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Mayor Barrett’s Milwaukee Recovery and Resilience Plan Includes Investment in Reckless Driving Reduction, Public Safety, and Other Community-Focused Initiatives

July 13, 2021

MILWAUKEE—Mayor Tom Barrett plans to address reckless driving in Milwaukee with more than $6 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. The reckless driving initiatives are part of the Mayor’s Milwaukee Recovery and Resilience Plan that he is presenting to the Common Council this week.

Other priorities the Mayor unveiled at a Tuesday news conference include violence prevention, early childhood programs, street lighting improvements, and additional business Restart investments, all part of the first phase of ARPA funds to be deployed in Milwaukee.

“In our community discussions and our online survey, residents are asking City government to take action against reckless driving. The investments I’m advancing support and complement the work of the Milwaukee Police Department,” Mayor Barrett said. “As we curb reckless driving, we are improving safety, increasing neighborhood quality of life, and restoring a sense of civility on our roadways.”

A majority of the $6 million will be invested in physical improvements to discourage reckless driving. That includes curb extensions, pedestrian refuge islands, raised crosswalks, pedestrian signals, pavement markings, street trees, and green infrastructure along some 25 miles of Milwaukee streets.

More than $1 million will go to the Milwaukee Police Department for motorcycles, mobile computers, and overtime to increase reckless driving enforcement activities.

Violence prevention activities proposed in the Mayor’s Milwaukee Recovery and Resilience Plan include $3 million to expand the 414LIFE efforts on the City’s south side. The work will include violence interrupters and outreach that connects residents with resources and services that reduce violence.

More than $1.5 million will advance programs overseen by the Milwaukee Office of Early Childhood Initiatives. A particular focus is increasing the numbers, training, and diversity among early childhood educators and staff.

Building on the success of Milwaukee’s business Restart program over the past year, the Mayor is proposing an additional $7.5 million in assistance to local businesses as they navigate change brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous Restart investments preserved jobs, protected local businesses, and promoted neighborhood commercial activity.

With a $10 million investment, the Mayor is addressing street lighting concerns in neighborhoods from the far northwest side to the south side. The plan includes replacing and upgrading outdate circuitry in areas that have seen the most frequent street lighting outages in order to improve safety and prepare for future LED lighting installations. 

Last August, the Mayor established a policy requiring City departments to integrate explicit consideration of racial equity in all decision making. Every program funded in the Mayor’s plan has been viewed from a racial equity lens.

This first phase of the Mayor’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, including previously announced investments in housing, jobs, and workforce development, will be reviewed by the Milwaukee Common Council over the next several weeks.

“We have an opportunity to use federal ARPA funds in ways that support lasting change in Milwaukee. This is a once-in-a generation chance to address challenges this City faces, and I am eager to move forward,” Mayor Barrett said.

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