On the first morning of Chicago's annual overnight parking ban, the city towed more than 300 cars. Emily Relerford reports with reaction from drivers picking up their cars from the impound for NBC News at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012.
Despite the lack of snow in the forecast, the enforcement of Chicago's overnight parking ban still took effect, leaving more than 300 drivers looking for their cars on Saturday.
The annual ban went into effect Saturday morning and 301 vehicles were towed from the 107 miles of arterial streets where parking is banned between 3 and 7 a.m. from Dec. 1 to April 1.
Every year the city warns whether or not snow is on the ground, the ban will be enforced. However, this year, the unseasonably mild temperatures gave no indication it was that time of year again.
The number of cars towed on the first morning in 2012 has gone up since the previous two years. Last year, on the first morning of the ban there were 188 cars towed. In 2010, 215 cars were towed on the first day of the ban.
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.
A full list of the streets affected during the ban can be found on the City of Chicago's website.
Those who fail to follow the signage during the ban could be charged a minimum of $150 towing fee in addition to a $60 ticket and an increasing $10 daily storage fee.
If you have trouble finding a place to park, here's a tip. Spothero.com lets you search for parking spots and compare prices. You can even reserve a spot from your smartphone, so you don't get stuck.
A separate permanent ban on another 500 miles of arterial streets is activated when at least two inches of snow are present to help facilitate the clearing of snow.
Both bans were implemented on designated streets to prevent traffic standstills during major snowstorms in 1967 and 1979.