Dear drivers in Downtown Milwaukee. You're sitting at a red light waiting for it to turn. Yes, you may turn right on this red (at most intersections). But, once it turns green, you must yield to the pedestrians who have a walk signal and are quickly scurrying across the street.
Seriously and always. It's pedestrians first.
I'm not an anti-car guy, I love mine. But, I know that great cities lead and develop for people first and follow with transit, roads and connections that contribute to density, development and discovery.
If there's something I truly dislike about Downtown Milwaukee it's our lack of density and traffic congestion. While both have increased over the past 10-15 years as Downtown as has grown, we're not where we need to be. Complain as you will, but traffic jams mean events, that something's happening and yes -- that an area is popular.
Milwaukee's getting better at traffic jams. I like more traffic, and with it, greater Downtown creates more opportunities for connections, "collisions" and creativity.
You may not jive with my "traffic jams are good" mentality. That's OK. But think back to every Harley-Davidson reunion. Roads are busier, more congested and -- you know what -- drivers, cyclists and pedestrians pay more attention. Yep, density works and helps everyone.
So, watch your driving. Stop at red lights. Turn on them, if you can. But don't turn right on green when there's someone walking or biking. And, watch your walking, too. I do. Don't walk when and where you shouldn't.
In general, pay attention. Downtown is for everyone, but watch out for people and pedestrians first.
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.