Milwaukee DPW workers on standby for weekend snow; 4-inch rule to take effect at 11pm

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee's Department of Public Works says they will do whatever they need to do to keep the streets safe, as predicted snowfall Friday afternoon into Saturday evening hits.

"For the third weekend, in a row, now, we`re going to have a snow operation, in the city of Milwaukee," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

City officials say there are more than 300 workers standing by to work 12-hour shifts. They've been preparing since Thursday, when a general ice control operation was conducted. The city is also asking people to be patient. Plow trucks operate best at 25 miles-per-hour.

"We're going to have dozens, and dozens, and dozens of pieces of equipment, on the street," Barrett said.

All Milwaukee Public Schools Saturday academic, athletic and recreation activities are canceled.

Additionally, the Milwaukee Department of Public Works has announced that the “Four-Inch Rule” will go into effect in the City of Milwaukee at 11 p.m. Friday, December 16th.

Certain residential streets are posted "No Parking When Snow Falls 4 Inches or More." Parking is allowed on both sides of the street, except when snow has accumulated on the street surface to the depth of 4 inches or more. Then no parking is allowed on the side of the street where the sign is posted until the snow has been removed--day or night or at any time of the year.

"The first, and foremost, thing you have to do, when you park your car, is to look at the posted signs. Posted signs take precedence," said Laura Daniels, Milwaukee DPW.


To determine whether this regulation applies to a specific street go to Street Parking Regulations.

Failure to move a vehicle overnight during a declared DPW operation will result in a $20 citation and the possibility of being towed. Towed vehicles are subject to a $105 reclamation fee plus a $20 per day storage fee. You also need a valid overnight parking permit to park on the street.

The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works snow preparedness plans for December 16-18:

  • A DPW snow removal operation has been called for 48-Hour Exception Streets beginning December 16 at 11:00 p.m.; press release attached
  • In addition, the 4-inch rule will be in effect beginning December 16 at 11:00 p.m. as well; press release attached
  • 4:00 p.m.  – DPW has 120 salt trucks addressing Milwaukee’s main streets for the evening commute
  • Garbage and recycling trucks are mounting plow blades as they complete their Friday collections
  • Additional equipment will be assigned as needed
  • DPW continues to monitor weather forecasts and road conditions

ReadyWisconsin is warning people about the upcoming storm and precautions you and your family should take to keep safe.

  • If you must travel allow plenty of extra time for your trip. Also keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle and inform friends and family of your travel plans and approximate arrival time.
  • Check the roads before you travel. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation advises travelers check road conditions before leaving home by calling 5-1-1 or visiting
  • Have an emergency winter weather survival kit in your vehicle. Your kit should include water, snack food such as energy bars or raisins, blankets, first aid kit and booster cables. If you have a cell phone make sure you have a power adapter you can plug into the lighter. You can find more kit tips at ReadyWisconsin:
  • Get supplies for your home. Make sure your home emergency kit is stocked with food that can be stored and prepared without electricity. For a complete list of kit items go to ReadyWisconsin at
  • Stay informed. ReadyWisconsin will keep you posted on any emergencies that occur during the storm. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.