Emergency Snow Routes

We are currently experiencing our third snow storm in four weeks. Our city has major thoroughfares designated as Emergency Snow Routes where one is not allowed to park during storms so that the plows can clear them. Vehicles parked on those streets that aren’t moved are to be towed. Well, the Snow Emergency designated street I drive to work on has at least a dozen vehicles covered in snow that haven’t been moved since Halloween. They haven’t been towed. This seems unfair to me.

Our city has the oddest street clearing habits. We once had a major storm in late April that left huge amounts of snow and ice on the streets, and the city commissioners, to save money, chose to leave the streets uncleared because “Well, it is all going to melt in a week or two, anyway.” We drove in the worst bumpy conditions for more than a month!

I was concerned with Margaret’s dilemma yesterday of needing a vehicle towed. If she lived in my town, it seems that she could leave her car on the street with impunity.

What are your experiences with tow trucks? What municipal policies do you think are unfair?

45 thoughts on “Emergency Snow Routes”

  1. What is this fairness of which you speak? I have long since abandoned the idea that life is fair. Quite obviously, it isn’t, at least not as I understand fairness.

    I did manage to get my car towed to a local garage last night, and hopefully, they can get it working again soon.

    Our next door neighbors had a car – one that had apparently been in an accident – dropped off in front of their house Tuesday afternoon. I commented at the time to husband, that I thought it was foolish to have a wreck dropped off on the street in front of their house when they have more than ample space in the back by their garage, especially in view of the fact that a snow emergency was a distinct possibility within a day or two. The car is still sitting in front their house as of this morning. It hasn’t even been tagged or given a ticket. That said, I have no idea what they are thinking, or what their reasoning might be for risking having this car towed to the impound lot, but it was a risk I really didn’t want to take with my car.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Rise and Dig Out, Baboons,

    I read over yesterday’s comments. Somebody asked why do we live here? I always wonder how did the early settlers live through these kinds of conditions? It is a wonder that anyone could settle this country in the winter. I know the why after looking at my family tree—they were desperate. For food, for freedom, for a way out of the feudal lords’ hold on Europe. They were willing to do anything—even a Midwest winter—to escape the despair.

    My son lived in Uptown 18-20 years ago, that bastion of Minneapolis towing policies. His car (with my name and Lou’s name on the title) got towed several times, so I had to accompany him to free the car, although he had to pay the fee. He has always been someone who has to experience everything to understand the consequences. Towing policies took him at least twice to understand. The MinneapolisTow Lot is a punitive nightmare that represents the very worst of our automobile culture. It is visually unpleasant and in a crime-ridden neighborhood; the rules are rigid and antiquated—at one point it was cash only; the staff there has become inured to demanding people who want their car back. I accompanied my son there twice, but made him produce the cash because otherwise he would have continued as he was. Instead he returned the car to us and used his bicycle as his primary transportation. He still uses his bike and the buses, although he and his wife now have a car.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I have had a few atuo breakdowns but two noteworthy experiences. While pulling into a restaurant entrance, the ball joint broke which means the tire was off. It is impossible to just push the car out of the way. With nominal care, other cars could enter and exit on either side of Pete (I name my cars). Some folks offered to help while others were very angry with me. Anyway, once the AAA guy came, I watched with appreciation how he jacked it up to gain alignment and then winch it aboard his truck. The process took half an hour and didn’t cause any more damage.
    When ‘Alice’ died, I donated her to public radio. The tow truck driver had some paperwork about title and such which I filled out quickly. I suspect my initial call to the radio station elicited my then getting a thank you card which read “Sorry for your loss!” We shared a laugh.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I only remember being towed just once, when living in NYC., and though no doubt expensive, it was nothing horrible. I remember going to traffic court once in St. Paul and after explaining the situation (which I cannot now recall), I didn’t have to pay the fine.

    Thinking about unfair – along PJ’s theme, the universe isn’t set up to be fair, which makes me wonder why we humans are programmed to think it should be.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Just a few inches here, and it’s nice fluffy stuff. But bitterly cold. Poor Bernie goes outside, and come right back in again – without doing his business. I had better keep a close eye on him. I think he’s considering hibernating. He’s snoozing next to me in my recliner. Martha was howling this morning, wanted to go out, but changed her mind when I opened the door so she could see and check for herself how cold it is. She went back to bed.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Wind is making the 3-4 inches a little challenging. We just came in from “snow shifting” and there were a couple of times I couldn’t see in front of my face. When I came up the back steps to come in the house when I was done and saw my reflection in the back door, I could have given any yeti a run for its money!

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Snow shifting is probably an accurate term for what you were doing, vs. The wind will probably undo it for you in no time.

          Some years ago, I had a neighborhood friend who made comment on FB that he had “unshoveled” his neighbor’s sidewalk. In my mind I envisioned him out there moving his neighbor’s snow back onto the sidewalk after the neighbor had cleared it. I made a teasing comment, asking whether his neighbor was happy about that. He reacted defensively to my comment, but calmed down when I explained the image I had in my head. “Unshoveled” has since become a private joke between us that we use to tease each other whenever we see an opportunity. He and his wife have since moved to Portugal, but we’re still in contact via FB.

