Every year from December 1st until April 1st, the city of Chicago bans street parking on some 107 miles worth of arterial roads around downtown. On the very first night of the ban this year, the city towed 242 vehicles. In total, all of these owners together will pay at least $56,870 to get them back.
The ban is intended to provide clear streets for snow plows should snow build up on a major road. Notably, the street parking ban is only in place from 3-7 a.m. each day so it’s typically only those who park overnight that tend to be affected. Interestingly, the ban remains in effect regardless of weather and road safety conditions.
In total, each affected vehicle owner pays at least three different charges. A minimum $150 towing fee combine with a $60 non-moving traffic ticket, and a $25 daily storage fee for a total of $235. Of course, those are minimum charges and for some owners, picking up their vehicle isn’t something they can do the same day.
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The 242 vehicles picked up are the most that the city of Chicago has towed on the first night of the ban in the past couple of years. In 2021, it towed 192 cars. In 2020, it was 232, and in 2019 it picked up a grand total of 248 in a single night. The ban affects all cars left on the street and includes those with out-of-state tags that may not know of the practice.
In addition to the 107 miles of road covered by the street parking ban, an additional 500 miles of city street is subject to a different parking ban any time that at least two inches of snowfall occur. That ban isn’t affected by season either so it can happen before December or after April.
According to BlockClubChicago, 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.
Image Credit: ABC 7 Chicago