Ask the Chief
We live in Minnesota, and that means snowstorms. In order to keep our roads safe and open, we depend on plow truck drivers to remove the snow. This job is made much more difficult when vehicles are parked on the street.
We have a very good program in Minneota where we declare a snow emergency at least 12 hours prior to plowing, giving people plenty of warning and opportunity to park off of the street (every residence in town has off-street parking). We plow at 4 a.m., and that’s when I write tickets to vehicles parked on the street.
We post the Snow Emergency on Facebook, Nixle and ask Marshall Radio to broadcast the notice, yet people continue to leave their vehicles on the street.
Now, I can understand someone who just moved here from Texas or some other warm area, but everyone who has spent a year in the Midwest knows that we get snow and that we plow. It’s also true that every community in Minnesota has some program for snow removal and for asking people to remove their vehicles from the street.
We really shouldn't need to tell you that snow is coming and that we will be plowing because our phones warn us, the media warns us, and everyone talks about it.
People run to local grocery stores for supplies as if the world is coming to an end, and yet they still park on the street. Some of you will say to keep writing tickets, but my goal is to get people to be responsible and think for themselves.
I don't want people complying out of fear of a ticket; rather, I would like them to comply because it is the right thing to do. Some offenders have been cited several times, so tickets don't always provide the motivation needed by some people.
Five years ago in Minneota, we would have 100+ vehicles on the street and now we are down to only a few, so we have seen an improvement.
Yet, every time a vehicle is left on the street, the plow truck must slow down and go around the vehicle.
This means they lose the momentum they need to properly throw the snow onto the boulevard and they will have to come back and clean the area again after the vehicle has been moved.
This re-cleaning takes time, fuel, and causes wear on equipment which is paid for by your tax dollars.
Perhaps if people started realizing that they are paying for the double plowing, they would start parking off of the street. I will keep hoping as I keep writing tickets.