By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We’ve certainly had past winters with larger seasonal snow totals, but there’s plenty of winter remaining to make a run at the record books.

Without any large melts in between our recent snowfalls, removing the piles along downtown Minneapolis streets is becoming a challenge.

On Wednesday morning, the snow hadn’t stopped falling as streets and sidewalks were abuzz with Bobcats. Their operators were clearing paths for pedestrians and pushing piles still higher.

“We call what we do snow and ice control. Generally what we do is plow it to the sides and leave it there,” Mike Kennedy with Minneapolis Public Works said.

As streets get cleared, all that snow gets pushed to the side. Contrary to what you might think, it’s the building owners — not the city — who can decide if they want to pay to remove it. Along Nicollet Mall that’s the job of Downtown Improvement District crews.

“There is so much snow it’s crazy, it’s just too much snow. I think we are getting a whole year of snow in one month,” Libby Young said.

Minneapolis does remove snow from some intersections, as well as City Hall, Target Center and the Convention Center. Piles are also hauled away from the Marquette Avenue transit way. All that snow is then dumped at a city site on the edge of downtown to eventually melt. Kennedy says there is enough space for now, but that could change.

“You never know what might happen the way it keeps snowing,” Kennedy said.

The winter of 2013-2014 was the last time the city had to impose residential parking restrictions to just one side of a street. That was to assure that emergency vehicles can safely access any neighborhood.

Kennedy says the city public safety and public works personnel are looking closely at the need and will make a decision at the close of the current snow emergency.

Bill Hudson