Milwaukee organization hiring ambassadors to help make local streets safer for pedestrians, drivers

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Reckless driving threatens the safety of many people including pedestrians. Milwaukee WALKS wants residents to help make streets safer in neighborhoods where dangerous driving is a problem.

The program, part of the Wisconsin Bike Fed, is focused on neighborhoods where they say data around pedestrian crashes is high.

"I think because Milwaukee historically is very over-driven and over-parked, because of that we just have a lot of traffic activity. And, for many different reasons it all requires a lot of attention," Wisconsin Bike Fed MKE Community Program Manager Caressa Givens said.

As part of the Wisconsin Bike Fed, they're hiring "Walk Culture Ambassadors". One each in the Sherman Park and Musekgo Way communities.

"They host crosswalk action demonstrations, invite volunteers to come out and go out with picket signs and just be in the street, and also be in the street consistently," Givens said.

Using crash data from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Transportation Information Center, the Bike Fed pointed out more than 400 pedestrian deaths and serious injuries in Milwaukee since 2017.

"Whether that's inattentive drivers coming in contact with other inattentive drivers. It could also be pedestrian not being visible, darting into the road. It could also just be children walking across the street and people not paying attention to them," she said.

In the Sherman Park community, residents say intersections along Sherman Boulevard, near the park, are often unsafe.

"We do have several hot spots in Sherman Park where the traffic safety unit has identified speeding. And so this is an opportunity for our residents to have safe passage to the park,"  Sherman Park Community Association Executive Director Mabel Lamb said.

To learn more about Milwaukee WALKS and how to sign up to become a pedestrian safety advocate, click here.

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