Street closings in Waukesha and possible changes to the ordinance are again up for discussion, despite the work completed by the downtown taskforce earlier this year.
It’s been controversial in Waukesha after Freeman Friday Night Live became so popular that the police department shut down the downtown streets for the weekly music event because of safety reasons. Not every business owner and downtown residents are pleased with the decision and the results of the downtown taskforce.
The Ordinance & License Committee will take up a referral from Alderwoman Kathleen Cummings about the issue at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Aug. 27) at City Hall.
Cummings is asking the committee to define duties and responsibilities for the organizers who are closing the streets during a special event.
“The criteria in the present ordinance for closing a street is minimal; it requires that the application be completed and that no other entity has already requested a street closing permit for the same location,” states Cummings referral to the committee. “The rationale for this referral is closing a street to vehicles even for a short time has myriad impacts on those that live, work or travel on the closed street. Other communities have street closing ordinances that ensure that the municipality minimizes its liability, that events are well run and cause minimal impact on residents and businesses and furthermore provide those most impacted by the street closing to have opportunity for input. The city ordinance should be revised to address these issues.”
However, Mayor Jeff Scrima noted the downtown taskforce that was reviewing the ordinance and other downtown issues sent its recommendations before the Common Council, which it approved 12-2, according to the mayor. The recommendations are attached to this article.
“Thank you for your careful review of city ordinances,” Scrima said in an email to aldermen, downtown stakeholders, city employees and members of the media. “For a plan and outcome that the thousands of people