Question: What is an Active Street?
Answer: A street that prioritizes people walking, biking, running, or wheeling by reducing or prohibiting through motor vehicle traffic.
Question: So I can walk, run, bike, or wheel in the street?
Answer: Yes! This will help ensure you and your neighbors can maintain six feet of distance from one another when getting physical activity.
Question: What types of activities are allowed on the Active Streets?
Answer: Neighborhood residents can walk, bike, run, or wheel on these streets for exercise. Socializing should be kept to a minimum. Keep a distance of at least six feet from those who do not live in the same house as you. Active Streets are meant for safe physical activity and mobility, not for group gatherings.
Question: Why can’t people simply use the sidewalks, or ride their bikes in the street as they are today?
Answer: Most sidewalks in Milwaukee are no wider than six-feet across (and some aren’t even that wide), making it difficult for people to walk and maintain a safe physical distance from others. In the warm weather, more people are outside and the sidewalks can be
crowded. In some neighborhoods, there isn’t very good access to parks, open space, or trails, meaning those residents have even fewer opportunities to be physically active.
Because fewer people are traveling to and from work, and people are taking fewer car trips, many streets are now underused. By reducing traffic or thru-traffic on City streets and County parkways, we can give people more room to be physically active.
Question: Will police, fire, and other emergency services be able to use the streets? And what about mail services, garbage pick-up, and deliveries?
Answer: Yes, Active Streets in neighborhoods will be open to local traffic (those who live in the neighborhood), and essential services such as those listed above. Anyone driving on the street should drive with care (as is always the case) and slow down and yield to people walking, biking, or running in the street.
However, Active Streets in County parks will be closed to all traffic except for emergency services and park vehicles as necessary.
Question: What if I live on the street? Will I be able to drive to my residence or park on my street?
Answer: Yes. All Active Streets, except for those in parks, will be open to local traffic only. If you live on the Active Street you will be able to drive on the street and park on the street as needed, parking will not be impacted. Again, when driving on the street people are asked to drive with care and slow down and yield to people walking, biking, or running. Efforts should be made to find alternate driving routes whenever possible.
Question: How will the City and County monitor the Active Streets? And what should I do if I see an issue on an Active Street?
Answer: Staff will monitor barricade placement on a daily basis and make adjustments as needed. We are also asking community partners and residents to alert us of any issues including dangerous driving behaviors, unintended impacts to local access, moved or removed barricades, etc. If there is an emergency or a dangerous situation occurring, as always, call 911. Finally, we are working with community partners and residents to build awareness of this initiative and document successes and lessons learned.
Residents can also email the City of Milwaukee at firstname.lastname@example.org, email their local Alder, or reach out to Milwaukee County Parks at ParksTrails@milwaukeecountywi.gov with any feedback or to report issues.
Question: What if I want an Active Street in my neighborhood?
Answer: Email us your suggestion at email@example.com! This initial roll-out of Active Streets will be monitored and adjustments will be made as necessary. If successful and if resources allow, additional streets may be added in other neighborhoods in 2021.
Question: How were the Active Streets selected?
Answer: We used several criteria in selecting the initial Active Streets locations; 1) we identified streets in our Milwaukee Bike Plan identified as neighborhood bike boulevards, 2) we identified streets that provide access to / through parks and / or trails, 3) we identified residential streets in residential neighborhoods to ensure as many people as possible have access to safe spaces for physical activity near where they live, 4) we prioritized streets in Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Areas to ensure Active Streets were equitably distributed throughout Milwaukee.
After this initial screening, we reached out to community partners to ensure there was support at the local level.
County Parks used several criteria: 1) which Parkways had no access to residences or businesses and were possible to close, 2) which areas have few parks and or trails and could use additional space for exercise, 3) where was overcrowding occurring or likely to occur.
After this initial screening, we reached out to community partners and Supervisors to ensure there was support at the local level.
Question: What was the community engagement process for selecting Active Streets?
Answer: The Active Streets Initiative was developed very quickly in response to COVID-19 with less community engagement than we would typically like to have. The nature of the pandemic made it difficult, if not impossible, to engage in-person. We worked with elected officials and a number of community partners and neighborhood groups to build awareness around the Active Streets Initiative. If you have any feedback on the Active Streets please let us know! For City streets, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For County Parks and Parkways, email ParksTrails@milwaukeecountywi.gov.