City crews remove 'dibs' items on Chicago streets

Dibs isn't dead in Chicago, but it's about to take a break after one last weekend.
February 24, 2014 2:41:44 PM PST
Dibs is over- for now. The longtime Chicago tradition of saving a shoveled-out parking spot on the street by covering it with lawn chairs, tables and/or anything else a driver can get his or her hands on is over until the next snow.

City officials warned drivers starting on Friday dibs items would be removed on Monday by garbage collectors and other workers.

"Yeah, at this point there's no sense in keeping it now because it's pretty well clear and the big snows are gone, so I think it's time to clear it out," said Pete Fortsas.

While the city doesn't ticket people who call dibs and put their space-saving items out on public roadways, officials encourage neighbors help each other dig out.

"If they have the dibs, I'm never going to move them. I grew up in the city. That's exactly what you do," Madelynn Cordova said.

Those with differing opinions have had tires slashed and cars keyed. In the North Center neighborhood, a dibs sign warned "I will break your windows if I see your car in this spot."

"If you spend two hours cleaning out your spot, I do believe you should have that spot. That's yours, Jennifer Gurgone said.

"We had a chair right here. Another one there. We live right here and it was real funny, they just kept moving them all out, so no need to throw them out anymore," Dennis Doolittle said.

Dibs are removed at the end of each winter season. The last seven days mark the longest period without snow Chicago's seen all winter.

The timing of the removal will vary by neighborhood, city officials said, as they'll be cleared during regular streets and sanitation operations.

Marge Yesak thinks the tradition is an eyesore on neighborhood streets.

"It looks like garbage," Marge Yesak said.

"It's about time. It was a bad winter but you know what, it's time to move the chairs. This isn't the Wild West for parking spots," Dennis Doolittle said.


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