Milwaukee County Board gets proposal for parking fees at lakefront parks


Visiting and parking around the downtown area along Lincoln Memorial Drive and at lakefront-area parks, might have a cost attached to it, if a proposal by the Milwaukee County Parks Department gets board approval.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

The Milwaukee County Parks Department has proposed charging parking fees for the first time on Lincoln Memorial Drive, Lagoon Drive and other lakefront locations to make up for lost parking revenue from the┬ásale of O’Donnell Park, as part of the department’s 2017 budget request.

Apart from the two convenient lakefront drives, the department’s pay-to-park plan would collect fees for vehicles parking at several other popular┬álocations: McKinley Park parking lot, east lot at Veterans Park, North Point parking lot, Bradford Beach parking lot and the east parking lot at Lake Park, according to online 2017 county budget documents.

A pay-to-park fee of $1 an hour would generate an estimated $1.5 million in 2017, according to budget officials.

The parking charge will not receive a warm reception at the County Board.

“Who would want to impose a tax on Independence Day celebrations and family picnics at the lakefront?” Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb Sr. said. Lipscomb described the proposal as “essentially an admission price on the lakefront” that would limit public access.

“All of us who pay our fair share of taxes have a right to enjoy our public lakefront even if we cannot afford to live right by it,” Lipscomb said.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Jason Haas,┬áchairman of the County Board’s parks committee, said he is opposed to the proposal and welcomes a committee discussion of parking meters at the lakefront.

“The Milwaukee idea is to make recreation easily accessible to everyone,” Haas said. “This is creating a barrier to folks enjoying the lakefront.”

The parking charge would burden the budgets of Milwaukee residents living in poverty, according to Haas. “When every dollar counts, that can make a difference,” he said.

For more, visit, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.