By Evan Casey
Milwaukee citizens are starting to take notice of the dangers of a local intersection, as a rally was held at the intersection of W. Capitol Drive and N. 35th St. Monday afternoon. The goal of the rally was simple: urge drivers to slow down and take caution when driving near the intersection. The intersection was recently labeled the most dangerous intersection in Wisconsin by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The rally was organized by the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation after Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton and Ald. Khalif Rainey called on the city and state to make streets safer for everyone. Picketers lined the intersection, holding signs that said “Slow Down,” and “We Want Action.”
“We want to expand the Rally Pushes for Safer Streets conversation to include design changes to make intersections like this one safer,” said Alderman Rainey in a press release. “The public’s safety and welfare must be our top priority and I intend to push for greater safety along W. Capitol Dr. and across my district.”
Sarah Bregant, the Community Development Specialist for the NWSCDC, helped organize the rally to build grassroots support for this issue.
“Traffic deaths are not acceptable,” she said. “We want to make streets safer. There’s neighbors who live nearby who want a safer way to cross the street and who want people to slow down.”
There has been more than 20 reported incidents in or around this intersection so far in 2018, according to a crash map provided by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Andrew Haug, the Resource Development Manager at NWSCDC, believes this number is far too high.
“We are hearing this concern all across the city. This neighborhood needs to be safe for everyone. If we can reach a few people today and urge them to drive safer, maybe we can save some lives,” Haug said in an interview.
Organizers are urging concerned citizens to sign the Milwaukee Complete Streets for All petition. The petition began as a way to create a “policy that makes our neighborhoods better for walking and biking for people of all ages and abilities,” according to their website, which can be found at bfw.org/advocacy/completestreets.