This chart shows why parking in Milwaukee is hell


This chart shows the percentage of parking tickets issued in five-minute intervals throughout the day in New York, Baltimore, Toronto and Milwaukee. Most of the cities have more frequent enforcement during the day, falling between 6 and 7 in New York, about 8 in Baltimore, and about 9 in Toronto.

Milwaukee, however, is an exception. The majority of parking tickets in the city are issued between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., when parking on the street is forbidden without a permit from the city, and drivers are required to park on alternating sides of many streets every other night.

Milwaukee’s enforcement practices are aggressive enough that they merited an investigation by the Journal-Sentinel’s reporters in 2010. A city official told the paper then that the restrictions were necessary to make sure that crews had the ability to keep streets clear of snow. Yet the rule is enforced year-round, and the other northerly cities in this chart don’t have a comparable ordinance.

Making street parking more expensive can be good public policy if it encourages people to use public transportation or to walk. Yet if that is Milwaukee’s objective, then it does seem as though there might be a simpler way of achieving it.

As always, many thanks to Seth Kadish for the use of the above chart.

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