Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a residential parking permit or sticker?
You can purchase both City Stickers and Residential Parking Permits in person at the City Clerk’s offices at City Hall (121 N LaSalle St, Room 107) and the North Side Satellite Office (5430 W Gale St). City Stickers (and guest passes for residential permit parking) can also be purchased online.
You can look up your parking zone here. Residents on permit zoned streets are eligible to purchase the $25 yearly parking permits at part of their city sticker. However, the alderman’s office grants exception letters to residents who live on blocks perpendicular to and touching any zoned parking streets.
All Chicago residents who own or use a vehicle are required to display a valid city sticker on their windshield’s passenger-side corner, regardless of where the vehicle is registered. For more information, please visit the City Vehicle Sticker page here.
Can I get a No Parking / Moving sign for my residential move?
We have complimentary “No Parking” signs available for residential moves at the ward office. These are not, however, enforceable by ticket or towing. We ask that you hang the signs 48-hours prior to your move to give your neighbors adequate time to find alternative parking.
Otherwise, if you want enforceable “No Parking” signs, you can go through the Department of Transportation’s Permits Department. The cost for the enforceable permit is $25. You can apply for the permit on CDOT's permitting platform. Instructions on how to apply are available here.
How can I get a tree trimmed or a dead tree removed?
As of 2023, The City has shifted the way in which it handles the trimming of trees on City property. Before 2023, the Bureau of Forestry of the Department of Streets and Sanitation accepted individual tree trim requests. However, this process was tedious and inhibited Forestry crews from trimming all trees in the City. This bureau is responsible for maintaining the City’s urban forest – Chicago’s half-a-million or so parkway trees. The Bureau has now shifted over to a "zoned-trimming" schedule in which our Ward (and all Wards) are split into different zones, each zone is assigned a schedule for trimming, and Forestry crew systematically visit each zone for trimming while following the schedule.
Residents may request a tree to be planted in their front parkways (if room allows, see Tree Trimming & Planting Guidelines), or for a tree to be inspected if dead or diseased. If deemed more than half-dead, the City will have a tree removed (and stump ground down) but otherwise healthy trees are not removed. As the backlog on tree planting is several years, homeowners may choose to plant a tree in their parkway at their own expense–see procedures.
To request these services, please call 311 or submit your request online through the proper form on the Bureau of Forestry’s website.
How do I get a new garbage or recycling bin?
Residents who receive trash pick-up from the city (buildings with 5 or fewer units) can request up to two garbage bins, and one recycling bin OR one garbage bin and two recycling bins per unit. Businesses are not eligible for city trash pickup, and in many cases, those living in large apartment or condo buildings do not receive city pick-up.
If you do receive city pick-up, you can submit a 311 request for a garbage can maintenance or for a new blue bin. If you would like our office to assist you with entering your 311 request, you can call us at 773-338-5796 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I get a garbage truck to stop waking me up before 7am?
The City of Chicago prohibits trucks from picking up trash before 7 AM under the Noise Ordinance. In many cases, those companies violating the ordinance are private contractors. If this is a persistent issue, you can submit a complaint to our office by calling us at 773-338-5796 or by emailing us at email@example.com. If it is not a persistent issue, we recommend that you call 911 to seek enforcement of the noise ordinance.
What type of construction or work is being done on my block?
You can use this website to find out about construction on your block. If you can’t find it on this map, please feel free to reach out to our office at 773-338-5796, and we can follow up about your specific request.
Construction permits are public record, and anyone can sign up for access to the city's permit database by clicking here. After signing up for an account, you can search for construction permits by date and address to find out the reason for the construction that is occurring on your block. Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding any construction permits.
How do I get a pothole fixed?
You can report a pothole to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) by filing a 311 complaint through the phone or the 311 website. If you believe the entire street or alley needs re-paved, please contact our office at 773-338-5796 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to contact us if you need help filing a 311 complaint as well.
There’s water on my street -- what can I do?
Streets can flood during heavy rain storms from leaves and other street debris clogging street drains. To prevent this issue, please tell your neighbors and any landscaping companies to not rake leaves into the street. If you see a clogged street drain, just take a rake to sweep up and bag this debris, disposing it in the trash or compost in a yard. If standing water remains after removing leaves and debris from the street drains, please contact our office and we will get the City to schedule an unclogging.
How can we make my street more pedestrian friendly?
Our office is committed to ensuring our streets are safe for everyone. If you want to request a new street sign, changing a speed limit, new street paint, bump outs, or other traffic calming measures, please contact our office.
