Minneapolis Warnings Or Dangers Tips by goodfish Top 5 Page for this destination
Minneapolis Warnings and Dangers: 47 reviews and 19 photos
Downtown is a fun place for grownups as it has excellent restaurants, theater and clubs but it's not great for small people as there's very little for them to do. If you're traveling with children, I'd recommend mapping out the location of the activities you plan to do as a family and staying close to where the majority of them are at. For instance, the Minnesota Zoo and Valley Fair are both in far southern suburbs so a hotel in that area would be better than one downtown.
St. Paul, on the other hand, has several excellent family-oriented attractions (Minnesota Children's and Science Museums) within an easy walk of downtown hotels, and Como Park Zoo and Como Town Amusement Park (ages 2-12) a short car, bus or cab ride away so you'd be fine there.
Clearing Minneapolis - and some suburban - streets of snow after a big winter storm requires that vehicles be removed from streets being plowed. The city(s) will issue a formal Snow Emergency alert to give citizens and visitors a few hours to move their cars, and no parking will be allowed on EITHER SIDE of streets with a red “Snow Emergency Route” sign until that street has been fully cleared.
But it’s more complicated than that: after the first emergency day, odd-even parking procedures go into effect on NON - snow emergency routes:
On day 2 after the alert has been issued, no parking is allowed on the sides of the streets where house addresses end in an even number (2012, 6088, etc.)
On day 3, no parking is allowed on the sides where house addresses end in an odd number (2089, 10013, etc.)
Once a street has been fully plowed - meaning cleared of snow to the curbs - then it’s OK to park anywhere parking is normally allowed.
Yep, even the locals find it confusing! It’s a really good thing to be aware of though as the city WILL tow your car if you’re parked in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it costs a bundle to get it out of the impound lot: pleading ignorance will get you nowhere.
In the suburbs, emergency routes aren’t as common but it’s often illegal to park on residential streets overnight at any time of the year. You probably won’t get towed unless you let your car sit there for days but you could get a ticket, and you could find yourself plowed in the morning after a snow event - as the fella in my photo did.
See the website below for more details on winter parking in the city.
Mammatus clouds often signal tornadic activity
No hurricanes, monsoons or temperamental volcanos here but the Midwest has a few seasonal nasties that are good to be aware of.
Severe storms are not uncommon and can produce strong winds, heavy rain and hail. The worst of them can produce tornados that, while short-lived and often narrow in scope, can do horrific damage to people and property. Anyone familiar with the Joplin, Missouri tornado of 2011 knows what I mean. These most often occur in late spring/early summer but can happen in any of the warmer months.
Keep an eye on the sky and if it looks greenish and/or threatening, stay tuned to local weather news; a tornado watch means conditions are ripe for formation, and a warning means one has been sighted. Sirens are usually activated in towns and cities in the path, and you should take cover IMMEDIATELY if you hear one: get to a sub-level or ground floor, interior hallway and/or concrete stairwell, and stay away from windows. If none of that is available, crawl into a tub or shower in the bathroom or under something heavy - like a table - and protect yourself with pillows, a mattress or blankets. If you're on the road, pull over and crawl into a deep ditch or dry culvert if you see one coming your way. Whatever you do, do NOT try to outrun these or stop under highway underpasses; those act as wind tunnels and are really dangerous places to be.
Other storms producing hail, wind, lightning and torrential rain are usually only a threat if you're caught outdoors. If a storm with lighting is approaching, get off the water, golf course or camp ground and into/under nearby shelter; don't stand under trees. If driving in heavy rain, reduce speed or pull over until the worst passes and visibility improves.
Very heavy rain can produce flash floods; never drive through any flooded road where you cannot clearly see how deep the water is, across flooded bridges, or through any water in your path that is fast-flowing.
Blizzard conditions and ice storms can make driving difficult to downright deadly. Again, keep an ear to the weather report for possible threats and make alternate plans if it looks like a big one is coming. It's good to have an emergency kit handy for winter road trips with candles, blanket, snacks, AM/FM radio, small shovel, scraper, flashlight, water and jumper cables. Obviously, these don't come with rentals so if you're in the path of a winter storm with a leased vehicle, either choose to stay put or leave early if there's time to outrun it. If stranded in one on the road, stay with your car and try to contact help - don't try to get to safety on foot.
Deeper than it looks
Winters are murder on our roads. Continual melt and refreeze of snow and ice creates holes in the asphalt deep enough to do a real number on the tires and struts of your car if you hit one at anything but a crawl. Having forked out $600-$800 for new struts on both of our cars, I know this to be fact. Even worse, they can be potentially deadly if struck at high speeds or on a motorcycle.
They are most numerous in the spring before road crews can get out to fill them in so if you're here in March - May, watch out for these pesky craters, avoid them if you can, and slow waaaaaay down if you can't.
And if your Mini Cooper has gone missing, just check the bottom of the nearest pothole.
Light rail, downtown Minneapolis
While our light rail system is terrific for accessing Uptown, Downtown and Mall of America from the airport, there have been a few fatalities involving people falling/driving/walking into the trains. They run at very high speeds and are very quiet - you can't easily hear them coming. Cross the tracks only at designated pedestrian crosswalks, look carefully in both directions and never try to beat the train. Walk - don't ride - skateboards and bikes across tracks, and stay behind the yellow safety line at platforms until the train stops. If driving, stop when warning lights are flashing.
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