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

More from Reg Chapman
  • mimi

    They should make it a law. Try and drive down 15th ave. One block off Lake street . The cars park far enough away from the snow banks so the passengers can get out. Half the people on 15th ave, don’t know how to even park

  • charlie

    I had to deal with the parking restrictions last year when they set them and it is a huge hassle. Especially when you go grocery shopping and you have a vehicle full of heavy bags and have no choice but to park half a mile away. It’s understandable that emergency crews need the space to work in, but especially around the U of M campus, it is absolute torture to lose half of the parking spots when it is already a cut-throat game trying to get a spot.

    • Skeeezer

      Parking a half mile from the grocery store?? Lol.. What store is this and why would you do that to yourself. Try the places with parking lots like cub

      • Krista

        Um, I think what charlie meant was parking a half mile from home when you have just come from the grocery store and have multiple heavy bags to load. But yes, it would be silly to park that far from a grocery store and then complain…

  • lisa

    i live in the northwest suberbs and heard the same abour surrounding areas, our guidelines are, from oct to april, you can’t park on the streets if it falls 2′ or ore and you can’t park overnight on the roads perios.

    • Krista

      that may be true, but the ‘burbs also have multiple car garages and wide driveways. A large percentage of city-dwellers don’t have any off-street parking option.

  • Lena Berry Knutson

    Declare it already. Most of your school buses are going to have trouble getting down the streets. Let us move on already and get back to our normal lives. Yes, it is a pain in the rear for those that live in areas with high population low parking spots. This is part of living in the city, I get to lug my three kids down the block on the cold AM in Jan/Feb for school. Take some action before someone else needs help and the fire truck insnt stuck in the snow but stuck between to SUVs.

  • Bruiser

    the joys of living in the Zoo

    • Skeeezer

      Watch out for the poo- flinging monkeys

  • Clint E

    I have a thought…why not close in the city with gates? All these wonderful bike paths become sled paths, park your cars up by the house and flood the streets and skate too. Collect an entry fee at the gates for any who want to enter the city paradise!
    Then stop taking money from the Met Council and such and leave the ‘burbs alone. Make my day plzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Stacy

    It is time to impose the parking restrictions. It would be one thing if people used common sence when they parked. They don’ts. I can barely make it down some of the streets. I can not imagine what it is like for a fire truck or emergency vehicle. It is unsafe when there isn’t enough room for those vehicles.

  • Karrie Bennett

    It would be a great idea on my street. It is so narrow that if there is parking on both side in becomes a one lane road. Really not easy to drive or park.

  • Barb

    I look great in various outfits…occasionally I like to brush my hair!

  • Sue

    People who choose to live where there is no offstreet parking have to face the fact that the safety of the citizens is far more important than their parking spot. Make it a law effective immediately.

    • Jane

      While I agree that the parking restriction they are placing effective this Friday is absolutely necessary, it’s not a matter of “people who choose to live where there is no offstreet parking” needing to deal with their decision. Yes we all have to make sacrifices, but please consider that if people chose to live only where there is off street parking, the majority of rental properties in this city would be vacant. There is no way that all of us can afford to buy our own house nor be lucky enough to find an apartment that has a lot.

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