Kinnickinnic River Parkway - Jackson Park Drive

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Project Update - February 9th, 2024

Following a year of extensive community engagement, which included two open house events, a town hall, community canvassing, and online interaction, Milwaukee County Parks has chosen to proceed with preparing construction documents for Alternative B.

This option will see the reconstruction of 400’ of City of Milwaukee-owned street on the west and the conversion of Jackson Park Drive into ten-foot trail between approximately the 5600 block and 51st street, with a reconstruction of the road with reduced capacity from 51st to Cleveland.

Parks received feedback from residents of Jackson Park Drive, members of the larger Jackson Park neighborhood and Park users across the county. That input was considered and balanced with the project goals of reducing impermeable surfaces and the accompanying pollutants, improving recreational opportunities, and fiscal sustainability.

The Parks Department anticipates document completion in time to submit for construction funding in the 2025 budget. Departmental capital budget requests are due in early to mid summer (June/July) of this 2024. Those requests are then heard by the County’s Capital Improvements Committee in August, which provides recommendations to the County Executive for inclusion in his recommended budget. If included in the County Executive’s budget, the County Board of Supervisors will debate the project’s inclusion in the adopted budget in November.






Recognizing that the pavement and curbing of Jackson Park Drive, from West Cleveland Avenue at 47th Street to West Cleveland Avenue at 58th Street, is in poor condition, Milwaukee County Parks proposed some updates. Parks received funding to complete design work, where staff has focused on potentially narrowing the segments of roadway that have driveway access and potentially replacing the portion of the road, where there is no residential driveway access, with a 10’ wide asphalted bike/pedestrian trail. If the final design includes the replacement of the road with a trail, cul-de-sacs at the east end of the City of Milwaukee roadway (at approximately the 5600 block), and the northern end of 53rd Street would provide a turn-around for vehicles.

The road sections would include new asphalt, new curb and gutter, and replacement of other infrastructure such as storm sewers, where necessary. Stormwater best management practices, green infrastructure, and natural areas restoration and management may also be incorporated into the design.

As mentioned above, there is funding for design work. The funding for construction will be requested in the County’s 2025 budget. If the project is funded, the earliest that construction would begin is in 2025.



The project is part of a multi-phase project to reconstruct seven segments of the Kinnickinnic River Parkway.




Summary of Community Engagement

On November 16, 2022, and October 5, 2023, Milwaukee County Parks hosted an Open House to share project information with the public. In the weeks leading up to the 2022 meeting, Parks staff visited neighbors adjacent to Jackson Park Drive and dropped off Open House invitations at every home north of Cleveland Ave. up to Kinnickinnic River Parkway and from 47th St. West to 60th St. Staff gathered input from approximately 60 residents at the first public input meeting.

The following info boards were displayed at both Open Houses:

The 2023 Open House was promoted through social media and elected officials' notices and emails to registrants from previous meetings. Based on input collected at the previous meeting, the project team developed four alternatives shown below. Public comments were accepted through Friday, November 3, 2023.

The following info boards were displayed at the 2023 Open House:


KK River Parkway Trails


The public input period for this project concluded on Friday, November 3, 2023.


If you have any questions or comments, please email parksplanning@milwaukeecountywi.gov.

Project Update - February 9th, 2024

Following a year of extensive community engagement, which included two open house events, a town hall, community canvassing, and online interaction, Milwaukee County Parks has chosen to proceed with preparing construction documents for Alternative B.

This option will see the reconstruction of 400’ of City of Milwaukee-owned street on the west and the conversion of Jackson Park Drive into ten-foot trail between approximately the 5600 block and 51st street, with a reconstruction of the road with reduced capacity from 51st to Cleveland.

Parks received feedback from residents of Jackson Park Drive, members of the larger Jackson Park neighborhood and Park users across the county. That input was considered and balanced with the project goals of reducing impermeable surfaces and the accompanying pollutants, improving recreational opportunities, and fiscal sustainability.

The Parks Department anticipates document completion in time to submit for construction funding in the 2025 budget. Departmental capital budget requests are due in early to mid summer (June/July) of this 2024. Those requests are then heard by the County’s Capital Improvements Committee in August, which provides recommendations to the County Executive for inclusion in his recommended budget. If included in the County Executive’s budget, the County Board of Supervisors will debate the project’s inclusion in the adopted budget in November.






