Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors: Supervisor Dimitrijevic proposal would keep Lakefront free, open

Contact: Brian Rothgery, Public Information Manager
414-278-4230 or brian.rothgery@milwaukeecountywi.gov

MILWAUKEE – County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic has submitted a proposal to the County Board that will ensure parking along the Milwaukee County lakefront that is currently free remains free of charge to visitors for the foreseeable future, and prohibits the installation of new equipment to collect payment for parking along lakefront streets. Dimitrijevic’s proposal would block full implementation of a “pay-to-park” scheme that County Executive Abele included in his 2018 Milwaukee County budget proposal.

Milwaukee’s lakefront is a tremendous public asset and should be open, free and accessible to all residents, visitors and future generations for their use and enjoyment. We should be making our public parks more accessible, not creating financial barriers. This policy makes it crystal clear that our lakefront is open, free and accessible to everyone in our community, and that everyone is invited to enjoy our shared public resource for as long as they like. Adopting this proposal would send a strong signal to current and future administrations that parking meter fees at the lakefront is not the way to balance the county budget,” said Dimitrijevic.

If adopted by the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, Dimitrijevic’s proposal would establish that street parking shall remain free of charge along the Milwaukee County lakefront, including along Lincoln Memorial Drive, at Doctors Park, Big Bay Park, Lake Park, Cupertino Park, South Shore Park, Bay View Park, Warnimount Park, Grant Park and Bender Park, and along all County-controlled public streets and parkways adjacent to the parks along the lakefront.

The proposal would further establish that the moratorium on paid parking in the specified locations could only be lifted with the approval of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors.

County Executive Chris Abele proposed a “pay-to-park” plan with his 2018 budget that estimated nearly $1.7 million in revenue by charging for parking at unspecified Milwaukee County Parks. Supervisors rejected pay-to-park plans in several of Abele’s previous county budget proposals.

Former County Executive Scott Walker also proposed pay-to-park schemes in multiple county budgets during his tenure but supervisors blocked those plans through budget amendments.

Blocking pay-to-park proposals through the budget process required alternative revenue increases to offset the anticipated revenue that would have come from parking fees.

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