Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

The Return of Alternate Side Parking

Mayor insists. council agrees. Beginning in November, residents must again move cars each day.

By - Oct 13th, 2020 05:42 pm
Vehicles parked on a Milwaukee street. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Vehicles parked on a Milwaukee street. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The final major piece of Milwaukee’s parking regulations will be reinstated the morning of November 2nd. Alternate side parking will again be required.

The Common Council had threatened to block Mayor Tom Barrett‘s ability to reinstate overnight parking regulations, and with it the alternate side parking requirement, over the past month.

A council committee voted to reject the policy on September 30th, with multiple members declaring the policy a tax on the poor. The move, according to a warning letter from the Comptroller’s office, would put at jeopardy $13 million in revenue and require adjustments to both the 2020 and 2021 budgets.

The committee move prompted a rare public letter to the council from the mayor on Monday.

“We need the council to take action tomorrow to ensure night parking regulations are reinstated. Failing to do so has a major operational impact on the city’s ability to properly collect leaves and manage street conditions going forward. Already we are seeing major leaf piles that are not accessible to sanitation drivers due to the lack of alternate side parking, which is an important part of night parking regulations,” wrote Barrett.

“I know residents want their leaves picked up. It is an important quality of life service that residents have come to expect. The window of opportunity for leaf collection is very narrow, and it depends on Mother Nature. I wish we could be confident we had time, but keep in mind, last year it snowed on Halloween.”

It’s also a financial issue for the city. The regulations generate approximately $4.5 million via night parking permits, $7 million in citations and $1.2 million from towing.

An overnight parking violation starts at $20 and grows to $50 after 58 days.

So what did the council do? Tuesday morning the body approved the measure without any discussion.

Alderwoman JoCasta Zamarripa, one of two council members to back the reinstatement in September before the Public Works Committee, moved to overrule the committee and approve the measure. No one objected.

At the end of the meeting Alderman Khalif Rainey said he missed it going by and wanted to be recorded as a no vote. The measure passed 14-1.

In March the City of Milwaukee suspended most parking regulations as a result of drastically reduced travel early in the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to dropping the need to plug a parking meter, vehicles in residential areas no longer needed to be switched to the opposite side of the street.

But now vehicle owners going to bed on November 1st will want to make sure they park on the west or south side of the street (the side with odd numbers).

A Department of Public Works spokesperson said the department would, similar to its resumption of other regulations, place warnings on cars leading up to the enforcement period and promote the change on social media.

Individuals may push leaves into the parking lane in piles before enforcement is reinstated.

More information on night parking regulations is available on DPW’s website.

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