Study to be conducted on ways to pedestrianize Brady Street after fatal hit-and-run incident

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Brady Street Business Improvement District (BID) is exploring options to increase pedestrian safety in one of Milwaukee's most popular entertainment districts. 

The Brady Street BID Board of Directors voted to conduct a study of pedestrianizing the street on Wednesday.

"It's gotten a lot worse. It's gotten a lot more aggressive. It's gotten a lot faster," Brad Ehlert, a resident, said.

People living near Brady Street said getting around isn't as safe as it used to be. 

"You have to be a defensive walker, a defensive bike rider, a defensive driver," Ehlert said.

The Brady Street BID said they've invested time and money into increasing public safety, but it's just not enough to slow drivers down. 

"Normally, you'd narrow the lanes so that traffic flows a little slower, but these lanes are already quite narrow. So, you'd put in the bump-outs, but we already have the bump-outs. You'd do the parklets. We already have the parklets," Rep. Jonathan Brostoff said. 

That's why the city is moving forward with a study to look at options for pedestrianizing the street.

"We have to start prioritizing human lives above car convenience," Brostoff said.

The study will review all aspects of traffic impact and provide a variety of options, according to Brady Street BID.

"I'm supportive of doing it. I'm certainly supportive of the study. I'd like to see it done," Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said.

Brady isn't the only street in Milwaukee Johnson would like to see cars prohibited from. He said this model, used around the world, could increase vitality and patronage to local businesses.

"Their destiny is pedestrianization," Johnson said.

Some people told CBS 58 it might not be the easiest option.

"It's probably complicated," Ehlert said.

However, they're hopeful it will make the area safer for everyone.

"It's such a nice street. It goes back so far. It's a shame that we'd have to cut it off from cars," John Champagne, a nearby resident, said.

The City of Milwaukee's Department of Public Works told CBS 58 in a statement that they look forward to partnering with Brady Street BID on the issue.

"DPW is in support of Brady St. BID's plan to hire a consultant to explore the possibility of pedestrianizing Brady Street," a spokesperson said in a statement.

Brady Street BID said no plan will move forward without input from businesses and residents. 

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