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Former City of Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz

Former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's Blog


Great Day in Madison

May 6, 2010 2:35 PM

Earlier today Governor Jim Doyle announced that he has picked Monona Terrace as the location for the high speed rail station linking Madison to Milwaukee, Chicago and, eventually, the Twin Cities. The governor couldn't have made a better choice.

Downtown Madison is where visitors to Madison most want to be, along with the University of Wisconsin. We'll get to work now on plans to make sure that the campus is served with frequent and fast bus connections to the new station. The city also had plans already on the books to build new underground parking to replace our existing Government East ramp. Now we'll increase the size of that project to accommodate parking for the station, and we'll add Madison's first indoor parking facility for bicycles.

But that's just the start. This station should be an intermodal hub linking high speed rail, Metro busses, intercity busses, parking for cars and bikes and eventually, commuter rail. And with the Regional Transit Authority, we can look forward to the day when those Metro busses will get you to all corners of the Madison region. In addition, we had been planning a public market on the site currently held by the Government East ramp and a new hotel across Pinckney Street or at another nearby location. The station announcement makes all that more likely.

So, imagine this. You drive, ride your bike or take a bus to the new station. You grab some lunch at the public market or a nearby restaurant before you catch your train to Milwaukee. You spend an afternoon in Milwaukee doing business or visiting a museum or going to a Brewers game (if it's a ball game, the Brewers will win). You take the train back, enjoying the ride, maybe working on your laptop computer.

Conversely, someone visiting Madison could arrive at Monona Terrace and go straight to an event at the convention center or walk to the Capitol or a state office building to do some business or grab a bus, or eventually a commuter rail train, to the university. Football fans could take the train in from Milwaukee, Brookfield, Oconomowoc or Watertown and not have to worry about parking at all.

The possibilities are endless. But what this means for sure is more business, development and activity for downtown Madison. Governor Doyle has hit another home run for his home town. That's why I'll ask that our station be named the "Governor Jim Doyle Madison Station." It's a great day in Madison.



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