Thursday, July 28, 2011

If You're Wondering Where Your Car is That You Parked on the Corner of Webster and Stowell, Read On.

Now that I'm a regular car user, I've also become a bit more finely attuned to parking regulations in Milwaukeee, and in particular, our neighborhood. I looked out our window this morning while I was learning how to enter the daily record sheets on Quickbooks, and spotted a car being towed.  Amie noticed it had a ticket on it, but we did not remember the car being there more than a day.

Being a neighborhood store in a large city has its issues.  And we're certainly not the hardest neighborhood to park in, particularly as we are at the edge of the business district.  I always suggest to customers parking south and east of us, but here are a few more tips.

1. Stay away from marked crosswalks.  The city regulation is that you must be at least 15 feet from a crosswalk.  To me, this is a ridiculously large distance, and many parking checkers agree, as tickets are inconsistent.  However, just because you don't get a ticket three times, doesn't mean you have a valid argument the fourth time. If you think the regulations are too strict, complain to your alderman.

Note that not every corner is a crosswalk.  It would be a lot easier if the crosswalks were regularly painted, but they are not.  Not that there is one on the corner of Webster and Downer. What happens when a meter meets a crosswalk, which I've noticed further north on Downer?  I think meter trumps crosswalk, but I'll have to check my rock-paper-scissors manual.

2. The driveway regulation is four feet.  Most people think you are allowed to be just to the cut, but that's not the case.  And it's particularly tricky on the side of our store, where the cut comes well before the driveway.  So on this part of Webster, you really need to be about eight feet from our driveway/alley entrance.

3. A handicap permit hanging from your mirror exempts you from time limitations on street parking, but it doesn't allow you to park where it says no parking.  Someone told me you also don't have to plug meters.  I guess I'm not sure of that.

4. Here's one I don't understand. "Parked less than two feet from vehicle."  How do they figure out which car is at fault?  "Jimmy started it!"  "No, Stevie hit me first." I can only imagine.

Here's a link to Milwaukee's list of parking regulations and the accompanying ticket.

Folks periodically mention that they do not like parallel parking and ask for advice on visiting the store.  I have a few suggestions:

a. The parking garage across the street from us.
b. The metered surface parking lot just north of Sendiks.
c. Head to Gilman triangle a block south of us, where there is usually enough room to pull into a street space without having to parallel.

And these crazy things are not limited to cities and parking.  Note that The Trouble with City Planning was a trade book in hardcover, but will be a textbook in paperback.  So in the end, the cost of the paperback at a bookstore will likely be more than the hardcover. So if you wanted it, buy the hardcover before it also moves to text discount.


Anonymous said...

Actually, every corner is a crosswalk, whether it's marked or not. I got a ticket on the other side of the block (corner of Belleview and Stowell) thinking exactly that. I challenged it and they told me to treat all corners as crosswalks and park three sidewalk squares away. I agree it's a ridiculous rule.

the haiku project said...

I live downtown & have to park on the street every day. I think the 15' from the corner rule is not so much for pedestrians as to make sure drivers can see (and maneuver) around the corner. Driveways are 4', as noted, and fire hydrants are 10'. And a handicapped permit does mean you don't have to plug the meter :-)