For months, Madison Ald. Marsha Rummel has been dying to hold a meeting on Wisconsin's high-speed rail project. But, she sighs, "It's not really in my hands."
Rummel knows residents in her lower-east-side district have questions and concerns over the project.
"People in my district are concerned about how it would divide Atwood from [Darbo-Worthington]," she says. "Plus, people who live along [the tracks] want to know if it's all going to be fenced in, how noisy it will be, where it will go, how close it will be to their property, and how it will affect property values."
There is also the question of where to put the train station. Monona Terrace, the Kohl Center, the airport and Yahara Station have all been floated as possibilities.
Only the state Department of Transportation has the ability to tackle any of these issues. Rummel says the DOT recently hired two consultants to study aspects of the project. But she's still waiting to hear from them before she can schedule a public meeting on the project.
At the Common Council meeting on Tuesday, Rummel and Ald. Satya Rhodes-Conway introduced a resolution calling for a train station that's multi-modal and centrally located. They also hope it "has a strong potential to encourage and facilitate transit-oriented development and to serve as an anchor for our economic development efforts."
Rummel has high hopes that the station will have other benefits: "When we look at the East Washington corridor, this could be a pioneering first step toward rebuilding this corridor."