City of Milwaukee Begins Kinnickinnic River Trail Connection Project
Project in preliminary design, public input encouraged

The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) is excited to announce the kickoff of the Kinnickinnic River Trail Connection project. This project will install up to two miles of all ages and abilities (AAA) bike facilities to connect the two disconnected sections of the Kinnickinnic River Trail and provide connections to other trails and on-street bike infrastructure. AAA bike facilities may include protected bike lanes, traffic calmed streets, among other options.

AAA bicycle facilities are bikeways that are comfortable for riders of all experience levels, including children and older adults, and typically include protected bike lanes (PBLs) and/or traffic calming elements. This project will also include an improved trail crossing across S. 16th St. at the Kinnickinnic River to connect two sections of the KKRT to be completed as part of a flood management project. In addition to the immediate trail connections, these new facilities will link to the Hank Aaron State Trail, segments of the Oak Leaf Trail, and many other existing on-street bicycle facilities.

“Thoughtfully designed infrastructure for bicycles and pedestrians adds vitality and quality of life in Milwaukee. It promotes recreation and non-motorized travel for commuters and others,” Mayor Cavalier Johnson said. “In this case, we have the resources and support to significantly improve the Kinnickinnic River Trail, and that good news for people throughout the city.”

Research suggests that at least 51% of people are “interested but concerned” in regards to bicycling, meaning they require physical bicycle infrastructure improvements before they will want to ride. Along with other planned improvements, over 14,700 people within ¼-mile of the KKRT and the new bikeways will be able to bike downtown and other destinations along the corridor.

“We are very excited about this project as it will provide greater options for people to bike to and from downtown. It is one more component to creating a stronger network of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure throughout the city of Milwaukee,” Interim Commissioner of Public Works Jerrel Kruschke said.

The AAA facilities constructed through this project will attract new riders, thus diverting trips from SOV to bicycling. Based on current KKRT trail counts, the City estimates that up to 47,450 new bicycle trips per year will result from these improvements. Diverting more trips from SOV to bicycling will contribute to lower emissions and reduce traffic congestion.

This project is paid for by federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funds.

DPW is currently in the preliminary design phase. The first round of public engagement is expected to be conducted in October, with a second round in December. Construction is expected in late 2023/early 2024. More information, a project map, and survey can be found here:

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