Last night I dreamt of Daniel Hoan

If we are lucky enough that Barrett is elected Governor, we will need a new Mayor in Milwaukee. Who will be the next Daniel Hoan?

Dan Hoan was Milwaukee’s second socialist mayor, elected in 1916.  He was not only the second longest-serving Mayor in Milwaukee’s history, but he was the longest-serving socialist politician in the United States. Before becoming mayor, he was our City Attorney and rooted out corruption in our municipal government.

Riding a wave of public disgust with corruption in government and the polluted remnants of the industrial revolution, the Milwaukee “sewer” socialists won a majority of seats in the 1910 local elections.  The socialists upgraded our sewer system, added street lights, cleaned up the neighborhoods and our government.

There is a lot unhappiness with government these days as well. Obama and the democrats road that wave into office in the last elections. Unfortunately, the new political reform movements seem to be more reactionary with few new ideas about fixing the problems in our current society beyond dismantling all progressive government programs.

In so many ways, we are standing at a crossroads of sorts in Milwaukee.  The bicycle is experiencing is a real grass-roots growth in popularity and the Hoan Bridge desperately needs to be repaired.  If Barrett makes it to Madison and Milwaukee does elect a modern version of Daniel Hoan, maybe then I will finally be able to ride across the bridge of my dreams.


About daveschlabowske

Cyclechic advocate from Milwaukee
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9 Responses to Last night I dreamt of Daniel Hoan

  1. michael hopp says:

    gorgeous pic of the dutchie

  2. Tim says:

    I can promise you, you will never be able to bike across the Hoan Bridge.. it is an interstate. What interstate do you know you can bike across? None. Its unsafe.

    • daveschlabowske says:


      There already is federal money set aside to create a biking and walking path across the Hoan Bridge.And WisDOT has promised to consider such a path as part of the redecking. But perhaps you don’t know about this issue. You scan learn more if you read some of the background information here:

      Second, there are many Interstates that allow bicycles. The I-94 bridge from Hudson, WI to Stillwater, MN over the St. Croix River is one good example. They are safer than most roads because crashes happen at intersections and there are no intersections on an interstate.

  3. Casey Foltz says:

    You ask who will be the next Daniel Hoan, I say how about The Big Shlabowske? Seriously, you have my vote and I’d be happy to donate some to your campaign. With you in charge I’d imagine a big push for a pedestrian friendly city where people like Tim above stop saying “never” and instead imagine the possibilities.

    Oh, and sorry about the nickname. I didn’t start it, but it sounded catchy the first time I heard it (Nick Hade), so I think it’s going to stick.

    • daveschlabowske says:

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. I thought about it 8 years ago but my then five-year-old daughter said I wasn’t ready yet. I will consult with her again. And you are not the first to come up with that nick name. I love the movie of course.

  4. Jason Haas says:

    Another true Daniel W. Hoan-style mayor would be a godsend. I don’t know who that’d be, but I’d love him—or her—if s/he was a Hoan the Second.

  5. Steve says:

    So because you had a dream about a bridge, there should be a bike path on it?

    What is the point of biking over the Hoan? The grade is way too steep for anyone except the most fit cyclists, not to mention the dangerous speeds riding down. For this reason barely anyone would use it, and it’s totally impractical for commuting.

    I hope you don’t start dreaming about the High Rise bridge next…

    Take 1st/KK like everyone else. 2nd st is getting torn up right now to make it more bike and pedestrian friendly. Makes a lot more sense to me than a bike path bridge to nowhere.

    • daveschlabowske says:


      It is hard to infer much from your short comment. I don’t mean this to be rude, but it doesn’t sound to me like you know what you are talking about. Perhaps you should read some information about it here:

      or just the facts from the WisDOT study here:

      I am not alone in dreaming of biking and walking over the Hoan Bridge. There are about 80,000 people a month who’s rides are cut short where the trails dead end at the north and south ends of the Hoan Bridge in Veterans and Cupertino. If there were a good connection between those two heavily used trails, say one with a great view of the lake and skyline, with a very modest grade, separated from traffic by a parapet wall, like they have on most other major bridges near trails and water (Golden Gate, Brooklyn, I-94 over the St. Croix, etc.) even more people would use it than use the trails now.

      The number one or number two question I get asked when I table bike events like the Wheel and Sprocket Bike Expo is when are we going to be able to ride over the Hoan Bridge.

      As for commuting, the only route between Bay View and Downtown now is KK to S. 1st to Water. That is one of the top two bicycle commuter routes in the City. Have you ridden your bike on that route? It is generally considered to be unpleasant. There are no bike lanes and the traffic volumes are very high during the peak commute times.

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