Chicago Parking Signs – What You May NOT Already Know

Chicago Parking Signs – What You May NOT Already Know

Chicago in the 1920's
Parking in Chicago wasn’t always as difficult as it is today. During the 1920’s you rarely came across a parking sign.

Did you know that a Parking Sign is never just a Parking Sign? The city of Chicago and the state of Illinois have specific legal regulations on what exactly most Parking Signs need to say and how they should look. The exact coloring, language, size and material for most of the signs you are familiar with must comply with municipal codes.

As the third most populous city in America, Chi-Town maintains an intricate set of parking guidelines to manage the smooth flow of traffic. Therefore, it’s necessary to know all (or at least some important) parking rules as Chicago residents.

Chicago has hundreds of parking violations, and they each have a corresponding parking sign. Some are listed below, but for a complete list of parking violations, see the City of Chicago’s parking page.

Did you know that you can get fined for these violations?

Violation Fine
Parking with Burglar Alarm Sounding over Four Minutes $50.00
Abandoned Vehicle: 7 Days or Incapable of Operation $75.00
Motorcycle or Scooter not parked perpendicularly or diagonally $25.00
Scooter Parking Signs
You can get fined $25 if your scooter is not parked at the proper angle.

Remember, nearly 100% of these parking violations are only applicable for street parking. Except for never driving your vehicle, the easiest way to avoid most of these fines is to park in designated parking lots, like those listed on SpotHero. Going to the Bears game on Sunday? Street parking might be cheaper, but if you’re not careful you may end up paying a lot more in fines and towing than you would at Soldier Field Parking.

These are some common parking violations you should look out for as a Chicago motorist.

Violation Fine
Park in Fire Lane $150.00
Park in Disabled Parking space on street or in public or private lot $200.00
Park within 15′ of Fire Hydrant $100.00
Expired Meter or Overstay Meter Period $50.00
Handicap Parking Sign
This Handicap Parking Sign is compliant with Chicago’s fine regulations on Handicap Parking.

Why Signs Are Necessary – How Can They Help?

This custom Fire Lane Sign complies with Illinois’ requirements for text, colors, and letter height. Unauthorized parking can cost you over $250 in ticketing and towing charges.

If you’re new in the city, parking signs can be of great help if you don’t want to end up with a ticket on the first day of your visit.

  • If you’re new in the city, parking signs can be of great help if you don’t want to end up with a ticket on the first day of your visit.
  • Although, you may know the Windy City in and out, visual aids in the form of parking signs can help when you miss out on some rules occasionally.
  • With so many parking regulations in effect, it is virtually impossible to remember all of them. Parking Signs serve as quick reminders when you can’t recall important parking laws.
  • They can point out to unobservant drivers that they are actually parking in a fire lane.

It is not difficult to stay clear of these fines. But some rules, such as those employed on metered parking, can be very strict. Most Chicago parking meters allow two hours of parking. If you want to park for more than that, it is advisable that you reach the parking meter before your two hours are up and feed more money in the meter for more time.

Next time you hit the streets of Chicago and see a Parking Sign, you’ll remember that the regulations followed in making that sign are just as strict as its enforcement of the parking rules.

Even when you think you can get away without a parking ticket …

Have a great story about when your parked car was violated? Share your story in the comment section below! Also, make sure you follow Mark on Twitter, @SpotHero, to get instant updates on Chicago parking.

One response to “Chicago Parking Signs – What You May NOT Already Know”

  1. Tom Ordonez Avatar

    This sign is one of the most hated. At least in the areas around ashland and division:
    “No parking 3AM-7AM Dec 1-Apr 1 or when snow is over 2 inches”.

    The regulation supposedly starts on Dec 1 at 3am. But I got towed and I know people that got towed the day before and also Dec 1 before 3am. The price you pay is like $200 and the people at the towing garage are the worst.

    I am sure you can get a spothero for cheaper than $20 a night. Probably you will find a spothero for $200 a month! Much better than dealing with those tough guys at the towing garage or spending an hour each night looking for a winter-sign-free spot.

    Here is a nice posting about that: