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Minneapolis: Snow Emergencies, Snow Parking, and Winter Parking Restrictions

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Snow Emergency Route Sign in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Snow Emergency Route Sign in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Clara James

Snow Emergency Parking Regulations

After heavy snowfalls, usually after about three inches of snow accumulates on the ground, the city of Minneapolis will declare a Snow Emergency. A Snow Emergency is a three-day period where parking restrictions are applied and whole streets, or sides of streets, must be completely cleared of cars. This is so the snow plows can operate and clear the snow as quickly and efficiently as possible.

How Do I Know if a Snow Emergency has been Declared?

You are expected to find out if a Snow Emergency is declared. If you get a ticket or are towed, not knowing about the Snow Emergency is no defense.

If it is snowing, or has recently snowed heavily, check local media and the City of Minneapolis' website to find out if a Snow Emergency has been declared.

If the city of Minneapolis is going to declare a Snow Emergency, it will do so before 6 p.m. on a given day. If no Snow Emergency has been declared by 6 p.m. then no Snow Emergency will be declared that day, but if it has been snowing make sure to check the next day, as one may be declared the day after.

The Snow Emergency will be posted on the City of Minneapolis' website.

Local TV, newspapers and radio stations will carry the news and publish it on their websites.

The City's Snow Hotline is a 24-hour recorded message with the latest information on Snow Emergencies. The same information is also available in several languages and as a TTY service.

English: 612-348-SNOW (7669)
Hmong: 612-673-2933
Spanish: 612-673-3819
Somali: 612-673-2141
TTY: 612-673-2116

You can sign up to the Snow Emergency alert emails and text messages to receive notification on the road, or at the office.

Most residential telephones in Minneapolis receive an automatic phone call when a Snow Emergency is declared. The City doesn't guarantee you'll receive a call though, so don't bank on being notified. You can also add a phone number to the list to be called: like an office number, cell phone, or an unlisted number.

Tell your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and customers if you've heard there is a Snow Emergency today. They'll be very grateful if you save them a ticket or a tow.

At 9 p.m. on the day the Snow Emergency is declared, Snow Emergency parking regulations begin.

The Snow Emergency regulations last three days. Here's the rules for each of those days.

  • Day One: 9 p.m. on the day the Snow Emergency is declared, until 8 a.m. the next day.
  • On Day One, the plows will plow Snow Emergency routes first. These streets are designated by red Snow Emergency Route signs.

    DO NOT PARK on either side of a street with a red Snow Emergency Route sign.

    Park on either side of streets without red Snow Emergency Route signs.

    Once the Snow Emergency route streets have been plowed completely to the curb, and the snow has been completely cleared, you can park on those streets again, even if it's before 8 a.m.. on Day One.

  • Day Two: 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on the day after the Snow Emergency is declared
  • Day Two parking rules begin at 8 a.m. the morning after the Snow Emergency was declared.

    DO NOT PARK on the EVEN side of non-Snow Emergency routes. The even side is where the house numbers end with even numbers, 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8.

    DO NOT PARK on either side of parkways. What's a parkway? A parkway is a major street plowed on both sides on the second day of a Snow Emergency. Here's a list of parkway streets in Minneapolis.

    Park on the odd side of non-Snow Emergency routes - the side with house numbers ending with odd numbers, 1 3 5 7 and 9. Park on either side of Snow Emergency routes.

    Once the street has been completely cleared of snow and plowed to the curb, you may park there even if it's still before 8 p.m. on Day Two.

  • 8 p.m. on Day Two until 8 a.m. on Day Three
  • No Snow Emergency parking restrictions apply. Park as normal, following usual parking rules.

  • Day Three: 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on the second day after the Snow Emergency is declared
  • Day Three parking rules begin at 8 a.m. on the second morning after the Snow Emergency was declared.

    DO NOT PARK on the ODD side of non-Snow Emergency routes. The even side is where the house numbers end with even numbers, 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9.

    Park on the even side of non-Snow Emergency routes - the side with house numbers ending with odd numbers, 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8. Park on either side of Snow Emergency routes and parkways.

    Once the street has been completely cleared of snow and plowed to the curb, you may park there even if it's still before 8 p.m. on Day Three.

    Where can I park my car when my usual parking spot is a DO NOT PARK today/tonight?

    You'll have to find somewhere that's not being plowed to park your car. Anywhere that's not a DO NOT PARK for the day is OK to park at, as long as normal parking rules permit you to park there.

    If you are late to move your car, you might have a bit of a walk to the nearest place to park your car, which is a pain especially since it's probably snowing. If you can, find a suitable parking spot as early as possible.

    Also remember where your car is, and if you'll have to move it by 8 a.m. the next day.

    There are several snOasis parking ramps in Minneapolis offering free or reduced rate parking during the first day of a Snow Emergency. The snOasis ramps are in areas where most streets are Snow Emergency routes and non-Snow Emergency route street parking is very limited.

    What happens to cars who don't follow the Snow Emergency parking regulations?

    At best, you will get a ticket. More likely, your car will be towed, depending on how busy the tow trucks are that day. The first Snow Emergency of the season usually takes people unaware and there's not enough tow trucks to tow all the cars parked in the wrong place.

    If you are towed, your car will be taken to the Minneapolis Impound Lot in north east Minneapolis. Here's how to get your car out of the Impound Lot.

    Winter Parking Regulations

    Savvy about the Snow Emergency parking regulations? Excellent! But don't relax just yet, because there's more Winter Parking Restrictions you'll need to know about. Click onto Page 2 to find out about Winter Parking Restrictions.

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