Madison Streets Division prepares ahead of Tuesday snow

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Streets Division is getting ready for one of its busiest times of the year.

The first accumulating snowfall of the season is set to arrive in the area on Tuesday, causing headaches for drivers on Madison roads. It’s the job of the Streets Division crews to make sure the roads are plowed and salted during snow events.

“Early winter planning is sort of part of what we do,” Streets Division spokesperson Bryan Johnson said. “We never know when it’s going to start happening.”

The division addresses each snowstorm one at a time. Once the powder starts sticking, crews are sent to 32 salt routes around town covering about 800 miles of traffic lanes.

“Those are those roads that are around schools and hospitals, that Madison Metro uses,” Johnson said.  “We put salt down as needed as well and we try to keep those major thoroughfares open.”

Citywide plowing doesn’t start until there are three or more inches of snow on the ground, or when the storm is near its end. Once the crews are sent out, it can take between 12 to 16 hours to plow the entire city.

“Give yourself extra time to get to your destinations because it might be a little snowy out there,” Johnson said. “If it’s actively snowing there’s no way to prevent the snow from building up on the roads.”

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Tuesday’s storm happens to fall on the same day as the start of Madison’s alternate-side parking season. The restrictions begin at 1 a.m. on Tuesday and are enforced between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. each night.

During alternate-side parking season, vehicles parking on the street outside of the Snow Emergency Zone will need to be parked on the odd-house-numbered side of the street on odd-numbered dates and the even-house-numbered side on even-numbered dates between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. each night. Vehicles inside the Snow Emergency Zone only have to follow alternate-side rules when a snow emergency is declared.

Those who fail to follow alternate-side rules could face a $20 fine or a $60 fine during a snow emergency. The vehicle may also be towed. You can sign up for nightly reminders about alternate-side parking on the City of Madison’s website by clicking here.