Rochester City Council Asked to Review Snow Plowing Ordinance
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council is being asked to take another look at its seasonal parking ordinance.
In response to a Facebook petition drive recently launched by former State Representative Fran Bradley, Fifth Ward Councilmember Shaun Palmer requested the review and possibly modifications to address the concerns expressed by some citizens. Palmer also suggested revisiting the city's previous Snow Emergency Ordinance as an alternative.
Rochester Public Works Director Wendy Turri responded to Palmer's request by defending the current ordinance and providing some history concerning the reasons for its adoption. Turri says the ordinance, which implements an even/odd parking restriction on city streets from October 1 through the end of April each year has been successful in achieving the goal of allowing for more effective snow removal to provide access for emergency vehicles during the winter season and safer roads for the traveling public.
Prior to its adoption and 2019, the city would declare a snow emergency directing vehicle owners to remove them from the streets to allow for plowing. Turri contends there was little compliance due to confusion over the requirements of the ordinance and people being unaware of the snow emergency had been declared, which resulted in narrow streets that were difficult to navigate and hard to plow.
The petition drive launched by Bradley in January describes the Seasonal Parking Ordinance as overbearing and unfriendly. He contends it is among the most restrictive ordinances of its type in the state and that most other cities invoke parking restrictions only when there is a need for snow plowing. The petition calls on the City Council to make a "few tweaks" to the ordinance by "applying some common sense and showing respect for residents and guests." Nearly 500 people have signed the online petition.
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