The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicago Cracks Down on City Sticker Hoarders and Scofflaws

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Oct 18, 2011 8:20PM

Any car owner in Chicago is used to seeing those orange envelopes on their windshield. We usually just assume we missed a sign for street sweeping day, which have always been quite strictly enforced. But now the city is cracking down on those who fail to buy city stickers within 30 days of registering their car in the city. Also, they have apparently started issuing tickets for those who leave stickers on from previous years, as a woman in Albany Park just discovered. The Tribune writes:

City law requires motorists place stickers “at the lower right-hand corner on the inside of the glass portion of the windshield of such motor vehicle.” The ordinance also tells motorist they must follow the instructions on the sticker, which include removing the previous year’s sticker.

“They tell you to do it, but I don’t think it’s really that clear you’d get a ticket if you don’t do it,” (Albany Park resident Bonnie) King said.

City Clerk Susan Mendoza says they're ramping up enforcement "very, very heavily" citywide and finding other resources for finding scofflaws. The city is now cross-checking with the state database to track down cars that registered with a city address, but haven't purchased a sticker. Mendoza told the Tribune:

“I think that’s just such low hanging fruit, that’s common sense. With technology, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be feeding into each other’s data bases,” Mendoza said at a City Club of Chicago luncheon. “We are in the process of trying to work out all of the kinks so that our data does talk to each other. But the will to do that is there, which was never even entertained before.”
In other city sticker news, Emanuel wants to raise the price of stickers for SUVs and trucks by $60. “A good portion of that money is going to 160,000 more pot holes will get filled this coming year — a 40 percent increase over last year," Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the Tribune. "So the resources go to exactly fixing the problem that the heavier cars and SUVs create.”

While we'd really rather not pay the ticket we found on our windshield this morning, we can't help but recognize the increased enforcement is a good way to raise a little extra dough for the city. Why have laws if you don't enforce them?