Parking at Milwaukee Lakefront and Beaches Might Cost You Money

Milwaukee County is facing a $56 million gap in the budget. Leaders insist the only way to fill that gap is to raise prices on the things you use. It might cost you more to ride the bus, more to register your car or cost money to go to the lakefront.

"It's gorgeous here, I love it, I love it," said Mary Musselman of Platteville, talking about Bradford Beach and the Milwaukee Lakefront. "Our kids enjoy it, we enjoy it, it's gorgeous, it's like a safe haven."

That safe haven may cost the Musselman family some money soon. Making beach goers and lakefront visitors pay to park would generate an estimated $1.5 million. Maybe not, though, if enough people have Mary's feelings about it.

"I won't be coming to the beach," she said.

The county is considering an extra car registration worth $20-$50 to support the bus system, county parkways and highways. The county is also considering boosting the price to ride an MCTS bus from $2.25 to $2.50 per ride. Steve Kreklow, Milwaukee County Budget Director, says things like debts are being paid, there's a leaner county workforce, too.

"But some of those large challenges on pensions, healthcare expenses and transportation infrastructure are gonna continue to be real challenges in to the future," Kreklow said.

As for potential lakefront parking costs, Kelly Henning is against it.

"This is a huge part of the culture of Milwaukee, too, and I think that would change how people feel about this whole experience," Henning said. "I don't think it would change in a positive way."

We'll find out what happens when the budget is presented to the county board later this year.

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