Every Friday, Stuff We Missed (formerly Off The Record, which is now the name of our print-only Colectivo publication) looks to other Milwaukee publications (and beyond) for, well, stuff we missed throughout the week.
• The good news: the Milwaukee streetcar—a.k.a. The Hop—will remain free through 2020. Original plans called for the system to begin charging for rides this November, but because streetcar officials have yet to order fare collecting equipment, that ain’t happening. Which leads us to the bad news: a projected $860,000 gap in the system’s 2020 operating budget. That dollar figure—one-fifth of the streetcar’s annual budget—was expected to be covered by fares.
So, um, why is the streetcar so slow to charge a couple of bucks for a ride? Because fewer people will ride the thing, of course. “The reason we haven’t pulled the trigger on it is we know, based on the experience of other cities, that there will be a 20, 30, 40 percent ridership drop. It’s just a fact of life,” said Department of Public Works streetcar system manager Dave Windsor. (To date, ridership has met or exceeded expectations.) And oh yeah: when federal funding runs out in 2020, there will be another funding gap, this one between $1 million and $1.5 million.
So, um, how does the streetcar propose to close these gaps? Advertising! And if that doesn’t work (Potawatomi Hotel and Casino’s 12-year, $10 million sponsorship deal is the only big sponsorship deal to materialize so far), “the original project plan approved by the council was to leverage revenue from the parking fund to pay for operations.” Cue the angry press releases! [Urban Milwaukee]
• Following an incredible Summerfest performance Thursday night, Lizzo accused a “bigoted” security guard of attacking members of her team. Summerfest says it will “conduct a thorough investigation.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• The Milwaukee Public Market’s new outdoor beer patio, the Draft Patio, is open. Well, the weather may cause some problems with that today, but still. [OnMilwaukee]
• Bradford Beach’s new restaurant, The Dock, is open. Well, the weather may cause some problems with that today, too, but still. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Walker’s Point’s new food truck park, Zócalo Food Park, is open. Well, the weather may…okay, you get the idea. [Shepherd Express]
• Crews will soon demolish a vacant Bay View building at 2349 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. and make way for a new sushi restaurant, Sushi Yuki. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Those electric scooters that showed up on Milwaukee streets last year and were eventually taken away will reappear any day now. [Urban Milwaukee]
• Sherman Phoenix is getting a spiffy new 48-foot-wide mural. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• In Bud Selig news that was apparently too hot for the Bud Selig Experience at Miller Park, Bud Selig has some strong words for former Milwaukee mayor John Norquist and former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson in his new book, For The Good Of The Game. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Have a great weekend, Milwaukee!