Being Neighborly


There are city regulations for nuisance noise, or offences such as disturbing the peace; there are also "stationary" noise limits for producing and receiving noise (levels) on properties with specific zoning.

Although there are no regulations for exterior construction, one should keep in mind how "noise travels." Working on your house too early in the morning or too late into the evening may be disturbing to your neighbors!

When hiring help for outside work, ask them to be mindful of the noise they may produce; many complaints are received not for noisy power tools, but for loud radios of the contractors.

Snow and Sidewalks

Section 10.28 MGO relates to timing and care in removing snow and ice from sidewalks. Sidewalks are considered the public right-of-way, but the property owner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. If you are a renter, be sure to check your lease for who is responsible for this job, the building owner or the renter.

The owner of each lot or part of lot shall remove all snow and ice upon the sidewalk abutting the premises which he or she owns not later than 12:00 noon of the day after the snow has ceased to fall or accumulate, regardless of the source of accumulation. Also for those living on corner lots, any sidewalks bordering the crosswalk and around fire hydrants, must also be cleared.

Vehicles on Property

Storage: Only ONE inoperable vehicle is allowed to be stored on a residential lot. Vehicles parked on the street must be moved at least every 48 hours so as not to be tagged as "abandoned." Boats & trailers parked on the street, NOT connected to an operating vehicle, may only be "stored" there for 8 hours.

Parking: Vehicles, including boats and trailers, may not be "parked" on lawns especially between the house frontage and the street. Also check with your neighborhood with regard to more restrictive rules.

On Street Parking

Winter Alternate Side Parking Rules: Alternate side parking is in effect in westside neighborhoods from November 15 to March 15. For information regarding Alternate Side Parking, call 266-4622.

Other on-street parking restrictions include:


Madison has about 280 city parks; small tot lots, neighborhood parks to regional and conservation parks. For details, visit the Madison Parks website.

Hours—Most city parks are open from 4:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.; if hours differ; these will be posted.

Dog Exercise Areas—Dogs are NOT allowed in city parks, except where so designated by city ordinance, sec. 8.19 MGO.

Please remember that dogs are not allowed (even on-leash) in most parks, children's play areas, beaches, athletic fields and conservation parks. Dogs are allowed on bike paths ON LEASH only.

Permit Required for Use of Dog Exercise Areas

There is an Annual Dog Park Fee of $30; Daily Fee of $5. Please be aware that in order to purchase a dog exercise permit, you will FIRST need a dog license and city dog registration. This permit is valid for dog exercise areas in designated parks in Madison, Dane County, Middleton, and Sun Prairie. For details, visit the City of Madison Dogs in Parks page.

More About Pets

Regular License Fees (Cat or Dog) as of 2010: Spayed or Neutered, $ 15.00; Unspayed or Unneutered, $20.00. For details, visit the City of Madison Dog/Cat Licensing page.

There are no maximum number of cats or dogs that one can own. Exotic pets and prairie dogs are banned in the city; exotic animals are defined as meaning any animal that is not normally domesticated in the United States or is wild by nature. Examples being: primates, 10 ft. pythons or boa constrictors.

For Animal Control call the Department of Public Health at 267-1989.

Own a Dog? Keep Your Neighbor Happy Too

Teen Curfews

It is against city ordinance for any person under the age of 17 to be upon the streets, alleys, or public places in the City on:
Sun. – Thurs.: 11:00 pm to 4:00 am
Fri. & Sat.: 12:00 midnight to 4:00 am

It is against city ordinance for any person under the age of 14 to be upon the streets, alleys, or public places in the City on any day after 10:00 pm.

Public Transportation

Madison Metro

Many Metro buses are accessible for persons with disabilities and wheelchairs. For those individuals who are certified for Paratransit service there is a ride service, by appointment with Metro and various contracted companies. For more details, see the above link.

Accessible Taxis

A recently enacted ordinance requires taxi companies to provide round the clock accessible taxi service; to date one company, UNION CAB (phone: 242-2000) provides this service on demand.

More Information

City of Madison Website:

City of Madison Police Dept.:

How to be a good neighbor: