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Chicago’s Overnight Winter Parking Ban Starts Thursday. Here’s How To Avoid Getting Towed

The ban is enforced whether or not there's snow on the ground. Violators will face a minimum $150 towing fee and a $60 ticket.

A car on a tow truck at one of the city's auto pound at 701 N. Sacramento Blvd. in East Garfield Park.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Drivers parking on the city’s main streets need to start moving their cars Thursday morning when the overnight winter parking ban goes into effect.

The ban prohibits drivers from parking on 107 miles of city streets 3-7 a.m. daily Dec. 1-April 1, according to the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation.

This ban is enforced even if there is no snow. A different parking ban affecting 500 miles of city streets is enforced when there is at least 2 inches of snowfall, regardless of when in the year it occurs.

See the map below and at this link for the streets where the ban is enforced. 

Credit: Provided

Along with being towed, violators will face a minimum $150 towing fee, a $60 ticket and a storage fee of $25 per day their car remains at the auto pound, city officials said.

Towed vehicles will be taken to Pound 2 at 10301 S. Doty Ave. or Pound 6 at 701 N. Sacramento Blvd. Drivers can search online to find their towed vehicle or call 311.

With nearly 200 cars towed during the first day of last year’s ban, residents have criticized the policy as a way for the city to generate revenue with costly penalties for drivers.

City officials have cited safe snow removal as the primary reason for the ban. Parked cars can block snowplows as they clear and salt the roads, city officials said in a statement.

During snowstorms, the city plows first clear DuSable Lake Shore Drive and other main streets to ensure streets are clear for drivers, buses and emergency vehicles, officials said.

Credit: Provided

A live snowplow tracker is available on the city’s website.

“The city implements the overnight parking ban each winter to help keep Chicagoans safe during winter storms, and to provide access to emergency vehicles, public transportation and other travelers,” streets Commissioner Cole Stallard said. 

City officials have posted flyers on cars along streets affected by the ban to provide additional notice.

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