Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Snow Emergency?
When a significant amount of snow falls, the City of Minneapolis declares a Snow Emergency to remove accumulating snow from the full width of City streets.
Snow Emergencies are a set of predefined parking regulations that allow crews to completely clear streets of accumulating snow. In order to be plowed completely, streets must be free of parked vehicles.
What is a Snow Emergency Route?
Snow Emergency routes are marked in two ways:
RED Snow Emergency
BLUE Street Name Signs
Streets that are NOT Snow Emergency routes have green or brown street name signs.
What time of day is a Snow Emergency declared?
A Snow Emergency will be declared no later than 6 pm on any given day to allow sufficient time to notify residents to move their vehicles to allow for the most efficient clearing of snow from the streets. Timing, intensity, duration and weather forecasts of the snowfall will affect when the decision to declare is made. However, if Minneapolis has NOT declared a Snow Emergency by 6 pm on a given day, residents don’t have to keep checking back with the hotline or local news on that day. The City of Minneapolis will not declare a Snow Emergency after 6 pm.
However, if the decision to declare a snow emergency is not made by 6 pm, Minneapolis Public Works crews will continue to plow but delay declaring Snow Emergency because there's not enough time to get effective notification out to the public. Check back the following day to find out if a Snow Emergency will be declared due to continued accumulations of snow.
Who declares a Snow Emergency?
City Ordinance states that the Director of Public Works is responsible for declaring a Snow Emergency. The Director has the final authority and it is usually done after careful consultation with operational staff and other public safety officials.
What does odd or even side mean?
Check the address
The easiest way to tell the odd- or even-numbered side of a street is to check the street address of buildings.
If the address ends in an even number ( 0, 2, 4, 6, 8), then that building is on the EVEN side of the street ( Example: house address number: 1356 Maple or 2512 17 th Avenue.).
If the address ends in an odd number ( 1, 3, 5, 7, 9), then that building is on the ODD side of the street ( example: house address number: 1359 Maple or 2513 17 th Avenue).
No address to check?
If there are no buildings on the street, it is harder to know which is the odd side or even-numbered side.
Our best advice is to ask neighbors or business owners to let you know which side is which before you park. If you have a question about a specific street, please feel free to call 311.
What is a Parkway?
What is a parkway?
Click on link below to view a map of streets that are enforced as "parkways" on the second day of a Snow Emergency.
Tip: This is a PDF document. After opening, use the zoom (spyglass tool) to see detail such as street names.
Parkway List: Plowed on DAY 2 as Parkway, except as noted below. *
- 1st St S (21st Ave S to River Pkwy W)
- 22nd Ave S (Nokomis Pkwy E and Minnehaha Pkwy E)
- 26th Ave N (Theodore Wirth Pkwy to Vincent Ave N)
- 46th St E (Cedar Ave S to Longfellow Ave S) *Snow Emergency Route - Plowed DAY 1, 9am-8am
- 4th St S (21st Ave S to River Pkwy W)
- 53rd St E (Nokomis Pkwy E to Woodlawn Blvd)
- 5th St NE (St Anthony Pkwy to Columbia Pkwy)
- Calhoun Blvd (W 32nd St to Excelsior Blvd)
- Calhoun Pkwy E
- Calhoun Pkwy W
- Calhoun Pl (Lake St W to The Mall)
- Cedar Lake Pkwy
- Columbia Pkwy
- Dean Pkwy
- Derby Ave (Woodlawn Blvd to Nokomis Pkwy E)
- Emerson Ave S (Kenwood Pkwy to Dunwoody Blvd)
- Godfrey Pkwy
- Humboldt Ave S (Minnehaha Pkwy W – N and S Bound)
- Kenwood Pkwy
- Kings Hwy (Lake Harriet Pkwy E to DuPont Ave S. and 46th St W to 36th St W)
- Knox Ave S (The Mall to Lake of Isles Pkwy E)
- Lake Harriet Pkwy E
- Lake Harriet Pkwy W
- Lake of the Isles Pkwy E
- Lake of the Isles Pkwy W
- Linden Hills Blvd (Lake Harriet Pkwy W to William Berry Dr)
- Main St SE (Hennepin Ave E to 3rd Ave SE) * Snow Emergency Route - Plowed DAY 1, 9am-8am
- Memorial Pkwy
- Minnehaha Pkwy E
- Minnehaha Pkwy W
- Nokomis Pkwy E
- Nokomis Pkwy W
- Ridgway Pkwy NE
- River Pkwy E
- River Pkwy W
- Roseway Rd (Lake Harriet Pkwy E to Kings Hwy)
- South Minnehaha Park Dr (54th St E to Godfrey Pkwy)
- St. Anthony Pkwy
- Stinson Pkwy
- The Mall (Knox Ave S to cul-de-sac near Hennepin Ave S)
- Theodore Wirth Pkwy
- Veterans Home Rd (Godfrey Pkwy to MN Vets Home)
- William Berry Dr (Lake Harriet Pkwy W to Richfield Rd)
If you have a question about a specific street, please feel free to call 311.
What should I do if my car is towed?
If your car is towed for violating Minneapolis' Snow Emergency parking rules, it will be taken to the Minneapolis Impound Lot. The Minneapolis Impound Lot, at 51 Colfax Ave. N. (2 blocks South of Glenwood Avenue and West of Lyndale Avenue), is open 24 hours a day during Snow Emergencies.
You will be responsible to pay for the ticket and a towing charge, and a storage fee will apply if your vehicle is left at the Impound Lot for an extended period. You can call 311, or (612) 673-3000 if calling from outside Minneapolis, to find out if your car is at the Minneapolis Impound Lot and the towing/storage fees that may apply. You can also find out what forms of documentation (such as proof of ownership, a valid government-issued photo ID, etc.) you will need to recover your vehicle.
The Impound Lot accepts cash, personal checks, VISA, MasterCard and American Express.
When would Winter Parking Restrictions happen?
During some winters, the snow that is plowed up along curbs reaches a point where streets become too narrow for large vehicles to use. Public safety is a concern because fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles may be slowed or prevented from getting to people who need help. The City may then implement a one-side parking ban on non-Snow Emergency routes for as long as necessary, but no later than April 1. This change in the parking rules is commonly known as “the one side parking ban” and officially called Winter Parking Restrictions.
How can I find out if a Snow Emergency is in effect?
People who live, work or travel in Minneapolis are expected to pay attention to the weather and know the winter "rules of the road." If its snowing outside or if there has been lots of snow be sure to check to see if Minneapolis has declared a Snow Emergency. Once a Snow Emergency is declared, please follow Snow Emergency Parking Rules.
A Snow Emergency will always be announced on the Minneapolis Home Page. As soon as the Snow Emergency is declared, Public Works officials will simultaneously notify the media and the City’s 311 agents, update the 348-SNOW and language hotlines and the City’s website, send an e-alert to all Snow Emergency Alert subscribers and inform all other communications outlets.
See Stay Informed (Learn when a Snow Emergency is declared) for more information.
Last updated Dec 7, 2018