City leaders consider raising bridges, powering down e-scooters to protect Water Street after dark

NOW: City leaders consider raising bridges, powering down e-scooters to protect Water Street after dark

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- City leaders are thinking outside the box, scrambling to come up with a better plan to protect Water Street after dark.

With the Bucks in the playoffs and fans coming downtown for the games, business leaders hope for a solution. 

Many got together Thursday, June 24, after the Public Works Committee talked at length about options.

What's out there right now is a plan from the mayor's office, and there are no changes for the coming weekend.

"And do I think that's adequate? Absolutely not. Right now our fate, the fate of downtown, is in the hands of providence," said Milwaukee's 4th District Alderman Robert Bauman.

Water Street during Game 1 saw barricades, a new fence around the parking lot and vehicles being ticketed and towed, with numbers that could go higher if city leaders have a say.

"With a call to go out that we have a public safety crisis on our hands, we need -- we need 15 checkers. Could we do that?" said Ald. Bauman.

Police said they'd increase patrols on weekends. Fans would've welcomed the extra cops on crowded Water Street Wednesday night.

"There was a few that I saw, but overall there were a lot more people than there were cops," said Bucks fan Daniel Roberts.

"On the way out we only saw a couple on horses, which is kind of standard I guess, but besides that, no," said Bucks fan Jamari MaGee.

"They will continue deploying this weekend between 50 and 55 officers. That includes everybody -- motorcycles, horses, and of course uniformed officers on foot or in motor vehicles," said Ald. Bauman.

City leaders are thinking outside the box. One idea -- to raise downtown bridges.

"We can raise Cherry Street, We can raise Knapp, We can lift Juneau or keep Juneau down as one of the choke points or control points," Ald. Bauman said.

Ald. Bauman says it's an alternative to arresting people.

"Too much inconvenience to get down there to raise hell, so we're just gonna forget about it."

Temporary no parking signs are already up weekends from 8 p.m.- 5 a.m.

The area will be expanded, and Ald. Bauman is calling for the city to bring in a lot more tow trucks.

"I hope that we're ready. I hope that we're prepared, because the last two weekends it's gotten progressively worse, and there's no indication that it's gonna lighten up anytime soon," said 11th District Alderman Mark Borkowski.

A mayor's spokesman says in addition, the city will move to power down electric scooters after 8 p.m. on weekends and that they'll be checking the license of food truck vendors in the area. 

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