Dave Reid

E. State St. is Open for Two-way Traffic in East Town

By - Sep 25th, 2010 05:41 pm
Get a daily rundown of the top stories on Urban Milwaukee

E. State St.

All throughout this summer the city had been repaving, repainting, and installing stop lights along E. State St. in preparation to open most of it to two-way traffic.  As of this weekend, E. State St. in East Town from Prospect Ave. to Market St. is open to two-way traffic.  Having this stretch of E. State St. open to two-way traffic allows residents of the neighborhood to get home quicker, save money on cab fare, find parking quicker, and save gas by taking shorter routes to their destinations.

Unfortunately, the street design falls a bit short, as it has a couple of key flaws.  First, two-way traffic stops at Market St. instead of continuing on to Water St., as it should, so this gap will delay the ability of city to convert all of State St. to two-way traffic.  Secondly, it is clear that the Department of Public Works continues to design for peak conditions, instead of the normal state of the street.  This is evident because the bike lanes end at Van Buren St., while peak traffic lanes (parking lanes that are used as travel lanes during peak conditions) begin at Van Buren St.  Apparently, these lanes are to handle the handful of cars that head west on State St. around 5 pm each day.  And although these lanes will allow the handful of cars to continue to speed through the neighborhood, they will be an inconvenience to people attempting to park, and are a concern to pedestrian safety.

It’s great to see the city moving to improve connectivity and access throughout downtown, but it’s unfortunate the design continues to come up a touch short.  Up next, E. Wells St., hopefully that street will be done better.


3 thoughts on “E. State St. is Open for Two-way Traffic in East Town”

  1. Jeff says:

    One wonders why the city kowtowed to MGIC, which didn’t want the change to two-way by its garage entrance/exit. Did they do something outrageous, like threaten to leave downtown?

  2. Dave Reid says:

    @Jeff Good question. Though I’d guess it was a bit less drastic, more so that they requested it and really weren’t opposed by neighborhood residents (mostly renters).

  3. I agree with this article 100%. I am very glad to see street designs in Milwaukee moving in the right direction but there leaves a lot to still be desired from the street. Besides the issues mentioned in this piece, the street remains a sea of asphalt and overdesigned for vehicular traffic. Alternating paving materials and textures as well as introducing plantings that narrow the perception of the street can work as traffic calming and make it safer and more pleasant for people to walk by and over. Hopefully we can take another step forward with Wells Street, next summer would be great!!!

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us