Over 400 citations issued during recent snow emergency; Police urging residents to obey parking rules

Published 10:57 am Monday, March 4, 2019

The Austin Police Department issued 431 citations to vehicles in violation of parking rules under the Emergency Snow Ordinance since Feb. 24, according to Austin Police Chief David McKichan.

Vehicles ticketed included those parked from 1-8 a.m. along streets where parking during those hours is not allowed and for vehicles not obeying the even/odd parking rule.

“We prefer not to have to ticket,” McKichan said. “We want people to park on the correct side of the road because it is the right thing to do.”

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McKichan said 214 citations were issued after the first snow emergency was declared on Feb. 20.

The city extended the snow emergency until 8 a.m. Tuesday. Snow emergencies last for 72 hours; however, with more snow expected in the coming days, the Austin City Council could vote to extend the emergency for 30 days.

Under the ordinance, parking is not allowed from 1-8 a.m. on designated streets. A map of affected streets can be found at http://www.ci.austin.mn.us/public-works/engineering.

Vehicles parked on streets within the city limits not under the ordinance are subject to the even/odd parking rule, meaning vehicles must park on the side of the road with even addresses starting at 8 a.m. on even dates and on the side of the road with odd addresses starting at 8 a.m. on odd dates. This does not apply to streets with No Parking signs on one side.

The purpose, according to McKichan, is to allow for easier travel, particularly on roads with high snow volume along the sides. Because of all of the snow on the sides of the roads, vehicles that park on the street are now jutting into the travel lanes. Bottlenecks occur when vehicles are parked on opposite sides of the already-narrowed street as opposed to the same side, making it difficult or impossible for school buses and large emergency vehicles, such as fire engines and ambulances, to get through.

McKichan said he observed 27 vehicles in violation of the even/odd rule on his way to work Monday morning.

“We’ll continue to monitor the roadways until people get their vehicles on the correct side of the road,” he said.

McKichan also said police will tow violating vehicles that are making roads impassable.