CHICAGO (CBS) — It happens each and every year on the first day of December – Chicagoans hear and see the warnings, but yet, hundreds never seem to listen.
This year, about 230 drivers didn’t get the message about the overnight winter parking ban on several major streets that starts on Dec. 1. They walked outside to find their cars missing.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar found the vehicles at the city auto pound at 701 N. Sacramento Blvd. in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, along with some long lines and some good excuses.
“Man, woke up this morning and my vehicle was gone,” said Reginald Wilder.
“So we got towed,” said Jen Sitto. “We were victims of the overnight towing that starts on December 1.”
They were just some of the 232 Chicagoans towed overnight. The lines the tow yard was steady well into the evening – with little social distancing as temperatures dropped.
“You see how busy this place is – it’s all the December 1 no parking, snow parking, whatever it is,” said Phil Dodson.
“It was the first night, so it was kind of s***ty,” Sitto said. “I went out to walk my dog today, and my mom’s car was gone.”
Starting overnight Dec. 1 and running through the beginning of April, signs are posted on 107 miles of city streets warning that it is illegal to park from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. – regardless of snow..
“I should have knew better, so technically speaking, it is my fault,” Wilder said.
The signs are clearly marked, and this is not a new rule. So what gives?
“I know it now, but I didn’t know it then,” Dodson said.
Wilder had a few explanations.
“The first (of December) came so quickly that – you know what I’m saying – I woke up, and yesterday was the first,” he said. “There’s really nowhere to park in my neighborhood. We don’t have garages and stuff.”
As the city’s latest towing victims got to know each other, bonding over the cash this blunder will cost a pretty penny.
“Altogether, it was $325,” he said.
And as we wrapped our report at the tow yard, the city ordered De Mar and his crew off the property.
“You can be as close as the sidewalk,” a security guard said. “That’s all.”
But while the city wanted us off their property, they do want your money. Again, the overnight ban is in effect until April 1.
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