Streets & Alleys FAQ 3

Does a municipality have authority to temporarily close a portion of a street for celebrations, festivals or similar events?

Yes. Section 349.185, Stats., provides that municipalities may by order, ordinance or resolution "regulate community events or celebrations, processions or assemblages on the highways, including reasonable regulations on the use of radios or other electric sound amplification devices, subject to s. 84.07(4)." The statute referred to in the above quotation, sec. 84.07(4), requires municipalities to make arrangements with the state Department of Transportation (DOT) for making a detour before obstructing any street over which a state trunk highway is marked.

Thus, a municipality may adopt an ordinance authorizing the temporary obstruction of streets for the purpose of holding a festival, block party or similar community event as long as arrangements are made with DOT for making a detour whenever a state trunk highway is involved.  Sample ordinances allowing the temporary obstruction of streets may be obtained by contacting the League office.