10 Ways to Avoid Getting a Parking Ticket
1. Watch for permanent and temporary signs.
As the demand for on-street parking continues to build, more areas of Minneapolis have posted parking restrictions. New loading zones, no parking zones and rush-hour zones are added each year. In addition, "temporary" paper signing is posted for construction zones, street cleaning, street repairs, emergencies, tree trimming, water or sewer line work, and special events. Signs without specific times shown are in effect 24 hours a day.
2. Read the parking meters.
Hurried motorists often forget to check the information on the parking meters before depositing coins. Some of the important things they might miss include:
- the days and hours the meter is in effect
- whether there are rush hour parking restrictions which require the vehicle to be moved
- temporary signs indicting the time and date of any special events or construction which would prohibit the use of the parking spot
- a phone number to report any meter malfunctions: (612) 673-5750
The days and hours that meters are in effect are also posted on large yellow signs on each block that meters are located. Learn more about Parking Meters or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
3. Stay away from the corners of intersections
The space at the end of the block is an inviting temptation to the driver looking for parking. However, the City of Minneapolis prohibits vehicles from parking within 20 feet of the inside edge of the intersecting sidewalk.
How far is 20 feet? It’s roughly one parking space. A typical vehicle is 16’ long. The "corner clearance" ordinance is intended to provide safety to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists with a clear field of vision when using intersections.
Learn more about unsigned street parking restrictions.
4. Leave bus stops for buses.
Drivers often pull into bus stops to wait for a friend, buy a cup of coffee or use a bank machine. Even a quick stop blocks the zone, forcing Metro Transit drivers to unload or load passengers on the street. This is a potential hazard for all passengers and adds to congestion for other motorists when the bus is unable to pull into the bus stop.
5. Park safely at schools.
Many streets near schools are signed No Parking during school days. School day signing is designed to maximize visibility and to accommodate motorists dropping off or picking up children.
Drivers should never double park to load or discharge children from their vehicles. This puts kids in the dangerous position of crossing a lane of traffic without seeing or being seen by other motorists.
6. Use off-street parking.
The purpose of metered and time limit areas is to encourage the turnover of vehicles in places where there is a high demand for on-street parking. If your appointment requires longer term parking, save the cost of a ticket and use a lot or ramp. Staying at a meter longer than the posted time limit is a violation, as is "re-feeding" the meter for additional time.
7. Know the difference between "No Parking" and "No Stopping".
The No Stopping Zone is the most restrictive parking regulation in Minneapolis. If a driver chooses to stop in one of these zones they can be ticketed and towed. Once a vehicle has ceased moving with the flow of traffic, even if occupied, it is deemed stopped.
The No Parking Zone is less restrictive. Drivers are allowed to use these zones (e.g. Passenger, Loading) to load or unload goods or to pick up or discharge passengers for a period up to five minutes.
8. Respect residential parking restrictions.
In responding to neighborhood concerns about parking pressures, the City of Minneapolis has established more than twenty Critical Traffic and Parking Areas. These areas are clearly posted for permit holder use. Other parking alternatives are available for visitors and service people. These areas have varied time and day restrictions – please check the posted signs.
Parking Enforcement patrols these areas regularly to ensure residents have access to on-street parking in their neighborhood.
9. Pay special attention to signing and parking meters in the Warehouse District.
When parking on the street in the Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis, pay special attention to the signs and parking meters. There are late night parking restrictions, extended parking meter hours, and No Stopping Zones in these areas which are clearly signed. If in doubt, make use of the abundant off-street parking available in the area.
10. Know the Snow Emergency Rules
During the winter, know and follow the Snow Emergency parking rules. To help crews clear the streets and avoid a ticket and a tow, call 612-348-SNOW or check the Snow website for current parking information.
And always remember, err on the side of caution! Have I parked too close to the corner? What do those signs mean? Am I blocking another vehicle? If you’re not sure, find another spot. Traffic Control officers receive thousands of complaints each year from people inconvenienced by another person’s poor parking decision.
Thanks for doing your part to maintain orderly parking for everyone!
Last updated Sep. 27, 2011