1. Travel

St. Paul Snow Emergencies: Parking Rules

By

Night Plow Route Sign in St. Paul, Minnesota

Night Plow Route Sign in St. Paul, Minnesota

Clara James

Snow Emergency Parking Regulations

After heavy snowfalls, usually after about three inches of snow accumulates on the ground, the city of St. Paul will declare a Snow Emergency. A Snow Emergency is a 20 hour 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.

Anyone who parks a vehicle on the streets of St. Paul is expected to shuffle it around in accordance with the Snow Emergency Parking Regulations. Or the car will get a parking ticket, called a snow tag, or the car will be towed.

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 snow tag, 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 St Paul's website to find out if a Snow Emergency has been declared.

The Snow Emergency will be posted on the City of St. Paul's website.

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

St. Paul's Snow Plowing Information Help Line 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.

St. Paul's Snow Plowing Information Help Line: 651-266-PLOW (7569)

Information about Snow Emergencies in other languages

You can sign up to the Snow Emergency alert emails to receive notification electronically.

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.

St. Paul's Snow Emergency Parking Regulations

The Snow Emergency regulations last 20 hours, comprised of a period of night plowing, followed by a period of day plowing.

St. Paul's streets are divided into Night Plow and Day Plow routes, which must be cleared of vehicles for night plowing and day plowing respectively.

Night Plow routes include downtown St. Paul, arterial routes, many busy streets, the east side of north-south residential streets, and anywhere else with Night Plow signs.

Night Plow signs are red and white, and either state "Night Plow Route" or "Night Plow Route This Side of Street".

Day Plow routes don't have signs. Day Plow routes are usually the west side of north-south residential streets, and both sides of east-west residential streets.

  • Night Plowing

From 9 p.m. on the day the Snow Emergency is declared until 6 a.m. the next morning, Night Plow routes are plowed. Night Plow routes have to be cleared of cars during these hours, or until the street has been completely plowed, all the way to the curb.

During Night Plow Hours, 9 p.m. - 6 a.m.:

Don't park on any street with "Night Plow Route" signs.
Don't park on the side of a street where there are "Night Plow Route This Side of Street" signs.

Do park on streets without signs.
Do park on the other side of the street to "Night Plow Route This Side of Street" signs.

  • Day Plowing

Day Plowing begins the morning after at 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. that afternoon. Day Plow streets have to be cleared of cars during these hours, or until the street has been completely plowed, all the way to the curb.

During Day Plow Hours, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.:

Don't park on streets without signs
Don't park on the other side of the street to "Night Plow Route This Side of Street" signs.

Do park on any street with "Night Plow Route" signs on both side of the road.
Do park on the side of a street where there are "Night Plow Route This Side of Street" signs.

Follow all other normal parking rules during the Snow Emergency.

Diagrams of Snow Emergency Parking Regulations

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

At best, you will get a snow tag, which is a fine to pay the city. 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 get a parking ticket from the Snow Emergency, and you feel it's unfair, here's how to contest a parking ticket in St. Paul.

If your car is towed, it will be taken to one of two St. Paul lots. Here's where the impound lots are, and how to get your car back.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.