Where in Milwaukee could we have a pedestrian mall?

Visiting the lovely city of Boulder, Colorado this weekend, i was struck at how alive the pedestrian mall on Pearl Street feels. Especially on this Friday evening, it seemed to have thrice the number of showmen and passers-by all striving to see or be seen, or just to take in the fair air. Naturally, this made me wonder, where in Milwaukee could we have an open air pedestrian mall? Perhaps one that was a street, but has since been reclaimed and remade into an area for people to walk, not drive. Some possible places that leap to mind:

1) Mitchell Street, in the heart of the Polish-Hispanic neighborhood.

2) A street near to KK in Bay View.

3) W. Hopkins Street between Chambers and Locust Streets.

4) Walnut, MLK, and 6th Streets.

The area would obviously be a massive B.I.D. (Business Improvement District) and many changes of infrastructure would be needed to make it accessible to people, appealing to artists and performers, etc. But it’s a great way to revive an otherwise comatose part of a city. What do you say? Why not?


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

3 thoughts on “Where in Milwaukee could we have a pedestrian mall?”

  1. I just can’t see MLK as a pedestrian mall, simply because of the volume of traffic it receives on a daily basis. Mitchell Street wouldn’t be a bad idea, but a street downtown might not be a bad idea either.

  2. I’ve wondered about a pedestrian mall concept as well. I’ve spent many a night in the Iowa City ped mall, and the Boulder ped mall, and I wonder if these work so well in these towns because they are college towns…

    1. That led me to wonder about having one around UWM. The problem there is that the streets surrounding UWM are very heavily used as it is, and cutting one off would be very difficult. But, does it need to be near a campus to be successful? Something off Humboldt and Commerce could flourish with its proximity to Brady Street. Ditto something around Old World Third. And it would be a daring way to revive “dead” portions of the north side.

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