By Liz Harris, Guest Columnist
As outlined in the Aug. 25 Morrison County Record, the city has a plan in the works to ban parking on city streets from 2 a.m. – 6 a.m., from November through April. I wonder why so restrictive? Have other alternatives been explored? A simple recorded message through City Hall that a snow emergency is in effect would work.
Residents would then be advised of the parking restrictions that are in effect. Alternatives might be to plow odd side of streets first, then even side so cars could be rotated or avenues first, then streets. Non-compliance would result in cars being towed. Many residents have no other choice than to park on city streets.
Minneapolis, a city of 1 million-plus residents, does not have such a restrictive policy — they do even/odd plowing which seems to work fine. If they can move snow in a city that size in an orderly fashion, why can’t Little Falls (a city of 8,000) do it. The policy as outlined seems like overkill for an issue that could be (and should already have been) solved quite easily. Just because “we’ve always done it that way” does not mean there is not a different and better way to do it.
It seems to me that the only ones coming out ahead on this proposal would be the tow truck companies and whoever gets the money from the snow parking tickets. By the way, where would that money go? It should not cost taxpayers money for parking on the roads they already pay for.
Please, residents of Little Falls, don’t roll over and die on this issue. This is not in the best interest of the people who live and pay taxes in Little Falls. In 2006, Southeast Second Street was redone. It cost us $7,450 for an 80-foot section of property. We pay more than $700 annually on this assessment and will continue paying until 2021. Now, the city is proposing that we cannot even use this street for parking four hours a day for five months of the year.
If you think this won’t affect you, think again. What will you do when you have overnight guests and they have to park who knows where because you don’t have room for a vehicle in your driveway/yard and this might even be in perfectly clear weather.
Banning something is not a viable solution to a problem but rather it is a gutless reaction or taking the easy way out to a problem that requires problem-solving skills.
Please, City Council, don’t be gutless and make a hasty decision. There are alternatives. Look for those alternatives and give us the chance and choice to comply or be towed.
I challenge every resident to get on the phone and contact the City Council members. Let them know your feelings on this issue. Remember, yesterday the signs were banned. Today, it’s parking.What will it be tomorrow?
Liz Harris is a resident of Little Falls.