A petition launched after the most recent snowfall in the Twin Cities is calling for changes to St. Paul snow plowing policy.
It was started by Kathy Czech, who says that too often under the current snow emergency rules, snow is left on city roads for too long before it is cleared.
Snow plows are out on St. Paul's arterial streets during any snow or ice accumulation, but the city doesn't declare a snow emergency to plow the rest until 3+ inches has fallen.
It typically announces a snow emergency by 3 p.m. at the latest, to give residents 6 hours notice to move their vehicles before night plowing starts at 9 p.m. In Minneapolis, a snow emergency can be declared as late as 6 p.m.
But the 3 p.m. cutoff leads to problems on days when the heaviest accumulation happens after 3 p.m., meaning a snow emergency isn't declared until the following day.
This can cause problems the morning after heavy snow, particularly during the morning commute and school run.
Czech wants the timeline for when a snow emergency decision is made pushed back two hours to 5 p.m., so that if more than 3 inches has fallen by 5 p.m., plowing can start that same night.
She has so far received more than 1,000 signatures from city residents who agree with her.
"If there is a snowfall of 3+ inches that ends before 5 p.m. on a given day, we want plows out during the overnight hours of that same 24-hour period (not 30+ hours later as is the current structure)," she writes.
"We pay taxes for services. We need to get to work to pay our taxes. Given the lack of plowing and delayed response to snowy weather, many of us have not made it to our jobs.
"We get hit twice economically – taxes that aren't providing the service we are due and lost work time."
Czech told KSTP last week that she would seek to meet with city representatives once her campaign reached 1,000 signatures, a number she reached over the weekend.
BMTN has reached out to the City of St. Paul for comment.