Snowfall causes parking restrictions

Parking will be banned on the even sides of non-snow-emergency-route streets.

Cali Owings

Parking around campus is about to get even more scarce. Beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday and extending until April 1, parking will be banned on the even sides of non-snow-emergency-route streets to allow easier access for emergency vehicles on residential streets. Minneapolis city spokesman Matt Laible said it is the same scenario as a normal snow emergency, only for a longer period of time. Parking violators can be ticketed and towed under the ban. The parking restrictions are meant to allow easier access for emergency vehicles on Minneapolis roads where snow has begun piling up on the streets, even after plowings. If snow melting occurs before April, the ban will be lifted. The last time the city instituted these restrictions was in 2001. âÄúWe know that in some neighborhoods this will definitely be a challenge, but the public safety considerations outweigh the inconvenience,âÄù Laible said, adding that two-thirds of parking will still be available. Laible also suggested that students check the cityâÄôs Web site to find out which streets are snow emergency routes and which fall under the new restrictions. University of Minnesota students are not strangers to parking difficulties, and many said they are willing to adapt. After being towed twice last year while living at The District on Delaware, senior Agnes Rzepecki is commuting from Maple Grove. Parking in the Marcy Holmes neighborhood and taking the bus to campus adds nearly 30 minutes to her commute, and she said she is worried that parking will become even more difficult to find. Senior geography major Kyle Boehm shares a house with five roommates in Southeast Como and has no driveway. âÄúWe all scramble to park in front of our house,âÄù he said. Boehm said he thinks it wouldnâÄôt be too much trouble for him and his roommates to park farther away, especially to avoid getting towed. âÄúWith the snow emergency, we just try to make sure weâÄôre all aware of it so no one gets towed,âÄù said Boehm, whose roommateâÄôs vehicle was towed last year. âÄúWe want to make sure he never gets towed again, thatâÄôs for sure.âÄù During the first two days of the current snow emergency, more than 1,100 cars were towed, Laible said. âÄúI donâÄôt want to be ticketed or get towed,âÄù said senior art major Brenda Khothsombath, who has been commuting from Golden Valley for four years. On-street parking is KhothsombathâÄôs backup plan when the paid daily parking lots are full. She said she will probably leave earlier to secure paid parking rather than try to find an on-street spot near campus. For senior physiology major Andy Paranjpe, this is his first year with a car on campus. Paranjpe said he needs it to get to work but isnâÄôt complaining about the restrictions. âÄúItâÄôs for a good reason,âÄù Paranjpe said after parking on Como Avenue, a bit farther from where he usually parks. âÄúSafety takes more priority over parking.âÄù