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Laws & Policies

The following list includes local laws related to walking and biking.  This list is not complete but includes the most relevant laws.  Additional walking and pedestrian-related laws can be found in the City of Platteville City Code, available as a downloadable pdf on the City website.

Sidewalk-related laws & policies:
  • City policy for sidewalks in new subdivisions:  Property owners are responsible for installing sidewalks in all new subdivisions in the City; property owners contract with the City for installation or obtain a permit from the City prior to installation.  In this case, private property owners are responsible for paying for all sidewalk installation costs.*
  • City policy for sidewalks in existing subdivisions:  The City will cover the expenses of sidewalk installations along any road improvement projects.*
  • Property owners are responsible for removing any snow or ice on their sidewalks within 36 hours of accumulation. (4.09(a))
  • The city is responsible for costs of maintaining, repairing or replacing damaged sidewalks (unless they are damaged by the property owner). (4.13(c))
  • Sidewalks must be a minimum of 4' in width. (4.13(f))
  • Sidewalk installation costs over $100 may be made to the City in interest-free annual installments. (4.13(g))
*Above, sidewalk installation is defined by city policy (not City ordinance).  Existing ordinances (City Code Chapters 4 and 21) relating to sidewalks are, in parts, conflicting or can be confusing.  These ordinances will be reviewed as part of our Safe Routes

Bike-related laws & policies:
  • All bikes in the City of Platteville must be registered and tagged.  To register, file a complete description of the bicycle with the Platteville Police Department (by stopping by their front desk), at which time the Department will give you a tag with a serial number that you must place on the bike.  Registration fee is $1.00 per bicycle.  (31.20-31.22)
  • Biking on sidewalks is not allowed in the area bordered by Pine Street, Water Street, Furnace Street, or Chestnut Street.  Biking on sidewalks IS allowed in all other areas of the City. (38.13(1))
  • Skateboarding, roller skating, or in-line skating is not allowed on sidewalks anywhere in the City. (38.13(2))
Right-of-Way (ROW)'s:

Wisconsin municipalities all have "Right-of-Ways."  ROW's are areas of land that, while owned by a private land owner, are reserved for public uses.  In many ways, ROW's are more like public land than private land.  All Platteville City roads are built on a ROW, and the ROW's usually extend beyond the size of the road itself to include areas for sidewalks:  the front several feet of most Platteville yards actually exist in a ROW.  Below are some facts about ROW's:
  • ROW's exist on almost all City land: if you buy a parcel of land, odds are high that you also have a ROW written into your land contract,
  • ROW's  are privately owned land, but the use is reserved for the public by a legal easement,
  • Private land owners are responsible for maintaining the ROW (except for roads),
  • The City has the right to develop or make use of a ROW at any time.
In new Platteville subdivisions, ROW distances are standardized; these distances are listed below.  In other, older, parts of the City, these distances vary greatly.  A map of ROW distances for the rest of the City will be available on this website soon.

Subdivision Minimum Right-of-Way Widths (21.12(c))
Street Type Min. ROW Width Min. Pavement
Collector 80 ft 52 ft
Minor 70 ft 44 ft
Cul-de-Sac 60 ft 36 ft
Frontage 50 ft 36 ft
Alley 24 ft 20 ft
Pedestrian Ways 10 ft 5 ft