Recognizing that the pavement and curbing of Jackson Park Drive, from West Cleveland Avenue at 47th Street to West Cleveland Avenue at 58th Street, is in poor condition, Milwaukee County Parks proposed some updates. Parks received funding to complete design work, where staff has focused on potentially narrowing the segments of roadway that have driveway access and potentially replacing the portion of the road, where there is no residential driveway access, with a 10’ wide asphalted bike/pedestrian trail. If the final design includes the replacement of the road with a trail, cul-de-sacs at the east end of the City of Milwaukee roadway (at approximately the 5600 block), and the northern end of 53rd Street would provide a turn-around for vehicles.

The road sections would include new asphalt, new curb and gutter, and replacement of other infrastructure such as storm sewers, where necessary. Stormwater best management practices, green infrastructure, and natural areas restoration and management may also be incorporated into the design.

As mentioned above, there is funding for design work. The funding for construction will be requested in the County’s 2025 budget. If the project is funded, the earliest that construction would begin is in 2025.



The project is part of a multi-phase project to reconstruct seven segments of the Kinnickinnic River Parkway.




Summary of Community Engagement

On November 16, 2022, and October 5, 2023, Milwaukee County Parks hosted an Open House to share project information with the public. In the weeks leading up to the 2022 meeting, Parks staff visited neighbors adjacent to Jackson Park Drive and dropped off Open House invitations at every home north of Cleveland Ave. up to Kinnickinnic River Parkway and from 47th St. West to 60th St. Staff gathered input from approximately 60 residents at the first public input meeting.

The following info boards were displayed at both Open Houses:

The 2023 Open House was promoted through social media and elected officials' notices and emails to registrants from previous meetings. Based on input collected at the previous meeting, the project team developed four alternatives shown below. Public comments were accepted through Friday, November 3, 2023.

The following info boards were displayed at the 2023 Open House:


KK River Parkway Trails


The public input period for this project concluded on Friday, November 3, 2023.


If you have any questions or comments, please email parksplanning@milwaukeecountywi.gov.

Let us know your thoughts on this project.

Your comments can help shape the future of your parks. 

The public input period for this project has concluded.

I would like Jackson parkway to stay the same as it is, with just the road being repaved. I am concerned that residents would have to change their addresses, and Andover would have much more traffic on it. This could be detrimental to emergency personal as well.
I live on Jerelyn place . When my father was still alive, as he got older, I would take him for a drive through the parkway to see the leaves changing colors, watch the snow and just enjoy the beauty of the parkway. Closing the parkway off to vehicles will restrict the area for people who are less mobile. Elderly or handicapped would not be able to see and enjoy the beauty of the parkway.

lunarx 4 months ago

I use the Jackson parkway daily and live two blocks away from it. It is a great place to watch wildlife, walk the dogs and walk with friends. I would hope the parkway stays just as it is, and just the road gets fixed. If a sidewalk is put in, traffic’s would be diverted to other streets, which would make Andover much more crowded, and emergency personal wouldn’t be able to reach residents on Jackson park drive if necessary. Most of the houses on Jackson park drive have their front doors facing the parkway. This would be very inconvenient for them and the residents would have to change their addresses.
My main concern though, is people that aren’t able to walk easily, wouldn’t not be able to enjoy Jackson park drive. Before my dad passed away I used to drive him through the area all of the time to watch the changing leaves; snow and see wildlife. This whole area would be closed off to so many people.
Please keep Jackson park drive a street, so all may enjoy the parkway.

lunarx 4 months ago

As one of the many directly affected families of the proposal to reinvent our neighborhood, we have been outraged by the County strong arming its residents, creating problems, anxiety, and uncertainty where none had existed. We purchased our home on Jackson Park Drive about 14 years ago for the unique and historic design of the neighborhood that was no doubt planned in great detail (as was the whole park system) in the 1950’s. There is no problem to fix here. We value our children’s safety and happiness as well as all the people living in this diverse neighborhood. We honor all those who have worked hard through the years to maintain it.

