lukpac wrote: I guess I'm not adverse to looking into either, but one question I still have (mainly about commuter rail) is is Madison really big enough, either in terms of population or landmass? I just compared some maps, and it would seem that the distance from one end of Madison to the other is *roughly* the distance between the loop and the Tri-State in Chicago. The Metra lines in Chicago are much longer, and go through areas of much higher density than around here. And traffic is a heck of a lot worse. And Madison doesn't have the magnet of a downtown that Chicago does.
Yup. I think we're far, far from having the density to support the streetcar option. It'll be a bit of a gimmick and a sinkhole for $$$. Commuter rail is a different story.
Nice to be a planner, but outside the process. Don't have to feel so unclean.
You're jumping from a commuter rail-density question to make a point about streetcars.
Kenosha is roughly the same density as Madison, yet its streetcar is a big success story. Further, streetcars, are used to build density, not depend on density for their success. And cities all across the country are proving you don't have to be the size and density of Chicago for streetcars to work.
Madison easily has the foot traffic and downtown destinations to make streetcars successful. The real problem lies in the eagerness to map out routes that'll densify livable neighborhoods, contrary to the desires and existing Plans of those neighborhoods.
East Mifflin and East Main is but one example of contravening neighborhood plans, and wholly wasting streetcars as a tool. Put the streetcars where you know you want density.
Fail to do that--by putting them on side streets like East Mifflin--and you'll have lake-to-lake density in 5 years, 10 years easily.