Q: How does an officer typically notice vehicles on streets having been parked for 20-plus hours in a single location? What constitutes not having been moved?

A: City of Red Wing Code, Chapter 9 covers parking regulations. Most parking complaints are called into the Police Department on the non-emergency number at 651-385-3155, by citizens concerned that a vehicle may have been abandoned. Officers may also identify vehicles parked in violation of the Parking Code, while on routine patrol.

During wintertime, it is important to keep snow removed from the street; therefore, officers will also keep an eye out for “snowbirds.” Snowbirds are vehicles parked on the side of a street that have a pile of snow around them, and it has not snowed for a couple of days.

Parking hours: it is unlawful for any person to stop, park or leave standing any vehicle or equipment upon any street, public parking lot or ramp, or other public property, for a continuous period in excess of 20 hours, without an approved parking permit or private use of public property application.

When an officer notices or responds to a complaint of a vehicle possibly parked in excess of 20 hours, they will chalk at least one tire in a manner to identify if the vehicle was moved or not. Officers will also place an orange “Police Tow” tag on the windshield to notify the owner, what ordinance is violated and that the vehicle will be inspected in 20 hours, and towed at that time for violation of the parking ordinance.

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It is unlawful for any person to remove, erase, conceal, obscure or otherwise obliterate any mark or sign placed upon a tire or other part of a vehicle by a parking enforcement officer for the purpose of measuring the length of time such vehicle has been parked.

For the purpose of enforcement of this parking section, any vehicle moved less than 300 feet or re-parked in the block in which it was originally parked in a limited time parking zone shall be deemed to have remained stationary. A block consists of the area enclosed by intersecting streets and includes both sides of the intersecting streets. Accordingly, a car re-parked on the opposite side of the block from that on which it was originally parked shall be deemed to have remained stationary.


1. Red Wing City Code, Chapter 9, Parking Regulations, Section 9.08 Parking Hours. Located online at www.red-wing.org

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Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us.

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