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Grand Marais considering calendar parking in winter season

Grand Marais may institute calendar parking in the city next winter - Photo courtesy of City of Grand Marais
Grand Marais may institute calendar parking in the city next winter - Photo courtesy of City of Grand Marais

The City of Grand Marais is considering seasonal calendar parking and snow emergency declarations to allow for more efficient snow removal and safer winter road conditions.

Patrick Knight, communications director for the city, explains that if calendar parking is implemented, vehicles must be parked on the “odd” side of the street, which means the odd-numbered street address side on the odd-numbered days of the month.

And then on the “even” numbered days of the month, vehicles must be parked on the other side of the street, the side with even house numbers. 

The odd/even parking regulations would be in effect from November through April.

Knight says many cities have found calendar parking to be a successful strategy to support snow removal operations, as it gives the highway department the ability to plow a street to its full-width within two days of most snowstorms.

The Cook County Highway Department ordinarily plows many streets in Grand Marais. And according to county spokesperson Valerie Marasco, there are currently some locations that are not fully plowed for days or weeks after the snow stops because cars or trailers are left on the road for extended periods of time.

Additionally, Marasco says, emergency vehicle response time is a concern when roads cannot be plowed efficiently.

If an ordinance is enacted, it would follow state regulations and vehicles parked contrary to the seasonal restrictions may be towed.

Marasco says the Cook County Sheriff’s Office encourages voluntary compliance. Cook County plans to offer windshield-style reminders at the beginning of each snow season and then someone will attempt to get in touch with the driver of a vehicle before a tow truck is called when towing is necessary.

Overnight Parking Downtown Grand Marais
The downtown streets differ from the residential neighborhood because snow must be hauled away from the downtown zone. 

Overnight on-street parking in downtown Grand Marais, an area where road crews regularly utilize loaders to plow and remove snow from parking areas, would be banned until 7:00 a.m., so these roads can be plowed on the first day of a snowstorm before most businesses open for the day.

Signs will be installed at city limits to alert visitors of the calendar parking ordinance.

The city recommends that lodging establishments include a paragraph in the information provided to  guests.

This initiative will be brought back to Grand Marais City Council in late April or early May, for further action. Anyone with questions on the proposed seasonal parking plan can call City of Grand Marais 218-387-1848.