Duluth Delays Parking Enforcement

Abigail Blonigen

The City of Duluth has delayed its front-yard parking enforcement until June 1, 2017. The June 1 deadline will allow more time for communication between the city, landlords, and tenants about how to be compliant with this law, according to city officials.

For the last month, students and community members have been stressed and confused about the city of Duluth’s choice to begin stricter enforcement with front-yard parking. Front-yard parking is illegal in the city of Duluth, and as of Oct. 1, law enforcement began issuing warnings to both tenants and landlords with illegally parked cars.

Most of these warnings were issued in neighborhoods with many college students, leaving them feeling targeted. Mike Purtell, Vice President of External Affairs for the University of Minnesota — Duluth’s student association, along with a petition of 1,100 student signatures called together a meeting with Duluth officials to discuss pushing the date of enforcement back to June 1 to allow landlords and tenants more time to figure out their parking situation before new leases turns over.

These efforts were successful. According to the Duluth News Tribune, Keith Hamre, Duluth’s director of planning and construction services, said: “I think it’s safe to say that students were not necessarily well informed of where their parking was located or how many legal parking spaces they had.”

He said landlords were likely not up to date with parking requirements, and encouraged them to educate themselves and communicate with their tenants about their needs.

“Overall, we’re very happy that the city listened to the concerns of the students that their policy would affect,” Purtell said of the change. “We want them to know that students are members of the community in Duluth we are hopeful that the city will include the voices and concerns and bring us into more discussions moving forward.”