ST. PAUL, Minn. - Drivers should be extra careful about where they park in St. Paul. Starting Monday the city will start ticketing and towing cars that violate Winter Parking Restrictions.
St. Paul is banning parking on the even side of all residential streets.
The ban started Saturday, but the city has been issuing warning tickets so far. Beginning Monday, March 3, any vehicles violating the ban will be ticketed and towed. The restrictions will be in place until warmer temperatures warrant a change.
The restrictions are something the city has never done before. Officials say they are needed because snowbanks have gotten too large, and Saint Paul streets are too narrow for emergency vehicles to safely navigate them.
"Gotta abide by the rules, makes sense to me," said Tom Plisek, who moved his car Sunday night.
The restrictions come as an added frustration for some who worry it reduces parking. Bill and Terra Johnson, who live on Cathedral Hill, say it could mean parking up to a mile away.
"When you have a street with hundreds of people on it and one side to park on? It's almost impossible," said Bill Johnson.
The couple also believes the safety measure comes too late.
"It seemed like a simple issue to begin with they didn't tow people they plowed around them and made a bigger mess," said Terra Johnson.
St. Paul city engineer John Maczko said although the ban will be an inconvenience to residents, safety is the main priority for the city. He added the city will put more of an emphasis on ticketing than towing, but will tow if necessary.
Mayor Chris Coleman says most years only seven inches of snow are left on the ground by the end of February, not the more than the 20 inches that are piled up now. The last time there was this much snow at this time of the year was 1982.
Click here to learn more about the parking restrictions, find a map of residential streets and read a list of Frequently Asked Questions.