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