The Final Review

A Guide to Chicago's Parking Regulations

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Parking signs are scattered throughout Chicago, each one making city dwellers hesitate determining what their next move should be. The more congested the neighborhood, the more loading and standing zone signs appear. What differentiates a loading zone from a standing zone? As an applicant, which one works best for them? If needed, how does one apply for a zoning sign permit? Follow along as we review the process to obtaining a parking zone sign. 

Loading Vs. Standing

Loading-Standing

Time to Unload

Loading zones are designated for loading and unloading deliveries by commercial vehicles and also account for momentary passenger pick-up and drop-off. An applicant researching this zone type is looking for an efficient way to load and unload, which helps in tricky congested neighborhoods with limited street parking and alley access. A drawback from obtaining the loading zone permit is that the designated area can be utilized by any commercial vehicles to make deliveries to other businesses. Because of that, many businesses resort to posting additional “reserved” signage on their own; which we advise against, as any additional signage in the public way is illegal. 

Standing Still

Standing zones approach their space offerings by applying a time frame by offer two time frame options, 15-minute and 30-minute. Any vehicle type can use the standing zone as opposed to commercial vehicles in the loading zone. Standing zones require hazards flashing at all times; with any additional time spent resulting in possible citations. Along with loading zones, anyone may use the standing zone unrelated to your business. Because of that, many businesses resort to posting additional “reserved” signage on their own; which we advise against, as any additional signage in the public way is illegal. 

When you’re deciding which one of the two works best for your needs, keep in mind that you cannot have a standing or loading zone in an exclusive driving lane.

What You Need to Apply

When gathering to submit for either zoning sign be prepared to have a cover letter to present to the local alderman, the zoning application, photos of the site and a site diagram. The cover letter should include why you need the zone signage, providing how it’ll be helpful for you and the area. It is key to have this detailed piece because the local alderman has the power to approve or deny the application, which will prevent it moving onto CDOT. The on-site photos and diagram will help the application process go smoothly as it saves the city from having to inspect the area. 

The process can be frustrating and tedious, but it does not have to be. Burnham has experts that can assist with the process and help avoid delays. 

CONTACT OUR PERMITTING EXPERTS

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