Jeramey Jannene

City Assembles New Bicycle, Pedestrian Committee

Have ideas? Complaints? This citizen-led group is in charge of making formal recommendations to city officials.

By - Sep 23rd, 2022 01:31 pm
A cyclist on the N. Hawley Rd. protected lane. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A cyclist on the N. Hawley Rd. protected lane. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee has a new committee charged with providing formal guidance to city officials on bicycle and pedestrian policy, creating partnerships between the city and outside organizations and effectively using data to guide city transportation policy.

“We do get a lot of input from pedestrian and bicycle advocates. And this will give some structure to that input so we have a way of funneling it to a body that can then deliberate and make recommendations,” said Alderman Robert Bauman when the committee proposal was first introduced in January.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Common Council President Jose G. Perez just made the initial appointments to fill all nine voting slots. The Common Council unanimously confirmed the appointments on Tuesday.

The new committee replaces the Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force, which longtime member and bicycling advocate Caressa Givens said was warranted. Givens, in January, said the restructuring would provide an appropriate scope and encourage more participation. While not providing formal power to change city policy, Givens said empowering only the resident participants as voting members would strengthen the committee. The task force was originally created in 1993.

Members are appointed for three-year terms and may not serve for more than six consecutive years. The nine unpaid voting members must be city residents. Three additional, non-voting representatives come from city departments

Johnson and Perez, by virtue of their positions, each get three appointments. The Public Works Commissioner and chairs of the two relevant council committees get one each.

Johnson appointed development associate and Urban Spaceship co-host Montavius Jones, data engineer Anna Bailliekova and Milwaukee County Aging and Disabilities Services transportation coordinator Alena Degrado.

Perez appointed human rights advocate Aaron Arteaga, Alverno College research associate Kathleen Mink and software engineer Mitchell Henke.

Public Works Commissioner Jerrel Kruschke appointed librarian and Mapping Milwaukee creator Ben Teel.

Bauman, as chair of the Public Works Committee, appointed teacher Barry R. Weber. Alderwoman JoCasta Zamarripa, as chair of the Public Safety & Health Committee, appointed UW-Milwaukee urban planning student and East Side Business Improvement District program director Larissa Gladding.

Jones and Henke are both former task force members.

Kevin Kuschel, associate planner with the Department of City Development, was appointed as the non-voting advisor from DCD. The mayoral-appointed positions of Department of Public Works representative and representative from one of the public safety departments or the health department remain vacant.

The committee should have plenty to talk about. Johnson declared reckless driving a public safety crisis as his first act as mayor and, earlier this summer, backed a “Vision Zero” policy to eliminate traffic deaths. Now he’s backing a study of options to make all or part of Brady Street a pedestrian-only zone.

DPW maintains a multi-modal planning team, led by Michael Amsden. Appointments for Kevin Muhs to serve as city engineer and to remove the “interim” tag from Kruschke’s role as commissioner are pending.

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Related Legislation: File 211539

Categories: Transportation

3 thoughts on “Transportation: City Assembles New Bicycle, Pedestrian Committee”

  1. David Coles says:

    Having a formal bike/ped advisory committee improves municipalities’ eligibility for many grants.

  2. CraigR says:

    How do we contact this group?

  3. DKD says:

    I don’t see anything about federal civil rights law. The Americans with Disabilities Act is not optional! It is civil rights law.
    The Department of Public Works has not demonstrated any understanding of the federal requirements for 30 years.

    DPW has a poor track record of including people who actually use the streets without cars: slow walkers, cane users, walker users, wheelchair users, white cane users, and all other pedestrians. People with cognitive disabilities must be included.

    Disabilities do not fit into neat little boxes. Who on that committee is certified to advise the city on ways to do the legal thing to avoid a lawsuit? No one is. Where is the certified Milwaukee ADA expert? I don’t see her name among the advisors to the committee.

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