MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Folks who park on the street in Minneapolis, beware. The City’s public works crews are in the middle of the fall street sweep.
Even though many trees still have their leaves this year, the crews are sticking to their schedule, hoping to get through the sweep before heavy snow.
“We still needed to get that main part of the mission done of cleaning the streets, and that's what we're going to get done,” said Mike Kennedy, Minneapolis Director of Transportation Maintenance and Repair.
Every fall and spring, the teams sweep about 80 miles a day. They depend on drivers to help get it done.
“I think it actually makes a big difference," said Minneapolis Sweeper Operator Mark Dagel. "All of these leaves would be going into the river, and clogging up all the storm pipes and whatnot. And it makes the neighborhoods look a lot nicer, in my personal opinion."
This is Dagel’s first season driving the sweeper for Minneapolis. He knows the parking restrictions can be frustrating for drivers, but he likes to think he is making a difference.
“We're the cherry on top, once we come through, then they can start parking on the street and resume their normal lives,” Dagel though.
However, don’t park on the street until the “no parking” signs are pulled.
“Our mission is not to tow vehicles," said Kennedy. "That's not why we are out here. We are out here run this service."
The operation is bigger than most might imagine.
“From the posting of the signs the day before, to coming in with a flusher and pushing everything over to the curb, loader crews come by to pick up the bunched leaves, then the sweepers will finally come by and we may give it a final flush at the very end,” Kennedy said.
Keep in mind, if your leaves fall after the sweep, do not rake them into the street. That's illegal.
“We need the cooperation of the public so that we can do the good job that people want," said Kennedy. "Most of the calls we get are oftentimes not from people who got towed, but from people who say ‘Can't you get these cars out of the way so you can do a good job on my street?’”
By law, once those “no parking” signs go up, drivers have 24 hours before they can can be ticketed or towed.
“We would much rather have an empty impound lot, we would much rather have everybody comply, but unfortunately, some people just don't or wont,” Kennedy said.
In case you are out of town, the City does post the sweep schedule online.
They also make automated calls to residents the night before they sweep.