Earlier this month, we brought you news that Lake Park advocacy group Lake Park Friends had adopted a resolution and created a petition to reopen the closed Ravine Road to vehicular traffic. Located near Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, Ravine Road—long used to connect Lincoln Memorial Drive to the upper East Side—was blocked off in 2014 when the historic footbridge above it was closed for “emergency repairs.”
“In keeping with this concept of inclusion, and sensitive to nearby neighbor concerns, the Board of Directors of Lake Park Friends unanimously adopted a resolution that calls for retaining the road, with possible closure at times,” read the petition. “Please sign this petition and join Lake Park Friends in urging Milwaukee County to retain beautiful Ravine Road for its traditional use as a pleasure drive for all Milwaukeeans to use and enjoy.” As of this writing, more than 2,300 people have signed the petition.
But, as the old saying goes, for every “Remove DJ Paris Hilton From Summerfest Lineup” petition, there’s a “Book Paris Hilton at Summerfest EVERY YEAR until the Apocalypse” petition. A group called Safe and Healthy Streets MKE has created its own petition calling on Milwaukee County to “Keep Ravine Road Closed to Automotive Traffic.” It joins a similar petition created last year, “Convert East Ravine Road in Milwaukee’s Lake Park to a pedestrian & bicycle only pathway.”
“In our fast-paced overdriven and over parked metropolitan, we must strive to create and maintain spaces that place personhood at the forefront,” reads the Safe and Healthy Streets MKE petition. “As an active transportation alliance that aims not only to support increased health and safety in the public right of way for people walking and biking, we also fully support the effort to reduce the stressful impact that people driving automobiles place on our natural environment, something that Lake Park’s creators couldn’t have fully actualized at the time.” As of this writing, 285 people have signed the petition.
In early 2019, following questions of possible replacement or destruction, it was announced that rehabilitation work would be done on Ravine Road Bridge thanks to a “combination of County funds and a federal grant of up to $2 million.” That work is expected to begin in 2021. Ravine Road won’t be reopened—one way or the other—until that work is complete.