Jeramey Jannene
Urban (Coronavirus) Ideas

Suspend Alternate Side Parking Rule

UPDATE: After publication city suspends many parking rules

By - Mar 19th, 2020 03:17 pm
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Cars parked along a street in Bay View. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Cars parked along a street in Bay View. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

If the city wants people to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19, it should do everything it can to remove impediments to doing so. That includes suspending the requirement to follow alternate side parking regulations.

Tens of thousands of residents across the city are doing the right thing and staying home, but once a day city regulations tempt them into leaving by requiring them to shift their vehicle to the opposite side of the street.

The requirement, in effect for the majority of the city year-round, is intended to create space for street sweeping and snow plowing.

Department of Public Works officials announced a common-sense move yesterday to create free carryout parking zones for restaurants at no charge. Now it’s time to help residents impacted by alternate-side parking, many of whom can walk to many of the services they need and leave their vehicles at home.

The city has already taken steps in this direction by having a published, but still tricky policy of allowing parking on both sides of the street except during a snow emergency in Riverwest, the East Side, Walker’s Point, the north half of Bay View and a handful of other city streets.

Let’s make things simple. For as long as bars and restaurants are closed no alternate side parking requirement. No need for one to move a vehicle every day.

We’re not advocating suspending all parking patrol operations. That could have a negative impact on public health by enabling street-blocking parkers and would remove critical sets of eyes-and-ears on the street in the form of the city’s parking checkers.

Suspending alternate side parking will only be a problem if leaves begin falling from trees or we have a substantial snowfall. Thankfully, in both cases, it’s late March and the weather is getting warmer.

Do the right thing. Stay home whenever possible. Save some gas, go for a walk. We’ll get through this together, even though we have to do it at a safe distance.

UPDATE: The Department of Public Works announced at 5:08 p.m. that it has suspended all timed, metered and night parking restrictions. “Vehicles will not be required to alternate side-park or have night parking permits,” said the department in a release.

“Vehicles must abide by all other parking regulations, including posted “NO PARKING” signs. Parking Enforcement will focus on safety-related violations including unauthorized parking in a handicapped space, obstructing traffic/bicycle/streetcar lanes, and parking too close to an alley/driveway/fire hydrant/crosswalk.”

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Categories: Health, Urban Ideas

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