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New sidewalk to be recommended to county as part of roundabout plan

Resident wrote letter to the mayor asking for the addition on North Avenue because of safety concerns

Dec. 11, 2012

The Brookfield Board of Public Works on Tuesday recommended adding 150 feet of sidewalk on North Avenue as part of the roundabout project.

Richard Prudlow, a resident of Still Brook Hollow Condominiums, located in the 18900 block of West North Avenue, wrote a letter to Mayor Steve Ponto earlier this month requesting that the extension of sidewalk be added along the north side of North Avenue west to the condominium driveway as part of the construction plan.

The Common Council voted in favor of a roundabout alternative in September and recommended that Waukesha County pursue its construction. The county had developed concept designs for both a roundabout and a traffic signal and decided that the roundabout was the most appropriate alternative based on the resident feedback and engineering evaluations. The roundabout will replace the current four-way stop sign control at the intersection of North Avenue and Brookfield Road.

Prudlow wrote the letter on behalf of himself and nine other senior residents who live in the condo. He said he was concerned about the project's design after attending a public information meeting for the roundabout in November.

"We currently walk along the edge of the road to get to the intersection, which is not very safe considering the amount of traffic on a major road," Prudlow wrote.

In a memo to the Board of Public Works, director Tom Grisa said the estimated cost for the sidewalk is between $3,000 and $5,000 and that miscellaneous bike path funds in the 2013 budget could be used for its construction.

Grisa read part of an email from Alderman Scott Berg, who represents District 5, expressing support for the sidewalk addition.

The board was in unanimous support of the recommendation.

"It's pretty inexpensive and it's a quaint solution for some people," Alderman Christopher Blackburn said.

"It is a very dangerous area," Alderman Rick Owen said. "If they want it and we can achieve it, it makes sense to do so."

The planned roundabout is blocks away from where a Brookfield police officer was run over by a woman in December of 2009. Officer Paul Dilger suffered extensive injuries after being hit by a car while walking with another officer to a call in the 19100 block of West North Avenue. The officers parked their patrol car on the road and were walking west on North Avenue when Dilger was struck.

The roundabout is in preliminary design and it is expected to be constructed next summer as part of a county plan, and is expected to cost approximately $700,000. Tuesday's motion will send the recommendation to the county to be added to the roundabout's design plan.

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