The knee-jerk reaction of residents to Mayor Dave's streetcar proposal is profoundly disappointing. I can understand fears that it may be too expensive, or that it might take money away from the bus system. But you went overboard.
Refusing to support a Regional Transit Authority if it includes streetcars. Blaming the mayor's streetcar desire for elevated crime rates.
The most outlandish argument I heard was from a woman who didn't want streetcars because driving over the railroad tracks would hurt the alignment of her car.
Talk about unclear on the concept.
Now you've badgered, disparaged and mocked the mayor to where he's withdrawn his streetcar proposal entirely. Do you even understand what you're doing? Streetcars were not going to be built tomorrow. They were not going to built with funds that would have gone to hire more police officers.
They were going to be part of a phase-two development that would also include money for commuter rail, expanded bus service, and more bike paths. There was even going to be money for the freaking roads. And you say no?
Mayor Dave is partly to blame. He did what he always does -- presented his idea as a fait accompli, then got sucker punched by the negative reaction. And clearly both the mayor and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk needed to drum up support from other municipalities for a Regional Transit Authority before announcing the plan. Those were silly missteps by two politicians who really should know better.
But really, Madison, you've shot yourself in the foot with this one. An expanded transit system can only help the city, not hurt it. It might even make a dent in all that crime, by helping people get to jobs or to school.
Think about that when you're sitting on the bus for an hour, trying to get from the west side to the east side. Or when you fork over another $50 for a tank of gas. Streetcars could have been part of the solution, if your whining hadn't been part of the problem.