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Read the parking signs and you'll be fine.

Brush up on the new winter parking rules before Sunday, when they kick in

The annual Dec. 1 arrival of winter parking rules is upon us and this year those rules will be different.

In the past, there was no parking on bus routes and through highways from 2 to 6 a.m. from Dec. 1 until March 1, with restricted, alternate side parking hours running 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. during declared snow emergencies.

Regular snow removal operations were not automatically termed snow emergencies, though they triggered alternate side of the street parking. A snow emergency, for heavier snowfalls, added tow away zone rules on some routes.

Now, that is now changing.

"Snow operations" no longer exists as a phrase. Instead, snow emergencies will trigger alternate side parking, which expands to 10 p.m.-6 a.m.

In the past, fines were a flat $40, but that is now moving to a series of escalating fines leading to a tow after three or more citations. A first violation is $50, a second is $100 and further violations are $150 and could lead to towing.

The standard no parking on bus routes and through highways from 2 to 6 a.m. remains unchanged.

Note that some routes, such as Prospect and Farwell Avenues were tow zones during snow emergencies, with no parking allowed at all. Those routes will now move to alternate side parking during emergencies, which is good news for East Siders.

Remember, reading the parking signs is your best bet. Posted signs take precedence.

When in doubt, consider parking at one of these Milwaukee Public Schools, which offer free off-street parking from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. during snow emergencies.

There are also six city-owned parking lots, listed at the above link, that are available for those with a night parking permit. Parking must be in compliance with posted signs at these lots.

"These changes, sponsored by Ald. (Robert) Bauman and Ald. (Nik) Kovac, are a way to clarify for residents our parking policy in winter operations," said DPW spokesman Brian DeNeve. "It's also to encourage compliance for parking to facilitate snow and ice clearing."

Milwaukee winter parking rules can be found here.

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