Ignorance binds thee like a metal boot

Ready or not, heavy fines will hit drivers who are unaware of parking rules.

The snow season is upon us again, and many in the University community are starting to worry about the common things one must worry about during winter: dressing warm enough to hike 30 minutes outside, wearing waterproof shoes, fighting off colds when the air is too cold to breath and, of course, trying not to get their car towed.

Snow emergencies are, for many, a horrible scramble to and from their cars, driving around to find a place to park while the streets are plowed.

The best way to avoid getting towed is to be aware of the parking rules that apply to the street you park on. Exact rules for any street in the city can be found on the city of Minneapolis Web site. Also, be aware of what happens on each day of a snow emergency. On day one, cars must remain off snow emergency routes until 8 a.m. or until the street has been completely plowed to the curb. On day two, cars can be parked on the odd addressed side of the street. On day three, cars can be parked on the even addressed side of the street. Although moving one’s car around in the middle of the night isn’t very fun, especially during cold weather, it is necessary to avoid the more than $100 payment to the impound lot. Being aware of the rules is the best way to protect one’s self from these horrible fines.

Also, there are other precautions one must consider in the winter as well as other months. Booting, which is possibly the cruelest parking control practice, occurs often in areas around campus. Booting is used in areas where people park for a short time to avoid having to park farther away. If the parking space is for a certain business and the driver goes in to a different business, the car will probably end up with a boot on it in less than two minutes. Hand over $100 cash, and it is over in five minutes. But remember that yes, there are dirty rats that sit in the corner of parking lots waiting for drivers to park and walk somewhere else, and they will take money from anyone they can. What a horrible life. Look for street signs, watch the weather and avoid hefty, unreasonable fines this winter.