Active Streets

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The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) is seeking proposals from community-based organizations for the Milwaukee Active Streets 2021 program (Active Streets). Organizations will propose an Active Street location, conduct outreach and programing, monitor Active Streets-related infrastructure, and provide community feedback to DPW. DPW will fund up to three proposals. Active Streets is expected to run from mid-May to late October or mid-November of 2021.

Active Streets barricades and signs on W. Washington St.


Milwaukee Active Streets was initiated by the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County Parks in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the program was to increase space for people to walk, bike, and be active while maintaining adequate physical distance from others. DPW chose four areas throughout the city to implement Active Streets. The streets in these areas were chosen based on a number of factors, including connections to parks and trails, planned bicycle boulevards, and equitable distribution throughout the city. The City’s program mainly consisted of signage and barricades at key intersections along the Active Streets, limiting thru-vehicle traffic. Active Streets were installed quickly as a response to the pandemic, and, in most cases, DPW conducted minimal community engagement. The 2020 program ran from mid-May to mid-November. More information on Active Streets in 2020 can be found at

Note that Milwaukee Active Streets for Business is a separate program.


Request for ProposalsWave delineators at W. Washington St. and S. 10th St.

In 2021, DPW is transforming Active Streets to be a community-led initiative. DPW is soliciting proposals from community-based organizations for Active Streets locations. DPW will provide a grant of up to $5,000 to selected organizations. DPW will work with grantees to develop a plan for installing temporary infrastructure including, but not limited to, barricades, signage, and wave delineators. DPW will also provide technical assistance and limited printing and mailing support. Active Streets 2021 is intended to be the first phase in a possible three phase program (see “Phases 2 and 3” below).

DPW will not continue its 2020 Active Streets locations unless the same street is proposed and funded through the 2021 program.

Program Goals

  • Slow motorists to create space for people to walk, bike, and be active, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
  • Build trust with residents by partnering with community organizations
  • Improve health outcomes for residents through increased physical activity
  • Address reckless driving on neighborhood streets
  • Respond quickly to traffic safety concerns using low-cost infrastructure
  • Use art to reimagine streets

Grantee's Responsibilities

  • Monitor barricades, signage, and infrastructure
  • Promote usage of the Active Street to community members
  • Hold community events along the Active Street
  • Provide community feedback to DPW

Arts Integration

DPW expects to partner with a local arts organization to integrate art into each Active Street location. The exact type of project will be determined through a collaboration of the selected organization, residents, the arts organization, and DPW. Examples of potential projects include painted crosswalks or curb extensions, intersection murals, or decorative signage.



  • Informational session (see RFP): February 24, 2021, 2-3 PM
  • Street eligibility must be verified: March 5, 2021
  • Proposals due: March 12, 2021, 5 PM
  • Grantees notified: April 1, 2021
  • Kick-off meetings with DPW and grantees: Month of April 2021
  • Barricades / infrastructure deployed: Mid-May 2021*
  • Community and arts programming: Between mid-May and late October 2021*
  • Barricades / infrastructure removed: Late October - mid-November 2021*
  • Debrief / evaluation with DPW and grantees: November - December 2021


Application Documents

Request for Proposals

Proposal Requirements & Evaluation


Informational Session

 An informational session was held on February 24, 2021. The presentation slides and a recording of the meeting are avaliable below. If you have issues accessing the recording, email Kate Riordan.

Presentation Slides

Presentation Recording


Phases 2 and 3

Active Streets 2021 is intended to be Phase 1 of a potential three-phase project. Phase 2 consists of selecting a smaller portion of the Active Street and installing semi-permanent infrastructure, such as rubber speed humps, speed tables, and other easily installed devices. This infrastructure may be reconfigured throughout Phase 2 based on community feedback. Depending on feedback and performance, Phase 2 may last for several years. Eligibility for Phase 2 will be evaluated at the conclusion of Phase 1. Phase 3 involves constructing permanent infrastructure as grants or budget are available.


Active Streets 2020 Survey Results

The City of Milwaukee distributed a survey to understand the use of and response to Active Streets in 2020. The survey was open in November and December of 2020. It was distributed in two ways:

  • An online link promoted through email lists and social media (referred to as “Online”)
  • A mailed letter to addresses within two blocks of the City’s Active Streets locations; recipients were directed to complete the survey online (referred to as “Mailed”)

The following documents summarize the close-ended and open-ended results from this survey.

Summarized Survey Results (Close-Ended)

Summarized Survey Results (Open-Ended)

Contact Us


 Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building 841 North Broadway, Room 501 Milwaukee, WI 53202 

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