To destabilize the neighborhood by closing off Jackson Park Drive, eliminating front home access to its homeowners and equitable and safe use of the parkway, to put in a two tenths of a mile bike path, is yet another example of government telling us they know better. Who is to better know what is needed than the individuals and families most impacted? The County already has 100’s of miles of established bike paths, for all the citizens to enjoy. This two tenths of a mile path connects nothing, but only disconnects our neighborhood.

To those who have not been following this closely, (living the lives we should be enjoying without the County butting into our lives,) it was not until there was public outcry that the County even started to humor the residents with the plans it had been working on behind closed doors for at least a year with no previous public input.

We have provided County Executive Crowley with a petition with hundreds of signatures simply asking to repave the road as they would any other road. Several meetings later with overwhelming objection to the project, the county is holding the neighbors hostage as they keep making us repeat our objections over and over without putting an end to the proposed path to nowhere. Perhaps they are not finished spending the $250,000 that has gone from our pockets into those of the consultants living in the suburbs and other states.

The combined property value of the home owners that will be directly affected by this street closure and path, (as found on the City of Milwaukee City Treasurer’s web site,) are a staggering $16,387,700.00 with a combined yearly property tax bill of $373,853.94. This includes 60 properties located on Andover Road, Cleveland Avenue, Jackson Park Drive, and Jerelyn Place.

It would seem reasonable that spending about $300,000 to $500,000 to simply repave the road is not just reasonable, but something we have already paid for in all the years we have lived in our homes paying taxes. We have spent our lives paying for our homes and are high stake stakeholders. It is also not unreasonable to believe that the road in front of our homes when we purchased our homes would remain in front of our homes for our lifetimes. The thought of it being removed would no doubt not cross anyone’s mind.

It is a slap in the face to tell the hardworking taxpayers of the Jackson Park Drive area to change their addresses and change their neighborhood when no change is needed. We vote for “Option D” repaving the road as is with no path. We also encourage others to VOTE AGAINST anyone either currently in office or running for County Supervisor, or Milwaukee Alderman who do not listen to the people. Every vote counts, and you can count on that.

JPDneighbors 4 months ago

They spent boatloads of taxpayer money in the planning and design phase of this project prior to surveying the residents of Jackson Park Drive (the majority of which scream to simply repave the road), this should tell you all you need to know about the integrity of this "project.". This is not the government at work for the people. The best option here is clearly D.

Raquelita 4 months ago

Option D is the best option, especially for the residents of Jackson Park Drive, who this "project" affects the most. The majority of the residents of Jackson Park have made their opinions very clear, yet with all of these meetings and presentations, it seems as though someone is pushing and agenda. Listen to your residents. I'm honestly a little skeptical of the origin of the comments favoring any other option.

Raquelita 4 months ago

Option D is the best living in this park way is the best that the biggest reason we brought this home quite clean peaceful repave it paint a bike lane l DONE Thank you Salvador and Christine Renteria 5015 w Jackson park dr

viejo56 4 months ago

The following comments were written by Nina Machi and are being posted at her request and with her permission:

Every meeting we have had concerning Jackson Park Drive supports the general consensus that we want to save the integrity of the area. This means going for Option D, which replaces the damaged road and leaves all lawns and the park intact. The last meeting in October reflects this consensus during the electronic voting via cell phones. Option D was the winner. I did my own voting with Post it Notes and also found this to be the case, but what I found alarming was that 3 people did not live in the area and two having addresses from the downtown/east side area. The third party's address was close to 59th and Lincoln, which I do not think, has any immediate affect on them at all. This to me has implications that a future vote may not be handled in an honest way that serves the best interest of the community and families impacted.

The age demographics are changing in the area and children are a few years away from getting their driver's license and this is where all families throughout the years have taught their children how to drive. I have seen Arcade Driving vehicles along Jackson Park Drive, Andover and Jerelyn servicing future drivers and it would be a shame that these students would not have the safe opportunity that my uncle had, my sister and I have had and my son too!

This past May at 3:30 in the morning a Police Van was on 51st and Jackson Park Drive and another van was on 51st and KK. They were searching for someone in the park with searchlights on and one officer was on foot. If they had to drive west on JPD and the road was narrowed, who knows if they would have been able to do their job effectively. They were out there for at least an hour. The community’s safety is of utmost importance!

