Winter Overnight Parking Ban Begins December 1st
Ban Starts Early Wed. Morning 3 AM, Move Cars Tues. Night
Workers for the Bureau of Traffic Services had the job of leaving fliers on the windshield of every car parked along 107 miles of Chicago streets impacted by the city’s winter overnight parking ban which starts Wednesday, December 1st at 3 AM.
But despite their efforts, and the best efforts of the Department of Streets & Sanitation to get the word out in the media, hundreds of drivers will wake up Wednesday morning to find, shockingly, their cars have disappeared overnight.
To the dismay of these drivers, a city tow truck has delivered their vehicle to one of the city’s auto pounds, where vehicle owners get the added insult of having to pay a $160 for being towed with a bonus of a $50 parking ticket.
The fliers, printed in both English and Spanish, explain the parking ban runs from December 1st to April 1st, and prohibits vehicles from parking from 3 AM to 7 AM on that particular street.
“These are the key streets to our survival,” says Matt Smith spokesperson for Chicago’s Department of Streets & Sanitation. “These streets are like the arteries in your heart–you have to keep them clear.”
Last year, tow trucks pulled a total of 235 cars off the street the first night of the ban and another 164 the next night. While not a first night record for the winter parking ban, it was the highest first and second night totals for at least the past three years. The combined two night total for last year was nearly 100 cars more than both 2008 and 2007.
Due to the angry and growing city budget deficit, it won’t be a surprise that Streets & Sanitation tow trucks are in full force Tuesday night hooking up as many cars as possible.
Many drivers get burned because they think the ban starts the following night, not realizing December 1st technically begins at midnight with the ban kicking in just three hours later. Other drivers get caught assuming the ban only applies to when there’s snow on the pavement, often confusing the overnight parking ban with the rarely invoked 2″ snow ban.
Snow or no snow. Dry or wet pavement. Zero degrees or 80 degrees. It doesn’t matter. The winter overnight parking ban is for every night from December 1st to April 1st.
Historically, the winter parking ban came about due to the crippling Blizzard of ‘67 and other terrible winter storms. When the snow got too deep, it was nearly impossible to clear the snowfall with all the cars parked on the main arterial roadways.
“These regulations are designed to keep our most critical routes up and running at all times so that emergency vehicles, buses and other vehicles can get to where they need to go,” said Streets & Sanitation Commissioner Thomas G. Byrne via press release.
GEEK REMINDERS & TIPS
- Ban officially starts December 1st at 3 AM and ends at 7 AM
- It’s best to think of the ban as starting Tuesday night, November 30th
- Keep your car off of all major thoroughfares affected by the ban each night
- Review map (see below) and carefully read signs if you’re parking on a busy street
- No snow required! It doesn’t matter if there’s snow on the ground or not. You park, you’re towed
- Ban ends April 1st