This winter was too much, wasn’t it? For many in Summit-University, the burden was greater than you may imagine.
We know that February was a record-breaking month, and the city handled it as well as they could. They pulled together extra resources and used alternative resources creatively to address the overwhelming amounts of snow. That said, climate change is creating more extreme weather conditions and considerable thought will have to go into plans to manage snow and make sure the community is safe and accessible for everyone. We also need to make sure that when restrictions are created, the rules are predictable and easy to understand for everyone in Saint Paul.
We can anticipate that some people may not have been able to access the information needed to avoid tickets or tows, and those people are some of the most likely to be burdened by those costs. The parking ban map was only available online, and it was subject to change without notice. That means that people had to be able to check in regularly to park without issue.
Saint Paul issued over $1,000,000 in tickets during the snow emergencies alone, and over $650,000 in tows (not including lot fees). The impact of the parking ban is yet to be shared with us, as that was tracked by the police department, but these numbers are enough to tell us that we need to be absolutely sure that neighbors aren’t hit with this cost just because they can’t access information.
Looking ahead to 2020, we also want people to remember that everyone in the community doesn't get around by car. A large number of people use other means of transportation. Making sure people can safely move around the community falls on residents and business owners for the most part, so we want everyone to do their part to make sure the neighborhood is accessible. We encourage neighbors to help each other out! We will be organizing interested neighborhood blocks to create agreements to work together to clear sidewalks of snow, find resources for elders, adopt storm drains and fire hydrants, and get out the word about parking restrictions. We know that our communities are Saint Paul’s greatest resource, and we can accomplish so much working together.
Read an article from the Pioneer Press here:
Working together, we can ensure that this community is safe and accessible for everyone throughout the remainder of the winter and spring thaw.
Here are a few ways you can lend a hand:
1. Make sure the sidewalks and ramps are shoveled. Clear fire hydrants.
Saint Paul City Ordinance says that snow must be removed within 24 hours. Take a moment to check in on neighbors who may not be able to remove the snow themselves, you could make a big impact in someone's day by shovelling a little further than you normally do.
Make sure ramps are cleared enough to allow a large wheelchair through.
2. Support youth offering to shovel for a small fee.
We have a lot of motivated youth in the neighborhood who are happy to help.
3. Clear storm drains!
Let's say NO to giant puddles at the street corners this year! For more information, visit our blog post about clearing drains HERE.
4. Check on neighbors who may have stuck cars.
That car down the street that hasn't moved for a week? It might be iced in. Get a team together and help push them out.
5. Start cleaning up trash as the snow melts.
Once the snow starts to melt we are going to see all of the litter that was hidden for months. We are happy to help you organize a clean-up in your neighborhood! We are also hosting a community clean up on April 27 at People's Park. More information to come soon!
A warmup is coming, and maybe a little rain. Soon enough, our neighborhood is going to become the land of 10,000 lake-sized puddles.
These enormous pools of ice cold sludge are typical this time of year. They can be an annoyance for able-bodied people carrying little more than a backpack, but for many of our community members these extra large melt puddles make it impossible to navigate the neighborhood.
We need everyone to step up in Summit-University and help us clear storm drains. Check on the drains on your block today! They are typically found at street intersections near ped ramps, and sometimes they are also found mid-block. See the link to the city's map below.
Check on the drains on your block today! If you are able to clear them, please do. Even just clearing off some of the snow allows the sun to help with the melting process. If residents are seeing pooling water on the streets, and you are not able to open up your catch basin, please call Saint Paul Public Works Sewer Division at 651-266-9700 (press 7) or call 651-266-9850 and a crew can come out to steam the storm drain open.
You can access a map of some of the city's storm drains here:
Information about the parking ban and current snow emergency can be found below.
If you are unsure about all of this information, cannot access the parking ban map, or you are having a hard time understanding it, please call Saint Paul Public Works:
651-266-6100 (7:30-4:30, you may have to leave a message)
You can also call SUPC to double check your parking spot (we will just look at the map on the City's website, you may have to leave a message):
They have people who can help you understand where you are able to park. The parking map may change from time to time, without notice, so it is important to occasionally take a look at it. If you have people on your block who cannot access the internet, please provide them with this number.
The Winter One-Sided Parking Ban Map can be found here: www.stpaul.gov/1sideparking
Monday, March 11, 2019- SNOW EMERGENCY DAY (second day)
Saint Paul Snow emergency still in effect, Winter One-Sided Parking Ban does not apply today.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019- CLEANUP DAY
Tuesday, March 12- April 1, 2019- ONE_SIDED PARKING BAN IN EFFECT
(Unless another snow emergency is declared)
One-sided parking ban to be suspended temporarily, if snow emergency is declared
SAINT PAUL (March 8, 2019) – Today the Saint Paul Public Works Department announced that it is preparing for a significant winter storm which is predicted to impact the city beginning on Saturday, March 9 and continuing into Sunday, March 10. As of 12 noon today, the National Weather Service predicted a major storm which is likely to deposit 7 to 10 inches of wet, heavy snow across the city.
“The information that we are receiving from the National Weather Service is that this will be a substantial storm,” stated Kathy Lantry, Director of Saint Paul Public Works. “We are asking residents to stay alert and follow parking regulations so that we can get the streets plowed as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
If the timing and severity of the storm develop as predicted, Public Works will begin plowing major streets and treating problem areas on Saturday and will continue those operations continuously into Sunday.
