I have been a citizen of Brookfield for 24 years and a member of the Brookfield Common Council for eight years, including two years as president. Many blogs in the past have contained false and distorting info about public affairs. I will provide truthful information and maintain an influence on city policy.
After ten years of fighting it, Brookfield finally has its first roundabout, complements of Waukesha County. No more waiting at the stop sign wondering who's going next!. Since the roundabout opened, I haven't seen a car stopping there or a traffic backup. On several occasions, I have gone out of my way to practice negotiating the circle. The most important feature is the yield sign. Each direction must obey its own yield sign. Totally different than a 4-way stop. Get used to them. They're sprouting up all over, especially in developing areas in Washington County and Arizona.
It's hard to jutify a train station for high speed passenger service in Brookfield. I doubt that a dozen people would use the service daily. Stops in Wauwatosa and Oconomowoc in addition to Watertown would slow the trains markedly.. The top speed would be 70+ miles per hour. How many people remember the North Shore Line between Milwaukee and Chicago that ran from the early 1900's until the early 1960's. The top speed on that line was over 100 mph. Those trains were electric and virtually noiseless. In addition to the North Shore were routes to and from East Troy, Port Washington, Waukesha, and Muskego. Imagine the transit system we could have today if General Motors and Standard Oil hadn't decided American transit should be run on rubber tired diesel buses and smelly diesel fuel. Since then the United tates has fallen decades behind other industrialized nations in high speed rail systems.Last week, Switzerland completed a sixty year project when they completed a 35.4 mile tunnel through the alps. According to Swiss officials, It will create a high speed network that will connect all corners of Europe. The tunnel will complete a high-peed transit route from Holland's Rotterdam to the Italy's Mediterranean port of Genoa. The $10 billion tunnel will allow passenger and cargo transit to pass under the Alps at up to 167 miles per hour. Swiss voters will pay more than $1,300.00 each to fund the project, approved in a series of referendums passed twenty years ago. Switzerland has just under 8 million people. The 1950's brought us the interstate highway system proposed by President Dwight Eisenhower. Gas then cost about twenty cents per gallon compared to as high as $3.00 recently.The interstate system, which also was part of our national defense system, changed the landscape and the economy of the nation. Now we need to rebuild that system. We also need a new rail system. Recently I talked to several Brookfield old-timers who remember the transportation politics of the 1950's era. Of course, Brookfielders, like all taxpayers, were in a purple rage about a new multi-lane interstate highway system being cut through their city. The mayor at that time showed leadership at the time and cooler heads prevailed and the city benefitted. A similar scenario unfolded when Capitol Drive was widened some years ago. Again reasonable people worked together and reached an agreement . The same approach must be used by city officials again and forget about the November election and do what's best for the long term. The United States needs an improved rail sytem for our economy to grow along with the rest of the industrialized world. Eliminating the station in Brookfield would be a good bargaining point. An improved rail system is essential to the big, long-term picture.