Minneapolis Considers Winter Parking Restrictions

By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In Minneapolis, all the snow could soon mean parking on just one side of the street all the way until April.

The city is considering what it calls, “winter parking restrictions” — parking that’s only allowed on one side of the street and would be in effect until spring.

It’s a big hassle for people who live in neighborhoods like Loring Park, where street parking is a major necessity.

But Minneapolis fire crews say it may be necessary.

Firefighters say it’s not the main streets that are hard to navigate, but those pesky side streets.

“Once we got into the side streets, we found that those intersections are plowed very tight,” said Capt. Mike Fust.

For hook and ladder 10, it’s hard to squeeze by on many city side streets when cars are parked on both sides.

The big rigs make those turns from side street to side street almost impossible to do, Fust said.

WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman rode along to see the challenges faced by fire and ambulance crews.

They say there are some spots where there is a tight squeeze and then there are others where the only option is to circle around to a different block.

Because of this issue, the city of Minneapolis is looking at declaring winter parking restrictions.

Cars would have to park on the even side of a non-snow emergency street in Minneapolis. After that, they can’t park until April 1 or when the snow melts.

City officials say they will wait to see how well plow crews can get residential streets clear before the next snowfall to make the call.

Many people, who would be affected by winter restrictions, say it’s an inconvenience they don’t want to deal with.

“Who wants to walk four blocks in below zero weather to get to their house,” said Joe Langley.

People like parking close to the front door but winter restrictions could make the walk from the car a hike.

Although many don’t like it, firefighters say tougher parking restrictions help in life or death situations, when they have to get there fast.

The city says residents can also help out fire and EMS crews by clearing sidewalks, fire hydrants and driving and parking smart.

WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman Reports

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