By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 19, 2018 at 9:18 AM

Surely you've heard it by now. Or maybe you've asked it yourself. Can I drive on the tracks? How will I share the road with the new streetcar?

Milwaukeeans are – rightfully – concerned about navigating Downtown safely alongside The Hop, which, as of Monday night, is already riding the rails for test runs Downtown (as you can see in this video posted to Facebook by Warren Johnston).

But worry no more because the City of Milwaukee has unveiled Hop Smart, a website that shares tips for drivers, bikers and pedestrians on how to navigate the streetcar routes safely.

Later, the site will be enhanced with a pair of videos, too, to help make it all clear.

Not that it's really all that complicated. Mix a dose of caution with another of common sense and you're already basically there. Hop Smart will tell you the rest, including, for example:

  • Streetcars are fairly quiet, so be sure to check your mirrors and be aware of your surroundings when driving on the streetcar route.
  • Track grooves are slightly wider than a typical bike tire, meaning bikes can potentially get stuck in the track way. Always avoid riding between the rails, where it can be difficult to maneuver in the tight space.
  • Never cross or run in front of an approaching streetcar, and never enter the trackway from between two parked vehicles.

Of course, there's more at the website, so check it out (and remember to check back later today to see the videos, which will be added after a formal launch at 3:30 p.m.).

But when you do, you'll see that living with the streetcar is basically like living with buses or cars or motorcycles or bikes: pay attention, be smart and be courteous.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.