Brady Street Pedestrianization Study

Brady Street is one of the oldest streets in Milwaukee. Today the historic Brady neighborhood is densely populated with homes, schools, churches, and commercial developments. Due to its use as a main transportation artery and its relatively narrow width, reckless driving has been a serious problem that has led to the deaths of several pedestrians and made Brady Street an unsafe place for bicycles to be used alongside vehicular traffic.

Brady Street is also a very popular destination for entertainment purposes, including; dining, shopping, and imbibing alcohol. The confluence of it being a vibrant neighborhood and entertainment destination while also being narrow and densely populated led the Brady Street Business Improvement District (BID) to investigate alternative ways to engage more positive pedestrian and bicycle usage while reducing reckless driving. In 2022, the BID hired GRAEF and The Kubala Washatko Architects (TKWA) to create a Pedestrianization Study.

Study deliverables included the following:

  • Analysis of traffic patterns and impact on the surrounding area due to closing part of Brady Street to vehicular traffic
  • Recommendations for best practices in urban design in newly pedestrianized street, including short-term and long-term challenges
  • Recommendations for balancing the needs and safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, mass transit users, deliveries to businesses, along with new business development
  • Examples of pedestrian plazas with perimeters similar to Brady Street, including climate, population density, street width, and traffic volumes
  • How pedestrianized spaces are managed and maintained
  • Effects on neighborhood and business development

The study includes four design alternatives for creating a pedestrian-first environment. The alternatives range from treatments that maintain access for all modes of transportation including personal vehicles to treatments that limit access to transit, loading, and emergency vehicles only to pedestrianize the space.

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Brady Street Pedestrianization Study Contact

Practice Team Leader - Planning & Urban Design