Brady Street proposed safety changes, packed community meeting

The Brady Street Business Improvement District in Milwaukee released on Tuesday, June 27 its study into proposed changes for Brady Street. It lays out four options for the street, with a focus on making it "pedestrian first." A website with all the details on these changes is live.

The study began in 2022, and the proposals were released Tuesday. On Tuesday evening, a meeting was held to get the public's perspective on the proposals, and it was a full house.

Brady Street Pedestrianization Study

Brady Street proposals

Slow & Safe: Enhanced Intersections

  • Intersections act as "speed tables," forcing speed reduction and encouraging motorists to yield to pedestrians.
  • No change to traffic. No interventions are needed to redirect vehicles. No motorist education and wayfinding are required.

Slow & Safe: Enhanced Corridor

  • Removing select on-street parking may reduce the number of sideswipe crashes that are prevalent along this corridor.
  • No change to traffic. No interventions are needed to redirect vehicles. No driver education and wayfinding are required.

People Only: Enhanced Corridor

  • Limiting access along a two-block stretch of Brady Street from Franklin Place to Warren Avenue would transform the "core" of the commercial district into a holistic public place.
  • Limited access eliminates pedestrian/personal vehicle conflicts within the core.
  • A significant traffic-calming effect results from the elimination of thru traffic and constrained roadway design.

People Only: Hilltop to Lakefront

  • Humboldt to Cambridge: Limited access only for transit, emergency vehicles, loading, and select business access. A.
  • Physical barricades are located at Humboldt and Cambridge and all side streets.
  • Entire corridor acts as a "people only" street and maximizes area for sidewalk seating, dining, landscaping, and additional programming

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"I was elated to see a line to get into a public meeting," said Blue Pelikan.

The first two options are called "Slow and Safe" and would allow vehicles on Brady, using things like speed tables to slow traffic.

"Providing a few stop lights, painting lines," one person said. "These are things that are going to help people be aware there is a crosswalk there."

Brady Street community meeting

The third and fourth options would limit vehicles, making Brady Street pedestrian-only.

"It would just make traffic on side streets even worse than it already is," said George Gettler.

Gettler and his wife have lived near Brady for decades. They said if the street is closed off, they would move.

"It would possibly push us right out of here," he said.

Brady Street community meeting

The study came after several reckless driving incidents and three hit-and-runs just this year. Some said they think the best option is closing Brady to traffic.

"If I have to change my route, and it takes a little more time, but that means people aren’t dying on this road, I’m all for it," said Pelikan.

Brady Street community meeting

No decision has been made at this point, but officials said continental crosswalks will be added over the next few weeks. They are easier to see. There are also plans to add a median at two intersections to encourage drivers to slow down.