The overnight winter parking ban starts tonight and will stretch across 107 miles of arterial roads.
Regardless of snowfall, the ban will hold from 3 to 7 am today through to April 1.
The Department of Streets and Sanitation has encouraged motorists to look out for signage posted along stretches of road where the rule applies.
Speaking to ABC7 Chicago, Chicago Streets and Sanitation Commissioner John Tully said, “Snow can accumulate quickly during winter storms, and crews need immediate access to the city’s most vital roads to ensure that they are safe for motorists.”
“Residents can help us keep the roads clear by checking the permanently posted street signs and following the posted restrictions.”
During periods of snowfall, the department aims to clear the city’s main roads and Lake Shore Drive first, which can prove difficult on heavily congested stretches of road.
Flyers have recently been posted on cars parked on the streets to act as a final reminder before restrictions begin.
Drivers who ignore the ban face a minimum $150 towing fee, a $60 parking ticket, and a $20 daily storage fee which increases to $35 a day after five days. Cars weighing 8,000 pounds or more are likely to be charged a $250 towing fee and $60 daily storage fee, increasing to $100 per day after five days.
Vehicles will be towed to Pounds 2, found at 10301 S. Doty Ave., or 6, at 701 N. Sacramento Ave.
Drivers should also make themselves aware of the separate snow-related parking ban which is in place for another 500 miles of Chicago’s main streets. This ban can be activated by the DSS if there are at least 2 inches of snow on the street, regardless of the time of year.
Motorists parked when this ban is in place could receive a ticket or find that their vehicle has been towed to make it easier to clear the roads. Both bans were implemented following problems in both 1967 and 1979 when the city’s traffic came to a standstill due to snowstorms.
While these parking bans may seem troublesome to motorists, there’s plenty to do at Christmas time in Chicago to lighten your spirits – try the Elf’d up bar which we reviewed last week, for example.
Should snow fall this winter, the DSS has access to a high-tech control center containing a network of cameras and pavement sensors to get a quick and accurate assessment of the situation citywide.
From there, the department will clear most streets with Snow Fighting Trucks, while smaller side streets will be tackled by a fleet of 4×4 pickup trucks.
If your car is towed by the City of Chicago, call 3-1-1 to determine its location. The DSS also advises drivers to Go to Auto Pound Locations for a link to maps and directions for the City’s auto pounds – most of which are open 24/7, 365 days a year.
You will need to pay all fines before your car is released to you, show proof of ownership, and make sure all vehicle registration is up to date.