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12 CHAPTER FOUR Case Studies Kenosha, Wisconsin access to Kenosha's historic civic center, a shopping district, the marina, Lake Michigan lakefront and the adjacent park, The city of Kenosha, with a population of 98,550 (2007), museums, and the city's new downtown transit center, where is located on Wisconsin's southeastern border with Illinois the streetcar system connects with the Metra commuter rail along the shores of Lake Michigan. The city lies approxi- to Chicago. mately midway between Milwaukee (40 mi to the north) and Chicago (65 mi to the south). The Metra commuter rail The current Kenosha streetcar system utilizes five system's Union Pacific North Line connects Kenosha with remanufactured Presidents' Conference Committee (PCC) Chicago, including limited weekday and weekend service. streetcars, built in 1951 by the St. Louis Car Company and formerly used in Toronto. These cars have been refurbished Streetcar System and repainted in a variety of color schemes. Kenosha's original streetcar system operated between 1903 System Development and 1932. Today's streetcar system, the Kenosha Transit Electric Streetcar, commenced service in June 2000 (see Kenosha Area Transit (KAT), the city-owned public trans- Figure 2). As a limited service streetcar system, cars operate portation agency, operates the streetcar system. KAT is part primarily during mid-day weekday hours only in the win- of the Southeast Wisconsin Transit System, which also main- ter, with expanded service throughout the day and on week- tains a fleet of 68 buses, 42 of which operate in Kenosha. ends in the summer. The system had an annual ridership of Several bus routes intersect the streetcar line. approximately 65,700 in 2008. Planning for Kenosha's streetcar system began in the early 1990s as a part of a master plan for the redevelopment of Har- borPark, a 69-acre brownfield site located on the embank- ment of Lake Michigan. The site was the former location of a large American Motors Corporation manufacturing plant, which closed in the 1980s. In 1996, the city engaged the ULI to create a reuse plan for the brownfield site and for redevel- opment of the surrounding area. After one year of studying the area and leading public charrettes, the ULI team rec- ommended reintroducing the streetcar system in conjunc- tion with other aspects of redevelopment to stimulate new development at the HarborPark site and entice developers to rehabilitate existing buildings and invest in the downtown core. In addition to the streetcar, the redevelopment plan FIGURE 2 Kenosha Streetcar, HarborPark. (Source: included promoting residential and mixed-use development Wikipedia under the terms of the GNU Free on and surrounding the brownfield site, public investment to Documentation License.) enhance the marina, and investment in public activity cen- ters such as museums and public plazas to draw tourism. Kenosha's streetcar route follows a single-track, one-way Furthermore, the streetcar would connect HarborPark to the loop, normally served by a single car running at about 15 downtown area and to the Metra station, and enhance what min headways. The 1.9 mi line is routed in a grassy median was, at the time, an underutilized Central Business District for about half its length, alongside the street for about a quar- (see Figure 3). As redevelopment of the area has drawn a ter of its length, and in the street for the remaining distance. larger population to HarborPark and the downtown core, a The system provides daily service with 17 stops, connecting long-term vision has evolved for the streetcar to eventually the relatively new 69-acre mixed-use HarborPark neighbor- serve commuters to and from Chicago by means of the Metra hood to the Central Business District. The route provides commuter rail as residential density increases in the area.

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13 FIGURE 3 Kenosha streetcar map. (Source: Kenosha Area Transit.) System Financing During the winter, the system operates Monday through Friday, only, from 10:05 a.m. to 2:05 p.m. Fares are $0.25 per The initial capital cost of $5.2 million for the Kenosha trip or $2.00 for a day pass. The streetcar has 17 designated Streetcar system (see Figure 4) came from the FTA 5309 stops, but also permits flagged stops. program, which provides capital assistance for new and replacement vehicles, related equipment, and facilities; and Ridership has substantially increased from 53,662 riders the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement annually in 2006 to 65,759 riders in 2008. Although KAT Program (CMAQ) with an 80% federal and 20% local fund- has not conducted a survey, the KAT director commented ing split. The remaining local funds came from the city's that a significant number of riders are tourists visiting the capital improvement program for infrastructure as well as area's four museums. tax increment financing (TIF) for improvements around the streetcar alignment and Metra station. Impacts of Streetcar on Built Environment Impacts on Existing Development Previously an industrial manufacturing zone, the redevel- opment plan for HarborPark called for new zoning to allow high-density, residential mixed-use and museums. The plan sought to create a new residential, commercial, and tourism district, with the streetcar, streetscape improvements, and design standards connecting it visually and physically to the historic downtown. Additionally, the city eliminated one-way streets to promote more business traffic around the streetcar alignment in the downtown area. The Business Improve- ment District provided most of the funding for downtown streetscape improvements around the streetcar alignment. Private investment in the existing downtown core has FIGURE 4 Kenosha streetcar. (Source: Kenosha Area focused primarily on rehabilitation. According to the city's Transit.) community development specialist, the downtown has attracted some local investors who have rehabilitated several System Management buildings, taking advantage of smaller historic structures. However, much of the downtown building stock, in larger During the summer months, the system operates 7 days a historic structures, reportedly is being held off the market week from 11:05 a.m. to 7:05 p.m. Monday through Friday, because the economics of rents do not yet support substantial and from 10:05 a.m. to 5:35 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. investment.