This is NOT what Robin Vos had in mind when he insisted Milwaukee put more skin into new Bucks arena

Headline over at UrbanMilwaukee.com:

Bucks Plan Envisions Arena Streetcar

Well, that's the end of that! Even worse, at least if you're an anti-rail Republican, the arena developers also would tear down a nearby parking ramp used by [OMG] automobiles! Man, that is like, so socialist! Republican heads no doubt already are exploding.

Urban Milwaukee's Michael Horne provides more detail:

Plans for the new Milwaukee Bucks arena include the Milwaukee Streetcar, according to Michael Fascitelli, a developer and team investor who is the “quarterback” of the $1 billion plan to construct a new basketball facility and ancillary development downtown.

“We are planning a streetcar at the plaza at this time,” Fascitelli said in answer to my question at the unveiling of the arena plans at the BMO Harris Bradley Center Wednesday morning.

The “Plaza” would be a 60,000 square foot open space to be constructed on the block bounded by N. 4th St.,  N. Old World Third St.,  and W. Highland and W. McKinley avenues, where a city-owned parking structure would be demolished.

Ah, but the developers are unlikely to see a dime in state financing help as long as Republicans are in charge, because Republicans have hated the planned Milwaukee Streetcar for years. In the first place, that system was been pushed into being by Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett, who actually dared to run twice against Scott Walker. He's a...Democrat! And in the second place, the GOP is against the streetcar because...it's a streetcar!

Republicans are scared of anything that runs on rails -- just "choo-choo trains," dontcha know. They are, in fact, only interested in running progressive ideas off the rails. And, when you get right down to it, they're not all that keen on helping Milwaukee in any respect, even with investments that would benefit the entire southeastern region or (as in the case of the high-speed Amtrak link that Walker previously nixed) have spin-off economic benefits for the entire southern half of the state and beyond.

Thus, Republicans are likely to say to the Bucks owners: Pick one. You can either HAVE a new arena that's NOT served by an energy-efficient, transportation-friendly streetcar that we despise. Or you can NOT HAVE an arena altogether, unless you're willing to build it without state financial help. But even those choices are off the table if the city -- which the GOP has been busy draining of financial resources for years now -- fails to pony up a lot more money it doesn't have. Did we mention NO streetcar?

Those may well be the choices that Republicans foist upon the Bucks owners in very short order. Unless, of course, the GOP lawmakers are just posturing hypocrites. We'll find out soon. 

http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2015/04/08/plenty-of-horne-bucks-plan-envision...

Published

April 9, 2015 - 11:45am

Author