MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The city of Minneapolis declared a snow emergency Sunday and also, in a rare move, announced its winter parking restrictions to begin Wednesday at 8 a.m.
The restrictions will be in effect until April 1 and require motorists to park only on the odd side of the streets. Parking on the even side of the street is forbidden.
The restrictions were put into place because “many streets are getting too narrow for fire trucks and ambulances to get around,” according to the city’s website.
“The banks on the corners are getting real deep, so it’s hard to make the corners so it’s just been really tough; most of the streets are down to one lane now,” said Eric Jagers, Minneapolis Fire Monitor Operator. “You have to wait for everyone to get over to one side so it’s definitely delaying our responses.”
For the first time since 2014, the city will start enforcing parking restrictions for the even numbered side along non-snow emergency routes.
Although the parking ban is an inconvenience to many who live in the city, first responders say when it takes them nearly 40 minutes to dig out of a street--that's a crisis.
"People may have to walk another block to their business or another block to their house on a cold winter night, but it’s going to make the difference to us with life or death,” Jagers said.
MONDAY: Do not park on the even side of the road or either side of parkways. (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
TUESDAY: Do not park on the odd side of the road or either side of parkways. (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
WEDNESDAY until April 1: Do not park on the even side of the road.