If you live or work in downtown Madison, you know how hard it is to find a place to park or how expensive it can be for monthly parking. When you are in the heart of most metropolitan areas, this is typically the case, and while Madison isn’t the size of Milwaukee or Chicago, there are a still a lot of visitors and commuters that come to the Capitol area during the week, making parking difficult. Whether you are commuting or living downtown, we’ve laid out the best options and information you need to know for parking in downtown Madison, especially during Wisconsin’s winter months.
Madison Street Parking
First, let’s talk about street parking. Most Madison streets only allow you to park for a maximum of 2 hours. If you would like to park on the streets for longer than the 2 hours, your best option is to obtain a permit through the city of Madison. You can only do this if you live in one of the downtown residential parking permit areas and can provide proof of residency. If you live in certain larger buildings downtown, you may not be eligible due to zoning restrictions. The cost for each permit year is $28. Get more info on obtaining a residential parking permit here.
Winter Parking Regulations
Although the residential permit is much cheaper than other options, when winter rolls around and parking regulations for snow removal come into play, it makes things much more difficult. Alternate-side parking begins on November 15th and lasts until March 15th on all city streets throughout Madison except for the Snow Emergency Zone. This means that if you park on the city streets, on EVEN numbered days you need to park on the EVEN house numbered side of the street from 1 am to 7 am., and on the ODD numbered days, you park on the ODD house numbered side of the street. Alternate-side parking goes into effect for the Snow Emergency Zone when there is a Declared Snow Emergency, which happens with snowfall above 3 inches. There’s a lot of information on this website about parking in Madison during the winter.
Monthly Structure Parking
If you are not eligible for the street parking permits in Madison, the city also offers weekly, overnight, and monthly options in parking structures. There are eight lots that provide monthly daytime parking, six lots that provide monthly nighttime options and five lots that provide 24/7 unlimited use options. You can find all the pricing for that here. These are also great options for any overnight guests you might have if you can’t find street parking. Overnight rates are charged at hourly rates for each parking ramp. The only downside is that the lots are not always available for your use. If they are full, you will have to find somewhere else to park.
Other Parking Options in Madison
If you want to avoid searching for a daily parking spot downtown, there are companies that rent out spots in underground parking garages, surface lots, or driveways in the area. Who wouldn’t want a heated underground parking stall to park their vehicle during a big snow storm? Here is a list of the available parking spots that MPM has available for rent. What’s nice about these is that you don’t have to deal with city parking regulations, including alternate side parking in the winter.
Parking can difficult in Madison, especially during the winter season. Don’t be stuck trying to find a last minute parking spot. Be prepared and plan ahead of time, and it’ll be a piece of cake.