March 27, 2008

Public Transit Gridlock: The Movie

OK, it lacks the magic of Harry Potter, but a documentary-in-progress about Southeast Wisconsin's public transportation issues is compelling nonetheless.

Film maker Mark Irving points out that Milwaukee (and the area around it, including us) "lags conspicuously behind all other U.S. metropolitan areas in implementing a modern public transit system," contributing to the city's place at the bottom of several several economic, population, employment and development growth lists.

"An accurate representation of how a modern transit system impacts the economy and culture of metropolitan areas needs to be accomplished. This film will serve this mission by introducing compelling characters providing unique historical, professional and personal perspectives on the subject."

The documentary's 15-minute trailer has been completed, and includes interviews with public officials like Tom Barrett, Milwaukee mayor, and John Antaramian, Kenosha mayor, (mostly in favor of something like KRM) and commuters (not so much). Irving hopes to complete his film this sumer.

But why read about it when you can watch for yourself? The trailer is HERE.

Another discussion of regional transportation issues -- comparing our situation to solutions tried by other cities (for example, London's congestion pricing) -- can be found here, on James Rowen's The Political Environment blog, in a post he's titled, Other Communities Work Harder Resolving Thorny Transit Issues.

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