Minneapolis, St. Paul declare snow emergencies

On the first day of a snow emergency, SnOasis lots or ramps are available for parking at reduced rates or for free.

by Koran Addo

With about 5 inches of snow blanketing Minneapolis and St. Paul – and more on the way – both cities declared a snow emergency effective at 9 p.m. Monday.

When announced, snow emergencies last three days and have specific rules detailing where people can and cannot park.

From Monday night until 8 a.m. today cars cannot be parked on Minneapolis streets with red “snow emergency route” signs.

Today’s rules are effective from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., and state that cars cannot be parked on parkways at any time.

However, cars can be parked on streets designated as snow emergency routes or on the even sides of nonsnow emergency routes, as determined by street address numbers.

Tomorrow from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. cars can park on streets marked as snow emergency routes, on the odd side of nonsnow emergency routes or on parkways.

On the first day of a snow emergency, SnOasis lots or ramps are available for people to park for free or at a reduced rate.

The University has designated three SnOasis ramps: Oak Street Ramp, Fourth Street Ramp and Twenty-First Avenue Ramp. People could park free until 8 a.m. today.

In addition to SnOasis ramps, Minneapolis residents can also park on street sides that have been fully plowed, according to the “park when it’s plowed” measure the City Council approved in 2002.

This means city crews come by twice, first plowing the driving lane before plowing the full width of the street from curb to curb.

Sara Dietrich, assistant communications director for Minneapolis, said people who want to avoid getting towed or ticketed should make sure a street is plowed from curb to curb wide enough for emergency vehicles to get through safely.

Today, St. Paul will also begin plowing all streets designated “day plow routes.” Included are all nonposted east-west residential streets and the nonposted side of north-south residential streets

Parking on St. Paul streets is banned until they are plowed to the curb. Tagging and towing of illegally parked cars will continue until Friday, according to the city’s Web site.

More information about snow emergency parking in St. Paul can be obtained by calling (651) 266-PLOW for plowing information or (651) 487-4700 for tagging and towing information. People can also refer to the city’s Web site at www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/depts/publicworks/snowplow.html.