City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin


  Cycling Infrastructure


Links to City cycling office or resources  
  City cycling map  

Updated - 2006-09-12


City of Milwaukee Comments on Cycling within the City  

Welcome to the Milwaukee by Bike information pages. Here you will find most everything you need to know to help you get around Milwaukee by Bike. Bicycling is a fun, healthy and safe way to travel in Milwaukee. Whether you are riding to get to work at one of the city's bike friendly employers like Northwestern Mutual or We Energies, pedaling to get a steamy latte at the new Alterra Coffee by the lake or to enjoy the 3 season patio at the popular Trocadero, our city's network of more than 50 miles of bike paths and 100 miles of designated on-street bike routes and bike lanes make it easy to get where you want to go on two wheels.


And when you get there, you will find a secure place to lock your bicycle thanks to the city's Park for Free program that offers free bike parking racks to Milwaukee businesses. The City has installed more than 1000 bike parking racks, and more are being installed all the time. For more information about how to get a free rack for your place of business or employment, just go to our Park for Free page or click here to request a rack by email.



It is said that bicyclists are an indicator species of a healthy and vibrant city or neighborhood. And there seem to be more and more bicyclists out on Milwaukee's streets. With all the new development going in downtown and in the traditional neighborhoods like Bay View, Riverwest or the Washington Heights, it is no wonder we are seeing so many people choosing to leave their car at home and experience Milwaukee by Bike.


General Impressions - Cycling Facilities Encountered





Bike Lanes


To their credit, on one road there was insufficient space for a bike lane and car parking (or storage on the road, as some would prefer to call it). Rather than letting the cyclists compete with car drivers for the road space, a bike lane was stripped with lines both on the general traffic lane side and on the car parking side without any bike stencils. In effect they created a space for cycling that was not officially marked as a bike lane. The line on the car parking side was laid so that cars needed to park right at the curb to stay out of the bike lane. More of this implementation should be done by municipalities. In some municipality it is called a white edge line if it is next to the curb. With this technique the curb general traffic lane can be marked to a smaller width encouraging drivers not to wander in the lane and to drive slower.

  Cyclist-Activated Traffic Signals

    Cyclist-activated traffic signals allow les confident, less risk-taking, younger and family cyclists as well as others to get across busy intersections without fearing for their well being and life. Cities, such as the City of Vancouver and the Greater Vancouver Region District have seen good growth in cycling by providing this feature. Many streets that we have cycled do not have such a capability and many a street should have it.

  Bridge Crossing

    Many bridges in Milwaukee and surrounding area had steel grating surfaces which provide definite challenges for cyclists and in-line skaters to cross on the road, especially on wet days. Slippery is a good description for the surface.

  In Racine, such a draw bridge had a metre from the curb surfaced in concrete providing a smooth crossing for cyclists and in-line skaters.

    In Toronto, a rubber-like mat was installed on top of the steel grating also providing a good surface for cyclists and in-line skaters to cross.

  Cyclist Stencil on Pavement

    Bike stencils versus cyclist stencils. Does it make a difference? One is about an inanimate object, a bicycle. The other is about a person, a cyclist.

    Now, what is being tried to accomplish? Is one appealing to people to consider ‘Cycling for Transportation’? If so, would it not be better to appeal to people with a people-oriented stencil? I would think so.

  Cyclist stencil with a bit of humour. If one looks at Milwaukee’s approach, the helmet looks more like a chef’s hat. In Portland on a downtown street they have put on smiling faces and some other comical treatments on top of the helmets. Some of these were in front of the drop-off area for a hotel.


Intermodal Commuting

  Transit - Buses Buses do not have bike racks  

Opportunities for Improvement


  Cyclist activated traffic signals    
  Consistent placing of signs, especially bike trailsigns