MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minneapolis is known as the City of Lakes, but lately it’s looked more like the city of snow.

Lisa McCulloch says the snow piles are in the way of everyone’s day-to-day operations.

“That’s all you see are snow piles. You trudge over them to keep walking on the sidewalks,” McCulloch said. “Driving, I’d feel like I can’t quite see around that corner or I’m not sure if somebody is coming.”

Piles of snow line both sides of the block on most city streets, providing a narrow opening which is only wide enough for one car at a time.

It’s enough to make McCulloch wonder.

“Who removes it?” she said.

Mike Kennedy, director of Public Works, says it’s all about snow and ice removal for city crews.

“Typically we don’t remove snow,” Kennedy said. “We just plow the snow to the side and let it melt there.”

There are occasions where the snow has to be trucked away.

“There is some limited removal that we do downtown on the Marquette [and] Second transit corridor and around our own city-owned buildings that we’ll pick it up and haul it away as we need to,” he said.

It makes more sense and costs fewer dollars to plow rather than to remove the snow, according to Kennedy.

“We’re talking about productivity in the hundreds of miles per day,” he said. “When you do actually snow removal, and you have to stop and post the streets and pick the snow up and work it, we measure our productivity in blocks per day.”

Kennedy says he sees snow piling up near intersections, which can cause drivers to lose “sight distance.”

You can help by abiding by snow emergency rules so street crews can make streets wider and cleaner.

Reg Chapman