Walker’s Point Comes Together and Can Move Forward
Unfortunately, S. 2nd Street has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. Despite the shameful shooting of two police officers by an unstable person, S. 2nd Street is still an up-and-coming district. Hopefully this past weekend’s Thank You Milwaukee Police Department festival was the start of the healing within the Milwaukee Police Department and the neighborhood. Through this tragic event we saw neighborhood citizens, provide emergency medical assistance to the injured offices, help the police department find the perpetrator, and hold an event that raised funds for the officers while showing off the greatness of this neighborhood.
Unfortunately, high profile random acts of violence can sometimes create an unwarranted negative perception of an area, especially to those who infrequently visit the city. Sometimes this can lead to disinvestment in an area, and bring real decline. In the case of the former Northridge Mall, an allegation was made that a woman was attacked by an African-American in the parking lot. Later this was proven to be untrue, but the perception remained. With this in mind the Milwaukee Police Department was quick to point out that this was a rare act, and although the area has had issues in the past, this level of violence is far from the norm.
As this truly is a neighborhood on the rise, not decline, Walker’s Point should work to move forward on projects such as the proposed redesign of S. 2nd Street, because it could be the catalyst to propel the area to the next level. As a first step in this effort Alderman Bauman has scheduled a communications file which will be presented by the Department of Public Works at the June 24th meeting of the Public Works Committee. This file should help paint a clearer picture regarding the City of Milwaukee’s future plans for S. 2nd Street, and might be an opportunity to encourage the Department of Public Works to help remake S. 2nd Street for the better. Clearly the City of Milwaukee is facing serious budget issues, and to suggest rebuilding a street sounds like a new cost that we don’t need and can’t afford, but this is a project worthy of the investment. It is worthy of investment in the long run to insure future investment by businesses and residents, and long-term growth to the tax base of the city. Further, S. 2nd Street is likely to see repaving in the next year or two so the timing to do is right. At the very least, it is time to get things planned so Walker’s Point can move forward in the future.