Chicago Winter Parking Ban 2012: Dibs Season, Tow Anxiety And How To Survive Till April

They're back: Winter parking bans.

Those irksome street restrictions that last all the way until April 1 of next year went into effect Saturday morning at 3 a.m.

Snow seems a long way off given the balmy temps of late--Monday's high is forecast to be in the mid-60s--but the 3-7 a.m. parking bans will be "vigorously enforced" by the city regardless of whether the white stuff is falling.

As The Expired Meter notes, "even if it’s 90 degrees in January, if you park on an affected street, you’ll be towed."

Drivers with cars caught on the street during the hours the ban is in place will have to high-tail to one of the city's impound lots and face a $150 towing fee, $60 ticket and storage fee of up to $10 per day, reports ABC Chicago.

A year ago when the 2011 ban went into effect, fast-moving tow trucks nabbed 188 cars, according to CBS Chicago. The Tribune reports that according to the city's Department of Streets and Sanitation, 459 violations were issued on that first day.

In addition to the winter parking ban, there is also the 2″ snow ban which covers over 500 miles of city streets. The Expired Meter says the 2" snow ban is in effect on designated streets "only when there’s snow on the ground and when the city officially invokes the ban through the media."

Photo by thedarkthing via Flickr.