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Drivers advised to look out for orange signs as street sweeping season begins

A street sweeper cleans a residential street | Department of Streets and Sanitation

The orange signs that mark the end of the frigid winter and the start of Chicago’s annual street sweeping season are starting to crop up along city thoroughfares this week.

Starting Monday, the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation started deploying street sweepers to clear the debris and leaves that have built up on both residential and arterial streets, agency officials said in a statement.

“Essential neighborhood services like streets sweeping keep the City clean and safe for all residents,” said Streets and San Commissioner John Tully. “More than 50 sweepers are working in communities each day of the season to ensure that every area of the City receives this vital service.”

Streets and San officials warned Chicagoans to look out for the neon orange signs that announce temporary parking restrictions during the deep sweep. Drivers should also keep their eyes peeled for streets with permanent signage that specifies a weekly period when parking is prohibited for seasonal cleaning, Streets and San officials said.

Drivers should pay heed or prepare to cough up $60 or face being towed for parking on a street scheduled for cleaning.

While the annual street sweeping services only run through November, Streets and San workers also clean up curb lanes, viaducts and alleyways during the milder portions of the winter months. Since December, the agency has swept 9,185 additional miles through the end of February, a 421-mile increase from last year, Streets and San officials said.

Chicagoans can call 311 or check the city’s Sweeper Tracker for information about street cleanings. Or, click here to view the season’s full street sweeping schedule.