Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Canadian cities eliminate parking bans by removing snow

Author:

Some Minnesota cities are facing parking restrictions due to big snowfalls this winter. A number of Minneapolis neighborhoods, in particular, have been clogged by drivers circling blocks, hopelessly searching for an open spot amid new parking bans.

But some major Canadian cities don't have the same problem. Montreal receives, on average, more snow than most cities in Minnesota, and doesn’t use the same kind of long-lasting parking restrictions.

Could Minnesota cities learn a thing or two from our neighbor to the north?

Montreal officials say they have perfected the snow removal process, outlined on the city’s website. Like in Minnesota, the city salts and sands its streets. But snow removal in Montreal literally means removing snow.

Some 172 vehicles are used for roads and 188 for sidewalks to quickly remove snow, but the difference in Montreal is that the snow piled on roadsides is then loaded into trucks and taken to a snow elimination site. The city offers free parking in lots and garages so cars are not parked on the street during snow removal operation, MPR reports.

The snow is taken to one of 28 disposal sites where it is melted and treated according to environmental standards, the city says. On average, Montreal says it removes about 300,000 truckloads of snow every winter.

The city’s website says the decision on when to remove snow is made depending on the amount of snowfall and the upcoming forecast.

The city of Mankato does something similar to Montreal, according to the Mankato Free Press. For more than 30 years, Schroepfer, Inc., has come in overnight and hauled off snow from the city’s downtown area to a farm on the north edge of the town. The removal costs about $10,000 a night, but it helps keep the city’s sidewalks usable, the newspaper says. The company has removed snow twice this winter.

The Mankato Free Press reports another snow removal is scheduled for Wednesday.

Could this process help clear the streets in other Minnesota cities? In Minneapolis, snow has piled up along streets and sidewalks making it hard for some vehicles to get through.

“We still have 20 to 30 inches of snow cover on the ground," Mike Kennedy, of Minneapolis Public Works, told FOX 9. "When you plow that up, there's only so much snow storage on the boulevard and the streets narrow."

Parking is banned on the even side of non-snow emergency routes throughout Minneapolis to ensure public safety. These restrictions could last until April 1, unless road conditions improve.

St. Paul is also looking at parking restrictions. The city’s website says, “If snow accumulations are significant, streets will continue to narrow. This happens because boulevards are already packed high with snow and plows cannot throw new snow up on top of the pile. For this reason, driveways, alleyways, out walks and street corners will become full of snow. There is no way to prevent this.”

Minneapolis and St. Paul aren’t the only cities dealing with parking issues. The Duluth News Tribune reports people are getting towed and ticketed because emergency vehicles are unable to get down the roads. Duluth has instated an alternate-side parking schedule to help with the narrowing of the roads.

“We need to make room so emergency vehicles and school buses can reach their destination quickly and safely,” Sgt. Ryan Morris said, the Duluth News Tribune reported. “We see this problem every winter, because parking becomes an issue when we have massive amounts of snow on the street. We are putting a priority on parking while we work to clean up the streets from this recent storm.”

Montreal doesn’t have parking restrictions that last months. The city gets 82 inches of snow per year and is much larger – a population of 1.6 million – than Minneapolis or St. Paul, according to MPR. It usually takes Montreal fewer than five days for a 7-inch snowfall and about five days if it snows a foot to remove the snow from streets, MPR reports.

Next Up

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

redmons popcorn colbert 2

Support grows for Redmon's Popcorn after shop's sudden closure

The county also commented on the situation, saying it hopes to help owner Zack Redmon.

prior lake high school

Prior Lake HS investigating another 'racist' video involving student

The principal said the social media video was reported to them this week.

Screen Shot 2021-12-03 at 3.08.27 PM

Walz: Minnesota has secured 1 million rapid, at-home COVID tests for kids

It comes as the delta variant continues to surge in Minnesota, and the omicron variant might follow.

boundary waters

Forest Service limiting permits to BWCAW due to damage, overcrowding

Visitors have been cutting down trees and have been forced to compete for campsites.

police lights

Lockdown update: Armed man threatened to go to Kimball High School

A high school and elementary school near St. Cloud went into lockdown as a precaution.

chaska sewer

People in Chaska are flushing the wrong crap down the toilet

Water and sewer crews in Chaska have had to clean the same pump four times in the past seven days.

Related