Citizens call on City of Milwaukee committee to increase safety along Brady Street
By Andrea Albers,2023-06-07
MILWAUKEE — As police continue to search for the driver responsible for the latest hit-and-run on Brady Street, some who live in the area are afraid that without change it will happen again.
The alderperson for the area, Jonathan Brostoff, says Brady Street is a neighborhood first, not an entertainment district and pedestrians deserve to feel safe. That's why he's asking the city to act now. "We have some incredibly smart people who work at DPW who work very hard... I wasn't fully satisfied with what I heard today," said the alderman after leaving a Public Works Committee meeting on Wednesday morning.
Alderman Brostoff wanted to hear ways to immediately take action to improve safety. "As far as the immediate, I think we should look toward temporary or temporal closures," he added.
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Initial suggestions from Milwaukee's Department of Public Works centered on restricting street parking to improve visibility.
It was the committee chairman who asked about re-directing drivers during peak times, typically Friday and Saturday nights, similar to Water Street.
"I mean, are we looking at that? That — you could start that this weekend," said Chairman Robert Bauman.
The seats in the audience were full of people, and those people were full of opinions — some spoke in favor of banning drivers from a stretch of the street, others advocated for speed humps, lower speed limits, better lighting and more police presence.
"I'm here for a couple of reasons today, as someone who's seen their revenue and sales and traffic decline 51%" said Katy McHugh, who owns Sip and Purr Cat Cafe. The cafe sits on nearby Ivanhoe Place which is now Ivanhoe Plaza — part of the street has been blocked off from drivers and transformed into a pedestrian-friendly space.
McHugh says the lack of parking has her considering a move to Brady Street, but she's leery of any plan that would mirror the pedestrian plaza outside the cafe's front door.
"The speed bumps and more lighting seem pretty easy," she continued. "Completely closing it down to vehicle traffic I think is super drastic."
No timetable for any changes has been set. A discussion about long-term solutions is being led by the Brady Street Business Improvement District and a study looking at the potential impact of pedestrianization is expected to be released in the coming month.
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