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City officials announce new initiative to deter reckless driving

The effort includes new yard signs and parklets which are spaces blocking portions of roadways.
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Posted at 12:32 PM, Sep 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-16 18:25:09-04

MILWAUKEE — The Near West Side neighborhood of Milwaukee announced a new initiative Friday in an effort to deter reckless driving.

During a news conference, Mayor Cavalier Johnson joined police and the Near West Side Partners non-profit to reinforce the commitment to tackle bad behavior on the roads.

The team revealed an educational campaign in the neighborhood using yard signs and QR codes centered around the message "Think twice about reckless driving."

"A PSA is just one part of a bigger campaign to empower residents to take a stand. The signs are way of saying we've seen it and we've had enough," said Lindsey St. Arnold Bell with the Near West Side Partners.

One woman named Helen said she was picking up a sign because she has experienced the negative impacts of reckless driving too often.

"It's kind of like an advertisement so if you have a little bit of an advertisement that makes people more aware," Helen said.

Organizers highlighted recent additions like the mobile parklet on Vliet Street just outside of two small businesses. The structure doubles as a a space people can enjoy while directing traffic away from the parking and bike lanes.

The particular one on Vliet is part of a pilot program with the Wisconsin Bike Federation and the Business Improvement District 10.

Edson Juarez helps run Pete's Pops which is just steps away from the parklet.

"You still get the occasional people that speed up and down Vliet, but I think people are a little bit more careful again just with that in the bike lane," Juarez said.

In recent years, the neighborhood groups worked to get security cameras and planters to ease reckless driving on 27th Street, an area notorious for dangerous driving.

According to Milwaukee Police, 68 people died in traffic-related cases last year. There have been 48 traffic-related deaths so far in 2022 and "countless injuries."

Mayor Johnson said citywide strategies including smarter street design and improving the biking infrastructure are ongoing.

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