By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Feb 26, 2014 at 11:26 AM

I've heard some rumblings that a new drive-through restaurant proposal for Downtown Milwaukee could be announced soon. 

Yet, there's a bit of unwritten rule about drive-through in Downtown areas.  Most city planners don't like them, and here in Milwaukee – well – you can't find one. 

Several years ago, the Dunkin' Donuts on West Wisconsin Avenue wanted to build a drive-through in concert with a renovated restaurant. It didn't get the necessary support and approval, and ended up moving a block away into a smaller space at 622 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Many have told me that the reason for the lack of a new and improved Walgreen's Downtown has its roots in the fact that the company doesn't have a drive-through at its Grand Avenue location and that people tend to get prescriptions filled close to home rather than close to their work. Yet, with more than 20,000 people now living in and around Downtown, this argument doesn't hold a lot of water. 

Yes, there are a banks in Downtown that have drive-through tellers and lanes. They work very well. But, food places? Zero. Should there be more food drive or walk/bike-through options? I say, yes. 

Trust me, I'm all about a more pedestrian-focused, walkable and transit-friendly Downtown that features more cabs, the coming soon streetcar line, better way finding, new bicycle lanes and a hopeful rerouting of a few of the bus lines. But, convenience drives decisions and drive-throughs provide another option for people. Sure, logistics play a role. Wisconsin Avenue's probably too dense for a drive-through, but other streets and areas would work. 

I spent more than 10 years "fighting" for Wells Street to go to full two-way street.  The possible obstacles and opposition was strong, vocal and at times hilarious.  Since the change, life has gone on and traffic, both automobile and walkers/bikers, are safer. My point? Change can be good, and at the right place, a drive-through probably won't kill Downtown.

I asked Beth Weirick, executive director at Milwaukee Downtown, for her thoughts and she told me, "I completely understand why there are not drive-through establishments on Wisconsin Avenue. I met with Dunkin' Donuts and the City to see if we could make a drive-through work and it just couldn't at that current location.

"I don't know why we couldn't make one work if we had more two-way streets and off/on secondary streets. I always thought that the location of the former Greyhound (station) would be a good spot."

Now, which drive-through should it be, Milwaukee? And where? Park East?  Hmmmm.  Your thoughts?  

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.