Rick Romano answers some of the mysteries of life in Wauwatosa and helps solve everyday problems.

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Is there a rumor you’ve heard that you would like to track down? Is there something in the city — like playground equipment or a pothole — that needs to be fixed? Rick Romano answers some of the mysteries of life in Wauwatosa and helps solve everyday problems.

Why are there new sidewalks on 116th Street just south of Center Street?

Issue: A reader wrote “We had the impression that the issue came up and was voted down (i.e. developing sidewalks along 116th Street.) However, with all the new construction in the area it appears the city has taken liberties and begun installing sidewalks despite homeowner protest.”

He also wondered why a bike lane can’t be installed along 116th Street instead of the sidewalks.

Status: New sidewalks that extend to about three properties south on the east and west side of 116th Street were installed per state and federal funding regulations tied to the new Center Street bridge, said 7th District Alderman Jason Kofroth. He and 7th District Alderwoman Cheryl Berdan said meetings with the affected homeowners drew no objections.

“The city paid for the installation and worked out a commitment from the school district to maintain those walks in winter,” Kofroth said.

The city’s bike and pedestrian facilities plan developed in 2014 eventually put walkways and bike lanes for the area on a lower priority. The sidewalks became a necessity with the Center Street bridge project that included additional walkways long the south side of Center Street.

Kofroth said the requirement for new sidewalks was to have them connected to Center Street intersections where crossing guards are stationed.

“The 16th street sidewalks help parents drop off their kids who now do not have to walk in the street and in snow and slush to get to those crossing areas,” he said.

Send questions to news@jrn.com

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