City Winter Regulations (December 2015)

shoveling around trash cartsWinter Garbage and Recycling Collection

Garbage and Recycling Collection Schedules will change in the winter due to the holidays and the management of snow and ice by City crews.   You can verify your garbage and recycling collection day by entering your address at the City web site:   Residents must clear snow and ice from their carts to provide access for garbage removal.

Sidewalk Snow Removal

Most residents realize that the reason for prompt removal of snow is safety for all. The horror stories from previous years are real – a wheelchair bound student trying to get to the bus stop with great difficulty due to several inches of snow on an unshoveled sidewalk; or the blind student trying to walk through a bumpy, icy, narrow path created by several days of trampled, unshoveled snow; or the elderly afraid to walk to the store on the icy sidewalks for much of the winter due to concerns of falls. We can do better!

Please shovel your sidewalks for the safety of all in the neighborhood. The addresses of properties that disregard the safety of others should be reported to the City, and reporting can be done anonymously. You can conveniently use the City MKE Mobile app from your smart phone (for information on how to upload the MKE Mobile go to: Or using your computer, go directly to the City web site ( and click the top right “ Click for Action” link and then the option” snow and ice”.   Residents should also be aware that the Milwaukee City Council has increased the fines for violation of snow regulations this year.

Private Property, residential or commercial property owners and occupants are required to clear the sidewalks abutting their property of snow or ice within 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling. This includes the corner crosswalk area for property owners with corner lots or those whose property abuts a midblock crosswalk. City ordinance prohibits shoveling snow onto streets. Property owners should deposit the snow from sidewalks and driveways onto their yards or the strip between the curb and sidewalk

A new ordinance for violating snow regulations has been in effect since Jan 20, 2015. Violators who are reported to DPW will be issued a notice to clear the walk and will be assessed a special charge of $50. Property owners who fail to clear all sidewalk snow and ice within 24 hours after receiving notice of the violation will be assessed additional special charges of $75 for the first violation, and $100 for a second violation and any violations thereafter, plus the cost of snow and ice removal if cleared by the City (City Ordinance 116-8).

The City is responsible for clearing approaches to alleys only; the City does not plow alleys. Inspection pictures of the property will be taken and these pictures are used if an owner appeals the charge/violation. If the sidewalks still are not cleared after the notice, a City contractor will clear a path on the walk, and contractor charges and additional administrative fees that can be substantial will appear on the property tax bill.

The city has a special needs service to help remove snow from sidewalks for older citizens and disabled persons for sidewalks with snow above 4 inches. They must certify that they and all occupants of a home are physically unable to shovel. The service is provided only when plowing operations are called and only for the public sidewalk, not for driveways or walkways from the sidewalk to a door. For information call the DPW Call Center at 286-CITY (2489). All residents are asked to lend a helping hand to their elderly and disabled neighbors with snow removal.

Snow Emergency

A snow emergency may be declared by the Commissioner of Public Works (in consultation with the Mayor) to assist in snow clearing efforts. This is normally done during heavy snowfalls or when snow combines with winds that produce blizzard conditions. Such emergency is declared to continue for a period of 72 hours or until such earlier time as snow plowing operations have been declared completed by the Commissioner of Public Works.

During a Snow Emergency, these parking restrictions are in effect:

  • No parking is allowed on arterials, bus lines or through highways from 11PM – 6AM
  • No parking on that side of residential streets signed “No Parking During Snow Emergency”, “No Parking from Dec 1st to Mar 1st” or “No Parking Anytime.”
  • Posted signs for other parking restrictions must be obeyed, specifically the 4” Rule. On other residential streets, comply with the alternate side night parking regulations.
  • Vehicles parked on streets designated as “Snow Route Tow Away Zones” will be ticketed and towed when a snow emergency is declared.
  • Milwaukee Public Schools has designated that Hartford and Maryland Avenue Schools’ parking lots are available for parking during snow emergencies from 7PM to 7AM and during designated cleanup periods. Cars not removed by 7AM are subject to ticketing and towing.