From Alder Marsha Rummel:
Last night over 140 mostly District 6 residents attended a meeting I organized with WisDOT officials Chris Klein, Paul Trombino and Paul Oimoen to learn more about high speed passenger rail service between Madison and Milwaukee. They provided a PowerPoint presentation that was followed by a Q&A session. The PowerPoint is attached. The Mayor and city staff also attended. Neighbors asked questions relating to quality of life impacts of the rail on east side neighborhoods - on property values, noise, train horns and whether fences would divide neighbors and neighborhoods; the status of existing Quiet Zones and potential to expand them; expectations for the public participation process once the consultants begin their work considering the lack of public input leading up to the station location decision; traffic impacts including potential street closings and the opportunity to improve the Blair/Willy/John Nolen/E Wilson/bike path/railroad intersection; the impact on Central Park; impacts on the walkability to east side schools; the criteria for the selection of Monona Terrace and the 2004 assessments; and concerns about how multi-modal transportation connections would be able to fit into a congested area. And more! Not all the questions could be answered but they will frame the issues that staff and policy makers will need to address.
The specific location of the station will be decided in early summer. The DOA building and 1 W Wilson are the two buildings under consideration. After that the corridor management process will begin. WisDOT officials repeatedly promised to meet with any affected property owner that requests it. They described a process that will include workshops and the creation of a stakeholder corridor management group that will include city and elected officials and neighborhood and other interested parties, the formation of local business and labor advisory committees to facilitate local purchasing and work opportunities. The power point describes this in more detail with timelines.
Meeting notes and a list of outstanding questions and concerns will be posted on the SASY list serve shortly. Check their website too www.sasyna.org for the letter they sent to WisDOT outlining neighborhood goals for fencing and street crossings.
The consultants are expected to start in June.