Minneapolis crews are out plowing and treating streets and alleys on Dec. 24

As the severe winter storm passes through the metro area, City crews are out plowing and treating the streets and alleys to keep them drivable. Because forecasts call for continuing snowfall overnight and the timing of the major holiday, the City of Minneapolis is not declaring a Snow Emergency on Thursday, Dec. 24, but will continue to plow through the night and into Friday. Residents should continue to check back with the City during the day on Friday for updated information and potential Snow Emergency alerts. Drivers should continue to remain mindful of severe winter driving conditions and limit driving to essential trips only. 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.

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. 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. New this season is receiving information via Facebook and Twitter. Learn how you can receive Snow Emergency alerts in a timely manner so that you avoid a ticket and tow.

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.

Be your own traffic cop. Don’t block the box!

It is important that drivers take it slow, maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them, and be aware of pedestrians and traffic control agents helping direct traffic in the intersections. The most important thing drivers can do to not contribute to traffic congestion is to not "block the box," (driving into an intersection when there is not enough room for your vehicle to make it completely through the intersection.) When the traffic signals change, cars that are blocking the box keep cross traffic from moving, stopping up traffic in both directions.

Instead, drivers should make sure there is room to pull all the way through before entering the intersection. Being patient and sometimes waiting for the next green light will significantly improve traffic flow for everyone.

Tools to help during a Snow Emergency

Published Dec. 24, 2009