Minneapolis to impose single-side street parking ordinance; St. Paul won’t … for now

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Public Works Director Margaret Anderson Kelliher announced that starting tomorrow — Thursday, Jan. 26 at 9 p.m. — Minneapolis will go to one-sided parking

The heavy snow accumulation has narrowed city streets, which pose a safety hazard when emergency vehicles cannot navigate these streets to reach people who need assistance. 

“With 52 inches of snow to date, four snow emergencies in six weeks, and a whole heck of amount of snow plowed to the curb, we have decided, and I have decided and declared, that starting tomorrow at 9 p.m., because of public safety issues, we are going to go to one-sided parking in Minneapolis,” Kelliher said.

Starting tomorrow, cars will no longer be permitted to park on the even sides of streets in Minneapolis on non-snow emergency routes. Some streets may have additional signage due to additional restrictions on those streets. Ticketing and towing will begin tomorrow after 9 p.m. The new parking ordinance will be in effect until April 1, the official end of Minnesota’s snow season.

“If we happen to get significant warming earlier than that, and feel with talking to our partners, and we have enough passage, we can take it off earlier,” Kelliher said.

The heavy snowfall has also impacted school bus routes, causing massive back-ups and delays. During one of the more recent snow emergencies, Executive Director of Transportation for Minneapolis Public Schools Lisa Beck recalled that, “Nineteen buses had to be rescued by tow trucks and mechanics.” City officials hope this new parking ordinance will also alleviate this issue. 

“I’m just going to acknowledge that this is inconvenient for people and we understand that.” Margaret Anderson Kelliher commented during a press conference about the new ordinance this morning, “We hope that people can work together to make sure that people are safe.”

Odessia Schmidt serves up warm coffee at The Boiler Room Coffee Company in Stevens Square, and is constantly on the hunt for parking.

“It sounds like we will lose about half of our parking places, which is already a little difficult in this area and specifically in this block, too. Sometimes I’m late to work because I can’t find a parking spot. This will make it more difficult, for sure,” Schmidt said.

St. Paul officials say they’re not going to declare a one-sided parking ban … yet.

“We continue to work on the residential streets to keep them safe and passible for our emergency vehicles and school buses ,” St. Paul Public Works Director Sean Kershaw said. “The recent snow emergency declaration gave us some needed width on our streets in many areas, but also exposed the ice pack which has other challenges for all types of mobility on our streets.” 

A number of St. Paul residents have complained in recent weeks that St. Paul’s plows were not able to keep up with the significant amounts of snow, a situation that city officials have apologized over.

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