Monday, August 26th, 2019

Waukesha Friday Night Live problems


After three weeks of increasing reports of teenagers causing problems at the weekly downtown music event, the police are stepping up their presence, according to the Waukesha Freeman (three quarters and it’s yours):

The Police Department has met with the Waukesha Downtown Business Association this week to coordinate efforts. Susie Taylor, who organizes FNL along with her brother-in-law Dan Taylor, said she is aware of recent incidents and has drafted a code of conduct for guests that will go into effect this week.

“Some of the kids … might need to be reminded about the expectations or how to behave at an event,” she said. “We want to make these kids aware of the rules right off the bat. They have to behave to be here. Everyone is welcome as long as they behave.”

Taylor said guests will be asked to walk or ride bicycles slowly at the event, while trick skateboarding, profane language — which Taylor believes is the root of many of the disorderly conduct complaints — and fighting or play fighting are all prohibited.

In addition, all dogs must be kept on leashes and alcohol can only be consumed on the street in the permitted dining areas.

I’m going to state the obvious, but it will be something fans and organizers of Friday Night Live won’t want to hear. When we close the streets downtown we are actually making room for all sorts of mischief like that described in the article. On crowded sidewalks there is no room for trick skateboarding, riding bicycles too fast, play fighting, etc.

You want to reduce the problems? Don’t close the streets. You’ll discourage people from taking alcohol from one location to another. Crowd problems will actually be more manageable because the troublemakers will have less room to scatter.

No other city closes their main artery through downtown as frequently as Waukesha, and we’ve created a giant playground for trouble. The organizers can listen to me now, or they can listen to the aldermen when permits for the event are not issued because the situation got worse. Maybe next year.

And no, I really don’t want to hear how it’s a police decision to close the streets for public safety. Any alderman that buys that can come with me to Galena, IL, the weekend of their annual country fair and see what real crowded sidewalks look like. Hour wait for tables at lunch time even though it was cold and rainy when we went.

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