Milwaukee adopts Vision Zero, '1 traffic death is too many'

The City of Milwaukee hopes to eliminate all traffic deaths within the next 15 years. Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson signed a resolution on Thursday, June 23 to make Milwaukee a Vision Zero community.

Dozens of cities across the country have adopted Vision Zero. Milwaukee is now one of them.

"This was him when he was 10 years old," said Julie Wellinger. 

Wellinger keeps her son, Jarrold, close to her heart.

"I know he is at peace and is not facing the craziness that is going on around here," said Wellinger.

In August 2021, two men were drag racing and one of them slammed into her son's car going over 100 miles an hour, killing Jarrold.

"I want people to drive at the speed limit, and I don't want any more people to die the way my son did," said Wellinger.

"One traffic death is one too many in our city," said Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman.

Milwaukee city leaders want that to change. That's why Mayor Johnson signed a resolution making Milwaukee a Vision Zero city.

"It's a very admirable goal to try and drive down accidents, deaths to zero," said Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy.

Murphy said Vision Zero is a collaborative effort to keep city leaders accountable.

"First action is done today," said Murphy. "We passed legislation. The mayor is directing all departments to report to him on a quarterly basis on what activities they are engaged in to make the city safer."

Murphy said Vision Zero focuses on street design, traffic enforcement, education and drivers' behavior.

"We are going to work towards changing this reality, and it's going to take time but we are not going to give up," said Murphy. 

There's nothing that will bring her son back, but for no one else to have to go through this, that's a vision Wellinger can get behind.

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