Hello Everyone

Charles McShan with Century 21 Universal. This is a quick local post to the people in Chicago. We have been thru a lot this year. The coronavirus, civil unrest, food shortages job loss, and more. The country has just gone thru the Thanksgiving holiday, and December the 1st will be here on Tuesday. If you are a driver living in Chicago, do not let that day sneak up on you. December the first is the day that the Snow route bans officially go into effect in Chicago. So as the title says. You must watch where you park in Chicago during the winter months.

What Must I look out for as a driver!

  There are 2 forms of snow route bans. They are red and white regulatory signs, and if you remember your driver’s education, a regulatory tells you the driver what you must do. They are your visible warning sign and are located on the green light poles. There are 2 types of snow ban route signs and only 1 type of sign forbidding parking after 2 inches of snowfall. Click the link below if you do not know what they look like.



Both snow bans cover only the main city streets and go into effect at different times. The lesser band is the snow route, which says if there are 2 inches or more of snow on that particular street, you should not park there because there is a good chance the city of Chicago will tow you. They must keep that main street clear of snow. How high are the odds that you will really get towed on these streets? The odds are 50-50. but you could receive a costly ticket. There are a lot of these 2-inch snow restriction routes throughout Chicago so get to know where they are in your local area. Call your local Alderperson if necessary.


Now let’s get to the main snow route ban. This one says that no matter what the weather, it could be 70 degrees outside, you cannot park your car on that particular main street from 3 am to 7 am from December 1st to April 1st. This is where the city makes its money. For the most part, the city does not use their tow trucks to enforce this ban. They hired out subcontractors, namely flatbed tow trucks. This way, they can put 2 cars onto the flatbed and tow the third car with their winch. A Street and Sanitation vehicle works in harmony with the tow truck. The city employee writes the ticket and then authorizes the tow truck driver to take the vehicle. The more cars the tow driver can hook up, the more money in his/her pocket. They start lining up around 2:40 in the morning. If you wake up the next morning and your car is not where you park on a snow ban route. Contact the city of Chicago and they will tell you what city pound your car was towed to.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the city has experienced a loss in revenues and taxes. They are hurting for money, and they will try to make all the money they can from December 1st to April 31st. Many of these bans are on main streets that normally have plenty of nightlife, such as North ave around Milwaukee ave. People park their cars around 1:30, go into the clubs, and party. They come out at 3:30-4;00 am and find their cars gone. That is when they look up at the sign on the lamp pole. Those bars are closing early due to the coronavirus, so how much money the city makes in these former nightlife areas remains to be seen. That will leave the main streets where people parked their cars because there is no parking available on the side streets close to them. These people have no choice, they have to go home and go to sleep. These are the ones who fall right into the trap every year. You will be the most venerable, and the city will take no pity on you.

What are the steps to retrieving my car from the city auto pound?

That is a good question. When you get to the city auto pound the towing fine is  $150.00, which you will pay upfront to bond your car out of jail. If that is not enough here comes the shocker that catches most people off guard.  Your car must also have a valid city sticker, a valid State sticker, you must provide the city with proof of auto insurance, and that you do not owe the city of Chicago any unpaid parking tickets that you have been found guilty on. If you owe for any of these you will have to go pay up otherwise, you will not get your car back.  Ouch!

   They have heard every sobbed story in the book, and you will not get your car back until you pay up. Guess what? If you do not come and get your car within 24 hours, they will charge you a daily storage fee. Oh yeah! I almost forgot when they towed your car you were written a ticket for illegally parking on that street. When they bring your car to you, you will see that bright red ticket on the windshield. That ticket cost will be$60.00 but you do not have to pay that ticket right then and there. It has to work its way thru the system before the summons comes to you in the mail. That will be your only bright spot on this dark day.

  This happens every from December 1st all the way to April 1st. The main Chicago auto pound on the North and Westside is located at Chicago and Sacramento ave. They make plenty of money off the angry crying people there. If you want to get violent with the city employees there, they already got your car in jail; the police will just lock you up also. I have taken plenty of people there. I have seen first hand what goes on and it is not pretty. The line is long and moves slowly because people were not prepared for the additional costs and there are arguments. It could take 30 to 40 minutes per customer You will be in line outside for over an hour, so if it is cold you should not show up in a skimpy jacket. Toilet facilities are an outside smelly porta-potty. So be forewarned you can avoid all of this by watching where you park.

What are the local snow bans in the West Ridge/Rogers Park area?

In my local area, the 2-inch snowfall ban is on Devon Ave from Kedzie to Around Ridge and on Western Ave, and I do not know the boundary for Western. Now speaking about Devon Ave. When you cross Ridge and go into East Rogers Park, all of Devon From Ridge to Broadway is a snow tow ban. Do not park your car on that stretch of Devon from 3 am to 7 am; otherwise, your car will be towed 100% guaranteed despite the weather.  The same rule applies to Clark street from Devon North to Howard street. Do not be that person calling me saying  They got my car. Can you take me to the pound, but I am not working? By the way, I got no money. What am I going to do? This winter will be rough on a lot of people. Do not make it rougher by having your car tow, and you have to decide on paying rent or getting your car out of jail. Find out where the snow ban routes are in your local area before it is too late. I tried to find an updated map letting everyone know what streets are under snow ban restrictions. I could not find it, so here is a 2013  document. It is old and outdated because Devon Ave is not on this list. but I know 79th street from the lake to Cicero and Cottage Grove along with Madison Ave. are on the list. I put this list here for reference points only. Use your common sense. Check out that red and white sign on that lamp pole where you are planning to park. Please click the link below to view the map.


     One more thing, a lot of Chicago city stickers for your car will expire on November 31st. I am going to buy my sticker today. The department of revenue and the Chicago police will be walking at midnight with their flashlights and ticket books in hand. This is Chicago and this is how it works. For those living outside the city, check your local regulations regarding where you can park so you too can keep your money in your pocket. Their local auto pounds will be busy too. The tow truck drivers who work with the city love this time of the year. Do not blame them. It is not personal only business. If you are not parked illegally they cannot get you. Do not be the one they hook up. If you read this blog post after December first no problem, you have to be on guard all the way until April 1st. Parents if you let your siblings drive your cars at night make sure they know where they can and cannot park. The same rules apply to everyone else.  Stay on the watch. On the watch for what? Watch where you park your car in Chicago during the winter months.  Until the next time, continue to maintain social distance stay safe. Pass this on to a driver you know who likes to take chances.

                                                                   Charles McShan

                                                                   Century 21 Universal

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P.S. This is why the city of Chicago started the snow bans. If you are old enough to remember these 2 snow blizzards you will understand their view of restricted city streets and their inability to plow them.