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File #: 180922    Version:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 9/25/2018 In control: COMMON COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 10/16/2018
Effective date:    
Title: Substitute resolution approving a Complete Streets Policy for the City of Milwaukee.
Indexes: STREETS
Attachments: 1. Complete Streets LOS - NWSCDC, 2. Complete Streets Coalition Support, 3. Wisconsin Bike Fed & AHA Petition, 4. MMSD Support
Date Ver.Action ByActionResultTallyAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
10/25/20181 MAYOR SIGNED   Action details Meeting details Not available

Minutes note: Ald. Rainey, Johnson, Perez and Stamper asked to be added as co-sponsors. There were no objections.
Pass14:0 Action details Meeting details Not available

Minutes note: Karen Dettmer - DPW Jeff Polenske - DPW Atty. Claude Krawcyzek stated he is in support. Luis Munoz stated he doesn't feel safe walking or riding a bicycle because the road is narrow and he is in support. Vanessa Koster - DCD stated the department is in support of the policy. Jessica Weinberg - Wisconsin Bike Fed stated they are in support and have provided 437 petition signatures Ben Van Pelt - American Heart Association stated they are in support
Pass5:0 Action details Meeting details Video Video
9/25/20180 COMMON COUNCIL ASSIGNED TO   Action details Meeting details Not available










Substitute resolution approving a Complete Streets Policy for the City of Milwaukee. 


This resolution approves a Complete Streets Policy to incorporate Complete Streets principles of street design for all modes of transportation into public way improvements and project phases.


Whereas, The City of Milwaukee is committed to fostering a livable city through the creation of Complete Streets that improve access to neighborhoods, prioritize the safety and health of residents and visitors,  support economic growth, improve access to education and jobs, enhance urban design, encourage physical activity, and reduce negative environmental impacts throughout the city; and


Whereas, Complete Streets are defined as facilities that are safe, comfortable and convenient for users of all travel modes, including walking, use of mobility aids, bicycling, riding public transportation, and driving motor vehicles; and


Whereas, The City recognizes that Complete Streets must be sensitive to surrounding context including buildings, land use, transportation and community needs; and


Whereas, The City recognizes that a safe, reliable, and comprehensive transportation network is a right of all residents of, and visitors to, Milwaukee, regardless of ability, age, gender, race, ethnicity, or income; and


Whereas, The City recognizes that a comprehensive, well-connected, and reliable transportation network is essential to give residents the ability to travel to school, travel to work, engage in social activities, and contribute to the commercial and economic vitality of the city; and


Whereas, The ability to safely travel within the public way is paramount; and


Whereas, The City recognizes that speeding and reckless driving contribute to crashes that can cause severe injury or even death; and


Whereas, The City also recognizes that through Complete Streets elements the design of streets can improve poor motorist behaviors such as excessive travel speeds; and 


Whereas, The City recognizes disparities, including, but not limited to, access to diverse transportation options, crash rates, health outcomes, education, income, employment,  and others; and


Whereas, The City also recognizes that a comprehensive, equitable approach to transportation design can play a role in addressing these disparities; and


Whereas, Milwaukee’s streets have the opportunity to reflect the City’s and individual neighborhoods’ unique characteristics and needs; and


Whereas, Through the comprehensive planning process, residents, business owners, and other stakeholders have articulated a vision for the streets and transportation priorities within their individual neighborhoods; and


Whereas, A Complete Streets policy will further supplement the City’s Comprehensive Plan, encouraging infill, mixed-use, and transit-oriented development that better support travel needs resulting from increased density in neighborhoods and along corridors; and


Whereas, The City recognizes that when implementing the Complete Streets Policy, special care must be taken when evaluating the impacts of proposed projects on low-income communities and ensuring that this policy is implemented in a manner that fosters equity across city neighborhoods; and


Whereas, The City seeks to establish a Complete Streets Policy that will help guide each phase of the development process for projects within the public realm so as to create safer, more accessible, attractive, and overall more inviting facilities for all users; and


