This information is provided to neighbors by Kate Nelson with UWM, as a follow-up to a Path to Platinum presentation at the March Murray Hill Meeting.
From Kate Nelson:
I wanted to share with you the details and information behind the Jane’s Walk that I mentioned at your last meeting. Attached is the communication from DPW on the redesign and construction slotted for Locust Street and North Avenue bridges over the Milwaukee River. The first separated bike lanes in Milwaukee will be a part of this project. I hope that many from the Murray Hill Neighborhood can join in!
Public Gathering: Jane’s Walk, May 10th at 6pm, Urban Ecology Center at Riverside Park
Join Path to Platinum for a community conversation about our safe streets. A “Jane’s Walk” will be hosted on Thursday, May 10th at 6pm, gathering at the Urban Ecology Center at Riverside Park. This 2 mile walk-n-talk will cross both the Locust Street and North Avenue bridges across the Milwaukee River. Details will be shared by Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works regarding new street designs and neighbors will share a walk exploring safe streets for all.
Event details at: https://www.facebook.com/
Milwaukee’s Path to Platinum Supports- “Locust St. & North Ave. Bridges over Milwaukee River Re-Striping Project”
Alderman Kovac and the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works are addressing a traffic safety concern expressed by communities on both sides of the bridges. Path to Platinum supports these safety improvements because they reduce the incidence of dangerous speeding and clearly identify space for different types of travel, which will ultimately result in fewer crashes. Supporting details:
• The North & Locust Bridge corridors currently experience high concentrations of reported pedestrian and bicyclist crashes relative to surrounding areas. From 2012 to 2016, there were 221 crashes resulting in 80 injuries on E. Locust Street and 120 crashes resulting in 54 injuries on E. North Avenue, including 23 pedestrians and 23 bicyclists struck.
• The speed limit on both bridges is 30MPH, but 15% of traffic on the Locust Street Bridge travels 40MPH or faster. This means that over 3,500 vehicles per day—on average 1 vehicle every 25 seconds—is going at least 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. 15% of traffic on the North Avenue Bridge travels 37MPH or faster. Compliance with speed limits is essential for pedestrian safety: at 30MPH, the likelihood of a pedestrian being severely injured or killed in a collision is less than 50%; at 40MPH this likelihood increases to 80%.
• According to the Federal Highway Administration, lane reconfiguration projects like this can improve the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. Similar projects have reduced all crashes up to 47%, reduced rear-end and left-turn crashes with the addition of a dedicated left-turn lane, reduced right-angle crashes as side street motorists need to cross fewer lanes of traffic, reduced the number of lanes pedestrians need to cross and provided an opportunity to build future pedestrian refuge islands, provided space to add separated bicycle lanes, calmed traffic and curbed aggressive speeding, and encouraged a more community-focused “Complete Streets” environment.
• Safety improvements are important for people traveling to and from UWM, Riverside High School, Riverview and Cambridge Commons Residence Halls, the Urban Ecology Center, the Oak Leaf and Beerline Trails, business districts on both ends of each bridge, and neighborhood residents on both sides of the Milwaukee River.
• Both of these projects would reduce the speeding and merging problems that are created when Locust and North go from two lanes to four and back to two. These designs would also help organize turning traffic, make pedestrian crossings safer, and improve bicycle connectivity between neighborhoods with the highest rates of bicycling in Milwaukee.