Could your house burn while the fire truck turns?


I know parking is tough in Minneapolis in the winter: I live near Stevens Square. In a few minutes, Director of Public Works Steve Kotke will declare an Even Side Parking Restriction until April 1st or a big thaw. 

At a press conference at 19th and Stevens Avenue South, they’ve summoned a fire truck, and on its first attempt to reach the call at 19th and Stevens, it can’t turn down 19th Street from 1st Avenue South.

While the fire truck goes around, a neighbor asks me what’s going on. I tell him, and ask him, “What are you going to do, if you can’t park on both sides of the street?”

At the press conference, we learn this will cancel out about 1/3 of the parking, not half. Also, remember you can park on snow emergency routes. Obey all signs, but Minneapolis intends to re-sign about 300 blocks to allow for more parking in tight neighborhoods.

Then they let me in the truck and they take me for a quick spin around the neighborhood. Inside, I can feel the power and we feel massive compared to the small cars that dot the streets. The truck is 11 by 47 feet long. It can make sharp turns, but it hangs way out in front and back. We have larger assets, we are in a small ladder truck. My neighborhood is made up of small apartment buildings. The cab riders, tell me at 18th and Stevens, that the street is too narrow there for them to put out their outriggers to raise their ladder.

When you call an emergency…

Do you want the fire trucks to take the primary route, or have to go around? The guys in back, said they go around about six times a day, and that doesn’t count getting out of the cab to advise the driver on 90 degree turns.

Do you want fire trucks to immediately be able to put out their outriggers, so they can extend their ladders when they arrive?

Yes, one sided parking will make already difficult parking worse…

But the firemen and women of Minneapolis don’t just fight the fire–they fight the winter here too.

And I was convinced today on that one …