Oconomowoc Blues

So Oconomowoc apparently doesn’t want to have a passenger rail station.  At least a lot of really vocal local Oconomowocians don’t want it.  And who knows what the ever secretive DOT wants.

The situation of Oconomowoc reminds me very much of Washington, D.C.’s metro line that opened in 1976.  Throughout the early 70’s the idea of a Metro line was pilloried by anti-transit activists.  “No one will ride it.”  “Too expensive.”  “It will ruin property values.”

The fashionable Georgetown neighborhood fought hard to keep Metro out.  They won.  There is no Georgetown stop on the D.C. Metro.

Fast forward to today.  The highest property values in Washington are found in neighborhoods closest to a Metro stop.  Metro ridership is phenomenal and it’s hard to imagine D.C. without Metro.  And Georgetown is trying to convince transit officials that they really should have a Metro stop.

Oconomowoc should learn from the Georgetown experience.  They just might learn that rail can be a good thing.