Graham Kilmer

Milwaukee County Gets Funding For Reckless Driving Plan

Study will look at policies and practices to be applied across the county.

By - Oct 18th, 2022 12:22 pm
A Milwaukee Fire Department ambulance at a rollover crash on S. 1st St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A Milwaukee Fire Department ambulance at a rollover crash on S. 1st St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee County is moving forward on a countywide plan to combat reckless driving after receiving a federal grant.

The goal of the project is to study and implement policies that can be implemented by communities across the county to curb reckless driving. The $188,000 in funding was among $4.9 million in grants the county received through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). The TAP program is funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation but the grants are administered by state departments of transportation.

“This is a great opportunity for us to really prioritize how we might be able to address from an education as well as enforcement standpoint, looking at reckless driving,” said Donna Brown-Martin, director of the Milwaukee County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), to the county board during a recent meeting.

The study will look at best practices and policies related to reckless driving and how they may be implemented in the area. She said the study will encompass all 19 municipalities in the county, and that all will have access to it. Currently, only 16 signed onto the project, she said, because of the short timeframe during which the county applied for the funding; adding that the door was left open for the remaining municipalities to join the study if the county was awarded the grant.

Fox Point didn’t have time to bring the proposal before their village board, said Jeff Sponcia, MCDOT transportation program planning manager. Two others, South Milwaukee and St. Francis, did not respond to requests for support.

“That said, we are confident all 19 municipalities will want to partner with us in this critical study as we reach out to their residents, businesses, stakeholders and elected officials and we look forward to working with them accordingly,” Sponcia said

The fact the county was awarded the grant at all was a bit of a surprise, Brown-Martin said.  “That’s pretty amazing, because I was told that we would not be eligible for this funding,” she said. “So the fact that we pulled together a really good application, and they stepped outside their their normal boundaries to allow us to do this is great.”

MCDOT has also applied for $500,000 in federal funding for another countywide, comprehensive planning project. This one is aimed at developing a safe streets plan that includes projects in every municipality. Funding would come from the new Safe Streets and Roads for All program, which was created by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Ac. Under the law, the program will have $5 billon available for disbursement over the next six years.

It’s expected that the infrastructure act and the Inflation Reduction Act are going to create billions in new federal grant opportunities for local governments to tackle infrastructure, transportation and climate-related projects. Comprehensive planning efforts that identify needs and potential projects will prepare the county and local governments to be competitive for this coming wave of federal funding.

The Streets and Roads for All program, specifically, requires a new or updated “safety action plan” to be eligible for the first round of project funding.

“What we propose is to incorporate and be the umbrella for all 19 municipalities to roll their plan into our overall plan so that, when it’s time for developing infrastructure needs, meeting the demands for implementation, we’re all moving forward at the same time,” Brown-Martin said.

One thought on “Transportation: Milwaukee County Gets Funding For Reckless Driving Plan”

  1. blurondo says:

    Timing is everything. This piece was posted yesterday by
    L.A. Invented Jaywalking Tickets to Serve Cars. It’s Time to Give Streets Back to Walkers.

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