buses. High-speed trains carry people between all major cities in the country, not to mention all parts of Europe.
In addition, you can rent a bike just about anywhere in the city simply by dialing a number with your mobile phone. Any bar, restaurant or bier garten where young people congregate features ample bike parking.
An argument we often hear against embracing alternate forms of transportation in places like Madison is that Americans love their cars and aren't going to give them up. It's hard to make that point after taking a look at what they do in Germany, home to arguably the finest auto manufacturers in the world. It costs about 100 Euros to fill up a tank in Germany, equal to over $150 US. So as fun as it might be to open up an Audi A6 on the Autobahn, it's dreadfully expensive.
Fortunately for the Germans, they can take a train. That same option is not available to us.
Monday, June 23, 2008
During the day Travel - returning from sister city trip
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
During the day No meetings - office/work time after sister city trip
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
10:00 a.m. Staff Meeting (Mayor's Conf. Room) 2:00 p.m. Lisa Nett (Mayor's Office) 3:00 p.m. Welcome at Madison Senior Center's 25th Anniversary Celebration event
Thursday, June 26, 2008
7:30 a.m. New Music Review (105.5, Triple M)
9:00 a.m. Mayors' Innovation Project preparation (Mayor's Office)
10:30 a.m. Public Works Improvements Meeting (Mayor's Conf. Rm)
12:00 p.m. Dane Buy Local - Celebrate Your Independents! event (corner of State & N Henry)
1:30 p.m. Linda Baldwin, Mario Mendoza (Mayor's Office)
2:30 p.m. Marsha Lindsay, Lon Sprecher, Mark Bugher, Nick Meriggioli, Jennifer Alexander (The Madison Club)
Friday, June 27, 2008
5:45 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Golfing at all City golf courses
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Dusk Rhythm & BOOMS