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242 Cars Towed On First Night Of Winter Parking Ban, Highest Number Since 2019

Car owners could pay at least $235 in towing, ticket and storage fees for forgetting to move their cars during the ban, which is enforced even if there's no snow.

People pay their fines to retrieve their towed cars on the first day of the winter parking ban, Dec. 1, 2021. The city's winter parking ban went into effect overnight Wednesday, catching many unsuspecting car owners off guard when they went out to their cars and found empty spots.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Nearly 250 Chicagoans started December with an unwelcome surprise.

The city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation reports 242 cars were towed Thursday as Chicago’s winter overnight parking ban went into effect. The ban prohibits drivers from parking on 107 miles of city streets 3-7 a.m. daily Dec. 1-April 1, regardless of whether there is snow.

Violators face a minimum $150 towing fee, a $60 ticket and a storage fee of $25 per day their car remains at the auto pound, according to city officials. That means the unlucky car owners will spend at least $56,870 in penalties and fees to retrieve their cars.

Many Chicagoans call the practice “predatory” as the mistake can set people back over $200, but city officials have continuously argued the ban ensures plows can quickly respond to unexpected snow on major roads.

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

Here’s the map of streets where the overnight parking ban is enforced:

Credit: Provided

City officials posted flyers on cars along streets affected by the ban to provide additional notice, but crews towed more cars Thursday than the first night of the ban in the last two years.

In 2021, 192 cars were towed, compared to 232 in 2020 and 248 in 2019.

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.

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