Whereas, The City recognizes that a balanced, needs-based approach to parking is vital to the economic health of neighborhoods and the city; and


Whereas, The City recognizes that excess on-street parking can occupy valuable curbside space that could otherwise be occupied by better uses that contribute to the economy and create a sense of place and livability; and


Whereas, The City seeks to align land use and transportation goals, policies and code provisions to create Complete Street solutions that are clear, concise and consistent across all platforms; and


Whereas, This information should be readily available from the City’s website in addition to being supported by individual units within the Department of Public Works and the Department of City Development; and


Whereas, The City also recognizes the importance of partnerships with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Milwaukee County Department of Transportation, Milwaukee County Transit System, Milwaukee County Parks, Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Milwaukee Public Schools,  business improvement districts, neighborhood improvement districts, private developers, public and private utilities, and other agencies to promote Complete Streets on infrastructure within but not owned and maintained by the City of Milwaukee; now, therefore, be it


Resolved, By the Common Council of the City of Milwaukee, The City approves the following Complete Streets Policy:


1.                     The public way shall be designed, operated, and maintained to address accessibility and maximize the comfort, safety, and needs of all users, of all ages and abilities, whether traveling on foot, by using mobility aids/devices, by transit, by bicycle, or by motor vehicle, including freight/delivery.  This Complete Streets Policy shall apply to all public and private entities doing work in the public way and on City-owned transportation facilities, including, but not limited to, streets, sidewalks, alleys, bridges, trails, and the Riverwalk. The City will encourage the owners and operators of other highways, private streets, sidewalks, alleys, trails, and parking lots to also adhere to the Policy through funding requirements and development review processes.


2.                     The City shall incorporate this Complete Streets Policy into all appropriate projects to incrementally achieve a complete, interconnected transportation network that serves all users and encourages walking, biking, and transit trips. An interconnected network will not only provide high-quality individual facilities, but also provide facilities that enable efficient and convenient transitions from one mode of transportation to another and from one type of infrastructure to another.


3.                     The City shall incorporate Complete Streets principles into all public way improvements and project phases, including planning, programming, design, right-of-way acquisition, permitting, subdivision and land development, new construction, construction management, reconstruction, operation, capital improvements, and routine maintenance and rehabilitation.


4.                     Stormwater management shall be incorporated or maintained within the public right-of-way as part of Complete Streets. The City also recognizes that in addition to managing stormwater, street trees, landscaping, and other green infrastructure contribute to a comfortable and healthy pedestrian environment through improved air quality, valuable shade, and beautification.


5.                     When considering the various elements of street design, the City shall give priority as follows:


a.                     Above all, safety is imperative, with pedestrian safety having the highest priority followed by the next most vulnerable types of users.

b.                     Street design elements that encourage and support walking, biking, and transit trips in a manner that considers the context of the surrounding community as well as the broader urban design needs of the city.

c.                     The City recognizes that not all modes can receive the same degree of accommodations on every street, but the goal is for users of all ages and abilities to safely, comfortably and conveniently travel across and through the network.


6.                     The Department of Public Works shall prioritize universal and equitable investment in underserved communities throughout the City which lack existing infrastructure that encourages walking, biking, and transit trips, as well as areas where data indicate crash risk and health disparities.


7.                     The City shall engage with community stakeholders and representatives when designing public way improvements. This public engagement shall be conducted with online surveys, public involvement meetings, and collaboration with the Mayor, the Common Council, the Complete Streets Committee (see #10 below) and other community stakeholders and organizations.


8.                     The City shall incorporate the Complete Streets principles established herein into all future or amended land use, transportation, area, and comprehensive plans, and all future or amended policies, resolutions, or ordinances impacting the public right-of-way.


