October 16, 2008

Another $16K for KRM ...

Organizers of KRM are raising $1 million for another study for the proposed commuter rail system. Racine's share of the study's cost is $16,667, according to a letter written by Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Phil Evenson.

The new study is needed to submit KRM to the Federal Transit Authority in mid-2009 for additional money to proceed to the preliminary engineering stage of the project. Basically, that means doing all of the work needed to begin construction.

The study is funded by local, state and federal governments. Along with Racine, Kenosha and Milwaukee are contributing funds, as are Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee counties. The funding formula is 80 percent covered by the federal government, 10 percent by the state and 10 percent by local governments. Racine County is also being charged $16,667 for the study.

As a KRM supporter, the money is a no-brainer to me. But with Rep. Robin Vos in Caledonia, I wonder how much sense it makes to keep pushing studies. Vos is set against KRM and the multi-million dollar investment in his community. As long as he opposes it, there's little chance Republicans in the Assembly will back KRM, and Gov. Doyle has shown no interest in fighting for the project.

But the studies must go on! Here's a question: If we would have taken all of the money spent on studies over the years and simply built KRM, would it be running by now?


  1. KRM should be dead dead dead. Lets put this to a county wide vote and put a stake in KRM heart!

  2. Here's a question: since it is against the law to use taxpayer money to lobby - and it is quite simple to prove this because of the use of the PR firm to "speak" to citizens and government officials - shouldn't at least one person be on their way to jail right now? They wouldn't have to worry about a train or a bus - a nice, clean, environmentally-unfriendly police car could pull right up to their house and take them away.

    Every time I hear the term "no brainer" lately I think it actually means that one should not use their cortexes or even midbrains to think about it. We have buses but they aren't sexy enough - we have a Metra station in Kenosha that is twenty minutes south by car - twenty five minutes north by car and your in or near Milwaukee. Ask the riders of the Metra in Kenosha all the way down the line to Chicago how long they have to drive to get to the station they use - I'll bet many say "more than twenty minutes".

    The trick would be to commission a large, expensive study to examine this question. Mail out the questions to a thousand people and make sure your ringers are on the list. When only a few hundred people respond - which destroys the sample chosen and no statistical inferences can legitimately be made - you can say that almost no one drives more than twenty minutes to catch the train and money will fall from the sky )actually the taxpayers, but whatever).

    The real scam here is that Racine will become a utopia in which people will not need cars. Unless the train snakes it's way within a few blocks of every house in Racine, people will still need to have a car (or bus or bike or cab). Wait - the city had a cab and lost money hand over fist.

    Greedy smart people created the current financial crisis. Greedy stupid people will put us on the hook for hundreds of millions in the next ten years for a train.

  3. I can't believe this crap keeps coming up. KRM is a money sucking pit for tax money. No one will ride it, like the buses.

    I agree with the other post on here, put it to a county wide vote......it wouldn't get 15%.

    Enough of this crap already....its over!!!

  4. Every time I hear KRM I get a pit in my stomach that the Racine I know and love is going to go the wayside because a vocal few speak out against it. KRM would make Racine a more accessible place. It would be much easier for individuals & families to take a train to Chicago or Milwaukee than to have to drive to Kenosha to ride the Metra. Of course it wouldn't stop at everyone's house. It doesn't automatically create "a utopia in which people will not need cars", but it's at least a step in the right direction.

    You've got a lot of reasons why it shouldn't be, but it's not like you're proposing an alternative. So if not KRM, what do you propose as an alternative?

  5. Nick - how is it "a step in the right direction"? Throwing lots of money at something automatically makes it "a start"? My point about the utopia of not having cars is valid - again, how will people get to the train? It makes no difference to a poor person if a brand new Ferrari is $1000 or 1,000,000, and building a train that stops two miles away might as well be twenty miles.

    There is an alternative to a train right now - a bus line that goes from Milwaukee to Kenosha, right to the Metra and also goes back north.

  6. FYI
    Racine at one time had a bus to the busness parks west of the I, as well as one to Parkside both well used our Green Mayor Garry "How many girlfrends?" Becker got rid of both.
    Good job for A green Mayor!

  7. I don't know enough about the funding issues on this to make any knowledgeable statement regarding that, but the one thing I want to respond to are people's claims that nobody will ride the train!! I can't believe anyone would say that!!!! Obviously those people have not ridden (or is it rode?) the train. Everytime I take it, whether it be Metra or Amtrak, no matter what day, it has been totally PACKED! There are times I cannot find a seat. And for those that haven't ridden Amtrak, it's great. You can sit back, have a beer (and they come around with a food/beverage trolley) and relax, it's so much nicer than fighting the traffic from Chicago.

    As for buses, yeah I agree not many people ride them around here, I don't ride them either.

    But the train is a different story entirely.

  8. 10:21

    If you live say Downtown Racine how do you get to the train (Amtrak or Metra) and then to work/event if you do not ride the bus?

  9. Colt, I would drive to the Metra or Amtrak. I can drive and own a car, but I'd prefer to take the train. It's less expensive, the Amtrak gets me there faster (METRA makes more stops, takes longer) and there is so much less stress. People don't ride the train just because they don't own a car. Look at the parking lots outside of METRA and Amtrak, they are full of cars.

  10. 2:08

    Say I live in Downtown Racine I hop in y car drive to Metra ride to the big city. Now how do I get to WORK if my employer is not say with in a mile or so? and how do I make this trip in under two hours? So much faster to DRIVE.
    Then lets say I live in Burlington, or Waterford what use is KRM?


    I so like the fact that Tax money is still used to give the Blood Suckers I mean Consultants jobs