Walking in a winter wonderland (of parking tickets)

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What comes to mind when you think of winter? Snow? Hot chocolate? Christmas trees, maybe? Well, for those driving in the St. Cloud area, parking tickets might also come to mind when they think of winter – and many members of the St. Cloud community feel as if they haven’t been informed well enough on winter parking regulations.

We reached out to the St. Cloud State Public Safety Parking Department on the matter but they were unavailable for comment. However, the information is out there, but it requires an effort on the community’s behalf to find it.

According to Alison Hemmesch, a St. Cloud resident, “when we moved in [to our new house] we weren’t told the regulations of parking in the winter, we just assumed it was the same as the summer months, and then once we got the ticket, we learned we couldn’t park there,” she said.

These tickets come with a letter explaining the parking regulations and a warning that they could also be towed if the parking would have caused an issue for the snow plows.

So why are no letters sent out to residents before the winter starts – or even an e-mail or phone call? Due to not hearing back from the SCSU Public Safety Parking Department, it’s unclear who gets informed on this before the winter starts. Others say they received nothing until a ticket was issued to them.

The information can be found online but some residents say they wouldn’t even know where to find this information if they were to search for it. When asked if she knew where to find the information for winter parking regulations Lizzy Fordyce, a St. Cloud resident, said: “as far as I know, Public Safety.”

Fordyce also failed to know where to find information the winter parking regulations for the entire city, which is a feeling many St. Cloud community members share. Fordyce is one of the fortunate residents who has not received a winter parking ticket before in St. Cloud. Nevertheless, her lack of parking tickets has nothing to do with her knowledge of the regulations, but rather a little bit of luck.

With this potential problem the city faces, Fordyce is not the only resident that is uninformed. When asked if she thought residents were well enough informed on the matter, Hemmesch simply said “no.”

A PDF found on the City of St. Cloud’s website outlines the rules and regulations for winter parking in the city of St. Cloud. The two most important things outlined in this document are that the regulations change based on your location in St. Cloud and also on the day of the month.

Winter parking regulations are in place from Nov. 1 – April 1. Do yourself a favor and take a look at the regulations and avoid getting ticketed this year, because the information won’t go looking for you.

For more information, you can visit the City of St. Cloud’s website at http://www.ci.stcloud.mn.us/1230/Parking-Information-Enforcement or call the St. Cloud Police Parking Control Unit at 320-345-4444.

 

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