Chicago official explains how to avoid getting towed as winter parking ban goes into effect

It catches dozens of Chicago drivers every year. We're talking about the winter overnight parking ban, which goes into effect December 1st regardless of whether there's snow on the ground.

When in doubt, look for any signs with blue snowflakes on them, and for the next five months, make sure you don't leave your car parked near one!

"We gotta keep those main streets free and clear so people can get to and from," said Cole Stallard, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Streets & Sanitation. "Our goal is to get this message out to as many people as possible. Yesterday it was 58 degrees, now it's down to 18. It's Chicago weather. We just have to be prepared."


The overnight parking ban covers 107 miles of the city's busiest streets — streets that are essential in keeping the city moving during the winter.

Between now and the spring, if you leave your car parked on one overnight, specifically between the hours of 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., you'll not only get your car towed, you're also looking at a hefty fine.

Violators get towed, which comes with a $150.00 fee — and they also get slapped with a $60 ticket, plus a $25.00 storage fee each day your car is at the pound. That's a $235.00 mistake and a perfect chance for SpotHero to pitch its app, which connects Chicago drivers to millions of parking spots nowhere close to these dreaded signs.

"Every year it's the same thing," said Mark Lawrence, CEO of SpotHero. "There will be 100s, possibly thousands of cars towed. Don't be that person."

The overnight parking ban remains in effect through April 1st and for a complete list of all the streets affected, head to