The Brady Street Business Improvement District (BID) announced Thursday that, following the recent hit-and-run death of Milwaukee man Arne Bast on Brady Street, along with recent Brady Street shootings, it has voted to “move forward with a study to look at options for pedestrianizing Brady Street.”

The move, according to the BID, has the support of Mayor Johnson, the City of Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works, and East Side alderman-in-waiting Jonathan Brostoff.

“The Brady St. BID’s Board of Directors shares the grief of family, friends, businesses, and residents who are mourning the loss of Arne Bast,” a press release begins. “Arne was an employee, friend, and fixture on Brady Street, and he will be very missed.”

The press release continues:

The Brady St. BID has invested time and dollars in public safety, from cameras posted along the district to increased security for events and frequent requests for additional police presence during the time when our popular entertainment district is at its busiest. The events of this week are cause for us to make a plea for a stronger partnership with the City of Milwaukee. The BID board believes it’s time to take a look at our unique neighborhood that happens to be one of the most popular entertainment districts but set in a challenging, narrow street.

On Wednesday evening the Brady BID Board of Directors voted to move forward with a study to look at options for pedestrianizing Brady Street, with support from Mayor Johnson, the City of Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works, and Representative Jonathan Brostoff.

The BID will work closely with DPW, Mayor Johnson, and Representative Brostoff to ensure this study reviews all aspects of traffic impact and provides a variety of options. No plan will be approved without significant input from residents and businesses.

The Brady St BID would like to thank Mayor Johnson, the Department of Public Works Interim Commissioner Jerrel Kruschke, and Representative Jonathan Brostoff for their support in finding ways to create a better, and safer, Brady Street.

The idea of pedestrianizing Brady Street—a.k.a. closing it off to vehicular traffic, at least some of the time—has been a recurring topic on Milwaukee social media for years. This latest push from the Brady Street BID—sadly in the shadow of tragic events—is the most visible effort to make it a reality.

“In order to move forward, this needs a LOT of community support,” Brostoff tweeted on Thursday. “If you’re also interested in pedestrianizing Brady Street contact me and let’s chat about it: ([email protected]).”

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.

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