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How much money does Milwaukee bring in from parking tickets?

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- In 2018, the City of Milwaukee wrote hundreds of thousands of tickets, totaling tens of millions of dollars.

What if you knew where and when you were most likely to get a ticket? Whether you visit for a couple hours or a couple days, CBS 58 scoured what’s happening on every street in the city and asked the city for every parking violation from January to September of from 2018, and during that time frame, the city gave out over 400,000 parking tickets.

There are tens of thousands of parking spots monitored in the downtown area alone.

These are the streets with the most tickets in the city:

  • N Farwell Ave
  • N Water St
  • W Wells St
  • N Prospect St
  • W Wisconsin Ave
  • N Cramer St
  • N 9th St
  • N Broadway
  • N Oakland Ave
  • N Downer Ave

The most ticketed street is North Farwell Avenue with over 8,000 issued. Meter parking is the most common violation on this street.

West Wisconsin Avenue is the street with the highest fines. The average ticket is $42 and most people are being ticketed for parking in a tow-away zone.

The most ticketed day from these nine months was September 5, 2018. On that day, the Chicago Cubs faced the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

The most common time to get a parking ticket is in between 5 am and 6 am.

People are most likely to get a ticket in Milwaukee for an overnight parking violation. It can happen between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Parking enforcement officers wrote over $6,000,000 Million dollars worth of tickets for this offense alone, which is about half of the total expected revenue from our data.

We rode along with two Milwaukee DPW Parking Managers, who say paid parking and citations aren’t a cash grab.

“The goal of parking is to create a space of two on any given block,” said Tom Woznick

Woznick says their rules are the only way to make sure people can visit the city and find adequate parking and make transportation safe.

“Parking is so much more than parking to us. It’s about transportation, access, quality of life, about giving people the options… and encouraging them to be in our city,” said Woznick.

He says it’s important to have an overnight parking pass or call in for a temporary permission, but the deadline to call in is 1 a.m.

“We start enforcing the night parking regulations at 2 a.m. so there needs to be some time for the system to be able to upload all the data so that we have all the active permits in our system when we go and enforce,” said Woznik.

How does Milwaukee compare to other cities our size?

In the timespan Milwaukee issued about 489,129 tickets, Las Vegas issued 60,776 parking tickets, Tucson issued 26,975, and Albuquerque issued 21,737.

DPW says they respond to more than 30,000 parking complaints alone each year.

DPW says reading the meters and posted signs would eliminate a majority of the tickets issued. The Park MKE app alerts people of snow removal operations. The app and smart meters in the city prevent you from paying if you want to park longer than the limit … finding a different spot is the best way to avoid a ticket.

“We simply are performing our job responsibilities by creating compliance. We understand that’s frustrating to get a citation,” said Woznick.

Woznik says quality of life citations, such as parking 4 feet from a driveway or 12 inches from a curb are also issues they have to cite for.

“We will paint some curbs yellow, which will help the public no where they should park and where they shouldn’t park,” said Woznik. “If you just use a step of a foot for most people that’s likely about a foot, so if you stomp four feet from a driveway… and you’re too close, you should move.”

The City of Milwaukee released a document with general parking rules.


Woznik says some people take a parking ticket personally because it’s a hit at one’s checkbook, but he asks people don’t lash out at the officers that are just trying to do their job.

“We simply are performing our job responsibilities by creating compliance. We understand that’s frustrating to get a citation… There’s a frustration and an anxiety that goes with that, but it’s really important to understand our staff is doing what they’re required to,” said Woznik.

Woznik says anyone with questions or concerns about parking for citations can reach out to the parking department, ask questions to a parking enforcement officer, or call 286-CITY.


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Jay 24 days ago
Milwaukee Parking nazi's target college students.
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