The City of Milwaukee Public Works Committee has voted to advance a Complete Streets policy unanimously that will help make streets safer for people walking, taking transit, biking or driving (text on LegisStar). This policy was developed with input from residents and community leaders to improve health, safety, and mobility for the people of Milwaukee including the Complete Streets Coalition, comprised of 16th Street Community Health Centers, Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Northwest Side CDC, Black Girls Do Bike, American Heart Association, and the Wisconsin Bike Fed. Thanks to residents who showed up at the Committee to support it. Their presence made an impact on the Committee. Showing up matters!
These groups gathered over 700 signatures in support of this policy and hosted dozens of events and turned out dozens of residents at the meeting. “You can talk to almost anyone in any community in Milwaukee and a top concern is traffic and reckless driving. People want to walk and bike more but don’t feel safe. The Complete Streets policy has strong support from DPW, Alders, and the community and gives the clarity needed to use safety as the main principle in designing streets,” according to Tatiana Maida, a member of the coalition who collected hundreds of petitions. You can still sign the petition: go to this link or simply text “MILWAUKEE” to 46839.
The Complete Streets Policy (both resolution and ordinance) will increase safety and mobility and help curb reckless driving. It will:
1. Ensure streets are designed for people and safety first
2. Create a process for more robust community input on street design (text on LegisStar)
3. Ensure that the benefits of safe and complete streets are shared among all residents of the City
4. Create a body to oversee the implementation of the policy (a separate ordinance establishes this and was passed at the same time)
A resolution for Complete Streets and an ordinance for an overseeing body is just the start. The resolution and ordinance will be up for full Common Council vote on Oct 16th. Facebook event to share is here. Although passage is very likely and no testimony will be heard, people are welcome to join us at this meeting.
The CS Coalition is committed to building a culture of safety through community education, public awareness, and encouragement that prioritizes people and curbs reckless driving. The CS Coalition thanks the City and Public Works Committee for their leadership on this issue and looks forward to supporting implementation.
For more meeting analysis and quotes from Alders, check out the Urban Milwaukee piece on the vote.