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The following information has been distributed to all Madison Police Department staff from MPD Traffic Captain Richard Bach:

There have been several questions and complaints regarding petitioners for the recall of Governor Scott Walker along roadways using parking lanes as a mechanism to allow motorists to stop and sign a petition. Of specific concern is the use of cones in the roadway, effectively reserving the parking lane for their use. Known locations where this has occurred include Fish Hatchery Rd. and Monroe St. Those involved have been contacted and it should be our goal to assure the safety of all involved and assure that traffic and pedestrians can move safely through the area.

Traffic cones or any other items cannot be in the roadway and doing such is a violation of Madison General Ordinance 10.25 (1), PLACING ARTICLES ON ROADWAY. The only legal mechanism for doing this would be a Street Use permit, to close the parking lane. This would have to be applied for through the Parks division and would require a meeting of the Street Use Staff Team.

When responding to complaints or observing Recall Petitioners adjacent to City roadways the following guidelines and procedures should be communicated and followed:
• Obtain voluntary compliance through dialogue with the site leader, not citing at this time, but educating.
• Petitioners may not use cones to block off or reserve parking lanes to facilitate signing of petitions. Violation of City Ordinance to do so. (See above)
• A Street Use Permit is required to reserve the parking lane and the organizer needs to apply for the permit.
• Site volunteers are to remove cones, not MPD officers.
• Petitioners cannot stand in the road way, but can be on the terrace.
• If not willing to comply or repeated issues a supervisor should respond to the location.
• The Officer In Charge should be notified and an Information Report, routed to Capt. Bach should be completed. (If the leader does not want to give ID, just document the contact).


  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897