Proposal would expand parking around Capitol Square - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Proposal would expand parking around Capitol Square

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MADISON (WKOW) -- To help with the parking headache downtown some lawmakers want to open up parking spots reserved for them.

A bill introduced in a senate committee would open parking spots adjacent to the capitol to public after normal business hours and on the weekends.

"We want to make it clear that after 6 PM the public can use these spots," said Republican Senator Glenn Grothman.

That would mean about 115 additional parking spots every night.

Good news for people who work or play on the square.

"If one of us has to drive down here, or we have to run to the ramp, we have to pay to come to work essentially," said Rachel Cooper who works at Michelangelo's Coffee House.

Businesses on the square say the move would benefit the entire area.

"It will bring in more people and its a simple equation, more people more business," said Vic's Corn Popper owner Tony Azad.

"As a downtown business its very exciting any proposal that is going to bring more people downtown, we think is great," said Cliff McDonald, manager of Brocach Irish Pub.

Madison Police can still block those parking spots off for special events like the Farmer's Market.

Right now there are only 51 public spots around the capitol.

MADISON (WKOW) - A Senate committee hears from supporters of a plan to open Capitol parking on nights and weekends.
Senate Bill 565 would free up some 50 street parking spaces surrounding the Capitol after normal business hours.
Sens. Glen Grothman and Jon Erpenbach told the committee on ethics and government operations that more people would visit downtown restaurants and other businesses if more parking were available.
Now parking on the four streets adjacent to the Capitol is reserved for legislators and other officials 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Under the proposal, those spaces would be reserved from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, and during special events.

Nobody spoke against the bill.


MADISON (WKOW) -- A bill making its way through the state Legislature could be good news for drivers in downtown Madison.

A state Senate committee is set to take up a proposal that would expand parking around the Capitol on weekends and after hours, by making 151 reserved spots available to the public after 6 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.

The reserved spots are set aside for lawmakers, state officials and employees and there are currently only 51 spots for the public around the square.

Supporters hope freeing up parking would make it easier for the public to access downtown businesses and other attractions, though the measure still allows police to block off spots for special events, like the Farmer's Market.

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