City Issues 200 Tickets, Tows During First Snow Emergency

DULUTH, Minn. — This is the first year the city of Duluth has been able to declare snow emergencies, giving residents a place to move their cars to help with the snow plowing process and with back to back storms over the past couple of days, Duluth and its residents are learning as they go.

“I think our goal has always been to have compliance and to educate people on what to do during a snow emergency so that we can widen our streets and get people to,” Kate Van Daele, Public Information Officer said.

Because of multiple snowstorms in the last couple of days, the city called a snow emergency, and saw a good response from residents.

“With this certainly we knew that there would be things that we could learn, we really appreciate all of the feedback that we’ve gotten on social media channels and otherwise, but I think again we had a lot of really positive tool that we brought into this ahead of time,” Van Daele commented.

This is the first year residents are responding to it as well, having to move their cars to designated city lots to allow for plowing on emergency routes.

“I believe [the] city is just trying to clean up this snow mess, and I can see both sides, it can be difficult for some just to go, I don’t know where those designated places are but it might be tough just for them to go back and forth just for a night,” Kevin Unver, a Duluth Resident said.

And at this point in the year, the now is already piling up.

“Well there’s nowhere to put it, it’s this early in the year and they’re going to have come in and move snowbanks or something cause people can’t get the snow they have to throw it way up high over, there’s nowhere to put the snow,” another resident, Richard Ernshaw, said.

But being able to move your car to one of the 7 lots in the city allows some to prevent being snowed-in.

“It’s alright, it’s an alright idea, but people are going to have a hard time moving their vehicles cause they gave them like a 4 or 5 hour time limit to move their vehicles when they do that and some people just can’t get there, so there will probably be a lot of cars getting towed maybe,” Ernshaw said.

Tuesday into Wednesday, there were 50 towed vehicles and 150 tickets, which is why the city is trying their best to make people aware of the snow emergency parking lots around town.

“If they need to move the cars so streets can be clean, I guess that’s what we need to do, I’m just fortunate enough to have a parking lot I can just pull in,” Unver said.

The city reached out ahead of time to churches, schools, and other business to see if there were lots in other areas people could park in that would be easier to get to, they were not able to secure any for this snow emergency, but are working on adding easier options for the public soon.

“We do have a contract that were working on finalizing with UMD for one of their lots that people could park in and we certainly would welcome any lots or any businesses that have lots that they want to let people park there,” Van Daele said.

There are five lots in Canal Park, and two over by Wade Stadium for cars to park overnight, but the city is open to new suggestions for the next time as well.

To see a map of where the current lots are located, click here.

For more detailed information on snow emergencies or how to sign up for alerts, click here.

Categories: Community, Minnesota, News, News – Latest News, Public Safety, Weather in the News