Re-post from the Daily Cardinal: Rail-based transportation system would benefit Madison

In addition to everything else I do at UW-Madison, I’m also a columnist for the Daily Cardinal, and independent student newspaper serving the UW-Madison community. 

This is a re-post of an opinion piece I wrote and published today about the controversy surrounding a proposed trip to Freiburg, Germany and Strasbourg, France by representatives of the City of Madison who are preparing a new transportation master plan. The trip’s aim is to learn first hand about extensive transportation systems in European cities similar to Madison. Freiburg also happens to be Madison’s sister. 



The main entrance pavilion at the Gare de Strasbourg. 


Some of the controversy is due to a perception that the trip will yield no results; basically money will be spent sending officials abroad to look at great transportation systems, but those examples will never become reality in Madison. (It should be noted, that an interview with one city alder, Denise DeMarb, District 16, revealed that money for this trip is coming from a fund specifically for official travel.)  

The gist of my piece is that I agree with the latter thoughts, but I also feel for the former: such a trip could be inspirational. Madison is a city of big plans, but few results though, so it’s easy to feel discouraged. This should be used an impetus to make changes though! And hopefully that’s the case.


A Freiburg Strassenbahn heading into the city center.


The article is linked below: