CHICAGO - The first morning of December can be inconvenient and expensive in Chicago.
The winter overnight parking ban is in effect and cars were towed to the city’s auto pounds at 701 N. Sacrament Blvd. and on the South Side at 103rd & Doty Avenue.
Tow trucks pulled vehicles to the auto pound on the West Side minutes after the city’s parking ban took effect.
It is enforced on 107 miles of streets Dec. 1st through April 1 from 3 to 7 a.m., regardless of snow. City officials say the ban allows access to emergency vehicles, and to salt trucks and plows when it snows.
The violation can cost $150 for the tow, $60 for the ticket and $25 for daily storage fees. Plus, the car owner has to pay any outstanding tickets.
City officials say the Department of Streets and Sanitation towed 242 cars this morning.
Jimmy Aiyouso parked his car on Division Street for an hour and when he returned to the car, it was gone. He said the signage was confusing and going through the trouble of finding his car, hiring an Uber to drive him to the auto pound, then paying the fees, was painful.
"There’s a recession. We don’t have money," Aiyouso added.
Another driver said he parked on Clark Street in Rogers Park and there were no signs warning of the ban.
"It shouldn’t have been towed at all. Essentially, my car was stolen by the city, and now I have to pay for it," the driver said.
City officials say the parking ban prepares city services for winter weather. There’s no snow, but drivers say this was a bitter experience.