With record-breaking snow, Minneapolis considers winter parking restrictions

February 22, 2019 06:25 PM

February's record-breaking snowfall has leaders in Minnesota's largest city contemplating putting extensive parking restrictions in place to make sure streets are passable in case of emergency.

It's a step they haven't had to take in recent years with relatively mild winters. 

"With all the snow we're getting in a short amount of time it looks like it's a real possibility here," Minneapolis Fire Department Asst. Chief Bryan Tyner said.

Winter parking restrictions, often commonly called a one-side parking ban, limits parking to the odd side of streets only. The move would drastically limit the number of on-street parking spaces available in the city but is designed to ensure streets are wide enough for first responders – like large firetrucks—have enough room to pass.

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"So, like a ladder truck has outriggers which have to go out several feet on each side to stabilize, so it's more than just the 10 or 11 feet you need to navigate the street," Tyner said.

Right now, city-wide restrictions are not in place. But the city is posting temporary parking restrictions in some trouble areas where the streets are too narrow because of the snow. Drivers are warned to watch for those and to listen for another update from the city over the weekend.

"That sounds like a headache for me as someone who lives in the city," said Ryan Kelly, who came out of her workplace in Uptown to find a parking ticket on her windshield Friday.

Drivers who don't pay close attention will have to pay up and risk getting tickets or being towed.

"It can be an inconvenience for sure but we are doing this in the best interest of the public and public safety," Tyner said.

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Matt Belanger

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