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Milwaukee launches Active Streets program to encourage more walking, biking

It's built off a program launched last year; and city leaders want to continue the effort post-pandemic
Posted at 4:18 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 23:25:37-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee launched its "Active Streets" program Friday - an effort to limit vehicle traffic on residential streets to allow people more room to walk and bike this summer and beyond.

The goal is to help residents be more active after months of being cramped in their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Active Streets program is the next stage of a partnership the city had with Milwaukee County that launched last year. That effort tried to limit vehicle traffic to allow pedestrians more room to move about. The concern was having pedestrians too close to each other on sidewalks amid social distancing guidelines.

Now the city wants to continue a successful program post-pandemic. A survey on last year's program found that 72% of respondents supported continuing the program beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, the city says.

“Active Streets were part of our community’s response to the pandemic, but it quickly became clear that the benefits of Active Streets could be enjoyed well into the future,” Mayor Tom Barrett said during the launch Friday. “The response we’ve heard gave us a clear direction; Active Streets are a welcome addition to many neighborhoods.”

Four community organizations were chosen to receive up to $5,000 in grants to "conduct outreach and programing, monitor Active
Streets-related infrastructure, and provide community feedback to" the Department of Public Works during the program, the city said in a statement Friday.

The following four organizations were chosen for these locations:

  • Northwest Side CDC: North 25th Street from West Roosevelt Drive to West Capitol Drive.
  • Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers: West Washington Street from South 20th Street to South 1st Street.
  • United Methodist Children's Services: West Galena Street from North 40th Street to North 27th Street & West Cherry Street from North 24th Place to North 20th Street.
  • Metcalfe Park Community Bridges: North 37th Street & North 38th Street from West North Avenue to West Meinecke Avenue, & West Meinecke Avenue from North 37th Street to North 38th Street.

Learn more about the program here.

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