Weather Forecast


Winter is coming, so is calendar parking

BEMIDJI — Windshields will need scraping, sidewalks will need shoveling, streets will need plowing and cars may need towing.

It happens every year, the first big snowfall, yet we’re always caught off guard.

To prevent having a “Dude, where’s my car?” moment, the Bemidji Police Department advises sprucing up on street parking laws.

“We don’t tow unless it’s a snow emergency,” said Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin. “We would much rather educate people than write tickets.”

Some areas to take note of include seasonal routes around Bemidji State University, which are enforced from Nov. 1 to April 30. Calendar odd and even day parking is prevalent between Eighth and 26th Avenues NW and west of Lake Bemidji to Irvine Avenue with some portions extending farther west past Irvine.

Mastin said as long as you know what day of the week it is, you should be able to figure out which side of the street to park. When in doubt, look at house numbers.

According to the city’s code, for east-west streets, the north side of the street is designated as the odd side of the street; the south side of the street is considered even.

Calendar parking tickets cost $20. Fines paid are deposited into the city’s general fund. If a vehicle receives more than five tickets, it is subject to be towed.

Although police don’t prefer to tow, it will to keep routes clear for safety vehicles. So, if you walk outside that first white wintry morning and your car is missing, call law enforcement. Your car may have been towed or stolen.

“We have a significant auto theft problem,” Mastin said.

The best way to prevent theft is to lock your vehicle and never leave it running unattended. Mastin said auto-starts are legal because the vehicle can remain locked while running without keys in the ignition. Leaving your car running with keys in the ignition is illegal, no matter how cold it is outside.

Snow emergencies will be posted on the Pioneer website and on both the Pioneer and the Bemidji Police Department’s Facebook pages. Law enforcement can be reached at (218) 333-9111.

Snow Emergency Routes

- Highway 197

- Highway 50

- Irvine Avenue between Third Street and 30th Street

- Bemidji Avenue between First Street and 30th Street

- Birchmont Drive from Tenth Street to 30th Street

- 26th Street from Birchmont Drive to Irvine Avenue

- 21st Street from Irvine Avenue to Norton Avenue

- 15th Street from Birchmont Drive west to the city limits

- Delton Avenue from 15th Street to Highway 197

- Fifth Street from Bemidji Avenue to Park Avenue

- First Street SE, over any of its lanes

- Fourth Street SE, over all of its lanes

- Central Avenue, over all of its lanes

- Roosevelt Road, over any of its lanes

-Lake Avenue, over any of its lanes

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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