Support Bus Rapid Transit

A feasibility study is being conducted of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route that will run between downtown Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center (MRMC).

There have been two public information meetings, and a third has been scheduled for May 18.

This summer with Wauwatosa Common council will consider the issue.

We urge you to get informed about this topic (see below) and add your support in the following ways:

In recent weeks there has been considerable alarm about this proposal. Rather than fear BRT, we suggest that  Wauwatosans embrace it. Here’s why:

  • It’s well known that the MRMC is bringing traffic to Wauwatosa in unprecedented numbers.  We can anticipate the traffic to increase –perhaps doubling – over the next 20 years. BRT is an attractive alternative for people who want to save time and money by choosing an alterative to driving cars to MRMC
  • The proposed BRT is the first line in what would likely become  a system with multiple lines serving high volume destinations including UWM, the airport, and perhaps Mayfair Mall and Mayfair collection.
  • We desperately need a Regional Transit System that will take people to and from jobs in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington Counties. The proposed BRT, if sited along Bluemound, could in the future be extended to Waukesha, and thus provide the root of a regional system.
  • Robust public transit is an investment in a future that is more respectful of communities and neighborhoods than automobiles have proven to be.
  • Our children and grandchildren will look on a decision to create a BRT as an investment in their quality of life.

It’s important to clear up some misconceptions about the proposed BRT:

  • The word “rapid” does not connote high speed, but efficient travel. BRT vehicles will not exceed current speed limits  -- as automobile drivers frequently do. BRT is more rapid than conventional buses because there are fewer stops and are less subject to traffic signals than cars or conventional buses
  • BRT is not a threat to neighborhoods. Infrastructure development for BRT will be minuscule compared to, e.g., the “carpet bombing” of neighborhoods that took place during the construction of the  freeway system in Milwaukee. And indeed, stable transportation infrastructure investment like BRT is likely to spur beneficial development and re-development in the business districts along the Bluemound route.
  • The BRT was unlikely ever to run down Wisconsin Avenue, and the option has been ruled out due to the opposition of Wauwatosa city officials. The remaining options are Bluemound Ave. and State St., but the latter is likely to be opposed by city officials because of the large investment the city is making in renewed infrastructure and streetscaping.

Wauwatosa is changing in important ways. Establishing modern infrastructure to move a growing number of people – not cars – through our community is vital to managing the change.

Our children and grandchildren will look on the creation of a BRT as an investment in their quality of life.

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