Category Archives: Winter Parking
And even though spring officially began March 2oth, city motorists mark the beginning of spring as April 1st when Chicago’s winter overnight parking ban ends.
This annual ban from December 1st to April 1st every year prohibits drivers from parking overnight from 3 AM to 7 AM on 107 miles of main arterial thoroughfares within the city. Every year thousands of vehicles get towed off these banned streets much to the frustration and chagrin of their owners and putting over $1.5 million in the city’s pocket.
With Chicago experiencing some of the warmest March weather on record, meteorologists say winter has become officially the third warmest on record.
Very little snowfall and extra warm temperatures have made this winter more bearable for Chicago drivers in many ways.
But perhaps the most overlooked benefit is a winter without the tradition of using junk to save street parking space after a heavy snow.
With winter officially ending Thursday, it looks like Chicago, with just a few minor outbreaks, has essentially had a dibs-free winter.
Photographer Amy Loeffler, who’s love of using street junk to reserve parking inspired her to create a blog called ChicagoSnowParking a website dedicated to documented what she considers a quaint tradition.
“I have to admit as much as I love documenting the snow dibs I’ve enjoyed the break from the cold winter this year,” says Loeffler.”With the lack of snow and consequently dibbing, this season my blog traffic is low but then again so are my posts. I started a Facebook page so hoping that will help expand my blog audience.”
That’s all it takes and all of a sudden some neighborhood Chicago streets are awash with lawn chairs, milk crates, five gallon buckets and all sorts of other junk.
Even though the several inches of white stuff melted away in 48 hours, selfish Chicago drivers still pulled their crap from their garages and basements to pathetically “reserve” the little piece of the street they allegedly worked so hard to shovel out.
So procrastinators, maybe it is finally time to get the car winterized now that the temperatures have finally dropped below 30 degrees.
Power Up For Cold Weather
You know the drill.
When temperatures plunge, car batteries have more trouble turning over the engine. The normal life of a battery is about three years. Over time, batteries lose power. If you haven’t changed your battery in a few years, maybe now as the cold weather sets in, is a good time to treat your car to a new one.
Are We Clear?
You can’t drive safely, if you can’t see out your windshield.
So another thing to check is your vehicle’s windshield wipers. With three months of snow, ice and salt ahead of us, if your wiper blades aren’t keeping your windshield clear, you need to get some new ones. Consider investing in some higher cost, higher quality wiper blades. Some people swear by premium wiper blades and feel its well worth the investment.
Chicago’s main roadways have been cleared of the snow from Chicago’s first snowstorm for the winter, so Friday saw the city’s 278 snowplows begin attacking the city’s 3,330 miles of side streets according to the Streets and Sanitation Department.
“Our drivers worked hard to plow and salt our routes, and we are very proud of the job that they have done, but given the cold weather conditions motorists should continue to drive with caution,” said Department of Streets & Sanitation Commissioner Tom Byrne. “Even a surface that looks clear and has been salted can be slick at points under these types of winter conditions.”
Streets and San also announced the city’s website devoted to all things snow, ChicagoShovels.org, broke city web traffic records with an impressive 65,744 visits since it’s launch about 10 days ago.
City Debuts ‘Plow Tracker’ App To Follow Plow Progress
Get ready Chicago drivers, we’re finally going to get hit with a substantial amount of snow.
Depending on which TV meteorologist you listen to and where you live, we’re going to see two to seven of inches of the white stuff over the next day or so.
Both the City of Chicago and the state of Illinois are preparing for the first significant snow removal challenge of the season.
“We want all motorists to be aware of winter road conditions and encourage drivers to slow down, buckle up, and cooperate with snow plows,” said Ann Schneider, Secretary for the Illinois Department of Transportation. “IDOT winter crews remain prepared to clear state roadways as needed, but we also ask motorists to take the necessary steps to help ensure their personal safety as well.”
Seems like drivers are starting to get the message that the city doesn’t like it when drivers park all night on streets affected by Chicago’s Winter Overnight Parking Ban.
On the second night of the ban, only 137 unfortunate motorists ignored the street signs prohibiting parking on 107 miles of critical arterial street covered by the ban according to the Department of Streets & Sanitation. In 2010, a similar 127 got the hook.
The night before, 188 drivers woke up to find their vehicle had been given a free ride to the auto pound.
The winter parking ban lasts from December 1st to April 1st.
ABC 7 Shows Aftermath Of 1st Night Of Winter Parking Ban
Break out the Kleenex and the adult sized pacifiers.
It’s the annual TV news coverage spotlight the sob stories of the aggravated drivers, whose cars were swept up by city tow trucks on the first night of the the city’s winter overnight parking ban.
Last year, 215 cars got the hook on December 1st last year.
But, The Expired Meter did a bit of digging and got a hold of the tow numbers from all of last year’s winter ban season which spans December 1st to April 1st, and we found some interesting things.
More Cars Towed On Weekends Than During Weekdays
Perhaps the most interesting info is that most cars towed for violating the overnight ban are towed for on weekends.
At least that’s what SpotHero founder Mark Lawrence thinks.
That’s why, on the eve of Chicago’s Winter Overnight Parking Ban, Lawrence is offering any unfortunate drivers who get towed on the first night of the ban free parking at one of the hundreds of spots they list for any event, time and place over the next year,
Lawrence feels its a way for his company to lessen the pain of being towed.
“Because we’ve been towed ourselves and getting towed sucks, it’s our way of giving back because we understand the pain and aggravation,” explains Lawrence. “It’s so we can make parking in Chicago a little better.”