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Harley dealership asks for road closure

June 10, 2014

Greenfield — The Greenfield Common Council will vote Tuesday, June 17, on whether to grant a request by the House of Harley to divert eastbound traffic on Layton Avenue into westbound lanes to allow room for an expanded motorcycle rally.

Last year, the city closed all lanes of Layton Avenue around the House of Harley, 6221 W. Layton Ave., to accommodate a huge celebration for the 110th anniversary of the Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

The House of Harley holds smaller anniversary celebrations every Labor Day weekend in its parking lot and big ones every five years that spill over onto Layton Avenue. So, this would be something new. The reason is that Harley-Davidson expanded its areawide annual Milwaukee Rally, said John Schaller, House of Harley owner.

Special events will be held this year that are expected to draw much bigger crowds than the normal anniversary celebrations do, he said. However, crowds won't be as big as on those special anniversaries, he said.

"That change caused me to think we had better be proactive rather than reactive," Schaller said.

So for this year's celebration from Aug. 25 to Sept. 2, he is asking that eastbound traffic be diverted to the other side of the median onto the westbound side of Layton Avenue for about two blocks past his store. That would leave one lane in each direction, he said.

"I don't think it would interrupt much of anything," Schaller said Tuesday, the day before he was to hold a neighborhood meeting at the Greenfield Public Library on the proposal.

The Board of Public Works recommended approving the request. Alderman Bruce Bailey was among those recommending it.

"The Police Department thinks it's workable," Bailey said. And the traffic will be back onto the correct side of the road by the time it gets to the busy intersection with 60th Street, he said.

Even though the somewhat bigger celebrations could be an annual event, Schaller said everyone would have to see how well it works before he would ask for such diversions again.

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