Next Up? E. Wells Street
Now that E. State Street has been converted to two-way traffic in East Town, next up for conversion is E. Wells Street. No longer is it one half of a one-way pair with E. State St., so even engineering professionals can’t make the flawed argument that it needs to remain in its current configuration. And just like E. State St., anyone who lives in the neighborhood can tell you that on the weekends it is not uncommon to see a car go the wrong way down this street, and that ‘rush hour’ lasts for all of a few minutes around 5 pm. With a short ‘rush hour’, safety concerns, and the lack of need for it to remain in its current configuration, it’s time for E. Wells St. to be the next two-way street conversion in downtown Milwaukee.
This conversion project will involve more variables, than the E. State St. project as it has some differences from E. State St. It is on the route of the planned Milwaukee Streetcar, the corner of Milwaukee St. and Wells St. has long been proposed as a site ready for a significant redevelopment, and it runs through Cathedral Square, an area of heavy evening pedestrian traffic. Keeping these factors in mind, an important section of E. Wells St., is poised to become more of an activated street with pedestrians and transit riders in the near future, a dramatic change from its current use as a freeway.
If done correctly, reconfiguring this street for two-way traffic, with pedestrians in mind, can improve safety and connectivity, build upon neighborhood assets, all the while building a pedestrian-friendly environment conducive to growth of the neighborhood.