Finding parking places in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area can be a real pain, especially when you are planning an event with a lot of people. Parking meters and ramps close to popular venues are often times very expensive and violations of laws can land you a parking ticket or even have your car towed. Take a look at the Parking laws in the Twin Cities to avoid expensive parking fees and trouble with the law:
Parking Problems in Minneapolis
According to its website, the City of Minneapolis has approximately 7,000 parking meters throughout the area, all of which are strictly enforced. Fees for such parking in front of these meters can vary depending on location and demand for parking spaces, and fees are often increased for large-scale events. The city recently switched from traditional parking meters to an electronic server that processes payment and informs police officers when the time purchased has expired so a ticket can be issued. These servers have recently been the target of criticism across the greater Minneapolis area with more and more people claiming that they were issued a ticket by mistake. In a story reported by KARE News on June 4th, some Minneapolis visitors had been issued nearly a dozen tickets by mistake in the last month. These, of course, could be fought and repealed, but not without a great deal of stress and hassle. Like other cities in the area, the Minneapolis Police Department does not hesitate to have vehicles towed if they are blocking traffic or left in the street during a snow emergency. This can be very expensive and picking your car up at an impound lot is a lengthy process.
Minneapolis Parking Fines:
- Parking in a No Parking Zone – Petty Misdemeanor – up to $42 in fines and surcharges
- Expired Meter – Petty Misdemeanor – $30-$42 in fines and surcharges
- Blocking Traffic/Snow Emergency Violation – Petty Misdemeanor – Vehicle will be towed and impounded – $144 towing/notice charge plus $18/day impounded.
Parking Problems in St. Paul
Like Minneapolis, parking places in St. Paul are in very high demand. Lot owners make a fortune every year from charging fees to visitors attending restaurants, parties, or other events nearby. Because St. Paul is in Ramsey county (as opposed to Hennepin County), parking tickets are even more expensive than in Minneapolis and just as much of a nuisance. Police officers are also strict on parking policies, and it is not uncommon to see them checking the meters on any street at any time in the day.
St. Paul Parking Fines:
- Parking in a No Parking Zone – Petty Misdemeanor – $56 plus additional payment fees
- Expired Meter – Petty Misdemeanor – $56 plus processing fees
- Blocking Traffic/Snow Emergency Violation – Petty Misdemeanor – Vehicle towed and impounded, $214.50 fee plus $15/day storage fee.
Parking in the Twin Cities can be a real nightmare. Most meters only allow for a maximum of two hours in the parking space, and can cost a lot of money. Parking violations are even more costly. Be sure to set a timer on your watch or cell phone to remind yourself to pay the meter when it expires, and pay close attention to parking signs and snow emergency routes. If you are planning an event in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, save your guests the hassle of adhering to parking restrictions by hiring a valet parking service!