9.                     The City shall continually look to the latest industry standards and guidelines to develop Complete Streets. The City of Milwaukee recognizes that design criteria shall not be considered prescriptive or taken as mandate; rather, Complete Streets guidance is intended to assist in the application of engineering and planning principles. The City shall strive to meet or exceed national best-practice guidelines on all transportation projects. The latest national, state, and local design guidance, standards, and recommendations available shall be considered in the implementation of Complete Streets.


10.                     The City shall, by ordinance, establish a Complete Streets Committee consisting of the following representatives (or their designees): 


                     Department of Public Works

o                     Commissioner (Chair)

o                     City Engineer

                     Commissioner of the Department of City Development

                     Commissioner of the Department of Neighborhood Services

                     Budget and Management Director of the Department of Administration

                     Commissioner of the Health Department

                     Police Chief

                     Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee

                     President of Employ Milwaukee

                     Common Council

o                     Chair of Public Works Committee

o                     Chair of Public Safety Committee

o                     Chair of Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development

                     Chair of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force


11.                     The Complete Streets Committee shall oversee implementation of the Complete Streets Policy by prioritizing, assigning, monitoring, and establishing timelines for the following actions (list not intended to be exhaustive): 


                     Review, and update as needed, current design standards to ensure they reflect the best available design standards and guidelines.

o                     Initiate in 2019 as part of the City of Milwaukee’s Complete Streets Handbook.

o                     Continue to pursue funding to update design guidance.

                     Endorse all NACTO design guidance by July 1, 2019.

                     Identify professional development and training opportunities on street design best practices.  Ensure staff uses available tuition reimbursement for attendance at conferences, classes, webinars, and workshops related to Complete Streets design.

o                     Ongoing

                     Review, and revise as necessary, procedures, plans, regulations, and other processes.  Recommend policy and process changes that support Complete Streets projects.

o                     Initiate in 2019 as part of the City of Milwaukee’s Complete Streets Handbook.

                     Recommend project evaluation and performance criteria, and institute standard data collection procedures, to understand and promote how well streets are serving all users.

o                     Initiate in 2019 as part of the City of Milwaukee’s Complete Streets Handbook.

                     Identify ways to effectively provide public education and enforcement with respect for proper road-use behavior by all users and all modes.

o                     Ongoing 

                     Conduct an annual Complete Streets Report, or incorporate Complete Streets metrics into routine annual reports, and submit to the Mayor, the Common Council, and other boards and commissions as appropriate. Such evaluations shall include statistics and relevant data including, but not limited to the following:

o                     Population characteristics

o                     Modal share

o                     Crashes and volumes (including mode of transportation)

o                     Bicycle, pedestrian, and transit improvements

o                     Public outreach efforts

o                     Street repair and maintenance

o                     Pre- and post-construction trends


12.                     The Complete Streets Committee shall work cooperatively to address community concerns and together assist in achieving community visions and goals in a manner that respects the local context. When conceptualizing, prioritizing, and designing projects, the City shall consult plans and policies created with public input, including but not limited to, the City of Milwaukee Comprehensive Plan, Area Plans, Milwaukee by Bike Master Plan, and Milwaukee Pedestrian Plan. The City shall administer an open and equitable process for community engagement regarding project development and implementation. The Complete Streets Committee shall seek input from neighborhood associations, business improvement districts, neighborhood improvement districts, and other neighborhood groups on transportation projects; and also with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Milwaukee County Department of Transportation, Milwaukee County Transit System, Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, as well as other agencies to ensure that the Complete Streets principles established herein are incorporated into all projects within the public right-of-way;


; and, be it


Further Resolved, That the Complete Streets Policy shall apply to all projects except when the City Engineer, in consultation with the Complete Streets Committee, demonstrates that one of the following conditions is met:


1.                     Certain users are prohibited from the facility.

2.                     The cost to include accommodations is excessive or disproportionate to the need or probable use.

3.                     The project is considered an emergency repair or routine maintenance and will not change the geometry or operations of the street.





Aaron Michelson