Madison WI - The Wisconsin State Journal reports on the battle between two competing rail proposals. A commuter rail proposal that would connect Madison to outlaying communities and the streetcar proposal that is championed by Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.
The problem is that both plans are taking the steam out of each other. Mayor Cieslewicz suggested that the proponents of the commuter rail plan cool it so his plan can go forward. While both sides agree that both types of rail need to be done, the order in how it is done is what they are fighting over.
The Dane County officials that are spearheading the "Transport 2020" plan for commuter rail responded to the Mayor's suggestion with a comment that "the mayor is out of sync with the broader community here". Mayor Cieslewicz was a part of the "Transport 2020" task force before throwing a temper tantrum and pulling out because the focus of the panel wasn't on his personal legacy streetcar line in Madison.
The fear of both sides is that competing projects will kill off both projects by making it too expensive to proceed. Neither side wants to budge and both projects continue to compete with each other for attention.
Putting aside the fact that Madison can't afford to run what it already has, I admit that the commuter rail proposal would be more beneficial and serve a much broader population (if done properly) than the streetcar proposal being done primarily for personal legacy reasons. The Mayor is so desperate for his personal legacy line that I truly expect this fight to become rather nasty as each side escalates tactics to get their proposals pushed forward.