City of
Madison

District 2

Alder Patrick W. Heck

Alder Patrick W. Heck

Alder Patrick W. Heck

Contact Information

Home Address:

123 N. Blount St. #303
Madison , WI 53703

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Heck’s Updates

Proposed Snow Emergency Zone parking changes

March 20, 2019 10:57 PM

Bottom line up front: This proposal has three parts: 1) Expand the Snow Emergency Zone (SEZ). [Note:  District 2 is almost all in the SEZ now, therefore this change applies ONLY to the small part east of the Yahara which is not in the SEZ.] 2) Make all streets within the SEZ year round Clean Streets/Clean Lakes (CSCL). [Currently about half of District 2 is year round CSCL.] 3) Eliminate the exemption of streets with parking only on one side from following SEZ parking rules.

Proposed Year-round Clean Streets/Clean Lakes & Snow Emergency Zone Rule Changes

The snow emergency zone would expand under this proposal.  It would include all of District 2, including the part east of the Yahara. Additionally, all streets in District 2 would be part of the Clean Streets/Clean Lakes program year-round.

What is Clean Streets/Clean Lakes?

The Clean Streets/Clean Lakes (CSCL) program prohibits parking during a four hour block of time between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on a single weekday. The City designates different days for opposite sides of the street so parking may still be available. Since year round CSCL means vehicles would be moved off the street regularly throughout the year, the street would be cleaner and snow plowing and other services would improve.

What is the Snow Emergency Zone (SEZ)?

The Snow Emergency Zone is a designated area of Madison that only follows alternate side parking rules during a declared snow emergency and is typically characterized by neighborhoods with narrower streets and or limited parking options.  [Note: nearly all of District 2 is currently in the SEZ; this proposal would mean all of District 2 would be in the SEZ.]

How does prohibiting parking make for cleaner streets and lakes?

Road debris contains salt, sand, leaves and other harmful substances that leak from cars and it all accumulates in our street gutters which often lead directly to our lakes.  When cars park on the street they prevent street sweepers from collecting what is lying in the gutter. Moving the cars means the debris can be picked up efficiently and kept from our waterways.

How does year-round enforcement of CSCL help other services?

There are many city operations that can be improved by year-round CSCL enforcement.

Snow Plowing

As snow piles up along the curb, parked cars begin to creep away from the road edge and into the travel lanes, making for narrow streets and blocked bike lanes.

The simplest way to prevent the parking creep and keep streets wide and safe for all road users, including emergency vehicles, is to push the snow all the way to the terrace.  However, parked cars block snow plows from pushing snow that's along the curb.

Following the once per week CSCL four-hour parking restrictions in the winter can decrease the need to declare snow emergencies. Snow emergencies are designed to force parkers to move their vehicles so the roads can be plowed wide and safe. If the roads can be kept wide and safe throughout the season, then it lessens the need to ticket and tow people overnight or initiate the cumbersome and confusing daytime 48 hour temporary post and tow process as streets become too narrow to provide safe passage of emergency vehicles, refuse collection and in the worst cases even passenger vehicles.

Spring Cleanup Street Sweeping

Following winter, the Streets Division has street sweepers work 16 hour days in order to collect the sand, salt, and road debris that accumulated on the roads during the winter. The spring cleanup process usually begins in mid-to-late March, depending on the weather conditions.

Year-round CSCL enforcement allows street sweepers access to the curb as soon as the weather allows sweeping to begin, often 4-6 weeks earlier than only seasonal CSCL streets. This will result in collecting more road debris before spring rains wash it into the storm drains and into our waterways.

Brush & Leaf Collection

Brush and leaf collection crews rotate through the city collecting the material set out to the curb. When cars park in front of the piles of brush or yard waste, which happens regularly, it results in a slower and less complete collection.  Year-round CSCL allows a possible solution to this problem.

In 2019, two areas within the year-round CSCL will pilot an effort to collect leaves only during those neighborhood's parking restrictions. This will allow easy access to the curb, which should allow for faster and more efficient service while also allowing residents to know exactly when leaf collection will occur. 

Terrace Tree Maintenance & Stump Removal

Madison's street or terrace trees, are maintained by City Forestry crews. They too encounter challenges related to vehicles parked on the street as they interfere with pruning, removal and planting operations.  Streets Division crews remove stumps after a tree has been cut down, and parked vehicles can prevent that work from being performed.

The once weekly CSCL four-hour block of time prohibiting parking allows the curbside access needed to more efficiently prune, remove, stump grub and replant our City's urban forest.

If I already live in the Snow Emergency Zone, will these proposed changes affect me?

Possibly.

There are two proposed changes to existing rules (explained below) that may change your on-street winter parking plan.

Proposed Rule change: All Streets within the Snow Emergency Zone would be added to year-round Clean Streets/Clean Lakes maintenance program.

All streets within the snow emergency zone would have year-round Clean Streets/Clean Lakes parking enforcement.  Before, certain streets only needed to follow CSCL restrictions from May to November and these spots within the Snow Emergency Zone would be switched to year-round enforcement.

Proposed Rule change: Streets within the Snow Emergency Zone with legal parking only on one-side would now be required to abide by alternate side parking during declared snow emergencies.

One persistent winter maintenance challenge are streets that have parking only on one side. These areas currently are not required to abide by alternate side parking rules even during declared snow emergencies. This means they are routinely full of cars and unable to be plowed completely.

Historically, these one-side parking streets are among the worst for winter maintenance because the vehicles simply do not move to facilitate plowing. As a result, these streets experience the same dangerous narrowing as other streets - snow builds up and parkers creep into the car and bike lanes.

In an effort to address this problem and have these streets better plowed to make the roads and lanes safer, they would now be required to follow alternate side parking rules during declared snow emergencies.

During declared snow emergencies, parking would remain prohibited on the side where parking has already been prohibited. Parkers must find a parking spot on another street or be subject to ticketing and towing.

Questions?

If you have questions or comments please contact me or contact Streets Public Information Officer & Recycling Coordinator Bryan Johnson at 267-2626 or Streets@cityofmadison.com.




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