Minneapolis struggling to get drivers to comply with winter parking restrictions

Minneapolis is struggling to get drivers in compliance with winter parking restrictions, less than one week after implementing one-sided street parking.

“It’s hard enough during the year, then they close half the road down,” said Uptown resident Samie Thaler. “It makes it more difficult for sure.”

Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have restricted parking to the odd side of the street, except on snow emergency routes, due to narrowing thoroughfares from growing snow piles. 

While the restrictions help ambulances and fire trucks get to emergency situations without incident, it has drastically reduced parking options for drivers.

“Everyone just wanders around trying to find a parking spot. They drive around blocks and blocks,” said Brett Schimonoski, Minneapolis resident and small business owner.

Schimonoski says he understands the current need for one-sided parking, but it’s also hurting business as his customers have limited parking options.

"I mean, winter is always a little slower regardless,” said Schimonoski. “But yeah, this is a whole new level of slow."

Winter parking restrictions have only been in place less than a week and yet, the City of Minneapolis says they've already towed 253 cars and issued around 2,367 citations. Data was not available from the city of St. Paul.

Thaler says while she parks in a garage at home, she sees plenty of vehicles parked on the wrong side.

“Oh absolutely and the roads are impassable,” she said.

The street in front of Caffetto Coffee House in the Lowry Hill east neighborhood is a perfect example, with cars illegally parked on both sides.

“We let everyone know they aren't supposed to be parking there, but they keep parking there and they haven't been enforcing it so far on this block, but I'm sure they will," said Schimnoski.