I don't live in the city anymore (I'm way out in the 'burbs) and when I did, I didn't have a car so I honestly didn't pay much attention to it. People in my current neighborhood do park in the street - which I find odd since every house here has a 2-car garage - but I haven't noticed this custom here in the last three winters.
I did notice it quite a bit when we lived in Berwyn, though.
Personally, I find the whole idea rather annoying. Aside from all the odd junk piled in the street, the whole problem would go away if everyone in the neighborhood would do their part and clear the area in front of their homes. I do find it funny that even though the practice is technically illegal, Mayor Daley always makes statements supporting it.
I think I have been influenced by the Montanan-in-exile with whom I live. We were listening to the radio this morning as they talked about the upcoming snowstorm and they mentioned Daley's comments regarding the strange Chicago custom. She observed:
"you know, there are places that are much snowier than here that somehow manage to clear the streets and park their cars without cluttering up the street with ugly lawn furniture."Of course, Laura doesn't really approve of Chicagoans complaining about winter weather at all. Compared to Montana, it just isn't that bad.
You can read (and participate in click-polls!) about this over at Eric Zorn's blog (no permalink, so the entry might move. It is currently called "THE RULES OF DIBS: LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK!"). Amusing info from a previous go-around about this issue is here.
My lawn furniture is where it belongs...on the porch!
Snow in the backyard...with the remains of my summertime container gardening.
No cars parked on the street right now...