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Official: No Parking Meters Along Lake Michigan Lakefront

Parking Meter Plan Ditched After Strong Public Opposition

Women at parking meter
Jeff Chiu/AP Photo

A plan to install parking meters along parts of Milwaukee’s lakefront is now off the table after negative public feedback, according to a Milwaukee County official.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele recently floated the idea of installing parking meters at county-controlled locations along Lincoln Memorial Drive, northeast of Milwaukee’s downtown and near popular lakefront attractions. Abele saw the idea, perhaps the first of its kind in Milwaukee, as a way to boost revenue with tough budget choices looming for county parks.

But Milwaukee County Parks Director John Dargle said after hearing a string of negative public comments, Abele has somewhat backed off from the idea.

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“Perhaps reducing it from Lincoln Memorial Drive to look at satellite parking lots at the lakefront, other parking spots at lakefront parks,” Dargle said. “But at this point in time, (Abele) has turned away from doing it completely.”

Local parks advocate John Lunz cheers dropping the parking meter idea and wants the county to move ahead on a recommendation from voters eight years ago — increasing the county sales tax to support parks.

It’s a good idea to look at other revenue sources, Lunz, of the citizen group Preserve Our Parks, said.

Lunz said state lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker need to approve a law that would put in place the 1 percent sales tax increase approved in 2008 by Milwaukee County voters in an advisory referendum.

“They can find other ways to fund our parks,” Lunz said. “We passed a resolution many years ago to increase the sales tax for parks and transit and public safety. If they go to Madison and get their friends there to allow us to tax ourselves, I think we’d have enough money.”