Section of Ivanhoe Place now closed to traffic, open to pedestrians

NOW: Section of Ivanhoe Place now closed to traffic, open to pedestrians

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A section of Ivanhoe Place between Farwell and Prospect Avenues is now indefinitely closed to traffic.

The City of Milwaukee transformed the block into Ivanhoe Plaza, a space for pedestrians and bicyclists only.

"Things like this are only going to bring people to the neighborhood," Paige Hammond, the general manager at Crossroads Collective, said. "We're really, really excited for it to be a space where the community can come and gather."

The plan was approved by the common council years ago but didn't start to make real movement until earlier this year.

"To see it come to fruition is very exciting," East Side Business Improvement District Executive Director David Smulyan said.

Benches, tables and planters fill out the street now, but Smulyan said this is just the beginning.

"We got a grant to enhance this space, and so our goal over the next, you know, this year and next year, is to put lights on, do more landscaping," Smulyan said. 

Nearby businesses said they're hoping the space will serve as more than a social spot, but also a calming measure leading to one of Milwaukee's most dangerous intersections for reckless driving.

"We've already noticed a massive improvement with this street closed in the last 24 hours," Hammond said.

Ald. Jonathan Brostoff told CBS 58 he envisions executing this concept on other Milwaukee streets.

"It's this sort of thing that we as a city need to start implementing more of in areas that make sense because combatting reckless driving isn't just about more speeding tickets and more signage, it's really about using the built in environment to benefit the people of the community," Brostoff said.

Crossroads Collective has special events planned for Memorial Day weekend, including live music. 

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