by Sarah See
Mayor R.T. Rybak and Clear Channel Outdoor officials announced plans for 12 digital billboards around the city to display messages for drivers to sign up for free alerts and to move their vehicles out of the way of the plows, according to the Star Tribune.
Ads will be replaced with alerts when a snow emergency is declared, and drivers are encouraged to call the hotline to find out where to park, according to the Associated Press.
"We already have many creative ways of informing residents and visitors about Snow Emergencies, and thanks to Clear Channel Outdoor, we have a great new one," Mayor R.T. Rybak said. "This partnership will help the City do its job of clearing the streets and keeping people safe during a Snow Emergency, and will help drivers keep money in their wallets by keeping their cars from being towed."
According to the news sources, the billboards are a new addition to the tools already in place that notify residents when the city is under a snow emergency: text and e-mail alerts, automated phone calls, a Snow Emergency hotline, Facebook, Twitter, and the City's website.
"With these digital billboards we have just about every method of reaching people except for skywriting or carrier pigeons," Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy said. "Our Snow Emergency Twitter account is the eighth most followed for a local government in the nation. When it comes to creative communication, Minneapolis excels."
The billboards are intended to help drivers avoid getting towed, according to the Associated Press.
The billboards "will be seen by more than 1 million people throughout the community each day during those designated snow emergencies," Clear Channel Outdoor branch president Susan Adams said.