After reading quite a bit about this subject, my opinion is that The
Republican controlled state assembly, and the federal government under
republican control has done just as much "command and control" over
local transportation projects as you suggest an Obama administration
would.  Whether the massive and easy highway funding and
slower-n-mollasses running up a tree in winter transit process is merely
a result of pork-barrel politics or a more deliberate goal, the fact
remains that Republicans have an impressive record of promoting
low-density land-use/transportation environments.

Ideally I'd love to see our government undertake a process of reforming
the State and Federal transportation funding model to give metropolitan
areas (READ: local governments) more direct control over transportation

In fact, let me outline my plan right now:

The state shall control no more than 25% of all federal/state
transportation monies collected/distributed in the state.

That 25% shall be dedicated exclusively to maintaining transportation
infrastructure outside of metropolitan areas.  Any money left over from
the 25% must be distributed to local units of government.  

Under no circumstances shall the state earmark monies outside of that
25% for any one particular mode of transportation, location, or project.

Monies not utilized by the state are to be distributed to metropolitan
areas based on population with no strings attached.

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Westhagen [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2008 2:50 PM
To: Matt Logan; BikiesSubmissions
Subject: Re: [Bikies] Where They Stand: Obama and McCain on

Dear Matt,

I read your link to JS online.  That article is my only knowledge and 
experience with your question.  My answer would begin with the premise 
that only Government can construct projects not tied to economic 
decisions.  The pyramids in Egypt were a good example and FDR's WPA, was

probably for similar reasons.  In a voting toss up State like Wisconsin,

for Tommy Thompson to remain in office that long, he both had his ear to

the ground and was basically "bi-partisan."  The JS article did not make

your contention that somehow the Governor was against light rail within 
the City of Milwaukee and "greater Milwaukee and Norquist" were madly in

favor.  It seems they sank much money into studying the question.  Since

the light rail would not affect the rest of the State, had the areas 
lumped as the seven counties backed the proposal, I would expect the 
governor would also have done so.  Certainly the State outside Milwaukee

should not have been liable for moneys or should have their overall 
transportation moneys be diverted for a Milwaukee meto system.  So, why 
didn't Norquist go ahead, anyway?  Why couldn't they have linked the 
system with the major highways like Chicago's NW if getting to --say 
Miller Park, Summerfest, or other outer areas was a big thing?  Doesn't 
it boil down to the problem that when something doesn't make "economic 
sense" and is just a convenience or amenity,  paid for by "other peoples

money", an awful lot of politics gets involved?  Yet it is only the 
Government that can bull through such uneconomic projects as the Boston 
grand tunnel.  Personally I don't wish to fly and always take the 
railroad.  But I remember back in the 1970s, my Mother would call her 
old friends to meet for lunch in the Loop in Chicago, asking they took 
the "L" and subway from the NW Side.  But they all refused to take 
"light rail" even from Irving Park as safety had so deteriorated.  And 
in the JS article, that topic was also mentioned.

Nevertheless, Government does have the power to put through nearly 
anything.  We certainly have seen that this past week.  Maybe many of 
the old rail beds turned to bike lanes should be relayed with tracks, 
now there is once again an economic need? 

And last, it seems the 6 billion to which you referred, is for all the 
highway, bridge, and related infrastructure rebuilding and repair  for 
"seven counties."

Matt Logan wrote:
> Eric,
> I was wondering how you felt about the State of Wisconsin's (under
> republican control at the time) intrusion into Milwaukee's light rail
> project about 15 years ago?
> Basically, the state used command and control policies to torpedo
> rail and forced the $6 bil Marquette interchange to be built against
> wishes of Milwaukee County.
> - Matt.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eric Westhagen [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> Sent: Friday, September 26, 2008 11:20 AM
> To: Matt Logan; BikiesSubmissions
> Subject: Re: [Bikies] Where They Stand: Obama and McCain on
> Transportation
> Dear Matt Logan,
> It comes as no surprise that Democrats embrace Federal and State 
> intrusion into zoning and worse to create "ideal" living spaces under 
> the banner of "smart growth." 
> _______________________________________________
> Bikies mailing list

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