Orange Alert!: Winter Parking Ban Takes Effect 3AM Tuesday
I looked into my crystal ball and predict that hundreds of cars will magically disappear all over Chicago streets under the cover of darkness in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
These poor car-less souls will be shocked and confused. They will wail and grind their teeth. The will wander aimlessly around until they figure out their cars were towed because of the winter ban on overnight parking.
That’s right, at 3 AM early Tuesday morning, Chicago’s winter parking ban will take effect and will remain in place until April 1st.
If you park your car on one of these streets overnight, you can be ticketed and towed. The tow will cost you $150 plus $10 a day storage fee and that’s on top of a $50 ticket.
This ban effects major city arteries, 107 miles of roadway to be exact, where no parking is allowed overnight from 3 AM – 7 AM, no matter the weather.
IMPORTANT GEEK NOTE: Do NOT ignore the signs just because there is no snow!
Snow, ice, dry pavement– park overnight on one of these streets and you’re making a trip to the auto pound the next morning.
Normally, on the first day/night of winter parking ban towing, the city nails a few hundred unprepared motorists. Don’t be one of these poor suckers.
And assume that enforcement will be even more harsh than in previous years. Last year the Sun-Times embarrassed Streets & Sanitation and the administration by showing that towing revenue was off by nearly 50% due to staff cuts. This, combined with a revenue hungry administration, I would expect armies of tow trucks patrolling these streets this year.
Map of Overnight Parking Restrictions from 3 AM – 7 AM, Dec. 1-Apr. 1
Historically, the winter parking bans resulted from several terrible winter storms, especially the Blizzard of ’67, when the snow was so deep, it was nearly impossible to clear the snow with all the cars parked on the main arterial roadways.
“These routes are critical and need to be kept up and running at all times so that emergency vehicles, buses and cars are able to get through,” stated Thomas G. Byrne, Commissioner of Streets & Sanitation via departmental press release. “It is very important for our residents who park on the street to work with us to keep these critical routes open to full capacity by obeying the winter parking regulations.”
Last year, Streets & Sanitation made an effort to distribute fliers a few times in the weeks leading up to December 1st along the entire route warning drivers of the impending ban. As of today, we were not able to confirm if the city had taken this same action this year.
Check out our upcoming post on Snow Routes (2″ ban) that will go into mind numbing detail on this winter parking subject.