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Group opposed to downtown streetcar project says petition drive to bring it to voters will fail

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A group opposed to the downtown Milwaukee streetcar project says a petition drive to kill the project will fail. They needed about 31,000 signatures by next week in their effort to force the issue to a referendum.

The Milwaukee Common Council on February 10th approved the controversial $124 million streetcar project that will connect downtown Milwaukee and the lower east side. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett then signed legislation to move the project forward.

Now, some bad news for folks who believe the project can still be stopped. On Tuesday, February 24th, the unofficial "Stop the Milwaukee Streetcar" Facebook group posted an update -- saying the petition drive against the project will fail.

While the Facebook group may have more than 4,000 followers, it is not leading the petition drive. That petition drive is being organized by the group Citizens for Responsible Government. Alderman Bob Donovan has been a vocal opponent of the project.

"Our backs are back against the wall so by God you got to come out swinging. I am confident there are a lot of signatures and petitions still out there," Alderman Donovan said.

Citizens for Responsible Government tells FOX6 News they believe they are within striking distance and the needed petition signatures can be obtained. They say they are close, and "they are in the fourth quarter, down 10," but they say "we can do it."

CLICK HERE to learn more about the downtown Milwaukee streetcar project.

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  • opinion8d

    Representative government is clearly a miss here. Please tell me how the majority of the inner city are benefiting from this??? But yet, their alderman vote for it. How about those on 35th and North? Can they catch a ride? Nope! 27th and Fond du Lac? Nope! Anyone on MLK Dr? Nope! But the fact is, the people in that area (very few) aren’t paying taxes anyhow so why would they care? What they are missing is the “Opportunity Costs/Value” that could be spent elsewhere if this wasn’t built. How many select bus lines could be funded????

  • Mr. Bob

    Because milk toast barrett is going to have his 2 mile trolley come hell or high water whether it makes economic sense or not. Why would he devote any resources, time and attention to a failed public school system, or a rising violent crime rate, or streets that are riddled with potholes, or an out of control mortgage foreclosure problem in the city when he can get a 2 mile streetcar???

  • George

    Seems to me there is more support for the Streetcar than against it if they can’t even get enough signatures for their petition. Glad to see this last barrier has failed (as expected) and progress can continue in Milwaukee. Thank you Mr Mayor for not backing down and for pushing initiatives that will help bring new businesses to Milwaukee.

    • I'm Awesome

      You can’t be serious. You do realize that many low income households do not even know about the streetcar, right? Take a trip north of 27th and National. Start asking random people if they support a streetcar – you’ll see. My guess is you wouldn’t dare enter that neighborhood let alone talk to someone in it. I’m sure in time those who support the streetcar will realize what a failure it is. By that time more people will have migrated out of Milwaukee, causing a decrease in the TIF districts. Then how will Milwaukee pay for it? Maybe you’d like to pony up the cash?

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