Annual Christmas Treecycling Event
Alderman Tunney offers a Christmas tree pick up event in conjunction with the City of Chicago’s Christmas Tree recycling program. This event is an easy and environmentally-friendly alternative for 44th Ward residents to dispose of their trees. Recycling Christmas trees allows the City to divert thousands of Christmas trees away from landfills for reuse in our community. 44th Ward residents can sign up using the online form.
Feel free to say hello if you see Alderman Tunney and staff picking up trees!
The Department of Streets & Sanitation (DSS) coordinates Chicago’s snow and ice control efforts from Snow Command. This high tech command center allows them to access and view a network of cameras and pavement sensors to get a quick and accurate assessment of our pavement conditions citywide. They track incoming weather systems via Doppler radar and through constant communication with meteorological consultants and the National Weather Service. They combine all of these technologies along with the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) on all Snow Fighting Trucks to strategically deploy our personnel to over 280 snow routes. Once on the roadways the trucks patrol, plow or salt our routes as necessary.
DSS is responsible for maintaining winter roadway safety on a route system of 9,456 lane miles. The routes consist of city main streets, neighborhood streets and Lake Shore Drive. The expressway system that travels through Chicago is maintained by the State of Illinois’ Department of Transportation, IDOT, and their familiar orange trucks.
During a snow program Streets & Sanitation’s first priority is to clear our main routes and Lake Shore Drive. Once arterial streets are plowed and deemed safe is generally when Snow Command turns their attention to the side streets.
While most side streets are cleared by full size Snow Fighting Trucks, Chicago’s narrowest side streets are cleaned by a fleet of over 20 smaller plows. These include 4×4 pick-up trucks with plows and heavy salt capacity.
For major snowstorms, Streets and Sanitation also has the capacity to equip as many as 200 garbage trucks with “quick hitch” plows to supplement the fleet. Since these don’t have salt spreading capability, they are run in tandem with trucks that do. In addition, heavy equipment and labor are available from other municipal departments for snow clearance during and after a blizzard.
Winter Snow Parking Restrictions
In order to ensure that the most critical roadways in Chicago are kept open to full traffic capacity at all times, the City of Chicago instituted and vigorously enforces a Winter Overnight Parking Ban on 107 miles of vital arterial streets from 3 am to 7 am between December 1st and April 1st, 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, no matter the time of day or the calendar date. While the 2” inch snow ban is not activated often, motorists who are parked there when it snows heavily could receive a ticket or find that their vehicle has been relocated in order to facilitate snow clearing operations.
Both of these parking bans were implemented on designated arterial streets to prevent recurrences of problems that happened in 1967 and 1979 when Chicago came to a traffic standstill due to major snowstorms.