          Liked by 4 people

  5. I drove to Sandy’s on snow impacted streets but very little traffic. Needed to get something to county offices so came over here, as long as I was below the bluffs. Going back up the bluff, the easier trick, pretty soon. They do tow cars here but try to avoid it. Tow only on major routes but issue tickets elsewhere.
    Have had to be towed about 6-8 times for breakdowns. Once in Bloomington in Cities got into a mess, a sort of scam. Otherwise tows went well. Had to be towed for dead battery couple months ago. 3 blocks.
    Once had a flat on busiest street here and could not get rim free from drum. Tow driver had a home made device to get it loose and showed me how to do it with my feet. Cop had come along and at end wrote me a ticket for having tires that were too worn . Driver took out his gauge and proved there was plenty of wear in the tire and all the tires. Cop got mad and tore up the ticket.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Winter story: remember my Idaho grandson has a St. Bernard. One of its litter mates loves being out in the cold and the snow she stays out most of the day. A neighbor called the police to report the owner for abuse. Police told her it’s a cold weather dog. So neighbor called humane society who opened an investigation, said they were required to. Dog owners called the county animal control people who came to the home and played with the dog in the snow and told the humane society all was fine. They backed down.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. There was a FB post from out county sheriff dept regarding an ordinance for outdoor and farm dogs, and that they need adequate bedding to protect them loosing body heat.
        1) I didn’t know there was a specific ordinance regarding farm dogs.
        2) I learned I had to be careful when we were looking for our last dog. I had to stop saying ‘Outdoor’ dog. I just mean they’re not an indoor dog, not that they live entirely outdoors.
        3) Bailey has a heat lamp, a heated pad, pillows, and carpet in the garage where she sleeps. And yet she sleeps over there on top of a pile of plastic in an old utility sink.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. So the woman who snoops at my packages (all are left out in the lobbly) (picks them up and shakes them even) is no doubt doing a public service of some kind, and when she tries to look in my door when I go in or out of my apartment, that too is really for my own good or the good if the community in some way. Or the man who stands in the woods smoking, to be off the property and stares into my apartment if I leave the blinds open, is perhaps checking out me for any illegal activities. Or the woman from our church who came to visit Sandy to make sure I was not abusing her, she too was protecting Sandy against the evils of men.
        It is time to tie a knot on the end of my tether.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. How on earth did you reach that conclusion, Clyde? I have said exactly nothing about your nosy neighbors, or the woman from your church who visited Sandy because she was concerned about abuse.

          I don’t know the owner of the dog you were talking about, and neither do you. And yes, occasionally someone who reports suspected abuse is mistaken, as was possibly the case in this instance, though neither of us really know that.

          I much prefer a report being made, even if it turns out to not be justified, to a child, an animal, or an elderly person be left in harms way because people don’t want to meddle in other people’s business. As an abused child myself, I can tell you that plenty of people were aware of it and did nothing, partly because there really wasn’t a safe way of making such a report back then, but also because they didn’t want to interfere in other people’s business.

          I’m bewildered as to why you would interpret my comment to give carte blanche to anyone wanting to harass their neighbors.


  7. My agency is closing now due to “deterioring weather conditions ” and Husband is venturing out to go the the pharmacy and bring his cello to the church so it can acclimate to the humidity (or lack thereof) and building temperature for tuning purposes for Christmas Eve service.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’ve had many Honda Civics in my life. There were two that I didn’t like much. One chose to die one evening while I was at work. I got off work at 10 p.m. and went out to a dead car. It was cold out, not as bad as today but around 0 with little wind. I called a tow company and they came and tried everything to start it. It wound up being towed away. I had to have my friend come get me from Waterville (I was still living there and had no way to get home). That was the only Civic I ever had that just suddenly quit on me. I thought that company was fair, the man who came was friendly and sympathetic. It was still expensive and hard to suddenly have to get a new car. I replaced it with my first Toyota RAV4. I currently own my third RAV and I love them. Still like Honda Civics but I won’t get another one.

    I’ve never had a vehicle towed away or gotten a parking ticket.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Afternoon.
    We got about 3″. The wind hasn’t picked up yet. And down here in the yard we don’t notice so much anyway unless it’s out of the SE. But we’re pretty sheltered to N and NW winds.

    I had a car quit coming up that long hill on I90 out of LaCrosse. There’s a name for that hill… anyway, the town truck driver said we’d say it was beyond that hill, because that’s sort of the cut off point between towing to Rochester or back to Lacrosse. I appreciated that.

    A few years ago, a FedEx truck slid into the ditch on one of our township roads. He had called a tow truck. I happen onto the situation and figured, being on the townboard and all, I’d help block the road when the tow showed up. It wasn’t a heavily travelled road, but geez people got mad. I mean give the tow guy a break; he’s laying in the middle of the road hooking things up, you don’t need to squeeze by him! I stayed for about an hour until I was fed up with humanity and the FedEx guy, while not quite back on the road, was down the road far enough and almost out.
    I learned towing is more involved than I thought and re-affirmed people can be jerks.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Funny that you should say that, Ben. A tow truck was just here, picking up the wreck from in front of our next door neighbors’ house. Husband commented to me that being a tow truck driver in weather like this has to be a really hard job. I responded that it often is, even when it’s not bitterly cold as it is right now. When my old SAAB stalled on I-94 some years ago, I was truly scared that someone was going to hit the poor tow truck driver as he was preparing my car for towing. Traffic zoomed by at high speed, inches from him. He put it quite succinctly when I commented on it on the way to the garage: “There are some real asshole drivers out there,” he said.

      Liked by 4 people

  10. Discovery and The Weather Channel feature Highway Through Hell, a reality show about tow truck drivers who pull semi-trucks back from precarious situations.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. There were a lot of vehicles in my neighborhood that were plowed around today; I don’t place a whole lot of blame on people who got caught, though. It is a tough combination of circumstances – snow, bitter cold, and close proximity to a holiday that requires many people to work long hours in the days leading up to it.

    I have a couple of towing incidents in my past. It’s a sinking feeling to realize you’ve run afoul of the regulations.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I just remembered being plowed around when living at 2727 Dupont Ave. S., Mpls back in …’78? Had the Tan Bomb, a 1969 Plymouth from my folks and got a ticket that had scrawled on it: Snow Bird. Don’t think it got towed, though.


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