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Milwaukee Police increase patrols to raise awareness of pedestrian safety

Drivers will notice an increase in motorcycle patrols on the streets of Milwaukee due to a $25,000 grant the Department of Transportation gave the police department.

Members of the Milwaukee Police Department's Neighborhood Task Force Motorcycle Unit announced the initiative at the intersection of Cesar Chavez Drive and National Avenue. Sgt. Jeffrey Sunn said the area saw three fatal accidents last year.

Milwaukee's motorcycle unit is enforcing the law for drivers and pedestrians.

\"We target specific areas where we've seen an increase and historically a pattern of pedestrian accidents,\" Sunn said.

\"Obviously rush hour traffic between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. where the majority of the people, motorists are leaving home, that puts a lot of congestion on the roadways making it difficult for pedestrians,\" he said.

In May 2014, a six-year old boy died after being hit by a school bus when he crossed Cesar Chavez and Mineral Street. Another accident happened November 23, 2014 when a drunk driver struck a man at the same intersection.

\"They won't see people walking, you have to be careful,\" said Corey Briggs, who walks often.

Corey Briggs and Liz Love were walking on Cesar Chavez Drive and said they see too many close calls.

“Inattentive drivers often come through the area very quickly and it becomes very unsafe for us to cross,\" Love said.

Both said awareness is key. \"It's absolutely something that we need,” Love said. “There are a lot of children and schools in the area and we need more awareness of driver safety in highly populated areas like this one.\"

Officers are working on educating drivers and pedestrians and mostly handing out warnings.

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