Exemption to alternate-side winter parking rules sought for two Madison neighborhoods

October 1, 2018

Residents of Madison’s Greenbush and Vilas neighborhoods could see fewer parking tickets this winter.

A City Council proposal would extend the city’s Snow Emergency Zone — an area in which residents and visitors are exempt from having to follow alternate-side parking rules when they’re in effect between Nov. 15 and March 15 — to the two Near West Side neighborhoods.

Ald. Allen Arntsen, who was recently appointed to the 13th District, said an extension of the Snow Emergency Zone would act as a “trade-off” to the year-round expansion of a street sweeping initiative that limits parking in the area.

On a weekly basis, the city’s Clean Streets/Clean Lakes program restricts parking for a few hours on roadways near lakes Monona and Mendota so they can be cleaned by street sweepers. The program, which started in 1995, is meant to reduce the amount of contaminants entering the lakes from the storm sewer.

Those weekly restrictions generally run from May 1 through Nov. 15, but Bryan Johnson, spokesman for the Streets Division, said the parking restrictions are planned to be expanded year-round in the Vilas and Greenbush neighborhoods to ensure better street maintenance.

Arntsen said there was initial concern about limited parking among residents when just the street sweeping expansion was being discussed “but once the alternate parking trade-off came into it, everybody I’ve talked to has been happy about it.”

Currently, the Snow Emergency Zone is bounded by the Yahara River on the east, Lake Mendota on the north, Park Street on the west, and Brittingham Park and Lake Monona on the south.

People can park their vehicles overnight on either side of the street within the zone and avoid $20 citations for violating the winter alternate-side parking rules applicable throughout the rest of Madison that restrict overnight parking to only one side of a street, regardless of the snow situation.

When snow emergencies are declared, though, those parking within the Snow Emergency Zone must abide by the alternate-side rules.

The proposed expansion area, which covers about 390 acres, would be bounded by Park Street on the east, Regent Street on the north, Monroe Street on the west, and Edgewood Avenue, Vilas Park Drive and Delaplaine Court on the south.

Park, Regent and Monroe streets would not be included in the Snow Emergency Zone rules, but the interior streets of the expansion area and the other boundary roads would be.

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