High speed rail headed for Brookfield – again

Here’s a little morning fun:

(You can see the whole thing here.)

Now to the serious stuff.

We’ve heard about the push for high-speed rail service between Chicago and Minneapolis a few times since Doyle took office. I found this Milwaukee Business Journal article from 2007. According to the MJS, Doyle brought it up again a few days ago.

A rail station has been in Brookfield’s master plan at Brookfield and River Roads for some time.

Like so many things in Brookfield, it takes a while, but once leadership decides it should happen, it usually does happen. And the lure of all that free money! Why just a couple of weeks ago an alderman was demanding a list of projects to bring funds to our city. I wonder if this project was on his radar? Of course our Mayor hasn’t even brought the issue up at all. He tends to run (ok, I’m being nice there, he heads for a bunker!) if he senses anything to be controversial. More trains in all those expensive backyards would certainly be controversial.

I have mixed emotions. I love public transportation. I hate watching what a change in the rules does to private land/home owners. I really like the idea of one of my kids hopping a train to Madison, but I know that we’ve only a handful of years to go when that would count in this household, and it’s unlikely a project would be finished by then.

Keep in mind the train is labeled high-speed, but with stops in both Milwaukee and Oconomowoc, we really wouldn’t be seeing much speed in Brookfield. Also, and this is not a point to argue at all, significant changes in public transportation (there would be buses brought in to make connections, etc.) change the character of a community forever. Brookfield would become very urban, density would increase, and all the city services to support that density would be more expensive.

What I’d really like to know: Who asked for a stop in Brookfield? Don’t you find it a little unusual that no one will own up to the plan? I find it very unlikely that Governor Doyle threw a dart and decided it was Brookfield or Bust.

Someone’s keeping a secret.


  1. Cindy – I’d like you to do a case comparison of Brookfield and Lake Forest, Illinois. I’d bet you’d be pleasantly surprised by their “downtown” (look at the intersection of Deerpath Rd/ Western Ave. Here’s a google street view of what I am talking about:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=lake+forest,+IL&sll=43.084342,-88.267357&sspn=0.009795,0.022659&ie=UTF8&ll=42.251345,-87.839856&spn=0.009927,0.022659&t=h&z=16&layer=c&cbll=42.251359,-87.839756&panoid=4gMPg-qHWaXikD9dWqbtCw&cbp=12,336.5359811092021,,0,6.789772727272723) and train stop. This train serves a MUCH more urban area (hello, chicago!) but the community has remained suburban and “upper class”. I think you could drawn a lot of similarities between the two cities. Let me know what you think. I say if they want to link of Chicago and Minneapolis by way of MKE and its suburbs, then – pardon the pun – All Aboard!

  2. Ooooh. A real downtown! that’s been there with a train stop forever. No changing the rules.

    The spouse used to take the Hinsdale train morning and night. That’s a similar setup. Again – it’s been there forever and not new to the city.

    Like I’ve said, I like public transit. I simply think it will change Brookfield forever.

  3. Yeah but that train hasn’t caused Lake Forest to have a bunch of city buses running day and night, so what makes you think that would happen in Brookfield?

  4. I guess I see that point. It’s my assumption that the only suburban train stop would have park and ride type bus service to get people to and from the mall, wctc, etc.

  5. I guess I didn’t catch that Brookfield would be the only stop… I thought you mentioned Oh Cow No More Walk

  6. The Lorax says:

    Well Oconomowoc isn’t really suburban, more exurban, but you’ll probably think that is splitting hairs.

    I think Brookfield could USE that kind of connection and it will help the city, not hurt it. We’re kind of languishing somewhere between subrub and urb right now…

  7. I would think Oconomowoc too far out to be suburban, too.

    We are languishing, (actually, Brookfield is in significant decline) but I’m kicking and screaming trying not to give up our “city in the countryside”. I really liked our slow, sprawled existence. That’s why I moved here!

  8. Brookfield is in significant decline? By what standards? Im just curious. You know more than I do.

  9. I suppose I can rephrase that to say the Brookfield I moved into is in significant decline. Really crummy choices are being made regarding development. Extra density, lots more noise.

    Just what about Brookfield would you describe as “quaint” these days?