Michael Holloway

Welcome to the New Layton Boulevard

A just-completed streetscaping and lighting project has enhanced Layton Boulevard.

By - Nov 23rd, 2015 04:23 pm
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Corner of S. Layton Blvd. and W Burnham St. Photo courtesy of Layton Boulevard West Neighbors.

Corner of S. Layton Blvd. and W Burnham St. Photo courtesy of Layton Boulevard West Neighbors.

Layton Boulevard now has a new look.

“South Layton is one of the most beautiful streets in this entire community,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett declared at a press conference Thursday in front of a historic Frank Lloyd Wright house on S. Layton Blvd. and W. Burnham St.

Mayor Tom Barrett. Photo courtesy of Layton Boulevard West Neighbors.

Mayor Tom Barrett. Photo courtesy of Layton Boulevard West Neighbors.

And it’s just become better looking, thanks to a newly-completed streetscaping and lighting project that was carried out by a partnership between the Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, the Historic Layton Boulevard Association, and the city Department of Public Works (DPW). The  project cost $1.14 million, and 80 percent of the money came from a federal grant (funneled through a state transportation enhancement program) which Rep. Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee) helped secure. The city, meanwhile, provided the other 20 percent of the funding in matching dollars for the federal grant,  according to Sandra Rusch Walton, the DPW’s communications manager.

The project involved the installation of colored concrete sidewalks, improved curb ramps, planters, and trash cans at intersections on nearly the entire stretch of S. Layton Blvd. (from W. National Ave. to W. Lincoln Ave.) and going south to where the Kinnickinnic River crosses S. 27th St., about two blocks north to W. Oklahoma Ave. The result is a cosmetic makeover that will also enhance public safety. New lighting installed included 135 new pedestrian-scale harp light poles, with the same 100-watt high pressure sodium lamps that can be found Downtown on Wisconsin Ave. Also, 84 preexisting cobra lights were upgraded to Milwaukee-style lantern fixtures.

“The livability of the neighborhood continues to be enhanced by what we’re doing here,” said Barrett. “We’ve tried to do it in a way that’s attractive to our current residents and future residents.”

Milwaukee-style lantern fixture. Photo courtesy of Layton Boulevard West Neighbors.

Milwaukee-style lantern fixture. Photo courtesy of Layton Boulevard West Neighbors.

The project had been in the works for a little over three years with the goal of preserving the historic nature of the neighborhood, which is a state and federal designated historic district, and also to improve the public safety. “I hope this project is a stepping stone for more good things to come for this neighborhood,” said Donna Hyke, with the Historic Layton Boulevard Association. “We have a beautiful place here and we need to preserve it.”

“It’s really looking cool,” Zepnick said. “I’m pumped up about it.”

The public announcement of the completion of this project came just days after David Montanez, a 64 year old resident of the neighborhood, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run as he was exiting a bus at the intersection of S. 27th and W. Rogers St..

“We’ve often had an issue in the neighborhood with cars and traffic going too fast,” said Zepnick.

The new changes, Zepnick and others hope, will reduce the likelihood of similar tragedies occurring.

The press conference was held in the district of Ald. Bob Donovan, who is running against Barrett for mayor and against Zepnick for alderman. But Donovan did not attend.

Categories: Transportation

3 thoughts on “Welcome to the New Layton Boulevard”

  1. Gary says:

    Tom Bamberger is unlikely to comment on this, but as a citizen I’d like thank whomever made the choice for the practical design of the Historic Layton Blvd. pedestrian crosswalks shown in the photo.
    There’s none of the silly use of Olde Worlde faux-antique bricks found in other historic Olde Worlde neighborhood districts. That impractical design choice does not survive regular vehicular cross-traffic or snow plows. Besides that amateurish concern is the fact that the current lumpy asphalt patching at 3rd & State shows an unconscionable mix of eras from Milwaukee’s history of street maintenance and repair. Ugh!

    So good choice on the Historic Layton Blvd. crosswalks!

  2. Debby says:

    they’ll have it trashed again in no time…just like the repairing and beautification that was done by Greenfield and National…they bent the black iron railing that was very pretty a couple of years ago. They throw their garbage on the ground where they stand when there is a garbage can a block up. Filthy nasty people who have no regards for other peoples stuff. The homes and businesses on Greenfield are tagged over and over. These idiots who do this NEED jail time because it is causing homeowners and businesses tons of money to keep spraying over that ugly tagging crap. DISGUSTING

  3. Mark m says:

    @ Gary… Yes, practical wins! However, many of the crosswalks on Oldie World 3rd Street are now decades old, and were created before someone got the idea to use stamped and/or colored concrete crosswalks. It was a great idea at the time, and looked amazing, until the snow plows came through. 3rd Street is in need of a refresh. Perhaps it will happen during the Arena District work. (so, you will have to deal with it for the next 8-10 years – oh well.) Oh, and 3rd street is not ADA friendly. That’s how long ago it was redone.

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