Chicago's winter parking ban went into effect Thursday morning.
Is your car still where you parked it last night?
If not, check the street signs. Chicago's Overnight Parking Ban went into effect Thursday morning and the city towed 188 cars, down from 215 towed last year on the first day.
The ban is being enforced on major city arteries, including parts of Cicero, Cottage Grove, Pulaski, Division, Kedzie, 106th and Milwaukee. The plan is in place to ensure emergency vehicles and buses can navigate the roads during snowy winter months.
"Please make sure you're parked in the safe legal space this winter,” said Streets & Sanitation Commissioner Thomas G. Byrne, "and work with us to ensure that Chicago's arterial streets remain safe and clear.
Regardless of whether snow is on the ground, the ban will be enforced between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. until April 1, 2012. Ignoring it could cost offending drivers a $50 ticket and a car storage fee of $10 or more per day. Getting a car out of the impound lot costs at least $210.
Last year, 215 cars were towed on the first day of the ban last winter, Byrne said. On the second day last year, 127 cars were towed.
Permanent signage is posted next to signs for the 2-inch Snow Parking Ban, which can go into effect at any time but is not often activated, Byrne said.