I live on 50th and KK River Parkway and either run or jog throughout the neighborhood (JPD) at different times throughout the day and feel safe since the street is wide enough for me to maneuver around baby strollers and dog walkers. I feel having a narrow street will create hassles for people and cars alike.

Machi, Nina
5028 W. KK River Parkway

JPDneighbors 4 months ago

option D is the Best for our street Salvador and Christine Renteria 5015 w Jackson park dr just repave it after attending some of the meetings our road hasn't been repaved in 40 years it lasted that long just repave it paint a bike lane on it DONE

viejo56 4 months ago

The following comments were composed by homeowners John and Priscilla Rupena (residing at) 5611 W. Jackson Park Drive) and posted on their behalf at their request:

We built our house on Jackson Park Drive in 1969. I actively helped build it with my own hands so it truly was a labor of love. Is it fair to say that when a person selects an area to live based on the general amenities and aesthetics, they can expect the major aspects (such as the parkway) will stay the same with no major changes?

Some comments by people claiming to live in the area seem to be confusing Jackson Park Drive with Jackson Park. They are not aware that this project cuts through a neighborhood with homes directly impacted.

Over nearly six decades, my wife Priscilla and I raised our family here and fully utilized and enjoyed Jackson Park Drive. We continue to do so. We see many others doing the same – both from the immediate neighborhood and well beyond. It is our viewpoint that the community would be best served to repave Jackson Park Drive in kind as it is, with no bike/pedestrian path. This is based on many reasons including current utilization, beauty, access by people of all ages and from areas outside of the neighborhood, and much more.

When we were younger, we would walk on the parkway. Now, my wife Priscilla takes an almost daily ride in the car along Jackson Park Drive to enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons. She will regularly pull over and park to talk with various neighbors or visitors. If you take what is already there away from us, you will erode our well-established neighborhood community, which welcomes everyone whether they are from the general area or not. You will also exclude many individuals from taking advantage of this beautiful stretch.

Please listen to the neighbors and repave Jackson Park Drive as it is.

Thank you,
John and Priscilla Rupena

JPDneighbors 4 months ago

The following comments are being posted at the request of Marilyn and Robert Singer, who reside at 5025 W. Jackson Park Drive:

We would like Jackson Park Drive to be repaved in its current format with no changes to the current road structure. At the last meeting, this was Option D and the preferred choice at the meeting as well by the many residents present. We are particularly concerned with the proposed narrowing of the road on either end of Jackson Park Drive. Please preserve the beauty of this area and the accessibility to many both from the neighborhood and from outside who use the parkway regularly. Please select Option D and repave Jackson Park Drive as it currently exists. Thank you for listening. Marilyn and Robert Singer

JPDneighbors 4 months ago

The following comments were developed by Todd Sarenac, owner of the property located at 4703 W. Jackson Park Drive and are being posted with his permission and on his behalf:

This property has been in our family for 28 years. Part of its appeal has been its location on Jackson Park Drive, a very unique and quaint area as others have mentioned. My background includes extensive professional experience in construction, with specialization in concrete and asphalt work.

When I first heard about this project about a year ago, I did a walk-through of the entire Jackson Park Drive to fully assess the integrity of the road. Given my professional experience, I feel my assessment is accurate. I am in agreement with other neighbors, three in particular, who have professional experience applicable to road construction (architect, road engineer, engineer), as to the condition of the current road. The road still has great integrity, and the curbs are also in good condition. Therefore, a simple repaving of the road, as it exists now with no bike/pedestrian trail, would be cost effective to the taxpayers of Milwaukee and would last longer than the ten years that is being suggested. The current road has lasted 40 years with very little maintenance. Also, a simple repaving will take little time and cause less inconvenience to the neighbors and visitors to the area and will preserve the historical design that so many enjoy for a variety of activities.

Another item to note is that prior to COVID and before the current project was proposed, funds were spent and work was done in preparation for scheduled repaving of the road as it currently exists (no bike path). This work would be “undone” and deemed useless, with tax dollars having been wasted if any other model other than option D were to be selected.

