In order to ensure that the most critical roadways in Chicago are kept open to full capacity at all times, the City of Chicago instituted and vigorously enforces a Winter Overnight Parking Ban on 107 miles of vital arterial streets from 3 am to 7 am between December 1st and April 1st, regardless of snow.
Motorists who ignore this permanently posted seasonal tow zone face a $150 towing fee (minimum) in addition to a $60 ticket and an initial $20 daily storage fee.
A separate snow related parking ban exists for another 500 miles of main streets and can be activated after there are at least two inches of snow on the street, no matter the time of day or the calendar date. While the 2” inch snow ban is not activated often, motorists who are parked there when it snows could receive a ticket or find that their vehicle has been relocated in order to facilitate snow clearing operations.
Both of these parking bans were implemented on designated arterial streets to prevent recurrences of problems that happened in 1967 and 1979 when Chicago came to a traffic standstill due to major snowstorms.