Winter parking bans go into effect overnight in Chicago

CHICAGO -- If you live in Chicago, you’ll want to watch where you park overnight starting now.

Chicago’s winter parking ban went into effect at 3 a.m., and every year, it costs our city’s motorists millions.

You do not want to be parked overnight near one of the parking ban signs until April, whether there’s snow or not.

Many argue the overnight parking ban is a completely unnecessary money grab by the city. Last year, over 9,000 vehicles were towed, which cost motorists more than $1.6 million, without counting the $60 tickets a lot of those drivers got in the mail. And the tickets come whether there's snow on the ground or not.

“We do that because if we ask people to move when it’s actually snowing, sometimes people aren’t at home or they don’t realize it’s snowing when they’re sleeping..So it’s difficult to get people to move their cars once it starts snowing," said Department of Streets and Sanitation's Anne Sheahan.

The ban runs from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. Dec. 1 through April 1 on 107 miles of major roadways. Another 500 miles of arterial streets are covered by two-inch ban that applies all year round.

Are there parking restrictions near you? The Chicago Tribune has a handy interactive map on its website.