Mayor Johnson's annual neighborhood bike ride comes amid efforts to fix Milwaukee streets
Bike Week, as declared by the Wisconsin Bike Fed, continues for the next few days. Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson held his second annual neighborhood ride Monday, this time taking in nearly five miles on the near south side, after pedaling some north side streets last year.
While riding on W. Washington St., Johnson said he's committed to improving streets all over the city.
"So that folks feel comfortable and safe going out to walk, going out to bike, going out to push a stroller, use an electric scooter — whatever your preferred mode of transportation is in Milwaukee," Johnson said.
Asked if more shared revenue from the state, as it's being discussed in Madison, would speed up the street repairs, Johnson replied, "Certainly helps to have more money to make the investments I was elected to make."
Also on the ride was south side Ald. JoCasta Zamarripa. As a police escort motorcycle roared past, Zamarripa said the streets are improving.
"Absolutely, there's still a lot of work to be done. I'm sure you heard people shouting out 'pothole' to each other to make sure nobody hits one. We have a lot of work to do, but we are definitely devoted to it," she said while biking.
Zamarripa noted that City Engineer Kevin Muhs was also riding. When the mayor's event ended at Walker Square, Muhs made the case that things are getting better.
"We actually, as part of the bike ride today, rode down Pierce (Street), which has a nice smooth surface now. And this summer, it's in Active Streets, which means we're going to be experimenting with traffic calming and other ways to get the neighborhood engaged in the street and enjoy that connection between the neighborhood and the Domes — Mitchell Park there," Muhs said.
Muhs continued, "We're right on Washington Street. Early next year, we'll be working to turn this into a bike boulevard, which means there will be traffic calming features: curb extensions and traffic circles, to slow down cars. Just calm the street to make it more comfortable for people to bike."
And Muhs notes a big safety transformation is coming over the next few years to National Avenue from 1st Street to 39th. Residents can weigh in on that project at public meetings the city and Wisconsin Transportation Department are holding Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning at the MATC building located on 816 W. National.