NewsProject: Drive Safer


Amani residents gather to discuss traffic calming measures

The group talked about both temporary and permanent solutions that could calm traffic
Amani Traffic Calming Meeting
Posted at 8:33 AM, Dec 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-18 09:33:29-05

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — A group of neighbors who live in the Amani neighborhood met with community partners on Saturday to discuss traffic calming measures.

The group met with the Wisconsin Bike Federation, The Dominican Center and Amani United as part of an effort to try and combat reckless driving. Their conversation primarily focused around the intersection near 25th and Locust.

"It's very serious," said Elizabeth Brown, a resident of the neighborhood. "My children and my nieces go to school over here," she said while describing why combating reckless driving is something she is passionate about.

"They're speeding through and you're standing on the corner for like 15 minutes to cross the street because of how traffic is flowing. It's ridiculous," she said.

MaryBeth McGinnis with the Wisconsin Bike Federation said neighbors in the Amani neighborhood have become increasingly concerned after witnessing someone get hit by a car near 25th and Locust this year. She said conversations and events like the one held Saturday give neighbors a voice on what can be done to improve safety.

"Some of the people I've worked with on this project within this neighborhood have told me that they don't feel heard by elected officials," she said. "Also, sometimes things just happen in their community without their input."

McGinnis said the group talked about both temporary and permanent solutions that could calm traffic.

"It could be really simple like repainting the crosswalks, but up to really big changes like a traffic circle that would have planters and signage and art around it," said McGinnis.

Elizabeth Brown said she would like to see the permanent circles installed.

14-year-old Dayvida Brown also showed up to voice her thoughts.

"On Locust, I feel like it should be more speed bumps so it can slow people down," she said.

She also shared a message to all of Milwaukee's youth.

"Stay in the house, get actual jobs, legal jobs and work for what they want and not steal everything," she said.

Barbara Smith is the chair of Housing and Economic Development for Amani United.

She is urging everyone in the neighborhood, who is concerned, to speak up. She also wants elected officials to hear these neighbors loud and clear.

"The Amani residents have witnessed the speeding in the Amani neighborhood for years and we've expressed our concern to our elected officials, whom we think could be our support to get things done in the neighborhood, to no avail. So here we are again," said Smith.

TMJ4 News reached out to District 7 Alderman Khalif Rainey's office on Saturday to ask if he was aware of the meeting and if he has had any conversations about traffic calming in the area. We did not hear back in time for deadline.

The Wisconsin Bike Federation said similar events will happen in the near future to invite more community members to participate in conversations about making Amani neighborhood streets safer.

Project: Drive Safer is TMJ4's year-long commitment to telling stories with a goal of combating reckless driving.

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