Snow Piles Make Driving through Narrow Streets Difficult

Updated: 02/06/2014 7:38 AM By: Josh Rosenthal

Big piles of snow and big trucks don't mix.

"It's winter time in Minnesota," described Dan Cross. "You get lots of snow, and the roads get skinnier and skinnier." Parking, which is already tough in his Minneapolis neighborhood, is about to get even tougher.

"It's a bear to get through there," Cross told KSTP, while out walking his dog. "I mean a lot of times your side view mirrors will hit other side view mirrors, which isn't a good thing."

Because of snow buildup along curbs, some city streets are becoming too narrow. Cities, like Minneapolis, are responding by posting new "no parking" signs. That leaves a little extra room for drivers and a little less room for parkers.

"Absolutely it's a public safety issue," explained Mike Kennedy of Minneapolis Public Works. "Access for emergency vehicles is being restricted."

In Cross' neighborhood, we found a one-way street with fewer than 10 feet between cars parked on opposite sides of the road. That's tough for any car to squeeze through, let alone an ambulance or a fire truck.

"The fire trucks may not be able to get down," said Kennedy. "Even if they can squeeze through here, they need to work off the side of their rig, to hook hoses and do things like that."

So the city will restrict parking on an as-needed basis for as long as they have to. It means that even if you were parked somewhere before the signs went up, your car could be in trouble.

"As soon as the signs are up, they are subject to a tag and tow," Kennedy confirmed.

It also means a lot of people might have to park a little further from home. Cross says he's OK with that.

"Good thing he likes to walk," Cross smiled, referencing his dog.

Keep in mind, Minneapolis has not instituted Winter Parking Restrictions, which would prohibit parking on one side of non-snow emergency routes. That is a possibility if things get even worse.

Other cities like St. Paul and St. Louis Park are also restricting some parking on streets that have become too narrow.