Parking Ticket 101: Street Cleaning
Tips For Avoiding & Contesting Street Cleaning Violations
While parking tickets are frustrating, perhaps the most annoying parking violation is for street cleaning.
In most cases, the signs were posted and the driver knew the big blue street cleaners would be there in the morning–but simply forgot.
60 bucks is an expensive mistake.
But here are some tips so you move your car in time and keep those damn bright orange street cleaning tickets off your windshield.
Street Cleaning Schedules
Find your ward and your zone within the ward, and it should list every date for the entire street cleaning season, which runs through October 31st.
Write all the street cleaning dates on the household calendar and plug them into your phone’s calendar application . Then set the alarms to remind you ahead of time to move your car.
Your local ward’s website should have the street cleaning schedule for your ward listed.
Some wards will actually provide printed schedules to constituents.
Watch For Street Signs
Those bright orange cardboard signs will usually make it onto trees, light poles and sign posts along your street at least 24 hours before street cleaning begins.
Make sure you watch your street for these signs, even if you’re not using your car every day. You don’t want to be caught off guard because you haven’t driven your car for a few days.
It seems drivers start taking the permanent signs for granted or forget to check them. Despite the old school nature of those temporary cardboard signs, they seem to be more successful at reminding drivers to move their cars.
If you live or park on a street with permanent street cleaning signs, it is very important to mark your calendar, day planner or input the dates into your phone’s calendar function to remind you when the street sweepers will be there.
Street Cleaning In Business Districts
While street cleaning on residential streets start at 9 AM, there are some commercial districts of the city where weekly street cleaning occurs from 7 Am to 9 AM from April 1 to October 31.
Fighting Street Cleaning Tickets
There are few defenses available to the motorist who receives a ticket for street cleaning. But, in some cases, a driver can prevail in contesting this violation.
If signs were not posted on your block or for some reason they have been removed or have blown down due to the weather, you may be able to contest and win.
Photograph the lack of signs along your block. Throw in a few photos of street signs or addresses on buildings to establish you are photographing where you were ticketed. Take photos of other cars ticketed on the block showing you were not the only driver who was ticketed because signs were not posted correctly.
Ask the Administrative Law Officer presiding over your hearing to check the ticket sequence. He or she can see if there were too many tickets issued on the block. According to one hearing officer, if there are more than five or six cars ticketed for street cleaning on the same block, it seems to indicate that signs were not posted correctly.
You can make the same general argument if you feel signs were not posted 24 hours ahead of time. While this 24 rule is not contained in the municipal code, hearing officers recognize that motorists need fair warning to be able to comply.
Street Cleaning Fun Facts
- Street cleaning season runs from April 1st to October 31st.
- Orange paper signs announcing street cleaning are supposed to be posted at least 24 hours before street sweeping commences.
- Street cleaning starts at 9 AM and ends at 3 PM.
- You can re-park on the street before 3 PM only if signs are removed after street cleaning has been completed.
- Tickets for street cleaning will cost you $60.
Coming Soon…VERY Soon
The Expired Meter is currently testing a new FREE service to help warn Chicago drivers to move their cars when street cleaning is scheduled for their street.
For more information on this new service and to be the first on your block to sign up, send us an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org