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Committee discusses request to alter Green Bay's overnight parking restrictions

A vehicle on a Green Bay street on September 25, 2019. (Photo courtesy: WLUK)
A vehicle on a Green Bay street on September 25, 2019. (Photo courtesy: WLUK)
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GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Green Bay city leaders had their first discussions Wednesday night on a request to alter the city's overnight parking restrictions.

19 times in the past 18 years there's been an attempt to eliminate or alter Green Bay's on-street parking ban from 3 to 5 a.m., according to Chris Pirlot, the city's parking and operations director.

“I think the fact this keeps coming up year after year indicates we haven't fixed the problem yet,” said Brian Johnson, a Green Bay alder.

City Council President Mark Steuer is proposing an even-odd system, similar to Milwaukee, where people buy permits to park on the side of the street with odd house numbers on odd dates and vice versa.

“The way I'm looking at it is there are a lot of homes that have single-stall garages,” said Steuer. “They might have three or four cars, room for two cars, and then the other two are stuck.”

Steuer also points out Milwaukee generated $4.5 million last year by selling $55 on-street parking permits. He believes Green Bay could generate about $800,000 per year.

“Parking divisions and police departments are not in business to generate revenue,” said Pirlot. “They're in business to spur compliance.”

Pirlot says overnight parking changes would impact street sweeping, snow removal, and quality of life. He says adding a permit system would further complicate matters.

“We have two staff members in the office,” said Pirlot. “We'd have to restructure quite a bit to deal with a city-wide permit system and enforcement as well.”

While city staff pointed out reasons for remaining status quo, the city's improvement and services committee voted to have them come up with possible solutions and gather more data.

“That is a big change that could get people fired up both ways,” said Chris Wery, a Green Bay alder. “I think we need a little more feedback.”

The committee will discuss the issue again in a month.

City staff says of the state's 10 most populated cities, only Madison and Janesville have no overnight parking restrictions.

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Steuer says his research shows 10 of 17 cities he looked into in the state have some sort of even-odd overnight parking system.

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