Version 3.0 of Snow Emergency app makes it easier to know where to park

The snow season is now in full swing, and that means drivers in Minneapolis should make sure they are ready to find out if a Snow Emergency is in effect and know where to park. An improved Snow Emergency app will help them do that. The app now accesses the same interactive street lookup map that’s on the City web site, which shows where drivers can park on each of the three days of a Snow Emergency. Drivers will be able to use their smartphones’ location services function to find out if the street they’re on has any Snow Emergency parking restrictions.

The Minneapolis Snow Emergency app is an update of one first introduced in 2012. This year’s revision, available for iPhone and Android devices, uses location services information to approximate the user’s location on the Snow Emergency street lookup map. If there’s a Snow Emergency in effect and a driver wants to know if it’s OK to park on the street, all he or she has to do is open the app, click on “parking maps” and then open the map for that day of the Snow Emergency. The app will then mark the driver’s approximate location on the map, showing in red where “no parking” areas are in effect. The updated app does not send push notifications, but signing up for a text alert will essentially accomplish the same thing. Those who downloaded last year’s version of the app should update it to the current version.

When a Snow Emergency is declared in Minneapolis, parking restrictions take effect so crews can plow more than 1,000 miles of streets from curb to curb. That’s the equivalent of 3,200 “lane miles” of streets that need to be plowed—enough to plow a lane from Minneapolis to Anchorage, Alaska. Snow Emergencies are typically declared after significant snowfall and before 6 p.m. on any given day. Once declared, the Snow Emergency parking restrictions begin at 9 p.m.

Stay informed

Residents, workers and visitors have a number of ways to learn when Snow Emergencies are declared and what to do when they are. We’re advising drivers to put many of these tools to use, not just one or two. The more ways people use to learn about a Snow Emergency, the more prepared they will be to do their part, and the less likely they will be to be towed because they didn’t know one was declared.

·         Hotline – By calling the automated 612-348-SNOW hotline, folks can find out if a Snow Emergency has been declared. If a Snow Emergency is in effect, the hotline will have information on that day’s parking restrictions that drivers need to follow to avoid tickets and tows. The hotline includes information in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

·         The City’s website – Go to www.minneapolismn.gov/snow to find out whether a Snow Emergency has been declared and for a wealth of information on Snow Emergencies in many languages. Also, check out the street lookup, which lets you put in an address or a neighborhood to see where you can park during a Snow Emergency.

·         Phone alerts – Minneapolis uses a phone alert system to notify residents when Snow Emergencies are declared. It is an automated notification system that can place thousands of calls per hour. You can add your cellphone or unlisted landline number to the alert system by signing up at www.minneapolismn.gov/snow.

·         Email and text alerts – You can sign up to get Snow Emergency alerts automatically emailed to you, or texted to your phone. Go to www.minneapolismn.gov/snow/snow_esubscribe for more details.

·         App for Android devices and iPhones – Drivers who have Android devices or iPhones can download the Snow Emergency app. During a Snow Emergency, the app will tell them the parking rules for that day. It also has a street lookup, which lets them see where they can park on that day by street address or by having the device’s location services function approximate their locations.

·        The mediaNews releases are sent to the media so TV, radio stations and other news outlets can inform their viewers and listeners that a Snow Emergency is in effect.

·         Cable TV – Tune in to cable channels 14 and 79. These channels will have information in several languages when a Snow Emergency is declared.  

·         Facebook – Like Minneapolis Snow Emergency on Facebook. Go to www.facebook.com/MinneapolisSnowEmergency.

·         Twitter - @MinneapolisSnow. If you have a Twitter account, just follow us. Both the Twitter and Facebook pages will tell fans and followers when a Snow Emergency is declared.

·         Videos – Informative videos in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong are available online to help explain where you can park when a Snow Emergency is declared:

 Remember to shovel sidewalks and shovel around your garbage carts

Sidewalks are a critical part of our city’s transportation system. That’s why it’s important for homeowners and businesses to keep their sidewalks shoveled. Minneapolis ordinance requires that property owners clear sidewalks at homes and duplexes within 24 hours after a snowfall. Property owners of apartment and commercial buildings are responsible for clearing the sidewalks within four daytime hours of a snowfall.  For your own benefit and to let your neighbors who are walking, pushing strollers and using wheelchairs get around, please do your part.

 

Published Dec 2, 2014

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