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Project: Drive Safer hosts second community town hall, focuses on solutions

By Ryan Jenkins,


A community event to come up with answers to solve Milwaukee's reckless driving problem was held Thursday at Riverside University High School.

Dozens of people attended TMJ4's Project: Drive Safer second Town Hall event.

"I'm the gentleman who had cars run up into my yard 17 times," said concerned neighbor Junious Merriwhether, who is still waiting for something to be done about the dangerous intersection near his home at 76th and Stark.

He's fed up. So are some community leaders who were part of the panel.

"Drive, drive, drive, drive, drive. I'm kind of tired of hearing about how to get more people to drive," said Jake Newborn who works with the Wisconsin Bike Federation. "What we need to do is take this money and put it into our bus system, we need to build more pedestrian-friendly housing, and community and development around places that have assets that people need."

Some who attended spoke about enforcement.

"I have always wondered why we don't enforce the dark windows," said one woman.

Another attendee said, "If you can't register your car, you should surrender your car."

And those on the panel, including Celia Jackson with the Coalition for Safe Driving MKE, agreed.

"Yeah, we've got to have some order. But by the same token, we don't want to increase the disparities," said Jackson.

Other attendees focused on engineering.

"Bumpouts should be automatic for almost every neighborhood intersection that gets re-built," said a man who was there after experiencing reckless driving in his neighborhood.

Much of the conversation also focused on education and creating a culture of care.

For nearly two hours, ideas flowed about potential solutions. There were conversations about video games, citations, booting vehicles, state funding, driver's education, and traffic lights that don't sync at busy intersections.

It was a night full of conversation that those who attended hoped will ignite change on Milwaukee roads and ultimately make them safer.

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