Today the City of Milwaukee begins to complete the job it started several years ago, changing Wells Street -- along its entire stretch -- to a two-way street.
The City's Public Safety Committee will hear comments on Alderman Bob Bauman's ordinance "relating to traffic controls on East Wells Street and West Wells Street between Prospect Avenue and North 6th Street" at 9 a.m.
As a passionate Downtown resident, I believe the city has an obligation to finish what it started (it changed Wells west of 6th to two-way years ago) and to follow the Downtown Master Plan that states, "as many streets as possible be converted to two- way streets."
I believe that one-way traffic is bad for business, bad for the Bradley Center and M&I Bank (way too confusing) and limiting for the views of The Pabst Theater and the new, taxpayer-funded City Hall rennovation. Not to mention that a one-way Wells Street also will drastically limit access to the Bronze Fonz.
Currently, visitors to the Downtown area are forced to go around blocks to reach their destination or to find parking. Under this plan, which was former Mayor Norquist's vision when he changed Wells to two-way west of 6th Street years ago, accessibility to the neighborhood and businesses will be improved by eliminating the inefficient circulation of traffic to reach destinations. The Kilbourn and State bridge closings have made this change more important, too.
Anyway, hats off to the city for finally getting religion about the need to kill one-way streets in our Downtown.
Now, check out the views in the photo gallery above to see what you'll soon (hopefully) be able to see when you drive west from the lake on Wells Street.
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.