If you are looking to replace an existing street sign, you can submit a 311 request here.
How can I find out when my street will be swept?
You can find out when your street will be swept by looking out for orange paper no-parking signs on your street or by utilizing our street sweeping map here.
Typically, the Department of Streets & Sanitation (DSS) begins posting these signs beginning April 1st and ending in mid-November. The signs are posted on residential streets approximately two days in advance of street sweeping and are required to be posted at least 24 hours in advance, then removed after the area is clean to open the parking spots for use. The Department posts permanent street signs along commercial and article streets to indicate that day(s) of the week and time(s) for street sweeping. Failure to move a vehicle from a posted no-parking zone may result in a $60 fine during street sweeping days.
We highly encourage you to move your vehicle on street sweeping days in order to help clean streets and prevent flooding.
There's a light out on my street or in my alley. How can it get fixed?
If a light is out on your street or in your alley, you can submit a request to replace it on 311 here. If you would like our office to assist you with entering your 311 request, you can call us at 773-338-5796 or email us at email@example.com.
The City is in the process of replacing all of our street lights with new, smart LED lights. These lights will allow the Chicago Department of Transportation to detect which lights are out automatically, which will eliminate the need to report lights out in the near future.
I’ve noticed that there is a rodent problem in my area. What can I do?
Residents can help prevent and address rats in the neighborhood. Rodent abatement services can be obtained by call 311 or the 49th Ward office. Chicago's Bureau of Rodent Control investigates every reported rat sighting. Alley conditions are investigated, damaged carts are replaced, and rodenticide is placed in rat burrows to eradicate the nest.
Many reported rodent problems are highly preventable. The Department of Streets & Sanitation needs the cooperation of residents and businesses to keep the neighborhood rat free. You can help by making sure your trash is properly contained. Exposed garbage is the primary reason rodents proliferate. When garbage carts are securely closed, rats will eat the rodenticide and die.
How you can help prevent rats:
Do not overfill your trash receptacles such that the lid does not seal close.
Try to put food scraps in separate smaller bags and place at the bottom of your containers. If possible, save non-food trash till next collection if it’ll overfill the receptacle.
Never put a bag with food scraps or food wrappers outside a trash receptacle–rats will chew right into this for a quick meal.
If you have a blue cart, put as much clean paper and plastics in there which will save room in the black carts for food scraps and non-recyclables.
If your cart has any type of hole, chewed-off area or a missing/defective lid, report this to 311 immediately.
If you see a regular occurrence of overfilled receptacles or bags left by them that containing food scraps/wrappers, report it to our office. It doesn’t matter if the receptacles are for houses, apartment buildings, businesses or restaurants.
For home gardens and landscaped areas, you may consider laying down “hardware cloth” or chicken wire in garden beds, large planters and other areas where rats may burrow. Rats don’t burrow through metal.
Working together, we can continue to eliminate these urban pests. Remember if rats can't feed, they can't breed!
If you see a rat or notice conditions that may contribute to rodent activity, call our office at 773-338-5796 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the City at 311 or click on the button to submit an online request for rodent baiting.
Why hasn’t my street been plowed?
When it snows, the Department of Streets and Sanitation first priority is clearing the arterial streets and Lake Shore Drive. Once those are deemed safe, plows become available to the wards for plowing and salting side streets. Depending on the time it takes to clear arterial streets, outdoor temperatures and other variables, driving conditions may not be ideal on side streets.
If additional salt is needed on your street, you can submit a 311 request for snow or ice removal. If you would like our office to assist you with entering your request, you can call our office at 773-338-5796 or send us an email to email@example.com.
How can I get my neighbor’s sidewalk shoveled?
It is the responsibility of property owners and occupants to keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice. Chicagoans of all ages and abilities need to use the sidewalks to get where they're going every day of the year. When there has been snowfall, a 5-foot-wide-path must be cleared, snow must be cleared by 10PM on the day of the snowfall if it falls between 7am and 7pm, and by 10am the next day if it falls between 7pm and 7am.
If someone has not cleared snow in front of their property, you can file a 311 request for “Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk or Bike Lane” or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will contact the property owner to remind them of their responsibilities and ask our ward superintendent to visit the property.
Please keep in mind that some neighbors may struggle to shovel their sidewalk due to mobility issues. If you know that a neighbor struggles to clear their sidewalk due to these issues, please consider helping to shovel the snow.