Bike Sharing and Permeable Pavement
City committee approves spending $100,000 on bike sharing in Walker’s Point, and the MMSD will experiment with permeable pavement.
It looks like bike-sharing is coming to Walker’s Point.
At Wednesday’s meeting of the Public Works Committee Dan Casanova, Senior Economic Development Specialist with the City of Milwaukee, explained that $100,000 will be allocated from TID 68 (Fifth Ward /The Point on the River condos) and TID 75 (Reed Street Yards) to fund bike-sharing installations in Walker’s Point. This money had actually been allocated already for bike and pedestrians improvements, but this file now specifies the particular program it will fund. Erick Shambarger, Deputy Director Milwaukee Office of Environmental Sustainability, added that his department will add an additional $30,000 funding for bike-sharing.
Ald. Bob Bauman spoke highly of bike-sharing saying, “I’ve used this system in Washington, D.C. and I can tell you it is great.”
“Happy to announce we are launching a pilot station,” Bruce Keyes of Midwest BikeShare, Inc. proclaimed. The pilot station will be opening at Discovery World in the near future. Keyes said his group is hiring a launch director to “get from here to the finish line.” The news broke later in the day that Kevin Hardman would accept the position and will leave his post as Executive Director of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.
The ordinance was quickly approved, and unanimously, by the committee, with Ald. Jim Bohl recorded as making the motion.
The Name Game
Another name, which was also selected through a community contest, was approved during the meeting, that of Three Bridges Park. The only “complaints” regarding this name came from two Common Council wags. Ald. Willie Wade made a “motion” to “amend the file,” to name the park “Wille Wade Park,” while Ald. Robert Puente quipped that the word Puente meant bridge so he offered a change to “Three Puente Park.” A little levity at the city hearing.
N. Edison St. along the Milwaukee River in downtown Milwaukee will soon be testing out sidewalks constructed with permeable pavement. A grant from The Fund for Lake Michigan will fund the pilot project to test the material’s durability under a freeze and thaw cycle. Permeable pavement, although more expensive than traditional pavement, allows for stormwater to enter the ground instead of running off into sewers during storm events, which helps to reduce combined sewer overflows.
Mary Dziewiontkoski, Department of Public Works, gave a presentation of the technology. Members of the Public Works Committee were worried that the water would splash and make a mess as the permeable pavement was setup above a small plastic bin. The demonstration showed that in fact the water didn’t runoff at all and permeated right through the pavement. The pilot project was unanimously approved.
During the committee’s discussion of a fairly unassuming file, one authorizing the city to purchase a portion of railroad right-of-way along the river in the Historic Third Ward, a possible art project was revealed. Ald. Bauman mentioned that the city is, “exploring acquisition of the bridge itself,” referring to the old railroad bridge that crosses the Milwaukee River, with the goal of possibly creating an art project that could gain national appeal. We’ll have more on this in the future…
Correction: The article originally incorrectly stated MMSD would fund the permeable pavement project. The project will be funded by The Fund for Lake Michigan.