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Street sweeping season begins Thursday

Residents should check for temporary orange no-parking notices to avoid towing on street sweeping days.

A Chicago street sweeper on Wacker Drive.
A Chicago street sweeper on Wacker Drive.
Sun-Times file

Warmer weather and budding trees are signs of spring — and also of street-sweeping season.

Street sweepers will hit Chicago roads Thursday, working daily to clear debris until mid-November.

But unlike last year, when the pandemic lockdown delayed street sweeping until May, operations at the Department of Streets and Sanitation should remain unaffected in 2021, which plans to hold to the usual April 1 start date.

“We’re going back to a normal season,” department spokeswoman Cristina Villarreal said.

Residents should check for temporary orange no-parking notices to avoid towing on street-sweeping days. The fine for a violation is $60.

Ward schedules and a real-time street sweeper tracker can be found online.

“We take pride in maintaining the cleanliness of our streets,” DSS Commissioner John Tully said in a statement. “We ask residents to help us keep Chicago clean by following parking restrictions related to street sweeping.”

A year ago, as the pandemic locked down the city, Chicago paused several services, including street sweeping. At the time, Tully said it was nearly impossible to continue street sweeping with people locked inside and the city temporarily suspending ticketing and towing.

That pause lasted until May, even though Chicago’s no-towing order continued until July.