City tows cars after Chicago winter overnight parking ban takes effect

Jessica D'Onofrio Image
Friday, December 1, 2023
Hundreds of cars towed on firs day of winter overnight parking ban
There's no snow on the ground but the overnight parking ban is in effect in Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The tow trucks were very busy Friday morning. Hundreds of drivers had a rude awakening this morning as the city's overnight winter parking ban went into effect.

The city says a total of 263 cars were towed to impound lots.

Joseph Caspi is visiting Chicago from Canada. He found his car at the pound on the West Side.

"I woke up, went to take my car in and it was gone," Caspi said. "It was towed from the street and I missed the sign that said December 1...I was not expecting such an experience."

The ban means cars parked on bus routes and main roads will be towed regardless of snow.

Lateefah Muhammad says the rule is confusing when there's no snow on the ground. Her car was towed from State Street and Roosevelt Road.

"Frustration because it's raining," Muhammad said. "It's not snowing and this is my second impound that I've gone to today."

The citywide ban affects 107 miles of streets and is now in effect nightly from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. until April 1.

The Department of Streets and Sanitation wants to keep routes clear for emergency vehicles, public transportation and snow plows.

Cars left parked on designated roadways will be towed and drivers will face a minimum $150 towing fee, a $60 ticket and a storage fee of $25 per-day.

Susan Chitan spent the morning trying to locate her car after she parked on a winter parking banned street.

"It's frustrating because no one can tell me where it's at and at this point I'm not even getting anyone on the phone," Chitan said. "So we're just kind of driving around to see if we locate the car."

It's not a fun way to wake up on December 1, but city officials said they have been reminding people for weeks.

Last year, 242 cars were towed on December 1, with 186 cars towed in 2021 and 232 towed in 2020.

The vehicles will be towed to Pounds 2 (10301 S. Doty Ave.) or 6 (701 N. Sacramento).

For more information, visit