If you’ve driven on the East Side stretch of East North Avenue in the last few days—you know, that stretch between Prospect Avenue and the east end of the Milwaukee River bridge—you’ve probably noticed that traffic has gotten a little tighter. That’s because work has begun on painted buffers that will eventually protect pre-existing bike lanes on both sides of the busy East Side thoroughfare.
You know, this busy East Side thoroughfare:
East Side alderperson Jonathan Brostoff announced the buffered bike lane project last week. On Tuesday morning, Department of Public Works crews were on the scene, and the future buffers on the north side of the street—again, between Prospect Avenue and the east end of the Milwaukee River bridge—were clearly marked. Here are some photos, looking west:
When the project is complete, the bike lanes will remain against the curb on both sides of the street. The painted buffers—complete with plastic “flexible delineators” that surely won’t be plowed over in 45 minutes—will separate the lanes from vehicular traffic.
And there’s more! Parking will be completely removed from the south side of the street. (Again, between Prospect Avenue and the Milwaukee River bridge.) And on the north side of the street, parking will be located in certain areas between the buffers and the driving lane. One driving lane in each direction will remain.
“Traffic safety has been an increasingly difficult and tragic problem in Milwaukee, which is why I supported these projects and why I’m so happy to see them get started,” Brostoff said in last week’s press release. “These new protected bike lanes mark the beginning not the end of improvements to the streets and not only will they will calm traffic, make the pedestrian experience better, and improve bike safety, but they’ll also reduce accidents both in volume and in severity.”
The project is being funded by a newly created Tax Incremental District (TID) that includes 10 exiting and future North Avenue properties between Oakland Avenue and the Milwaukee River bridge. The TID is also responsible for the recently unveiled Ivanhoe Plaza, which is nice.
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