Still on the streets

Kim Fundingsland/MDN Vehicles abandoned on streets and avenues in the city cause problems for snow removal crews who must plow around them. City ordinance says the vehicles can be towed and impounded when necessary.

Thus far, the City of Minot has avoided towing and impounding an abundance of vehicles parked on city streets. Cars parked on streets, many of them seemingly abandoned, block snow removal equipment from effectively cleaning streets.

In the Bismarck area recently, the problem of parked and abandoned cars led authorities in that city to tow and impound more than 400 vehicles that were abandoned or otherwise impeding snow removal efforts. Minot has not seen that level of enforcement but still has plenty of vehicles that the Public Works Department would like to have moved out of the way of crews clearing snow and ice from city streets.

“A lot of people have been good and move them,” said Rick Hair, public works. “It’s the abandoned ones that cause us problems. There are still cars parked that have not been moved.”

Hair says he believes only a few vehicles have been towed in the city. More could be towed in the future as crews work at clearing snow from streets and avenues choked with snow. Sometimes traffic is limited to a single lane in neighborhoods where snow has narrowed roadways and snow removal equipment is forced to go around parked cars.

“If we can’t get snow pushed over because of cars, it creates an issue. If you’ve got an abandoned vehicle, get it moved off the street,” advised Hair.

Minot Police say they hang tow tags on vehicles believed to be in violation of city ordinance and notify the owner of the date the vehicle will be impounded if not moved.

“I’d point out that city ordinance requires vehicles parked on the street to be moved every 24 hours unless they are parked on the street in front of the registered owner’s residence, in which case they have to be moved every 48 hours,” said Capt. John Klug, Minot Police Dept.

Yesterday, city crews were in several neighborhoods to widen narrow streets by pushing snow farther to the sides. In addition, crews worked during the overnight hours to remove snow from a large section of Broadway and Fourth Avenue. Truck were used to haul snow to the parking lot at the Sertoma Complex near the airport.