Please listen to what we have been saying repeatedly and repave the road as it is - no bike path. Todd Sarenac

JPDneighbors 4 months ago

Option D is the only feasible option for safety, maintaining property values, and access to the parkway. It feels very much like the people who are pushing for this plan have never actually driven down Jackson Park Drive based on the design of the other options. I moved to this street several years ago, attracted to the area because of the parkway and the opportunities it provides. If the road is converted into a bike path, people who park along the street in order to access the parkway will be forced to park on Andover and would then be cutting between houses to get to the parkway which is a safety and liability issue for property owners like myself. There is only one pass through sidewalk connecting Andover and Jackson Park Drive, one path to get from parking to the bike path. What is to stop people from using our front yards as extended parkway if there is no street to delineate where one ends and the next begins? None of the proposed plans include fencing or vegetation to separate private property from what would become expanded grass area and bike path. There are already a large number of people ignoring leash laws on the parkway side of the street. If the street is gone what stops them from allowing their unleashed dogs to run through our yards? Who will be found liable if a person or dog is injured on our property? You are creating increased safety issues and decreasing our property values with every alternative option provided.
A ten foot wide, 1 mile long bike path with extra grass is useless. It wouldn't connect to anything to provide access and bikers aren't going to be attracted to a 1 mile stretch of path, it won't provide increased value or revenue to the neighborhood or the county, it doesn't add natural green space (a monoculture of grass isn't 'habitat') to improve the parkway, and it will force homeowners to go through a needless process of changing their address (which could effect mortgages) and losing property value, which is a huge economic blow to our neighborhood. There are so many other questions that you have never discussed with your proposals: Do we lose our easement, which on Jackson Park Drive is a whopping 21 feet of our front yards? Who has to mow the new area? Who fights the battle to overturn the fencing ordinance so that we can protect our private property from the increased liability issues? These are just a few of the things we have asked and no answers have been provided.
While we, the residents who will be directly effected by this change, recognize that repaving the road is expensive, we are not the ones who deferred maintenance on the road allowing it to fall into such disrepair that it now requires a massive expenditure to maintain. We should not be penalized for moving to our beautiful neighborhood by losing our street and our addresses as a result of poor county management.
Please stop pushing your agenda on the residents and listen to the overwhelming number of homeowners who are AGAINST your project. We have turned up at meetings, filled out your surveys, put the little green stickers on Option D, and yet you aren't listening to us. Save our street. The other options are not good enough.

JLS 4 months ago

AGAIN I vote for option D.
After 3 public meetings, it should be clear that the majority of those in attendance as well as those who are directly affected by the use of JPD are in favor of option D. I understand that there are some who have other, personal reasons for other options....and they too were heard.
Yet, if there was a true reason for all these meetings, as well as seeing the research, petitions and involvement of the neighborhood residents, the county would go ahead with Plan D.
I do not feel the need to reiterate the reasons that have been put forth by myself and others.... If you have been listening, you have heard them.

rg 4 months ago

I live on JPD and only want the road repaved. There are many comments on here saying that a bike path will make it easier for pedestrians or increase pedestrian traffic. Those comments cannot be further from the truth. I work from home and my office looks out over the JPD. I can tell you that pedestrians are using the road ALL THE TIME without issues with cars. During the meeting a few weeks ago the county used two methods to see what people's choice was. Both methods showed that 75% of the people there wanted the road repaved. Other meetings have shown the same results. Just repave the road and be done with it.

I must mention that the City of Milwaukee has said they would take over the road and repave it. Alderman Mark Borkowski double checked with DPW before the most recent meeting about the cost to repave. He was once again quoted $250,000 by DPW. The county is saying that repaving is going to be $1,500,000. The only way this can be close to correct is by fudging the numbers to make someone's pet project look "better" when in actuality they are trying to waste tax payer dollars. Milwaukee County should just give the road to the City of Milwaukee and be done with it. It will save over $1 MILLION to do that. Now that is being fiscally responsible if you are the county.

schujj07 4 months ago

The following comments composed entirely by the homeowners Ralph and Janet Nennig are being posted on their behalf:

My name is Ralph Nennig. My wife Janet and I have lived at 5053 W. Jackson Park Drive for the past 36 years. I worked for the City of Milwaukee, in the Bureau of Engineers for 36 years. I worked in a several jobs such as construction inspection, estimating construction costs, designing roads and was a building service engineer.

