January Updates at MilWALKee Walks

Subscribe to the MilWALKee Walks Newsletter! 

The winter has been a busy time for planning and improving some processes so that we can support our volunteers better int he future. We will be releasing monthly MilWALKee Walks newsletters, which will make communications much simpler, improving our ability to grow MKE Walks.

About once a month, we’ll send out updates such as:

– Our efforts working with high schoolers at Escuela Verde

– Future MilWALKee Walks meetings 

– Volunteer opportunities 

– Updates about hiring (we’re expanding our staff!) 

– Tips and information about pedestrian safety and accessibility

– Sharing partner events and information

Vision Zero Meetings

The City of Milwaukee is hosting two meetings about Vision Zero, which sets the goal of zero traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2037. Your input is valuable. 

Thursday, January 25, 5-7 pm

Office of African American Affairs, 4830 W. Fond Du Lac Ave. 

Tuesday, February 27, 4:30-7 pm

Mitchell Street Library, 906 W. Historic Mitchell St. (Spanish translation available)

MKE Walks Meetings

We held our Volunteer Thank You event in November. Thank you to everyone who attended and had great ideas. Folks were interested in meeting again. We are tentatively planning a meeting in late February. The goal of these meetings would be to connect folks across the county who care about this issue, and to help guide our work.

Snowy and Icy Sidewalks

This past snow event was a particularly challenging one for DPW staff to manage, due to the heavy snow, melt-freeze cycle with slush, and arctic temperatures that came sweeping in. There is no perfect way to deal with what Mother Nature provides, but the lack of care for pedestrians is deeply concerning. Currently, the City of Milwaukee requires that sidewalks are cleared within 24 hours of snowfall. You can report violations: property owners who do not clear are on the hook for fines

But that’s not a great solution, either, as it relies first on someone to report the issue, for the city to enforce, and finally potentially places fines on property owners who may not be able to pay. There are other solutions, including BIDs paying for removal of snow from oft-used sidewalks, grassroots efforts like Corner Keepers, snowmelt systems built into sidewalks, and even municipal plowing that is being piloted in places like Syracuse, NY.

For now: talk to your neighbors and businesses who did a poor job of shoveling to encourage them to improve next time (or help them!), and please do report problem properties (including city-owned vacant properties). 

We’re interested in hosting discussions with neighborhoods and other groups who want to talk about this inequity and challenge, so feel free to email me if you want to partner!