Hop Smart – The Hop
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Your guide to the streetcar

Hop Tips

Milwaukee Streetcar | Free Rides Image

For Motorists

  • When making a left turn along the streetcar route, be on the lookout for both streetcars and vehicles that may be approaching from the opposite direction.
  • When parking along the route, make sure your entire vehicle, including side mirrors, is inside the striping on the road, and use caution when opening doors as vehicles, bikes or streetcars could be approaching from behind you.
  • Never park your vehicle on the streetcar tracks, even temporarily.
  • Pay attention to pavement markings along the route. There are certain intersections where vehicles will need to stop well before the crosswalk to allow space for The Hop to complete a turn.
  • Always adhere to “No Turn On Red” signs at intersections along the route. These are to allow streetcar operators to turn safely.

For Pedestrians

  • Only cross streetcar tracks at designated crosswalks, always wait for the appropriate signals, and always look both ways before crossing the tracks.
  • Never cross or run in front of an approaching streetcar, and avoid entering the trackway from between two parked vehicles.
  • Take a break from your electronic devices. Remove your headphones so you can hear the streetcar’s warning bells, and don’t walk and text when crossing streetcar routes.
Milwaukee Streetcar | Free Rides Image

Milwaukee Streetcar | Free Rides Image

For Cyclists

  • Always cross tracks as upright and as close to a 90-degree angle as possible, and avoid riding your bike between the tracks, as it can be difficult to maneuver in such a tight space.
  • When turning left across the tracks, do so in two stages. First, ride in the right lane through the intersection. Then, pivot to the left to cross the tracks perpendicularly with the next green traffic signal.
  • Tracks can become slippery when wet and smaller tires can potentially get caught in streetcar tracks, so always exercise caution when near the tracks.
  • While much of the route includes clearly marked bike lanes, for less comfortable cyclists an alternative route is typically only a block away.

For Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists should be familiar with all of the tips above for both motorists and bicyclists, as much of the same information applies, but there are a few additional helpful tips for riding along the route:

  • When riding parallel to the tracks, avoid riding on the rails except when crossing them. Rails can be slick, especially in inclement weather, so it’s best to ride next to them or between them rather than on them.
  • When changing lanes or turning across rails that are running parallel to you, start by moving away from the rail as far as possible while remaining in your lane. Then reduce your speed and cross the rail at as large of an angle as possible (the closer to 90 degrees the better, and never less than 45 degrees). Keep in mind that the entire bike should be at a large angle relative to the rail – not just the front tire.
Milwaukee Streetcar | Free Rides Image
Milwaukee Streetcar | Free Rides Image

CAUTION: The Hop is High Voltage!

The Hop is powered by an overhead contact system (OCS) that consists of high­voltage wires located about 20 feet above the street to prevent contact by anything other than the streetcar vehicles.This is a high­voltage electrical system. For safety’s sake, always assume that the electric is ON.

Stay at least 10 feet away from the overhead streetcar wires.

Overhead wires

Use extreme caution when doing any of the following along the streetcar route.

  • Deliveries to upper floors of buildings ­­ using lifts, jacks or other raised­platform equipment
  • Chutes or throwing debris out of windows ­­ removing construction debris from upper floors of buildings to dumpsters below
  • Scaffolding, ladders, lifts, etc. ­­ washing windows, painting, roofing or doing other maintenance work
  • Wired equipment on upper floors ­­ installing cable or satellite television, telecommunications, alarm systems, etc.
  • Front­loading fork trucks ­­ emptying trash dumpsters
  • Mast antenna ­­ media trucks: You may need a Right­of­Way (ROW) Permit from the City of Milwaukee. To obtain a permit or ask permit­related questions, WHO, WHERE, HOURS. For additional information, please contact WHO, HOW, before starting work. In case of emergency, call 911 immediately.

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