Walker-Davis Miss the Train on Economic Development

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250k jobs? Not without the passenger train to lure new businesses to the state.

In case you missed it, Tom Still has a great column on the Wisconsin Technology Network site that points out all of the positive economic development that the passenger train through the state would bring about.

It’€™s completely idiotic that Walker, if elected, would turn back all of these positive developments, seriously stunting the economic progress the passenger train will likely bring.

From Still:

“In other American cities and regions with passenger rail, economic growth has taken place within a short distance of the line and its stations. One recent study noted there are more than 100 ‘€œtransit-oriented developments’€ in the United States, mostly within walking distance of passenger rail stations…

“In communities such as Brookfield, Oconomowoc and Watertown, which are proposed stops along the Milwaukee-to-Madison route, public and private leaders are hustling to persuade planners to build stations in their towns. Why? They expect a mix of commercial, retail and residential development to follow the trains like a caboose…

“Studies in states such as Texas, California, Florida and Ohio have shown passenger rail can help lure tech-based businesses and investment…

“That’s a sector where Wisconsin is poised to compete. The proposed line to the Twin Cities would tie together the major hubs of the ‘€œI-Q Corridor,’€ which extends from Chicago through Wisconsin and into Minnesota. A distance of only 400 miles separates two dynamos of the Midwest economy – Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul. That’s a shorter distance than what separates San Diego from the ‘€œSilicon Valley’€ in California. Within the region are some of the nation’s leading research universities, federal labs, financial centers, tech companies and talent pools. High-speed rail will help bring them closer together…

“It will also help rural Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. There are 15 rural counties with nearly 550,000 people with 50 miles of La Crosse. These people would gain access to Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and the Twin Cities with a stop in La Crosse…

“Virtually every form of transportation in the United States is subsidized to one degree or another, but all offer a return on investment. High-speed rail has the potential to pay for itself in Wisconsin for generations to come. Let’s not miss the train.

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