City takes steps to protect pedestrians

Michele Fiore

Photo: Video by tmj4.com

City takes steps to protect pedestrians

CREATED Aug. 14, 2013 - UPDATED: Aug. 15, 2013

MILWAUKEE - Three days after a young woman lost her life on the city's east side, Milwaukee's DPW crews were at the scene, painting white lines on the street to mark a pedestrian crosswalk.

But is it enough to help pedestrians get across Farwell at an intersection where there is no traffic signal?  

Wendy Trimble, who walks with two canes, thinks more needs to be done. She trembles just thinking about the loss of life at the corner of Farwell and Irving. While Trimble appreciates the efforts of the DPW, she says she would like something more.
 
"Something that has a walk, don't walk sign. that would make me feel safer," said Trimble.
 
But attorney Michael Hupy says something like that isn't necessary because drivers are supposed to yield to pedestrians at corners regardless of whether there's a sign or not. Hupy says it's the law and he has started a campaign to change the bad habits of some drivers.

"They need to stop here and every corner is a crosswalk in residential districts, whether they're marked or not. Where pedestrians have the right of way, most people don't understand that," said Hupy.

Hupy has sent letters to all 19 police chiefs in Milwaukee county, demanding better enforcement of pedestrian laws.
 
In addition, Milwaukee alderman Nic Kovac says he's asked police for stepped-up patrols along Farwell as a short-term solution. He says in the long-term, city leaders will be looking at the police report of the accident that killed Andrea Barringer, and possibly holding a community meeting to get input from neighbors on solutions.
 
Kovac says mostly, the habits of drivers who ignore pedestrians in crosswalks needs to change. The question is how do we do that.

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