There is no parking on the even side of non-snow emergency routes for the rest of the winter in Minneapolis. Cars parked on the even side risk tagging and towing.
In addition, parking will be banned on Bryant from Lake Street to 50th Street, and on Grand from Lake Street to 48th Street.The restrictions are expected to last until April 1.
• Link: City of Minneapolis parking restrictions web page
• Download: Multi-language parking restrictions flyer
• Commute: Check Twin Cities road conditions, travel times
• Photo gallery: Heavy, wet snow blankets state
There's so much snow piled up along curbs that many city streets aren't much wider than alleys, especially when cars are parked along both sides. When two vehicles are heading in opposite directions, it's a tire-spinning, slow-motion game of chicken. That's merely frustrating if you're trying to get to work.
But Mayor Betsy Hodges says it could be deadly if firefighters can't get their trucks through.
"It's imperative that we supply reliable access to our emergency service vehicles for everybody for the rest of this winter. And without these winter parking restrictions, we are not going to be able to provide that reliable service for our emergency service vehicles," said Hodges.
Parking is allowed on both sides of posted snow emergency routes and parkways. Transportation maintenance director Mike Kennedy estimates that the new rules will eliminate about a third of the on-street parking in Minneapolis.
Many residents are taking the parking restrictions in stride.
"I support the city in doing what they need to do to maintain safety. It's a pain in the butt, but whatever works," said Kenney neighborhood resident Liz Grzechowiak, who was getting lunch in Linden Hills.
While many city streets are still full of compacted ice, Minnesota's interstates and state highways are looking better.
Mark Fischbach, the metro snow and ice manager for MnDOT, says plow crews were busy over the weekend and have cleared most everything away. He says the bright sunshine warmed the pavement and allowed the salt and other chemicals to work.
"The sun is our friend. The air temperature was about 16 degrees, but our road surface temperature was 33 to 36, so it worked well for us."
Fischbach says drivers should be on the lookout for icy patches, especially on freeway ramps and under bridges.
Here's a City of Minneapolis public service announcement about the parking restrictions: