The year was 1979 when an “avalanche of snow protest votes carried Jane Byrne to the most stunning political upset in Chicago history… as the second biggest primary election turnout in 40 years crushed the legendary Democratic political machine and ended Michael Bilandic’s two-year reign in City Hall.” – The Chicago Tribune

Many still remember that massive January blizzard, which buried the city of Chicago in 19 inches of snow in less than 24 hours, and caused citywide paralysis for motorists over thirty-five years ago

The city’s inadequate response to the blizzard was blamed primarily on then-mayor Michael Bilandic, something that political rival, Jane Byrne, capitalized on during the campaign before ultimately defeating Bilandic in the February 27 primary.

In order to prevent another disaster the likes of which we haven’t seen since ’79 (and to ensure that the most critical roadways in Chicago are kept open to full capacity at all times), the city of Chicago now enforces a Winter Overnight Parking Ban on 107 miles of vital arterial streets from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m., Dec. 1 – April 1 REGARDLESS OF SNOW.

Motorists who ignore this permanently posted seasonal tow zone face a $150 towing fee (minimum) in addition to a $60 ticket and an initial $20 daily storage fee.

A separate snow-related parking ban exists for another 500 miles of main streets and can be activated after there are at least two inches of snow on the street.

A total of 239 cars were towed yesterday, Dec. 1, 2014 because of the Winter Parking Ban—something to think about the next time you’re in a hurry to grab parking in Chicago.


City of Chicago

Chicago Tribune

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