NewsProject: Drive Safer


Problems on Prospect Ave. in Milwaukee: 3 pedestrians hurt, 1 killed in less than a year

In September, 94-year-old Edith Hibbard, a grandmother and longtime resident of Saint John’s on the Lake, was hit and killed crossing the street.
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Posted at 4:29 PM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 19:38:34-05

MILWAUKEE — After multiple pedestrians have been hurt and one killed on a busy east side street in Milwaukee, people living nearby are demanding change.

Residents of the popular senior living apartments, Saint John’s on the Lake, say they want cars to slow down on Prospect Avenue.

Back in September, 94-year-old Edith Hibbard, a grandmother and longtime resident of Saint John’s on the Lake, was hit and killed crossing the street. Her friend and fellow resident Bill Lau said it shouldn’t have happened, she was doing nothing wrong.

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In September, Edith Hibbard, 94, a grandmother and longtime residence of Saint John’s on the Lake was hit and killed crossing the street.

“Mrs. Hibbert was such a lively person. She was out so much. She was in the right, she was in the crossing lane with the light and the person turning didn’t see her,” said Lau.

He has called this area of the city home for decades but he still has problems crossing the street. As TMJ4 cameras were rolling, Lau was almost hit by a driver turning out of Saint John’s onto Prospect Ave.

“There is a lot of high-density population over on Prospect. There is several large senior complexes that house a lot of individuals that are particularly vulnerable to reckless driving because it is just slower for them to get across the street,” said Alderman Robert Bauman whose district includes Saint John’s.

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Site of a deadly pedestrian crash on Prospect Avenue at the intersection of Brady Street. It is just one of four crashes on Prospect Avenue involving pedestrians this year.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation data shows just in the last year, there have been seven crashes on a small stretch of Prospect Ave. between Brady Street and Lafayette Place. Of those seven crashes, four have involved pedestrians who have been injured or killed. In 2021, there were only three crashes.

Lau says since Prospect Ave. has been repaved, the street has become easier for people to travel and easier for people to speed. TMJ4 reporter Rebecca Klopf took the radar gun to Prospect and found people constantly going 40 mph in a 30 mph zone.

The residents of Saint John’s sent a petition to city and state leaders, along with the Department of Public Works (DPW), asking for changes to make Prospect Ave. safer. Alderman Bauman agrees and plans to bring in DPW to talk with residents about their options.

Bob Bauman
Ald. Bob Bauman

“It could include bump out or speed humps on Prospect which I suspect would be very controversial,” said Bauman. “Another option may, looking again, in fact, be converting Prospect and Farewell into two-way operations because that could very well cut down traffic speeds.”

Lau wants changes but he also thinks there needs to be a change in attitude from drivers.

“Changing Prospect basically means changing the minds of the motorcycles and cars that speed,” said Lau.

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