By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Finding a street parking spot in the hustle and bustle of downtown Minneapolis can be an adventure, especially when that spot you’re used to parking in has been has been dressed in red.

“So I’ll get a call, ‘Why do you have Park Avenue hooded from this street to this street?’ We tell them the reason and they say that makes sense,” Tim Drew, parking system manager for the City of Minneapolis, said.

Drew said a meter can receive a “no parking designation” for obvious reasons. Construction crews need to use the space. Or, there’s a major event at one of the city’s sports arenas or stadiums.

On an average day the City of Minneapolis will bag anywhere from 50 to 200 meters. During the Super Bowl, they’ll bag hundreds more.

“The Super Bowl is going to have many, many meters hooded. In fact, we ordered a thousand new hoods for the Super Bowl,” Drew said.

If you’re moving into an apartment or condo and you need to reserve one of the city’s 8,000 parking spaces, you can. But the costs varies. If your request is approved by the city, you’ll pay what the meter costs per day.

“That would be anywhere from $14 to $20 a day and even more than that depending on how the math works out,” Drew said.

The biggest question that comes up is, why a red hood when no construction is happening, no one is moving, and no event is going on? Drew said the city has to give a “grace period.” They’ll hood a spot hours before it’s needed to give drivers time to adjust.

“We would never hood a meter for no reason. We have the same group of people that approve meter spaces go out and check these spaces to make sure people are working at them,” Drew said.

Parking at a hooded meter can result in a parking ticket ($48) and potentially a tow.

Drew said an annual moratorium on construction begins in November and lasts until the spring, so there will be fewer hooded spaces during the winter months.

John Lauritsen