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Winter Parking Ban Leaves Some Drivers Miffed

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Winter Towing

City crews tow cars that were illegally parked on the first night of the winter parking ban. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 12/01/11 12:59 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — It was a very rough morning for Chicago drivers who neglected to heed the signs warning of the winter parking ban.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, 188 cars were towed for violating the ban early Thursday morning, and more than a few Chicagoans were at their wit’s end as they came to the city Auto Pound at 701 N. Sacramento Ave. to retrieve their cars.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports


The tow trucks moved fast overnight. Not long after 3 a.m., tow truck drivers were arriving at the impound lot with two cars at a time, and went back out just as quickly.

Between Dec. 1 and April 1, parking is prohibited between 3 and 7 a.m. on 107 of the city’s most critical roadways. One of the drivers who was reminded of this the hard way was Michael Lee.

“I ran out with my boxers on, and my car was gone,” he said.

Lee claims no one told him about the overnight parking ban, or at least he didn’t’ see the sign.

“It messed my whole day up,” he said. “Man, it’s crazy!”

Worse, Lee didn’t have enough cash to retrieve his car.

“I’m going to try and see if I can get my ID out of the car, though,” he said.

One by one, taxis dropped off those looking for other vehicles.

“I walked the block up and down and it wasn’t there,” said Anthony Colucci, who parked his car on Milwaukee Avenue overnight.

Colucci conceded that he had no excuse.

“I knew because the funny thing was, my mom sent me a text message last night, because she saw something on the news and said, ‘Make sure your car is not parked in one of these zones,’” he said.

On the South Side, one Naperville man didn’t know about the ban, and ended up with his car in the auto pound at 130th Street and Doty Avenue. He came into the city to feed his daughter’s cat, and to take a catnap.

He told WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya the cab ride to the pound cost about $32, plus the tip, in addition to the towing and impoundment fee.

No matter what your story, it’s going to cost a lot to get your car back. The towing fee and ticket will leave you at least $200 in the hole.

“They give us attitude like it’s our fault, but it’s really not. It’s theirs,” said Princess Hibbler, a cashier at the Sacramento Avenue impound lot. “They don’t read the signs.”

Hibbler says cashiers try to be patient with those whose cars are towed, and patience is needed when dealing with some very unhappy people.

The following routes are affected by the ban:

• 79th Street: South Shore Drive to Cicero Avenue
• 103rd Street: Torrence Avenue to Pulaski Road
• 106th Street: State Line Road (Avenue A) to Torrence Avenue
• Archer Avenue: State Street to Harlem Avenue
• Cannon Drive (west side only): Diversey Parkway to Fullerton Drive
• Central Avenue: Bryn Mawr Avenue to Harrison Street
• Cermak Road: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to State Street
• Clark Street: Howard Street to Devon Avenue
• Cottage Grove Avenue: Midway Plaisance to 103rd Street
• Devon Avenue/West Sheridan Road: Clark Street to North Sheridan Road
• Division Street: LaSalle Boulevard to Austin Boulevard
• Foster Avenue: Clark Street to Kennedy Expressway (I-90)
• Garfield Boulevard: Ellsworth Drive (Washington Park) to Morgan Street
• Kedzie Avenue: Bryn Mawr Avenue to Irving Park Road; Milwaukee Avenue to Moffat Street; North Avenue to 87th Street
• Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive: Cermak Road to Garfield Boulevard
• Madison Street: Desplaines Street to Austin Boulevard
• Midway Plaisance: Dorchester Avenue to Cottage Grove Avenue
• Milwaukee Avenue: Lake Street to Central Avenue
• Payne Drive (Washington Park): Midway Plaisance to Morgan Drive
• State Street: Congress Parkway to Cermak Road
• Torrence Avenue: 103rd Street to 106th Street

Drivers should also pay attention to city snow route signs prohibiting parking on another 500 miles of main streets when there is a 2-inch or more snow accumulation. When that restriction is enforced, cars are towed to other streets rather than impounded.

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