The harsh winter has taken a toll on all Minnesotans, but newly instated parking restrictions have made enduring it even more difficult for Minneapolis residents who were already struggling to find a place to park.
It's difficult to find a parking spot on Aldrich Avenue South in Uptown. In fact, it took Fox 9 photojournalist and truck operator Kent Peterson at least half an hour to find one on Monday -- but Minneapolis Public Works is telling drivers they'll have to brace themselves for weathering the restrictions.
"We still have 20 to 30 inches of snow cover on the ground," Mike Kennedy, of Minneapolis Public Works, explained. "When you plow that up, there's only so much snow storage on the boulevard and the streets narrow."
Those narrow roads can make a short drive through the Uptown area a nerve-wracking trip fraught with close squeezes on bumpy roads. City leaders say that presents a hazard they can't risk.
"The streets have gotten so narrow … fire trucks and other equipment can't get down them," Kennedy said.
Although Minneapolis residents have seen multiple snow emergencies to clear the streets, city officials say they still need more room to ensure public safety. That's why parking is now banned on the even side of non-snow emergency routes citywide.
"If you're on a non-snow emergency route, make sure you're parking on the odd-numbered side," Kennedy urged.
Yet, parking in densely populated areas in and around Minneapolis can be difficult in good weather, and the day-old parking restrictions are already proving to be a serious pain that can require motorists to park several blocks from their final destination.
"The hardest part is walking on the ice to get back home because it's so slippery," John Bordwell told Fox 9 News.
After a recent warm-up was followed by nearly a foot of snow, icy sidewalks are now a ubiquitous feature of most Minneapolis neighborhoods -- and Kennedy says it will be a while before that changes.
"It's kind of bulletproof," he said. "This ice pack is welded to the pavement."
Taking a stroll on ice may not be the safest, and cruising for a parking spot may take up time; however, officials are urging motorists to be patient despite those nuisances.
"Wherever it's really high demand off street parking it's where the hardships are the most but it's also where the restrictions are needed the most," Kennedy said.
The winter parking restrictions won't be lifted until April 1 unless road conditions allow.