ROCHESTER, Minn. - This is the first year Rochester is implementing its seasonal parking ordinance and Wednesday's snowfall is the first time it was put to the test for snow plow drivers.
The parking ordinance requires cars to be parked on the even side of the road (determined by house address numbers) on even dates. Cars are then to be moved to the odd side of the road on odd days.
While much of the community is still working on changing habits to fit these new rules, city snow plow driver, Jacob Murphy, said there are some streets already following the new ordinance.
"It was probably one of the first streets that I've seen so I was impressed. I was happy that the homeowners are following ordinance. I was shocked I thought it would take a year or two," he said.
After plowing the road with all cars on one side, he said it really does make a difference.
"It was awesome. It made it so much easier for us, for me at least," Murphy said. "As you can see...since they're all parked on one side, I can plow all one way."
While constantly moving a car can seem like a hassle, Murphy said the ordinance does benefit drivers. He said it makes it easier for him to avoid hitting parked cars in the snow plow. It also makes for cleaner roads.
"I don't have to worry about having snow, having to come back days after to clean up when cars are moving finally and stuff like that," he said.
The city of Rochester is still in its educational phase of implementing the new rules. Law enforcement is handing out educational cards instead of tickets to anyone violating the parking ordinance.
On November 18, 2019, City Council will decide whether to continue educating the public on the changes or to start enforcing it with tickets.
The seasonal parking ordinance is in effect 2am-3pm every day, regardless of the daily weather, from October 1, 2019-May 1, 2019.
The city has educational flyers and videos, in multiple languages, for the public to learn all about the seasonal ordinance here.