MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee alderman is taking matters into his own hands to address traffic concerns in his district on the far west side of Milwaukee.
The city leader is helping address what’s called ‘uncontrolled intersections.'
An uncontrolled intersection means there are no stoplights or signs present. Alderman Lamont Westmoreland says they’re too common in Milwaukee neighborhoods so he’s becoming part of the solution.
Just like any kid, Annette Gilbertson’s 4-year-old grandson loves to ride his bike. But living next to an intersection without stop signs created a serious safety concern.
"Somebody can get hurt just on the sidewalk,” Gilbertson said. "Who's to say the other person is going yield? You don't know."
Ald. Westmoreland heard similar complaints from several families, so he posted on Facebook asking people to help him identify intersections that need signage on neighborhood streets.
“You should never come across an intersection that is completely uncontrolled,” he said.
Ald. Westmoreland says dozens responded and he took their requests to the Department of Public Works.
"The great thing is we don't have to wait,” he said.
Ald. Westmoreland learned that’s because the City of Milwaukee makes all of its own signs inside a warehouse.
Shop supervisor Tianne Hardman says it cuts costs in half by not having to order them through a company and it also means they can be installed in days rather than weeks.
"Stop signs are an emergency so we do prioritize emergency signs and then we constantly run blanks to have that inventory on hand because stops, yields, one ways, do not enters, top priority,” Hardman said.
Back at 83rd and Locust, Ald. Westmoreland’s advocacy and the city’s available signage meant two stop signs were installed after the city completed a quick traffic study.
"When people come to District 5, they're going to come across a lot of stop signs,” he said.
The alderman’s efforts have already helped get stop signs at 15 previously uncontrolled intersections, with about 30 to go.
“My stance is maybe it won't control everybody, but if it prevents one accident, to me it's a win."
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