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Monday's commute to be better, some slick spots expected

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Road crews have worked around the clock to clear Minnesota streets and highways from Thursday's big snowstorm, and it looks like those efforts are paying off. Minnesota Department of Transportation leaders are optimistic about road conditions for Monday morning's commute, according to KSTP.

"They're going to be in fair driving condition with scattered slippery spots, mainly on the ramps and underneath the bridges," Snow and Ice Manager for the Metro District Mark Fischbach told the station.

"The main lines are 90 percent free [Sunday]. Our ramps throughout metro still need work and we will be working on them (Sunday night, Monday) and probably on Tuesday," Fischbach told KARE 11.

MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht told WCCO the roads have improved dramatically since Saturday.

“The sun has been our friend,” Gutknecht said.

The State Patrol has responded to 964 crashes, more than 2,300 vehicles off the road, 1,082 stalled vehicles, 74 jackknifed semitrailer trucks and 4,414 calls for service from Thursday through Saturday afternoon, according to the Star Tribune.

In Minneapolis, new winter parking restrictions took effect Sunday morning, meaning drivers are not allowed to park on the even-numbered side of most streets for the rest of the winter. The restrictions are needed because towering snowbanks have made many streets too narrow for fire trucks to navigate, according to city officials.

The city of St. Paul may ban even-side parking too, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

St. Paul city engineer John Maczko told the paper that a ban on even sides of residential streets would be the city's last option. It may be necessary, though, if roads remain too narrow for ambulances and fire trucks to get through, he said.

More than 80 trucks were plowing and salting St. Paul streets this weekend, Maczko said. But it's difficult to clear the snow because it doesn't melt with the colder temperatures, and streets already were heavily compacted with ice before the storm hit.

The city will decide this week whether to implement the stricter parking rules, according to the Pioneer Press.

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