MINNEAPOLIS – The snowy winter of 2013-14 has left a towering problem along Twin Cities' streets.
The persistent mounds of snow and ice on boulevards have buried curbs and forced drivers to park further into the street than normal. It has particularly become a problem on some streets where parking allowed on both sides of the street.
"The people park out from the snow so that they can let their passengers out and now they narrow the street up even further," said John Maczko, St. Paul City Engineer. "So, really, if they can let the passengers out in the street or in a driveway and then pull up and tuck in as tight as they can to the snow bank, that would help everyone."
Maczko said the above normal snowfall and below normal temperatures have contributed to the problem because there has not been a "lot of melting going on even all the way back to the first of December."
The situation is more obvious on many side streets, which are narrower than the main thoroughfares.
Wider streets like Grand Avenue in St. Paul are also dealing with the mountainous snow banks.
In south Minneapolis, the dilemma has become monotonous for homeowners like Abbey Weis.
"We have had several snow emergencies this year," said Weis. "It is tough navigating the streets wherever there is a snow emergency because it takes a while for the plows to get everywhere and then, once the plows do come, there are not a lot of spots left to move the snow. So, our alley has been blocked."
An alley off 46th Avenue, one block from Weis's home, saw an Excel Energy utility truck stuck on a snow bank Monday afternoon. The driver had to wait for a tow.
Both cities could impose one side parking bans to aid snow removal, but Maczko said they would prefer not to do that. So far, neither Minneapolis nor St. Paul, have taken that step.
Minneapolis Public Works officials did not return calls for comment.