Mpls. to enforce winter parking rules starting Fridayby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — The city of Minneapolis says starting Friday morning, parking will be banned on the even sides of non-snow emergency routes. Cars parked on the wrong side of the street will be ticketed and towed.
City officials say the winter parking restrictions are necessary to make sure fire trucks and other emergency vehicles can travel through residential streets.
Fire Chief Alex Jackson said he knows the restrictions are an inconvenience for many, but last week's snow storm has made too many streets difficult to drive through.
"We're charged and entrusted, just as much as the police are, with public safety," Jackson said. "Any snow we get and any narrowing of the streets impacts [response time]."
City public works director Steve Kotke said city plows are working hard to clear the snow. But many residential streets are still too narrow for safety vehicles to fit through.
"We're working our crews 12-hour shifts and they're out there working hard," Kotke said. "But with the amount of snow we're getting we're just not going to be able to push it far enough, wide enough to get that width in the streets.
Kotke said in the event of another snow emergency, residents should follow those rules first and then return to the winter parking ban.
City officials say the restrictions will be in place until spring - or until conditions improve enough for them to lift the ban early.