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Thread: Your opinion of Milwaukee

  1. #26
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    I couldn't see there being enough demand for a Metra line from O'Hare to Milwaukee, plus it'd take a really long time to get there. Currently if you want to get from Milwaukee to O'Hare, the best way would be to take Amtrak to Union Station, then walk to the Clinton Street subway station and take the L to O'Hare. If you take Metra out there you have to take a bus to the terminal, wheras the L drops you off right at the terminal.

    Even if they built Metra to Milwaukee, it'd still be better to take Amtrak unless 1) the schedule dosen't work (there are only six trains per day ) or 2) if you're not in any hurry, because the whole Metra trip is expected to take over two hours. The primary purpose of the Metra extension is to make it possible to commute to Downtown Milwaukee (a major employment center) from its south side and south suburbs via train, thus avoiding the freeway. Amtrak will still be the best way to get to Chicago.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    I couldn't see there being enough demand for a Metra line from O'Hare to Milwaukee, plus it'd take a really long time to get there.
    Maybe we could consider those high-speed trains they have planned for California.

    Personally, I think Milwaukee needs its own transit system. Have a line go out to Waukesha/Delafield. Another one down to Racine. Another one up to Mequon/Grafton. They could go along the existing freeways.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  3. #28
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    Nope. Gotta transfer through Union Station.
    It's physically possible, but the lines that do run between the two are all freight. They are UP's ex CNW line between the ORD area and Waukegan, now used to feed some coal-fired power plants or CN's ex WC, nee SOO route from the current end of METRA at Antioch, IL to the Waukesha area, then eastward the lightly used UP ex CNW line from there into Milwaukee (note, the CN/CP junction at Duplainville, WI has its connection in the wrong quadrant to run direct). Both routes are impractical, although the former would be better from an operational standpoint.

    The current METRA-Milwaukee study involves extending the current UP/CNW North service from Kenosha to Milwaukee on UP's ex CNW lakefront line via DT Racine and the blue-collar south shore Milwaukee suburbs.

    Mike

  4. #29
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    Maybe we could consider those high-speed trains they have planned for California.

    Personally, I think Milwaukee needs its own transit system. Have a line go out to Waukesha/Delafield. Another one down to Racine. Another one up to Mequon/Grafton. They could go along the existing freeways.
    Those are all corridors that WERE served by fast interurban streetcar lines into the late 1950s. There was also a line from Milwaukee towards Burlington, WI, part of which is still in use as a tourist line between East Troy and Mukwonago, WI. Also, the line through Grafton went to Sheboygan and the line through Waukesha went to Watertown. Most of the grades still exist as power company RsOW (those lines were operated by the electric untility) and some are now public trails.

    Metro Milwaukee has an amazing history of electric-powered transit services.

    Mike

  5. #30
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    Those are all corridors that WERE served by fast interurban streetcar lines into the late 1950s. There was also a line from Milwaukee towards Burlington, WI, part of which is still in use as a tourist line between East Troy and Mukwonago, WI. Also, the line through Grafton went to Sheboygan and the line through Waukesha went to Watertown. Most of the grades still exist as power company RsOW (those lines were operated by the electric untility) and some are now public trails.

    Metro Milwaukee has an amazing history of electric-powered transit services.

    Mike
    Wow, am I surprised how far those routes used to go. Having heard that, you can adjust my proposals accordingly: Sheboygan, Watertown, Racine, and I think adding a line to East Troy and one up to West Bend wouldn't be bad ideas either. Why doesn't Milwaukee realize it's need for city-suburb transit, and do something about it?
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  6. #31
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    Why doesn't Milwaukee realize it's need for city-suburb transit, and do something about it?
    Unfortunately there is little political support, public support, and financial support for re-establishing such a regional transit system like we once had.

    The only thing on the table right now is the proposed Metra extension between Kenosha and Milwaukee, which has a decent amount of politcal support (at least from those communities that would benefit from it), and perhaps some public support. The biggest hurdle right now seems to be figuring out where the money would come from to pay for it.

  7. #32
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Markitect
    Unfortunately there is little political support, public support, and financial support for re-establishing such a regional transit system like we once had.

    The only thing on the table right now is the proposed Metra extension between Kenosha and Milwaukee, which has a decent amount of politcal support (at least from those communities that would benefit from it), and perhaps some public support. The biggest hurdle right now seems to be figuring out where the money would come from to pay for it.
    Instead of horrendously costly 'light rail', how expensive would it be to restore (and extend) some of those former trackless trolley routes? Although it would cost something to reinstall the wires, buy the vehicles, etc, they are very quiet, don't emit smelly exhaust (at least the vehicles don't, discounting the power plants), won't require ripping up streets to install track (big $$$), the vehicles are simpler, last longer and are less expensive to maintain than diesel busses and can draw their tractive energy from whatever the most economical source is at any given time (as opposed to exclusively from oil as with diesel busses).

    BTW, after doing some digging, I found that I was in slight error in my previous postings on this subject, Milwaukee's trackless trolley system was not abandoned in 1963, the last of the system was 'dieselized' in June of 1965.

    Also, I found that Dayton, OH looked into abandoning its system in the early 1990s, but instead decided to keep operating it and bought new vehicles for it. Also, San Francisco's Muni has added routes within the last 10-20 years.

    Mike

  8. #33
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    Most of the ROWs exist now as recreation trails, and residential development abutts them. As much as it might make sense in a pure planning mindset, there is NO politcal will on the planet that would take away a cherished amenity and replace it with a NIMBY.

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