Twin Cities work to clear city streets of snow

February’s plentiful snow presents some unique problems for some smaller towns as they search for places to put it all.  

In the Twin Cities, the amount of snow has pushed crews to tackle snow piles in ways they typically don’t.

It doesn’t take long for Alec Bos to tackle the driveway in his St. Paul alley, but it’s not time that’s the problem. The problem is the constant repetition of clearing snow.

“I mean, yeah, I love winter but it’s starting to be a bit much,” said Bos.

St. Paul has been under a snow emergency for 20 of the past 30 days and the totals are pushing the city.

The city only hauls away snow from downtown streets because of parking. Crews will start clearing downtown Wednesday night.  

Tuesday night, crews began hitting some of the major arterial streets, using a giant snow thrower along the bike and parking lanes because the plows just can’t push anymore. Typically, they don’t have to do that.

“Most winters, we don’t have to do much snow removal,” said Lisa Hiebert, of St. Paul Public Works. “Again, with this much snow, getting it pushed back on to the street and onto the boulevard is really important.”

Tuesday, Minneapolis instituted a parking ban from Wednesday until April 1. That means there is no parking on even side of residential streets permitted. That’s because the streets are so narrowed with so much snow and they just can’t remove it all.

It’s been five years since Minneapolis has had to go that far.

“You know I’ve lived in this neighborhood for over 30 years and I’ve never seen it like this,” Bos said.