Dinkytown residents fear towing during fall street sweeping

Maggie Hessel-Mial

Each day, Sharriah Buche drives in circles for blocks to find a parking spot in Dinkytown.

Sometimes it takes up to a half hour. Other times she can’t find a spot and ends up late for class.

In the next four weeks, Buche and fellow students will see Minneapolis Public Works signs prohibiting them from parking in sections of neighborhoods closest the University, where space is a commodity even without the temporary restrictions.

“Public Works will post signs 24 hours before we sweep and close off the street,” said Garret Preussner, street maintenance and repair foreman. “Students should watch for the ‘no parking’ signs to avoid getting their cars ticketed or towed.”

The streets are swept each fall and spring to clean up debris and leaves that can cover drains and cause flooding if not removed. Individual residential streets will be closed periodically over the next four to five weeks from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for cleaning.

University-area tenants tend to see a lot of towing during street cleaning, Preussner said. In northeast and southeast Minneapolis, approximately 500 cars have been towed in the past, he said.

“There are a lot towed from around campus and southeast Minneapolis because there are people from out of state who need a place for their cars,” Preussner said. “I know parking’s tight, but the less cars on the street, the faster we can get it cleared and open to parking.”

The Minneapolis Municipal Impound Lot generally receives more cars during street sweeping periods, said Scott Wellan, parking system analyst.

“I believe we’ll typically tow 100 cars per average day,” Wellan said. “That number goes up to 300 to 350 cars per day during the sweeping.”

Some students who live on campus said they think parking is already a problem which will only get worse once the street sweeping begins.

“It’s going to be awful,” said Sarah Milbrandt, a sophomore kinesiology major. “There are so many cars parked in Dinkytown anyway. I think a lot of cars will be towed.”

David Rajala, an Institute of Technology junior, said his two roommates have been towed in the past. He has never been towed but has gotten two tickets.

Rajala said he thinks it will require more searching to find a spot during sweeping.

“I expect to park between three to four blocks away from my house and walk,” he said.

Students who own cars and live around campus are encouraged to watch the signs around their homes and find alternative parking during posted cleaning times to avoid getting ticketed or towed.

 

Maggie Hessel-Mial covers the environment and transportation and welcomes comments at [email protected]