Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A big change in editorial position on freeways

The Journal Sentinel thinks southeastern Wisconsin should, unlike any other part of the state, have to pay for its own freeways.

Or maybe it's just a typo.

The editorial folks at the paper, in opining that Waukesha County should not cut a bus route that serves 70 workers, had this to say:

Ideally, the answer is a regional transit authority covering freeways, buses and commuter rail systems and funded by a dedicated source that takes the financial burden off the property tax.

This is the first time I've heard it suggested that the proposed Transit Authority should have jurisdiction over freeways. If the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission's really bad idea for a multi-billion dollar freeway expansion plan goes forward, does the JS really think local car rental taxes or sales taxes can pay for it and transit, too?

The JS is floating a rather radical change in governance and mission for both the state and proposed RTA. Such a proposal deserves a little more thought and explanation than what is almost a throw-away line in an editorial.

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