Center Street Bike Route

by Erik Peterson The City of Milwaukee and the Center Street Association have come to an agreement regarding the new width of the Riverwest portion of East Center Street. The sidewalks will be increased by one foot on each side, resulting in an average sidewalk width of 10 feet. The four feet closest to the curb will be landscaped with grass and trees, unless the property owner requests to have a completely concrete sidewalk. The city plans originally called for no landscaping whatsoever. In the street, there will be one lane of traffic in each direction, plus parallel parking on both sides, as currently exists. However, a federally-subsidized bicycle route, complete with painted lines and signs mounted on the sidewalk, will take cyclists from Holton Street to the River. These agreements were made after a public hearing at City Hall, in which Erik Peterson, John Ruebartsch, and Maggie Robinson (representing Robert Klavetter) surprised the board by showing up for the public hearing. They were well-organized, had done their research, and came prepared with well-backed alternatives to the proposed paving plan. After the meeting they were invited to meet privately with the project engineer and the city employee in charge of designing bicycle paths. The city engineer, Jeff Polenske, called later that day to confirm the agreement with his engineer. Federal monies will pay for the bike path and will subsequently qualify the city paving project for additional federal funding.This, in turn, will reduce the bill to property owners. All property owners will be assessed a one-time fee for the repaving project, which is standard in the city of Milwaukee.
by Erik Peterson