This winter, St. Louis Park residents will have another way to learn about snow-related parking bans.
The City Council recently approved the launch of ParkAlert, an emergency notification system that will send messages to St. Louis Park residents by phone, text message and email. All St. Louis Park phone numbers listed in the phone book were automatically added to the system. Residents also have the option to add in cell phone numbers and email addresses via the city’s website.
Emergencies, such as chemical spills or other imminent threats to public safety, will generate automatic messages that will go to every landline in the system, as well as to the cell phone numbers and email addresses that were added in. While a snow-related parking ban isn’t quite the public safety threat that a chemical spill is, it will be classified as an “emergency” and will go out like other emergency notices.
St. Louis Park bans street parking anytime snowfall reaches three inches or more.
Non-emergencies, such as construction updates and meeting notices, will also generate messages, but only people who have specifically signed up online to receive these will get them. The landlines in the system will not get these messages by default.
In addition to choosing which types of notices they want, residents can also add in multiple addresses and contact methods, and prioritize how they want to be contacted.
The city is paying the Everbridge company $15,000 a year for these services. City staffers have been clear that residents’ contact information will be kept private and will not be used for any other purpose except as required by law. City staffers have also reiterated that this system is not meant to replace other notification systems (such as the city’s website, as well as its Twitter and Facebook feeds), but is intended to be one more way to get important messages to residents.