Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's cool when bad decisions have consequences

Newly elected Republican Governors in Wisconsin and Ohio repudiated plans for high speed rail in their states, presuming that they would be able to keep the federal transportation monies and use them for roads and such.

Plus, from an economic development standpoint, Spanish high speed rail equipment manufacturer Talgo has decided to not go forward with a manufacturing plant in Milwaukee. See "Talgo: ‘We can’t stay and manufacture in Milwaukee’" from the Daily Reporter. From the article:

The decision was made after U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced Thursday that the federal government was rescinding the $810 million allocated to Wisconsin. Wisconsin Gov.-elect Scott Walker had strongly opposed the state’s high-speed rail plan. “We can’t stay and manufacture in Milwaukee without the high-speed rail to Madison,” Friend said. “This is terrible news.”

Friend said the state’s decision to back away from the high-speed rail project sends a terrible message to businesses considering locating in the state. “We were encouraged by the business community,” Friend said. “We are really discouraged by what has happened.” State residents should also be discouraged, she said. Talgo and the construction of the rail line would have created jobs badly needed in the construction industry.

Also see "Talgo seeks work in states given Wisconsin's rail share" from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

1. Make such decisions have consequences. Typically, in U.S. politics, such decisions don't normally have consequences.
2. It does demonstrate problems with creating "nationally-important" transportation infrastructure by working with individual states.

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