Downtown Madison is extremely walkable and the city puts a huge emphasis on making bicycle commuting both feasible and safe. However, cars are still very common — which means that parking can become problematic in the city of 245,000. Many apartments or condos for rent in Madison, WI, come with parking options (and you can filter for them on Rentable), but it can be expensive or just plain unavailable, especially if you purchased a car after the start of your lease. Here are a few options for what to do with your car.
Public Parking Ramps & Lots
The City of Madison has a fantastic, easy-to-use website for navigating parking ramps, including maps, rate comparisons, and up-to-date availability. Although parking costs can add up quickly, comparatively, Madison’s public parking fees are relatively low, ranging from 90 cents to $1.80 an hour, or $215 to $270 per month for 24/7 access.
Relying on street parking downtown is a bit of a gamble in a city as populated as Madison — especially in a state prone to snow emergencies that further limit parking options. During the winter months, alternate side parking is in effect, meaning that you have to park on the odd sides of the streets on odd days and even sides on even days, between 1 and 7 am. During a snow emergency, these rules get tightened, fines increase, and towing is a possibility (at the very least, you’re going to have to spend a lot of time digging out your car). During the summer months, however, more parking is available as the streets open up, and you should be able to find a spot within a few blocks of your destination.
It’s like Airbnb for parking spaces. This app was first launched in Chicago but recently expanded to Madison and Milwaukee — all areas that would benefit from more and cheaper parking. People and businesses with parking to spare can list the spots on ParqEx for rent by other app users, either on a consistent basis or by the hour, which means it can help you find parking for work, for home, or for nights out.
Since it’s still pretty new to the area, ParqEx might not have all available private parking rentals listed. If you drive a car which doesn’t take up too much space, maybe like a Mitsubish Mirage, check with venues like the Ovation or Madison Property Managers for availability and rates to see if you can strike a quality deal for a smaller sized vehicle.