There isn’t much worse of a feeling than going out to get in your car and it not being where you left it. The first thought that usually goes through people’s minds is that it’s been stolen. But this time of year in Minnesota it’s more likely that you violated a Snow Emergency Parking Ordinance and the City (either St Paul or Minneapolis) called a tow truck to have your car towed to the impound lot.
A Snow Emergency is usually declared when we have at least 3” of snow on the ground. And it’s up to you to know when there’s been a Snow Emergency declared and what you are expected to do. For example, you are expected to move your car from on-street parking so that the city can plow the streets. The city always calls the Snow Emergency by 9pm the night before they are going to plow streets. You must have your car moved by 8am the next morning – or risk being towed. If I were a betting man, I’d say you have a 99.9% chance the City will call a tow truck on you.
Just because you move your car, then come home from work the next day and the street has been plowed, do NOT think it is OK to park your car on the street again. As long as the Snow Emergency is in place, do NOT park your car on that street! The City continues to have cars towed for 96 hours after what they call the “plow phase” of snow removal is finished. That’s so they can sand, salt and complete “miscellaneous cleanup” and if your car is in the way, they are going to call the tow truck to move it.
There is a bit of an exception to this. Some streets have “day plow routes” and “night plow routes.” If you’re parking on a street that is signed as either a day plow route or a night plow route, you can park on that street in the non-plow phase. What this means is if it’s a day-plow route you can park on that street at night. If it’s a night plow route you can park on that street during the day.
The City of St. Paul says,
The City of St Paul has several ways for you to stay informed about when they declare a Snow Emergency. We recommend you subscribe to at least one of these to keep from having a tow truck called on you!