Minneapolis Parking Garages and Lots Are Packed With Cars Fleeing the Snowstorm

Keeping your car off the street doesn't just help snow plows, but it keeps roadways open for emergency crews and first responders.

A winter storm is expected to dump a historic amount of snow on many parts of the country over the next few days, specifically Minnesota. For this very reason, Minneapolis authorities are making over 1,500 parking spots available free of charge to locals. Keeping cars completely off the streets helps emergency crews operate more efficiently during the storm, but also makes it easier for plows to clear snow off city streets after the storm.

According to CBS Minnesota, local governments are urging car owners to take advantage of 1,600 parking spots—now free—throughout the city. A list of locations can be found here. These vary from covered parking garages to empty lots and even some eight ramps being adapted to store cars from now until Feb. 28.

A motorist tries to dig out a stuck car on a south Minneapolis street, Jan. 4, 2023. Getty

As of Wednesday morning, the weather forecast for Minneapolis and St. Paul called for nearly two feet of snow. Parts of those cities are still in “sketchy” condition after another storm dumped 15 inches of snow a few weeks back, according to the Star Tribune.

Governor Tim Walz mobilized the National Guard on Tuesday, saying that this much snow could wreak havoc on the city’s most basic functions.

“Minnesotans are no strangers to extreme weather, but this storm could break records. Our agencies are collaborating closely to make sure we’re prepared—and Minnesotans have a part to play, too. Plan ahead, drive safe, and limit travel,” Walz said.

Minneapolis and St. Paul residents who street park are urged to find an off-street place to park soon given that spaces are limited.

“I’ve been standing here dumbfounded kind of with my luck that I’ve been able to find a spot today. It’s kind of insane,” said resident Ronnie Holloway III to CBS after parking his car on Tuesday. “I’ve never seen a mobilization of free parking resources like this, probably ever,” he said. “It’s a kind gesture, but I don’t think it’s going to be nearly enough.”  

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