Editorial: Winter parking in Mpls. is hassle

Published 10:45 am Thursday, December 8, 2011


Welcome to Minneapolis. Here’s your parking ticket.

Minneapolis officials sure like to spend money publicizing snow emergencies, telling Minneapolitans when they need to park their cars on designated sides of streets to get out of the way of snow plows. They have employed texts, email messages, social media, phone calls, digital billboards and local news media.

Email newsletter signup

However, even after all that, Minneapolitans themselves remain confused. So the city each year tries new ways to get that word out.

The problem is the little red and white “snow emergency route” signs are useless. They don’t explain to motorists what to do and what not to do.

Furthermore, we out-of-towners have no clue about what side of the street to park on, so we get fined. We come to the state’s biggest city to visit and end up parking our cars in places that, according to the posted signs, look perfectly OK for parking. Then we return to our cars to find a citation for parking in the wrong place, usually because we were unaware that a snow emergency existed. Snow on the ground isn’t an indicator.

Minneapolis residents, who get pummeled with explanations, still find the system confusing. The signs mean different things on different days.

How about instead of purchasing digital billboards and robo-calling homes, Minneapolis should purchase new streets signs to explain — clearly to all motorists — where to park and where not to park? Or would that be too practical?

A city shouldn’t need a publicity campaign to explain its signs. That in itself should be a signal telling Minneapolis officials that the ”snow emergency route” signs don’t work.