Paul Soglin has made a post
about Mayor Dave's Trolley Folly. In "Trolly(sic) Follies: Let The Voters Decide", Soglin argues that voters should get to decide as to whether the city should go forward with what would be "the largest financial commitment in the history of the city". This is a matter about which I've been arguing
over at BadgerBlues.org. I'm in agreement with Soglin and my interlocutor at BadgerBlues that any money for light rail would be better directed at improving the buses in this town.
With all this talk of rail and buses, I had to wonder why Madison Metro bus service has so many problems. Granted, some people have no problems with their service but it seems that many folks do. I went up to their webpage and looked at schedules and such. Finding that taking the bus to my place of employment would increase my travel time by 150%, I left the Metro site and poked around the rest of the city's webpage. Maps. I love maps. Ask The Dulcinea – there's a cartophilia gene in my family. Looking at a Madison street map, I had to wonder if a contributing factor to poor Metro service is our streets. Look at this section of the west side:
Most of Madison west of Segoe Road is similarly laid out. Now contrast this to a section of Chicago's north side:
Who designed the streets of Madison's west side? A city planner on LSD playing with an Etch-A-Sketch? I'm glad I'm not the prefect of Madison Metro because I'd have no idea how to adequately serve areas like that either. I readily admit that I have no background in urban planning. So, does anyone reading this have any idea if such a layout hampers public transportation? How about public utilities? And why was the grid pattern abandoned?