Facts, Info, & Tips To Survive Chicago’s Winter Overnight Parking Ban

The Facts, Info & Tips To Keep The Tow Trucks Away

With Chicago’s annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban starting late Friday night at 3AM (technically Saturday morning), here’s what drivers need to know to keep their cars from being hooked up behind a city tow truck.

WHEN?

Starting Saturday, December 1st until April 1st, every night from 3 AM to 7 AM.

Remember, this really means Friday night. Find a safe, legal parking spot on a side street for your car to avoid any driving drama.

WHERE?

On 107 miles of Chicago’s main arterial streets.

This includes portions of Clark St., Devon, Central, Foster, Kedzie, Milwaukee, Division, Madison, State St., Cermak, Archer, Martin Luther King Drive, Morgan, 60th, Cottage Grove, 78th, 103rd, 106th and Torrence.

Here’s the city’s full listing of streets covered by the parking ban.

If you normally park on a major thoroughfare overnight, double-check the signs along the entire block to see if you can legally park there at night.

Give your alderman’s office a call and double check with a staff member to see where you can legally park and/or what streets near where you live are impacted.

Reference the map below to see if streets where you park are affected.

WHY?

Blame it on the Blizzard of ’67.

The winter parking ban is historically rooted in that terrible Blizzard of ‘67. Because the snow was too deep and so many cars clogged these streets, plows were unable to start doing their job. When the snow got too deep, it was nearly impossible to clear the snowfall with all the cars parked on the main arterial roadways.

So now, these crucial routes are kept open overnight–just in case.

SNOW?

No, it doesn’t matter if there’s snow on the ground.

The overnight ban is in effect no matter what–snow or no snow. Even if it’s 90 degrees in January, if you park on an effected street, you’ll be towed.

Don’t confuse the overnight ban with the 2″ snow ban which covers over 500 miles of city streets but only when there’s snow on the ground AND when the city officially invokes the ban through the media.

HOW MUCH?

It will cost you $210 (or more) if you get caught parking on a street affected by the Winter Overnight Parking Ban.

Tow = $150
Storage Fee = $10 (per day)
Ticket = $50

TOTAL = $210

WHERE THE HELL’S MY CAR?!?

If you do get towed by the city here’s some resources to help locate it.

The city’s own Find Your Vehicle website let’s you search via the internet for a missing car.

Or just call 311.

Ultimately, your car will end up at one of Chicago’s infamous auto pounds. Here’s a list of City Auto Pounds with addresses and maps to help reunite you with your wayward vehicle.

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 Friday 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

5 Responses to Facts, Info, & Tips To Survive Chicago’s Winter Overnight Parking Ban

  1. Capt M-Plate says:

    Figure an Over/Under of 300 vehicles the first night and 200 on the 2nd.

    As a Note….AWD and 4×4′s that have their wheels Locked will require a Flatbed to remove and tend to get charged a larger Tow Fee if I remember correctly…because the majority of Tow’s are going to be done by Contractors since there are not enough Streets and San Tow Trucks.

  2. [...] (Read The Expired Meter’s Facts, Info, & Tips To Survive Chicago’s Winter Overnight Park… [...]

  3. It is so sad to think of the loss of money, time, energy
    and heartache.

  4. [...] parking fees downtown and street parking a rarity, Chicago residents experience an annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban – an absolute prohibition that takes place between 3 and 7 a.m. – from Dec. 1 to the following [...]

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