By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Dec 10, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Today's news about State Street says that slowly, but surely Downtown Milwaukee is shedding its hard to navigate image while staying true to its master plan that recommends "as many streets as possible be converted to two-way streets."

Construction for the East State Street paving project (a project that was three years in the making) is expected to begin in spring 2010.

Conversion from one-way to two-way traffic from Van Buren Street to Market Street (Water Street was the original destination, see below) is a part of this work. I believe allowing traffic to travel in both directions is safer and friendly for retail.

While the Common Council had already approved this paving project, the ordinance change to allow for the two-way conversion was heard and approved by the Common Council Public Safety committee this morning.

MGIC opposed the ordinance at the last minute and forced city officials to end the two-way conversation at Market Street. So, come next spring State Street will be one-way from Market Street to 6th Street only.  That, to me, seems odd. Why not just go all the way? But, that's politics for you.

State Street became a two-way street from North 11th Street to North 35th Street in 2005 and North 6th Street to North 11th Street flipped in 2006.  Market Street to 6th Street will wait for another phase of repaving reconstruction.  

Here is additional information from city engineer, Jeffrey S. Polenske, "E. State St. from Prospect to Van Buren is currently two-way with a single lane of traffic and a parking lane in ea. direction.  E. State St. is then one-way from Van Buren to Edison with 3 traffic lanes and two parking lanes in the westbound direction."
"At the end of next year's paving project, the one-way segment between Van Buren and Market St. will be converted to two-way with one lane of traffic and a parking lane in ea. direction.  However, due to the westbound traffic volumes during the peak PM period the westbound parking lane will be signed to operate as a second westbound traffic lane during this peak period."
"Bike lanes will also be striped on E. State St. between Van Buren and Prospect.  West of Van Buren wasn't wide enough to accommodate the installation of the bike lanes.  Plus the need for the westbound peak period parking ban west of Van Buren precludes the installation of bike lanes."

City officials and Ald. Bob Bauman hope to also continue discussions for the two-way conversation of Wells Street in 2010.

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.