New parking rules result in citation increase

Authorities have issued about 120 tickets in the area around campus since the rules changed.

Kyle Sando

The recent change in Minneapolis parking rules has led to a significant amount of ticketing in neighborhoods around the University of Minnesota. Authorities have issued about 120 tickets in the area around campus since the rules changed, said Tom Deegan of the city of Minneapolis Regulatory Services. There has been an average of 15 tickets per day in the University area, which was consistent with the rest of the city, he said. Beginning Feb. 11, the city banned parking on the even side of streets that are not snow emergency routes. Mike Kennedy, director of winter operations for the Minneapolis Department of Public Works, said traffic control agents patrolling the city have taken a business-as-usual approach to the enforcement and have only ticketed vehicles that pose a significant risk to public safety by obstructing traffic. Kennedy said the most tickets are being issued in areas where the demand for off-street parking is the highest âÄî mainly the Marcy-Holmes and Southeast Como neighborhoods. He said it is largely a result of the neighborhoods shifting toward rental properties, which can mean more vehicles per residence than in previous years. He said an unfortunate facet of the problem is that the need for enforcement is greatest in these high-demand areas. âÄúEverybody who parks outside of compliance is subject to a tag and tow,âÄù Kennedy said. âÄúIf they are reacting on stories of limited enforcement theyâÄôre taking a huge gamble.âÄù Since the parking restrictions were implemented, the city has towed about 140 vehicles across all areas, said Matt Lindstrom, spokesman for the city of Minneapolis. âÄúWhen it comes to towing vehicles, weâÄôre really towing the vehicles that pose a real risk to public safety,âÄù he said. For the most part, residents are complying with the rules, Kennedy said. âÄúWe totally understand that this is an inconvenience and hardship for people who are in these high-density areas,âÄù he said. âÄúBut the good news is this wonâÄôt go on forever.âÄù The winter parking rules will be in effect until April 1. If there is a significant change in weather, the restrictions may be lifted early. The parking restrictions were needed because of an accumulation of snow the likes of which Minneapolis hadnâÄôt seen since 1997. Kennedy said his sources put the snow cover around the city at about 16 inches; that makes clearing the snow very difficult. âÄúIn a nutshell, there is simply too much snow accumulation,âÄù Kennedy said. âÄúThere hasnâÄôt been enough evaporation between events.âÄù Kennedy said the snow has built up to the point that snowplows no longer have anywhere to put it, so they have to shove it up against the already-packed curbs. If the plows pushed the snow any further out, it would cover the sidewalks. âÄúWeâÄôre very conscious of the pedestrian traffic these days,âÄù he said.