City preparing for possible winter storm
With a significant amount of snowfall and severe winter weather forecast for the metro area beginning Wednesday Dec. 23, the City of Minneapolis wants to remind folks to be prepared for severe winter driving conditions. Plan ahead and if conditions worsen, limit driving to essential trips only and stay alert for Snow Emergency information over the holiday weekend. Residents are asked to advise guests of parking regulations when necessary, and have a plan to have their car moved if they are out of town and leave it on the street. Residents and people traveling into and around Minneapolis should also be mindful of City snowplows that will be out plowing and treating the streets to keep them drivable.
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.
Spreading the word about Snow Emergencies
The City of Minneapolis uses a number of ways to help folks learn about and follow the Snow Emergency parking rules.
- Snow hotline. The City's 24-hour snow hotline, 612-348-SNOW, gives callers the latest updates in English, Spanish, Somali, or Hmong. Drivers who need more information can just call 311 for assistance.
- Automated phone calls. Today, residents may receive an automated phone call alerting them that a Snow Emergency has been declared. People can sign up to add a cell phone or work number, and non-English-speaking people can sign up to get their phone calls in Spanish, Somali, or Hmong by visiting the City's website and looking for the sign-up page under their respective language pages.
- E-mail and text message alerts. More than 30,000 folks have signed up to get e-mail or text message notifications when a Snow Emergency is declared. Anyone can add their e-mail address to the list or request a text message to their cell phone by visiting the City's website.
- Facebook and Twitter. This season the City will alert all online "fans" and "followers" of the Snow Emergency Twitter profiles when a Snow Emergency is declared so they’ll know how to follow the parking rules.
New this year, the City of Minneapolis is asking folks on Facebook to use their profiles to help alert their friends to a Snow Emergency. We’re asking them to find out what type of Snow Emergency person they are and come up with an image that reflects that. When a Snow Emergency is in effect, we want them to swap out their regular profile picture to that special Snow Emergency image. The City is also asking people to change their status updates to indicate that a Snow Emergency has been declared. That way, their friends and families will also be alerted that a Snow Emergency is in effect so they can and avoid parking in the way of the snow plows.
- Cable TV. Tune in to cable channels 14 and 79. These channels will have information in several languages when a Snow Emergency is declared.
- Be a Plow Pal! City officials are asking residents to be a Plow Pal, and help their neighbors learn about and follow the Snow Emergency parking rules. Visit the City's website, print off a poster, and put it up in your apartment building, community center, church, or business to help people learn more about what they need to do when a Snow Emergency is declared. If you have new neighbors, let them know what they need to do to follow the parking rules, and if you’re leaving town for a few days, give a set of keys to a friend, so they can make sure your car is moved.
Tools to help during a Snow Emergency
- Interactive maps. The City's website has interactive neighborhood maps that show where you can and can’t park each day of a Snow Emergency. Just enter your address or select a neighborhood to get a detailed map. To access the maps, just go to the parking rules street lookup.
- Snow Web page. The City's snow Web page contains all the Snow Emergency parking rules and other details about the City's efforts to keep roads clear and safe during the winter. The site also has detailed Snow Emergency information in Hmong, Spanish, Somali, Oromo, Vietnamese and Lao.
- SnOasis parking ramps. These ramps offer free or low cost off-street parking during the first night of a Snow Emergency. There are two snOasis parking ramps in dense areas near the University of Minnesota to help people get their cars off Snow Emergency routes during the first phase of a Snow Emergency.
Last updated Apr. 3, 2012