If the City needs to declare a snow emergency, the one-side of residential street parking ban rules will be suspended. Residents will be asked to follow regular snow emergency rules according to the following schedule:
The day a Snow Emergency is declared (NIGHT PLOW ROUTE PHASE):
The day after a Snow Emergency is declared (DAY PLOW ROUTE PHASE):
The Day after Snow Emergency Night and Day Plow Routes are completed (CLEAN UP PHASE):
As a reminder, Daylight Saving Time will begin on Sunday, March 10, 2019, at 2 a.m.
If no snow emergency is declared, the one-side parking ban will remain in effect.
Residents are asked to stay alert and watch for updates from the City at www.stpaul.gov/snow as weather conditions and the timing of parking restrictions may change. There are several ways to receive snow-related updates:
Summit-University Neighbors! We encourage you to attend this community event on Tuesday, February 26 in Frogtown.
We are working together to consider how we can create a housing plan that prevents displacement in our communities.
If you've never been to a Frogtown Forum, it's the night to go! Local poets will be sharing work, food will be shared, and they hold space for community voice so your concerns and ideas are heard.
Tuesday, February 26
Saint Paul City School- 642 Virginia
Stay tuned for news and more events :)
Do you feel like you are left out of big decisions in your neighborhood because you are not a homeowner?
Do you feel like people who make those decisions are out of touch on issues that affect renters?
Do you feel like renters, which make up 65% of people in the Summit-University neighborhood, deserve to be heard?
The Summit-University Planning Council is a place where neighbors like you can have a voice to influence big neighborhood decisions and help make sure every neighbor matters.
We want you to join the neighborhood board! The next meeting is February 26.
Call 651-228-1855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
On January 25, the Saint Paul District Councils hosted the annual Neighborhood Honor Roll event at the University of Saint Thomas. Each District Council recognized three people from their communities who are working hard for their neighborhoods.
The Summit-University Planning Council received six nominations for the honor roll this year and selected three incredible neighbors:
Marvin Scroggins grew up in the Rondo Neighborhood and graduated from Central High School. He moved away and lived in California for a number of years before he came back home.
Marvin has been a dedicated member of the Rondo Community and Summit-University Neighborhood for many years. He is a board member of Reconnect Rondo, Rondo Inc., active in the Rondo Days Celebration, and CPA for ASANDC and Rondo Inc. He is on numerous other boards and organizations in the community.
He is a kind person, and his attitude is uplifting. He is generous with his time and can often be found volunteering at community events. He is a great role model to people of all ages in our community.
Marvin is the perfect example of commitment to improving the quality of life in our neighborhood and so deserving of this recognition.
(Noel Nix accepted this award on behalf of Marvin at the event)
Summit University resident Nancy Heege serves on the leadership team of Unity Church-Unitarian’s Obama Elementary Outreach Team. Nancy’s dedication to helping recruit and organize volunteers is at the core of the work required to serve the needs of the scholars and staff at Obama Elementary.
Through this team effort, volunteers have provided countless hours of tutoring at the school, served in the library processing and reshelving books, created a Cub Foods gift card program for families needing additional support with groceries, provided snacks for teacher and staff meetings, helped clean and maintain the park behind the school, provided planters at the main entrance, held winter clothing collections, helped with the Scholastic book fair, and are now organizing Box Top collections.
Each Sunday the ministers at Unity Church speak these words: “When we live lives of integrity, service, and joy, generosity is sure to follow.” Nancy’s work with the Obama Elementary Outreach Team embodies these words, and her generosity helps enrich our entire community.
mk nguyen is a Viet mother and community auntie based in the Frogtown-Rondo neighborhoods of St. Paul. She holds great value for raising her child in the same place that raised her. Growing up, she was taught that her life and stories were insignificant and not worth sharing. As an adult, she practices self- study. This has helped her recover her deeply beautiful roots, and now she thinks her life and stories are hilarious. She also shares the same birthday with Harvey Kietel and Stevie Wonder.
She cut her teeth into organizing with the League of Pissed Off Voters and learned from witnesses young people inject themselves in the electoral process. She then moved to the Bay Area and learned from too many people to list here about the power of young people organizing to shift culture, systems, practices, policies, and budgets. In 2014, she returned home to St. Paul, with her sweetheart, Thaiphy, and two canine kiddos, Tator Tot and Rowley, to be closer to family.
Now, she spends most of her time mothering, healing, recovering Viet knowledge production, paying attention to what young people in Twin Cities/Minnesota are teaching us about this world, consolidating networks of social and political support for young people connected to Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, and supporting local and broad movement towards regenerative economy. Her heart moves faster than her brain. To protect her heart, she surrounds herself with loving, thoughtful people who eat her cooking and help her articulate her heart into words.
Raeisha Williams, owner of Heritage Tea House at 360 W. University Ave, was recently featured on MPR talking about Heritage, and the music that inspires her.
Photo by Photo by Ta Fang, via Heritage Tea House & Cafe on Facebook.
Click HERE to read the full article and listen to the playlist on MPR!
Across the Twin Cities Metro area, there is a shortage of affordable rental housing. The costs of rents keep skyrocketing, and families are evicted unjustly and displaced from their homes and communities daily.
On February 15th, Community Stabilization Project - Non Profit and organizations across the Twin Cities will take a stand with renters as they share their stories at the State Capitol Rotunda and call for policy solutions to assure that the rising costs of rent are controlled, that renters are protected against landlord abuses, and that homes for all are safe and healthy.
***We need homes for people not for profit!***
Please JOIN US on February 15!
For more information call: 651-225-8778
The Porchlite is a monthly newsletter and blog that is developed by the SUPC Communications Committee.