MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (WCCO) -- Public Works Director Margaret Anderson Kelliher announced that starting tomorrow -- Thursday, Jan. 26 at 9 p.m. -- Minneapolis will go to one-sided parking.
The heavy snow accumulation has narrowed city streets, which pose a safety hazard when emergency vehicles cannot navigate these streets to reach people who need assistance. To date, Minneapolis has had 52 inches of snow and four snow emergencies in six weeks.
Starting tomorrow, cars will no longer be permitted to park on the even sides of streets in Minneapolis on non-snow emergency routes. Some streets may have additional signage due to additional restrictions on those streets. Ticketing and towing will begin tomorrow after 9 p.m. The new parking ordinance will be in effect until April 1, the official end of Minnesota's snow season.
The heavy snowfall has also impacted school bus routes, causing massive back-ups and delays. During one of the more recent snow emergencies, Executive Director of Transportation for Minneapolis Public Schools Lisa Beck recalled that, "Nineteen buses had to be rescued by tow trucks and mechanics." City officials hope this new parking ordinance will also alleviate this issue.
"I'm just going to acknowledge that this is inconvenient for people and we understand that." Margaret Anderson Kelliher commented during a press conference about the new ordinance this morning, "We hope that people can work together to make sure that people are safe."
St. Paul officials say they're not going to declare a one-sided parking ban ... yet.
"We continue to work on the residential streets to keep them safe and passible for our emergency vehicles and school buses ," St. Paul Public Works Director Sean Kershaw said. "The recent snow emergency declaration gave us some needed width on our streets in many areas, but also exposed the ice pack which has other challenges for all types of mobility on our streets."
A number of St. Paul residents have complained in recent weeks that St. Paul's plows were not able to keep up with the significant amounts of snow, a situation that city officials have apologized over.
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