Watch Where You Park in Chicago Starting Dec. 1

November 30, 2011

Before you park near your Chicago real estate, beware: There may be no snow on the ground, but the beginning of December still marks the start of the Winter Overnight Parking Ban in the city.

The seasonal parking restriction bans motorists from parking along the city’s most critical arterial streets from 3 to 7 a.m. — regardless of the presence of snow — from December 1 through April 1.

Signs that mark the Winter Overnight Parking Ban route are posted next to signs for the 2-inch Snow Parking Ban along 107 miles of the 500 mile long Snow Route System. The Snow Route System was created from lessons learned during massive snow storms, including the Great Blizzard of ’67.

“The overnight parking ban is in place during the winter to make sure that critical routes are up and running at all hours so that emergency vehicles, buses and other traffic can get through,” said Chicago Streets & Sanitation Commissioner Thomas G. Byrne.

Drivers who ignore the overnight parking ban face a $150 minimum towing fee, a $50 ticket and a storage fee of $10 per day that increases over time.

Last year, 215 motorists were towed on the first day of the Winter Overnight Parking Ban in Chicago for ignoring the rule, so watch where you park, Chicagoans.

For a map and list of streets effected by the Winter Overnight Parking Ban, visit

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Since we are talking cars, let me ask you: Have you ever been to the Volo Auto Museum? It’s an attraction I, as a classic-car lover, have always wanted to visit.

If we go there now, we’ll get to see the first and last Rolls-Royce vehicles to carry Princess Diana in our country.

The Volo Auto Museum, located 50 miles northwest of Chicago in Volo, has been around since 1960 and is rated the No. 1 auto attraction in the country. Constructed from a Dairy Farm built in 1848, the museum has been called haunted by the Discovery Channel; there is a haunted Trolley Tour that tells the story.

The museum currently has a special collection called Treasures of the Vault that is available for viewing as part of the trolley tour that runs every Saturday and Sunday.

The collection unveils cars owned or used by the rich and famous. One of the well-known cars in the collection is the 1996 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur III that was used by the late Diana, Princess of Wales during her visit to Chicago in 1996. This car was the last Rolls-Royce to carry her in the U.S. — and now the museum has the first Rolls-Royce to chauffeur her as well.

It’s a 1979 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, which was used by the British Embassy in Washington for Royal visits. Included with the car is a diplomatic log book, which lists detailed records on who rode in the car. Prince Charles’ name is listed often, including on one date in November 1985 when he was accompanied by his new wife, Princess Diana, on her first trip to the U.S.

The official side-by-side viewing of the first and last vehicles that took Princess Di around the United States will go from Dec. 3 to Jan. 1. In honor of Princess Diana’s commitment to charity work, the museum will reduce each adult trolley admission by $2 for those who bring in a perishable food item. The food will be donated to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

For more information, visit

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