Jeramey Jannene

Protected Bike Lanes Will Link Bay View With Downtown

Series of city projects will provide safe link between South Side and Downtown.

By - May 22nd, 2024 05:20 pm
Vehicles have worn away paint on a S. Kinnickinnic Avenue bike lane that is to receive concrete protected lanes. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Vehicles have worn away paint on a S. Kinnickinnic Avenue bike lane that is to receive concrete-protected lanes. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Bicycling between Downtown, the Historic Third Ward, Walker’s Point, the Harbor District and Bay View will soon be much easier.

The city plans a series of protected bike lane projects that are intended to greatly expand the comfort and ease of traversing the approximately four-mile-long corridor, currently navigated via a mix of painted bike lanes and an 0.6-mile paved trail.

First up is the construction of on-street facilities designed to link the two disconnected sections of the Kinnickinnic River Trail with each other and the Hank Aaron State Trail. That work, according to a Department of Public Works (DPW) project map, is to occur this summer.

An east-west protected bike lane will be built from E. Menomonee and N. Jefferson St. in the Historic Third Ward southwest to the entrance to the Reed Street Yards and the Hank Aaron State Trail.

Where the new protected bike lane crosses S. Water Street, a two-way cycle track will be constructed on the west side of the street to replace painted lanes that are frequently infringed upon by vehicles. That two-way cycle track, protected by plastic delineators, will continue south to E. National Avenue.

From there, an existing sidewalk-like trail will be maintained south to the entrance to the off-street trail at E. Washington St. A pending funding allocation would construct a bike boulevard on Washington Street west through Walker’s Point to S. 20th Street and a new protected bike lane along S. 2nd Street.

Exiting at the trail’s southern terminus 0.6 miles south at E. Maple St., construction is to occur this year on a two-way cycle track west to S. 1st Street. From there, on-street, delineator-divided lanes would continue south to Lincoln Avenue and the southern, off-street leg of the Kinnickinnic River Trail. Future projects would extend that angled trail west of its terminus at S. 6th Street.

But a $1.4 million funding allocation approved Tuesday will provide for a second connection at E. Maple Street. The allocation, from the tax incremental financing district that was created to use tax revenue from the KinetiK building to improve Zillman Park, would pay for one mile of protected bike lanes south into Bay View.

“It’s something I’ve been asking for a long time,” said area Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic in an interview. “A safe protected bike lane is different than just being connected on streets.”

The concrete-protected lanes, to be constructed in 2026 according to DPW, would run along S. Kinnickinnic Avenue before connecting with E. Bay Street and continuing southeast to E. Lincoln Avenue and the existing raised bike lanes.

At E. Russell Avenue, the raised lanes link up with the South Shore Line of the Oak Leaf Trail that follows Lake Michigan south to Oak Creek.

“That should be a safe, hopefully a pretty nice bike ride,” said Dimitrijevic.

The alderwoman said it reflects a shift in how people can and want to move about the city.

“My dream, obviously, is that the streetcar also comes, but that slowly, but surely, our streets are designed with less of a dependence on cars,” said the alderwoman. “This is another way for us to continue to connect to Downtown.”

The expansion also fits with Mayor Cavalier Johnson‘s goal of constructing or having under development 50 miles of protected bike lanes by 2026.

And more lanes are already under development. At the northern end of the new network, a protected bike lane on N. Jefferson Street is intended to eventually provide an “all ages and abilities” connection into Downtown. It would connect with several planned projects as well as the existing Kilbourn Avenue delineator-protected lanes.


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Related Legislation: File 231938

Categories: Transportation

8 thoughts on “Protected Bike Lanes Will Link Bay View With Downtown”

  1. Mingus says:

    I am glad to see that the idea promoted by the Mayor is to make Milwaukee a biking friendly city and he is following through with his promise. It is hard to understand why the suburbs that ring Milwaukee are not doing more to connect with the bike trails that Milwaukee has or are being developed.

  2. Mitchell Henke says:

    I like this project.

  3. Joseph Wiesner says:

    Cosign. We’re seeing some good progress.

  4. SiddyMonty says:

    Appreciate that the City is working towards improving bike access.

    Are there any videos that show us car people how to behave with these improvements: Right turning etiquette and other yielding?

    Maybe you’ve got a nifty bit of info on this? Thanks

  5. Passenger57 says:


    @SiddyMonty I love your interest in learning how to drive among cyclists. That’s very unselfish and a great attitude. Try a search similar to “how to drive among cyclists” and you should be shown many resources for guidance.

  6. tmaloney6 says:

    Great plans. Keep them coming! Make Milwaukee more bike friendly.

  7. mpbehar says:

    Hopefully these bike lanes and paths will be accompanied by signage and directions to and other bike paths!

    I wonder if this is time to bring up the old idea of a protected pedestrian and bike lane on the Hoan Bridge from downtown to Bay View requiring federal, state, county & city partnerships. I think that reports have previously been written about the feasibility and implementation, but do not recall details. Does anyone recall?

  8. Colin says:

    Great plans! Look forward to it being completed and available

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