Updated December 1, 2017

Milwaukee is terrible for winter street parking. I did it myself for 2 years in East Town, and waded through the cumbersome rules involved with legally parking without getting towed. I emerged unscathed save for two $30 tickets and hours of shoveling.

I’ve moved to quiet Bay View with my own garage and driveway and now ignore the winter parking rules. That is, until Mother Nature spit a foot of the sick gnar on our town and friends scrambled to park in my driveway because they couldn’t understand the city rules. I’m here to explain, and make sure to check the Department of Public Works’ parking rules website for more details. The quick hitters are as follows:

Winter Months
Winter months are from December 1 to March 1. Some streets don’t allow any overnight parking during this time, but that’s not posted on any signs. It usually only applies to main thoroughfares. Go here to find out if your street has this rule (referred to as “No Winter Night Parking” or “Special Case”).

Alternate Side Parking
Most streets allow alternate side parking during winter. Referred to here as “Non Winter Exception to Alternate Side Night Parking”, you can park on one side of the street overnight based on the calendar date: For example, on February 3rd you can park on the odd side, in front of address 303 (not 304). Odd sides are often the West or South sides of the street, but not always. Don’t be confused that night parking is only from 2AM-6AM; the date refers to the day before.

4″ Rule
A disappointment to city residents and women worldwide, the 4″ Rule applies when more than 4 inches of snow is present. For streets with the sign posted (or check here), no parking is allowed day or night until plowed.

As of 2017, the 4″ Rule has been abolished! Street parkers rejoice!

Snow Emergency
Contrary to reports, an SE doesn’t mean you can’t park on the street. A Snow Emergency only means that night-time parking rules are in effect from 11PM-6AM instead of 2AM on all streets. You’ll also have to be aware of the deceptively-placed “Snow Zones” or Temporary No Parking signs. These should be posted, and prohibit any parking during SE’s. You will be towed so Mr. Plow can get through.  If you have nowhere to park, some city lots are available.

I hope that clears things up a bit. Please stop letting TMJ4 do stories about you getting towed.

One thought on “Tell Me More: Milwaukee Winter Parking Rules

  1. I did it myself for 2 years in East Town, and waded through the cumbersome rules involved with legally parking without getting towed. Where such information?

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