Early Warning: Winter Overnight Parking Ban Begins Wednesday Night
Seriously, no matter what the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation does, it won’t make a lick of difference December 1st when the city’s annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban begins at 3 AM.
No matter, how much PR and public outreach, no matter how many fliers they’ll place on windshields, no matter how many news stories or permanent posted signs, and even though this annual promotional push by Streets and Sanitation began over a week ago, a few hundred drivers will wake up Thursday morning to find the cars they parked on the street the night before have mysteriously disappeared–POOF!
No, it won’t be some mysterious magic trick, but a tow truck that took their car parked on the one of Chicago’s 107 miles of critical thoroughfares designated for Chicago’s annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban.
“The overnight parking ban is in place during the winter to make sure that critical routes are up and running at all hours so that emergency vehicles, buses and other traffic can get through,” said Streets & Sanitation Commissioner Thomas G. Byrne.
The ban runs every night/early morning from 3 AM until 7 AM starting Thursday, December 1st and continues through April 1st.
While the ban officially begins on Thursday at 3 AM, drivers should view the start of the parking ban as the evening of November 30th and find a safe parking spot somewhere else.
Drivers should also know, that the ban is in effect every night whether there is snow on the ground or not.
The Winter Overnight Parking Ban should not be confused with the 2″ snow route parking ban which is only rarely triggered for 500+ miles of city streets when there is substantial snow fall in excess of 2″.
Drivers who fail to heed the red and blue signs could risk their vehicle taking a very expensive trip to one of Chicago’s infamous auto pounds. The tow alone costs $150. Add in $10 in storage fees and a bright orange $50 ticket and a driver’s bank account will be $210 poorer.
It’s almost always the first night of the ban which brings in the most towed cars. Last December 1st, tow trucks caught 215 vehicles unaware, just 20 less cars than the 235 cars nailed December 1, 2009. Streets and San only caught 167 on the first night in 2008 and 149 in 2007.
All drivers who normally park overnight on a major thoroughfares should check the signs on the block they normally park on to ensure they don’t mistakenly park on a street with the overnight ban and/or check the city’s map of effected streets.