The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) has received federal funding to design and construct two intersecting bicycle boulevards on North Fratney Street and East Wright Street. Bicycle boulevards, also known as neighborways or calm streets, reduce speeding using treatments like signs, pavement markings, speed humps and traffic circles to make a street safer and more attractive for bicyclists.
We want to hear from you! What would you like to see on your neighborhood bicycle boulevard?
Email DPW at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (414) 286-8750 with any questions or feedback on the project. We'd love to hear from you!
Public Involvement (Open House) Meeting #2 Summary
The second public meeting for the Fratney & Wright bicycle boulevards was held on Thursday, July 11, 2019 from 4:00 - 7:00 PM at THE VIBE at Riverworks on 518 E. Concordia Avenue. Over 60 people attended the open house to learn about bicycle boulevards and share their thoughts and ideas on the proposed design.
See the posters and proposed plans here:
Public Involvement Meeting #1 Summary
The first public involvement meeting was held on Thursday, March 29, 2018 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM at THE VIBE at Riverworks on 518 E. Concordia Avenue. Over 70 people attended the open house.
Meeting attendees were able to write comments and thoughts on large maps of the project area. Participants could also place colored dot stickers on the map to show where they would most like to see changes. Each color dot represented a different roadway treatment.
See the posters from the meeting here!
What is this project? What is a bicycle boulevard?
Bicycle boulevards are neighborhood streets with less traffic and lower speeds that are designed to create a low-stress, bicycle-friendly environment. A variety of traffic calming treatments are used to reduce or eliminate speeding, discourage drivers from cutting through the neighborhood, and make the corridor safer for all users. This project will use a combination of speed humps, neighborhood traffic circles, curb extensions (also called bump-outs), signs, and pavement markings to create the bicycle boulevard. Since these changes also benefit pedestrians, bicycle boulevards are sometimes called neighborways, neighborhood greenways, or calm streets to make the name less bicycle-specific.
Many people would like to bike more often, both for fun and exercise and to get places like the local coffee shop, a friend's house, or school and work. About 40% of all trips are two miles long or less, and most bicyclists can travel two miles in under 15 minutes, so in theory getting to more places by bicycle is a very attainable goal. However, few people feel comfortable biking next to busy, high-speed traffic—even with a bike lane. Creating a network of low-stress biycle boulevards, protected bike lanes, and trails will enable more Milwaukeeans to bike more places, which has benefits for both bicyclists and the City as a whole.
This project will construct about 2.1 miles of bicycle boulevard along:
- Fratney Street from Keefe Avenue to Meinecke Avenue
- Wright Street from Palmer Street to the Oak Leaf Trail connection (near Gordon Place)
See the project map here!
- Public meeting #1: March 29, 2018
- Public meeting #2: July 11, 2019
- Final Plans: Fall 2019
- Construction begins: Summer 2020
What are the benefits of bicycle boulevards?
Traffic calming reduces speeding, which improves safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers alike. Drivers who are travelling more slowly are less likely to hit people, objects or other cars. When they do crash, the damage and injuries are less severe. Some treatements on bicycle boulevards part benefit pedestrians in particular. For example, curb extensions shorten the distance pedestrians have to walk in front of cars (and bikes) to cross the street.
Fewer cars and slower traffic also create quieter, calmer neighborhood streets for people who live along bicycle boulevards. Residents can enjoy sitting on their porch and feel more comfortable letting their kids play in the front yard. These improvements tend to increase home values along bicycle boulevards.
Encouraging more people to bike has significant health benefits. Incorporating exercise into a regular routine not only helps people lose weight but also improves cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of diabetes.
More people biking instead of driving reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality. Driving has huge environmental impacts in the United States—the transportation sector is responsible for 27% of all greenhouse gas emissions, or about 1,800,000,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Better air quality also reduces the risk of asthma attacks and other lung-related health issues.
Why these streets?
Fratney Street and Wright Street were both designated as future bike boulevards in the 2010 Milwaukee by Bike plan, which was created with input gathered from people around the city through surveys, open house meetings, public presentations, a charette meeting, and a steering committee.
These two roads are an ideal starting point for creating a grid of bicycle boulevards through the city because they both run parallel to several busy streets. Fratney Street is located between Humboldt Boulevard and Holton Street, while Wright Street is located between Center Street and North Avenue.
Also, both streets already have relatively low traffic volumes. Less than 150 cars per hour drive down Wright even during the busiest hour of the day, while Fratney has less than 75 cars per hour at its busiest. With this project, people who would like to bike along a street like North Avenue or Holton Street but do not feel comfortable doing so will be able to detour to nearby bicycle boulevards along Fratney Street and Wright Street.