HUMBOLDT PARK — Despite a lack of snow and unseasonably warm temperatures, the city’s overnight winter parking ban went into effect overnight — and some residents missed the memo.
The ban started early Wednesday morning, and as it did in years past, surprised many Chicagoans who parked their cars overnight on one of the affected streets. During the first night of the ban, 192 cars were towed, said Mimi Simon, spokesperson for the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation.
Even if there is no snow, cars parked on any stretch of the 107 miles of arterial streets designated by the city could get towed and fined from Dec. 1 through Apr. 1.
A map of where overnight parking is banned, regardless of snow:
The number of cars towed on the first night of the ban has decreased in the last two years: it is down 17 percent from 232 cars towed in 2020 and down 23 percent from 248 cars towed 2019, according to the department.
“With increased messaging to Chicagoans across multiple platforms, including a winter weather preparedness press conference, press releases and advisories to media, social media postings and Notify Chicago alerts, the city was able to reduce the number of vehicles towed,” Simon said in a statement.
The city also posted flyers on cars parked on impacted streets Tuesday night warning them of the ban, according to a department news release.
Still, several disgruntled drivers found themselves at the city auto pound at 701 N. Sacramento Blvd. early Wednesday.
“I’m pissed,” said one driver in passing.
“We’re dealing with the city sh*t,” said another.
One resident, who moved from Buffalo to Chicago, said last year she wished there was a grace period for the overnight parking ban — a warning issued before the tow truck, especially if there’s no snow on the ground.
“Now I realize coming here that it’s all about revenue,” she said. “Large cities just need to stop being so greedy.
Though some call it a cash grab, the city maintains the ban is about safety.
“The overnight parking ban is just one of the many protocols in place to keep the city safe during the winter every year,” Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Cole Stallard said in a statement.
Drivers who had their cars towed face at least a $150 towing fee, a $60 ticket and a $25vehicle storage fee for each day their car stays at the auto pound.
Towed vehicles are taken to either Pound 2, at 10301 S. Doty Ave. in Pullman or Pound 6, at 701 N. Sacramento Blvd. in Humboldt Park.
Anyone who finds their car towed can locate it by calling 311 or using the city’s database of towed vehicles.
There’s also a second snow-related parking ban that affects another 500 miles of main streets when there are at least two inches of snow on the street, regardless of the time of day or date. If violated, cars can be towed and ticketed as well.
Be on the lookout for these signs in your area alerting you to these various parking bans:
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