We are for the full paving of Jackson Park Drive in-kind.

The proposed shortening of the roadway width from S. 51st Street to S. 53rd Street with a ten-foot walkway path for 0.2 of a mile (two-tenths of a mile) is a waste of the County’s bike money.

The constructing in-kind of approximately .8 mile is at most 2% of curb removal and replace, not the embellished 32% in your proposal.

I walk the parkway almost every day for 36 years. There are maybe 1 or 2 bikes a day, if that. The parkway was repaved in 1984, almost 40 years ago. The life of an asphalt roadway is 10-15 years. REPAVED IN KIND WILL LAST ANOTHER 40 YEARS. The overall estimate to repave the road is 1/3 of a million dollars.

Maintenance of the roadway in the 40 years has been almost “NIL”. CHECK THE RECORDS FOR THESE YEARS. One man in a pickup truck with asphalt patching potholes. If we would have had the patching crew that did the patching in July of this year during the last 40 years, there wouldn’t be need for reconstruction at this time.

West Jackson Park Drive enhances the area of beautiful yards and homes, which in turn keeps the real estate taxes high.

Please reconstruct this parkway IN KIND. This is one of Milwaukee County parkways GEMS.

Your Tax Payer,
Ralph J. Nennig

JPDneighbors 4 months ago

Last day of public input. This has been a long process, and two things have been crystal clear throughout this whole process: The residents of this area of Jackson Park Drive are overwhelmingly in favor of repaving the street as it is, and the folks at the County want to do anything BUT that in the name of what is "Green". This is alarming- The people who live in this area (myself included, at project ground zero) know and understand our neighborhood, have expressed our points of view and legitimate concerns ad nauseum. Our points of view should be listened to and respected. Instead, outsiders and members of the county board attend the meetings and post comments giving "input" to the contrary. The fact of the matter is that none of these individuals will ever use this project- with the exception of Supervisor Burgelis, whose limited yard space appears to expand with all of the presented options except the repave (option D). Residents' yard signs supporting the In-kind repave keep disappearing, and the county has been intentionally misleading with the details of the project- My inquiries into the breakdown of the actual cost estimates have been unanswered, and somehow the City of Milwaukee can accomplish a repave for $250,000 - $300,000 (per Mr. Borkowski, the retiring alderman). This is the cost of the "study" budget being completed by the county in relation to this project. Furthermore, regardless of which option is ultimately decided upon, it will be paid for by 100% debt.

I can go on and on here. And have previously (see my prior comment). The bottom line is that the government should exist for the people. Not to bully, intimidate, and railroad them, which is what seems to be happening here. The residents of the area have loudly, plainly, overwhelmingly, and repeatedly expressed their desire for a repave (option D), and that should be the end of the discussion.

Brewcityallstar 4 months ago

Option D is my choice.
I feel strongly with many of my neighbors that replacing the road will maintain the functional and quaint area we all bought in to while still allowing safe bike riding, walking and auto passing as has been the case for the many years we’ve lived here. Please fix the road and maintain the area as it is. Thank you

Shannon Galindo 4 months ago

Option D is my choice. I have lived on Jackson Park Drive for the last 27 years. It is truly a unique area. I have been to the three meetings regarding this proposed project. The residents who live in the area have expressed their feelings at these meetings and want the road resurfaced. The current black top road has lasted the 27 years I have been here. That is far longer than 10 year life span in your charts. There is no reason to change something that doesn’t need to be changed.

Peppercorn 4 months ago

Any choice but D. No County money should go to this without investing in a bike path. A roadside trail is in the county trail plan. The current design is unsafe for all ages and abilities. A great east-west trail would make it easier to bike east-west south of the Hank Aaron. It’s all of our money and should benefit all of our people.

Gerlcad 4 months ago

Option D.
Please repave Jackson Park Drive and leave it as is. It is one of the main features that make the Jackson Park neighborhood a great place to live. Paving the road will allow everyone to continue to enjoy it and the surrounding Parkway- whether it be by walking, biking, jogging, or driving.
No need to change something that's unique and valuable to the neighborhood.

Tracy Bernson 4 months ago
Page last updated: 09 Feb 2024, 08:40 AM