The snow has not let-up in the last 48 hours, at least not in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood where I live. Everything everywhere is covered in a pristine blanket of fluffy whiteness. The snow in our backyard is at least a foot deep. Hollywood could not have painted a prettier picture of winter in the Midwest.

But don’t let the magic of the season lull you into thinking that everyone is on holiday. Today as I drove around Chicago’s north side showing homes to potential buyers, I noticed that the City’s parking enforcement division was hard at work dusting off meters to verify that they had not expired. I saw one Parking Enforcement Aid (PEA) scrape the snow off a small portion of an offender’s windshield – creating just enough space to slap on a bright orange parking violation notice. If you were among the unlucky ones who received a citation, you might want to check out this informative blog about how to fight parking tickets. However, if you simply decided not to feed your snow-covered meter, you should probably just pay the ticket!

Also, don’t forget that per Chicago Municipal Code 10-8-180, city residents and business owners are required to keep the sidewalk in front of their property free of snow and ice. This also includes owners of vacant lots – you need to keep the public sidewalk adjacent to your property clear. Monday through Saturday, snow that falls before 4:00 p.m. is supposed to be removed within three hours. Shoveling this much snow can be backbreaking work, but it is a matter of community safety. Lindsay Wolfe on my residential real estate sales team pointed out today that some families still use their stroller to get around with their kids, even with snow on the ground. Furthermore, even well shoveled sidewalks can be treacherous to the elderly and handicapped. If you have a problem with an uncooperative neighbor, you may want to call the Alderman’s office or 3-1-1.

The good news with all this snow is that less than a month after Mayor Daley instituted his controversial policy to cut costs by using less salt, plowing side streets only during normal working hours to avoid paying overtime, and skipping side streets altogether after “minor” snow storms, Daley has reversed his decision. City snow plows are back out and in full force!

May you all keep warm these coming days and hopefully spend less time spinning your tires (sound familiar?) and more time enjoying Chicago!

Print This Post Print This Post


  • Tim Freeman

    Thanks for the insight Jenny. I am forwarding this to my block club so they can distribute to everyone….Maybe we will have cleaner sidewalks!