Madison alternate-side parking begins Thursday

City reminds drivers to follow parking rules

The forecast isn’t calling for snow, but residents should take note that alternate-side parking starts on Thursday in the city of Madison.

Many residents know the drill, but some are also questioning why they need to move their car from even- or odd-numbered sides of the street with no snow on the ground.

Starting at 1 a.m. Thursday, the rules go into effect, and residents are required to park on the odd-numbered side of the street because the date is an odd number — Nov. 15. On Nov. 16, residents are required to park on the even side.

“The challenge, I think, is you always have to remember what day it is tomorrow when you park your car,” said George Dreckmann from the Madison Streets Department.

Snow or not, the rules are in effect each year from Nov. 15 through March 15. Drivers who don’t follow the rules can face a $20 fine — or a $60 fine if it’s during a snow emergency.

Not everyone agrees with the rule, more so because there’s no snow on the ground yet.

“Tomorrow’s going to be 40 degrees and sunny. I don’t see why I need to move my car,” said Joe Kelly, a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “When it’s not snowing, I don’t really see the point.”

Dreckmann said it’s a question that the city gets all the time, usually after someone gets a ticket. He said it’s not about the city collecting money or being greedy but rather to get drivers in a habit.


“For a long period of time, the alternate-side parking ordinance was not enforced, and that led to people parking wherever they wanted,” Dreckmann said. “Come the snowfall, the cars didn’t move.”

It’s a hard message to drive home for drivers such as Joe Kelly and his neighbors along North Brooks Street near the UW-Madison campus. Of the 26,000 alternate-side tickets issued in the city of Madison last year, nearly 500 came from a one-block stretch of North Brooks Street.

Kelly admitted that he received one of those 500 tickets last year.

“I knew about it, but I wasn’t really thinking about it when I parked my car at night,” Kelly said.

Of course, there’s an exception to every rule. Most of the Madison isthmus isn’t affected by alternative-side parking rules until an actual snow emergency is declared. The city said that area is exempt because of the severe street parking issues that already exist downtown.

For more information about the city’s alternate side parking rules, go to this website.