Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

City Holding Streetcar Planning Meetings Saturday

Meetings will focus on future plans for Walker's Point, Bronzeville

By - Nov 3rd, 2017 06:20 pm
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4th and Wisconsin Streetcar Rendering

4th and Wisconsin Streetcar Rendering

Construction on the 2.5-mile long starter route for the Milwaukee Streetcar is underway across Downtown, but city is already thinking about future growth. The Department of City Development will hold four workshops Saturday to discuss future extensions of the route in Walker’s Point and Bronzeville. Those meetings will focus on the potential of the extensions to better connect residents to downtown jobs and maximize positive impacts on the areas, while respecting and maintaining the neighborhoods’ character. Residents and area stakeholders are invited to give their input as part of the process.

In October 2016, Urban Milwaukee broke the news that the city had received a $750,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration to study transit-oriented development along two future extensions of the route. These workshops are a step in that planning process and will help city planners draft modifications to the zoning code and plans for streetscaping, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The city is also examining strategies to avoid displacement of existing residents if new development does occur.

The workshops come after the city held two open house planning sessions regarding the project in early October.

A press release from the city notes that each session will include a presentation, discussion and neighborhood tour. The city is leading the workshops in partnership with King Drive Business Improvement District, the Walker’s Point Association, and the Harbor District. The city has hired Skidmore, Owings and Merrill to help facilitate the study.

To date the concept of transit-oriented development locally has been illustrated by projects like The Couture, which will have a streetcar and bus rapid transit station in the first floor of the building, but TOD is often not that literal. Successful TOD strategies include aligning zoning and design standards along a transit corridor, finding synergies with other public investments along the route, as well as maximizing the development of land nearest transit stops and stations.

Looking for more information? The planning effort has a website, MovingMKEForward.com.

The Milwaukee Streetcar project, now known as The Hop, is scheduled to begin operation in the fall of 2018. An extension to the lakefront is schedule to begin in late 2019. The $128 million starter system is being funded in part by $68 million in federal grants. A 12-year, $10 million sponsorship commitment from Potwatomi Hotel & Casino was announced in recent weeks, which coupled with a federal operating grant, will keep the project from having a direct impact on the city budget until at least 2021.

Locations and Times

Cielito Lindo
739 South 2nd Street
10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

On the Bayou
2053 N. Martin Luther King Dr.
1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Next Extension

The city recently applied for a $20 million federal grant to support the engineering and construction of an extension to the new arena being constructed at N. 4th St. and W. Juneau Ave. The Common Council approved a financing plan in 2016, contingent on a federal grant, to extend the streetcar from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station to the arena. This is the second time the city has applied for a grant for the line. Additional financing for the extension would come from a tax-incremental financing district planned for a convention center-related development at N. 4th St. and W. Wisconsin Ave.

The city applied multiple times for a federal grant to extend the system to The Couture. Milwaukee was ultimately successful in securing the grant in 2014.

4th Street Extension Renderings and Plans

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More about the Milwaukee Streetcar

For more information on project details, how the operator will be selected, what the vehicles will be like, and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.

2 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: City Holding Streetcar Planning Meetings Saturday”

  1. Bill Sell says:

    Jeramey, I can’t find the date for these workshops. Is it my eyes?

  2. Steve says:

    Bill they just had the meetings already.I would have attended to weigh in on these expansions but I live on the southwest side of town.

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