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WisDOT throws Oconomowoc off the train

By Joe Yovino

Did you ever show up to pick up your prom date and have four other guys standing at her front door — all in tuxes and with cash in their pockets?

That must be a little like what Oconomowoc is feeling this week after WisDOT informed the city it wouldn’t be getting a station on the high-speed rail line linking Milwaukee and Madison. Not only will the city not get a stop, but residents will still get the luxuries of stopping at grade crossings and hearing the engine noise as the train zooms by.

Now that’s a double kick in the rented tux.

Oh, and the four other guys (Hartland, Wauwatosa, Waterloo and Sun Prairie) … apparently they were just waiting for you to turn around and go home.

You either hop on the train or get run over by it. That’s the sentiment coming out of the WisDOT camp this week. And, frankly, it’s refreshing to see. For once, no “let’s have a meeting to discuss the meeting.” Not this time. This time it was like a Band-Aid … RIP.

Oconomowoc residents expressed concerns in early August. During a community workshop, city officials apparently were asking too many questions that WisDOT didn’t have the want or need to answer, and poof, time to find another dance partner.

WisDOT Secretary Frank Busalacchi, in his letter to Oconomowoc Mayor James Daley, wrote: “Due to the lack of interest by the City, we are discontinuing further discussions on a proposed station in Oconomowoc. As the overall project moves forward, we will continue to work with the City and residents on rail crossing issues and a rail corridor management plan to ensure the train passes safely and swiftly through the City of Oconomowoc.”

Make that a triple kick in the rented tux.

Joe Yovino is the Web editor at The Daily Reporter. He wishes WisDOT would move as quickly to get the I-94 construction wrapped up.

One comment

  1. A report from the United States Goverment accountability office highlights potential issues with high speed rail plans in the United States.
    Passenger rail service will require new safety rules, constant public capital investment and operating subsidies, not to mention balance with the current freight rail and the rest of the national transportation system. Currently only some of these systems are in place according to the GAO report.

    I see once again all government is on the same page.

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