As I’ve been out talking to people in Crystal, the issue of parking overnight on city streets has come up over and over.  Many people have expressed that they would like to be able to park overnight in front of their homes, especially during the summer. Many people have told me how they have received a ticket for accidentally leaving their car out front.  Others have told me how they had to go through a very long process to get a variance to park on the street overnight.

I think at a minimum we should make it easier for residents to get a variance to keep a car on the street overnight.  A simple phone call to the police office should be all it takes.  If a family member is staying overnight (which happened to me when I was pregnant and a new mom), when friends stay late and decide to stay over, when family or friends are visiting from out of town, or for a number of other reasons, it should just be an easy thing to get an ok and not be ticketed.

We want to keep our city looking nice and not have 10 cars parked on the street next door to us permanently.  We also need to maintain street access for garbage trucks and snow plows in the winter.  But besides these things, it should be easier to be able to leave a car overnight on the street without having to pay a fine when no one was harmed and no operation was prevented.

I believe a city conversation should be held on the usefulness of no overnight parking laws, how much support there is to ease these, and in what ways.

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