242 vehicles were towed on the 1st day, Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation says
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Just like the holidays arrive in December each year, so does Chicago's overnight winter parking ban.
Many feel like it's the Grinch who stole their car.
"I didn't really need this today and, you know, [it's] holiday time. Charging people for something like this, it's robbery," said Luke, who had his car towed.
Thursday morning, car after car was towed into the city auto pound at 701 North Sacramento Ave. as some woke up to find their vehicle had vanished.
Angel Tarver is visiting Chicago from Houston for business.
"So I'm staying at a hotel in Wicker Park and decided to park on the street because it's cheaper and they decided to tow me," Tarver said.
The city's winter overnight parking ban took effect on 107 miles of main streets. That means if there is a sign, you will be towed between the hours of 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., whether it snows or not.
It will remain in effect until April 1.
The ban is meant to ensure that main roads remain open for snow-clearing vehicles during winter storms.
"I just freaked out," Richard Zili, who had his car towed, said. "First I thought that it might be stolen. I called the pound. It's not the first time I've had my car towed but I thought I was careful, but not careful enough."
It will cost you $175 to get your car out of the pound and add more on top of that if you need to take a rideshare, leaving many feeling bitter.
"It feels like I'm living in a city that doesn't love me back is really what it feels like," Luke said.
"I return the car today and I go back to Houston today," Tarver said.
Asked if she was coming back, she said, "No. No. I'm OK Chicago. You all can have it."
To make matters worse, there is a $60 ticket you'll also have to pay and a $25 per day storage fee.
The ban runs through April 1. Vehicles that violate the ban will be towed to Pounds 2 (10301 S. Doty Ave.) or 6 (701 N. Sacramento).
"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," said DSS Commissioner Cole Stallard. "We ask residents to please follow the posted parking restriction signs so critical routes can be fully salted and plowed when it snows."
Thursday morning, 242 vehicles were towed, the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation said.