Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


MPD warns of towing, tickets during break

With semester break fast approaching, the Madison Police Department warns students that leaving cars parked on the street at length over break may end in tickets and even towing.

Cars cannot be parked in the street for more than 48 hours in case of snow emergencies.

“Once it snows, cars are plowed in and become an obvious complication,” Lt. George Silverwood of the MPD said.

Mainly, cars left in the streets during a snowstorm cause great obstacles for city employees to plow and clear the roads.

“There were cars last year [with snow] up to the roof line,” Silverwood said.

When cars are plowed in, snowplow workers are forced to skip entire blocks and leave them unplowed. In heavy snow, cars left in the street attract the attention of the MPD and are towed as abandoned vehicles.

“I don’t know how long the police department holds vehicles before they crush them,” Roger Goodwin of the Streets Division said. “It’s not a good thing.”

Students living in the Snow Emergency Zone, from Park Street to the Yahara River, have to be extra conscious of moving their cars during a snow emergency. Snow emergencies are called in anticipation of three inches of snow or more.

Tickets for not moving a car in a snow emergency can cost $20 per night.

Both Silverwood and Goodwin offer alternatives to students who have to leave their cars in Madison over semester break.

“The best thing would be to take the car home with you, but this is not an option for everyone,” Silverwood said.

Other alternatives include having a friend watch and move the car or parking on private property.

“[The alternatives] are not real enticing; they’re not nice choices,” Goodwin said. “You can’t just leave your car on the street in this part of the country in winter.”

Silverwood also said there are no alternatives that the city can directly offer.

“It’s a security concern if the city lets people park in lots,” he said.

The MPD said it does not want to have to give students tickets or tow their cars.

“The real goal is not to tow anyone,” Silverwood said. “There’s nothing worse at break than having to track down your car.”

Goodwin agrees that students should plan in advance.

“You can’t just plan on parking your car in one spot without a problem. You’ve got to have a plan.”

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