"Hectic:" Historic Third Ward parking pains spark proposal for change

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Is it time to give parking options in the Third Ward a second look? A Milwaukee Alderman says parking near restaurants and shops is hard to come by. He's suggesting the city look at other options to free up metered parking spots.

With so much to see and do in downtown Milwaukee, the parking spaces are a hot commodity. But often times, on the weekends especially, there's not spaces left and that has Alderman Joe Dudzik looking for alternatives to the current laws. One possibility is taking away the free parking and making it metered Monday through Sunday. While he thinks this will create a turn-over, local business says it'll keep people away.

The Third Ward, a place to socialize, shop, and people watch. These appealing store fronts and restaurants bring lots of traffic to the area, and a lot of headache when looking for a place to park.

"The parking situation is hectic around here and no one is really happy with it," said Jon Allen, Wicked Hop Manager.

There are just over 750 metered spaces in the Third Ward with an hourly rate of $1.50. Time restrictions vary but most are two hour meters.

Jon Allen, the Manager of the Wicket Hop, says it can be a real headache watching you time.

"Sometimes it gets really busy in here and you don't have time to run out and repay the meter," said Allen.

That's why working on Saturday and Sunday's is a treat, on Saturday's the meters are free with some time restrictions -- while on Sunday's they're free with no time restrictions.

"Right now it's kind of a luxury," said Allen.

The free parking spots started as a way to bring people to the area, that obviously worked but sometimes the cars don't leave.

"What I'm really looking for is a chance to get some roll-over in these parking spaces that are currently occupied all day long -- most likely by area residents," said Joe Dudzik, 11th District Alderman.

Dudzik proposed a study of this area and the parking habits.

"I think it'll benefit not only the consumer, but the entrepreneurs in that are as well," said Dudzik.

The study was proposed to the Department of Public Works, it will be brought up in their next meeting three weeks from now.

Alderman Dudzik says the study should last about 6-months.

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