FOX47 NEWS - Changing Winter Parking Rules

Jeff Angileri
Feb 10, 2009, 9:57 PM

The city of Madison is considering getting rid of season-long, odd-even parking.

Right now, from November 15th to March 15th, residents have to move their cars to a different side of the street to allow snow plows to get through, regardless of weather.

The new rule would only require alternate parking during snow emergencies, but would financially impact the city.

Some Madisonians say they are fed-up with alternate parking.

You'd move [your car] and then there's nowhere else to park it, said Sara Campbell of Madison. I can't even tell you how many parking tickets I got.

The city can -- more than 24,000 tickets are written every year to those violating the law. Now, some people are questioning why the rule is in place all winter long.

Opponents of alternate side parking are using this year's February thaw as a reason to get rid of it. They say when there's little to no snow on the ground, there should be no rule.

People wonder why they have to move their car from one side of the street to the other when there's no plows, no street cleaning, no sanding, no salting, said Ald. Robbie Webber, 5th District.

The city could lose a lot of money if the ordinance is passed -- up to $630,000, according to street department estimates. Plus, during winter storms, road could stay snow-covered longer.

It takes us 48 hours to get every street clear on both sides with the current rules, said George Dreckmann, spokesperson for the Madison Streets Division. If those rules are done away with, that time period would increase to 72 hours, and possibly even longer.

That's something some residents don't want to hear.

I think it's a bad idea, said Tom Brodd of Madison. I live by Jefferson street, and if you don't have odd-even parking in the wintertime, you can't get down my street. Once they start plowing, it really shrinks down bad.

Madison's Public Safety Review Board will take up the issue during its March meeting. The decision will eventually go to the full city council.

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