City Calls End To ‘Dibs’, Deadline Friday

Dick Mell Takes ‘Dibs’ Into His Own Hands

It’s over.

The Blizzard of 2011 is two weeks in the rear view mirror and the massive snow that has tied up parking on side streets is melting off.

So now the city’s patience with the Chicago tradition of using lawn chairs and other junk to save the parking space you just shoveled out has worn out.

Streets & Sanitation has issued a soft reminder and ultimatum to drivers still using space savers to remove their junk off the street as soon as possible.

“The warmer temperatures over the last several days have helped to melt and reduce snow volume, and those above-freezing temperatures are projected to continue throughout the week,” says Streets & Sanitation spokesperson Matt Smith. “Given this extended period of warmer weather, we are asking residents who have placed items in the street to save parking spaces to please begin removing those items — as snow melts, these remaining items add clutter to the public way.”

Smith says Streets & Sanitation crews will start removing any remaining junk off the streets by the end of the week.

“Our present operational priority is completing refuse collections for the week,” explained Smith. “Conditions permitting, as we hope to complete refuse collection on Friday, we will also begin to clear any remaining debris from the streets.”

At least one alderman fed up with the oversized street litter, had announced to constituents he had lost patience as well.

33rd ward alderman Richard Mell had sent out an e-mail blast with “Time to end it” in the subject line early Tuesday morning telling drivers to clean up their junk.

“While it was obvious that we had a special circumstance during the blizzard, this is, in most blocks of our 33rd Ward, no longer the case,” said Mell via e-mail. “I am asking every resident in the 33rd Ward to stop this practice and remove every “dibs” marker. I personally observed an entire block very near our offices where every single space was “dibbed” even though there was very little snow left on the pavement. I expect to see no dibs markers on the streets by the end of the week. Shortly thereafter, I will ask the community to help remove any that remain.”

Mell even provided an e-mail address to report “dibs” abuse and photos.

“Please send pictures of any egregious violations along with the location
addresses to:”

11 Responses to City Calls End To ‘Dibs’, Deadline Friday

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robert Loerzel, Robert Loerzel and Parking Ticket Geek, Yancey at Yancey G. Yancey at Yancey G said: Meter| City Calls End To ‘Dibs”: It’s over. The Blizzard of 2011 is two weeks in the rear view mirror and the ma… [...]

  2. OIFVet says:

    That’s fine and well, but how many idiots know how to check their inbox?

  3. CL says:

    The deadline is FRIDAY? Even if you support dibs (which I don’t) the deadline should have been a long time ago. It’s absurd that anyone is still trying to claim ownership of the space they shoveled two weeks ago.

  4. Sarah says:

    I totally agree with CL. I do not support dibs at all, though I understand that unfortunately, many people do. However, there is absolutely no excuse, any way you look at it, for continuing to claim space more than two weeks after the last snowfall, especially when the temperature has been well above freezing for several days. At this point, people are just holding on to their spaces because they can. I find it offensive and very disappointing.

  5. Icarus says:

    here’s my two cents: 1) Dibs is ghetto, plain and simple.

    2) for a serious blizzard like our Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2011, I will begrudgingly tolerate dibs if you have indeed dug out a parking spot.

    3) simply putting furniture/garbage on a spot vacated by your car in light, non-blizzard snow is disgraceful. Some exceptions exist, i.e.
    if you live on a street where everyone else has gone dibs-happy and your wife is pregnant and can go anytime (my neighbor).

    4) Once the snow is adequately gone, the dibs must go. I don’t care if it’s supposed to snow again in a few days, give the spot up. You cannot hold it until June, though we know you would like to.

    Unfortunately, the people who are law abiding citizens and subscribe to their alderman’s newsletter are also the ones who avoid dibs in the first place. And thus, the opposite is also true.

  6. DoR Employee says:

    Call 3-1-1 and demand enforcement of the public dumping ban ordnance.

    200 to 2000 cash money fine baby.

  7. Mark says:

    Unfortunately there are people who want to have a reserved parking spot year round for their exclusive use. A snowstorm of any kind allows for these people to realize their true desire of exclusivity. I’ve seen blocks in my neighborhood where every single spot is taken and during the day there’s like one or two cars parked on the entire block. If someone needed to park there on that block they couldn’t without causing some kind of incident. This is insane — especially the last few days when the snow was melting, almost 2 weeks after the storm. Luckily on my block no one did dibs. I don’t know why but they didn’t and everything was civilized. I saw two separate incidents where women spent about 1/2 hour each of hard work to shovel out their cars and they just left leaving nothing. Although I only have anecdotal evidence from my observations and reading the comment boards about dibs, it seems that dibs are mainly a man thing. And most all the men who defended dibs seemed to wildly exaggerate the amount of time and work it took to shovel out their cars. I don’t believe for a second a single person in the entire city spent any where close three hours shoveling out their cars. The most I’ve seen people spend is maybe one hour — maybe. If people would quit whining like spoiled schoolgirls and moved on with life instead of trying to claim some sort of entitlement, everyone would have a place to park because everyone has to shovel out their cars — no one’s shoveling experience is more special and more deserving.

  8. Maria says:

    Bravo Mark, well said.
    I personally have been moving dibs off the street since Superbowl Sunday every time I go out for a walk. I think I must have liberated 100 spaces in all. It was fun, and good exercise. I started to leave signs stating that a “random stranger removed your dibs, don’t take it out on the poor soul who parked in your spot.” It has been amazingly effective. In the places I removed dibs garbage, 80% of the time people did not put it back. Maybe they’re too embarassed that someone called them on their bullshit? If more people did this, the practice of dibs would end, because no one could depend on their dibs spot being there, and they can’t do a thing about it if a stranger removes their junk. (instead of the person who parked there later)

    Today I happened to pass through a neighborhood adjacent to mine, and there was a whole block reserved with dibs garbage. That got me mad, so I removed all of it, piling it up in spots.

    No one has dared to say anything to me during my exercises, except a manly coward shouting at me from a second floor window. “Hey! I saw you! Put that back!” I said: “So what about it? Why don’t you call the police?” It’s winter so I was wearing a balaclava and non-descript clothing. No chance of anyone taking “revenge” on me some day.

  9. Icarus says:

    @Maria, you are my new hero.

  10. Hammstah says:

    Maria, you are so lame…CLEARLY a transplant or suburbanite who’s now living in the city begrudgingly! Go back to Palatine or Boulder or Tucson or wherever!

    Hey, if the City can’t get the streets clear for people to park there (and that’s pretty understandable due to 3,500 miles of streets and only 400 trucks), and the residents have to do the work so they can park and not block the streets completely and so there’s somewhere to leave the car when they arrive home from work at night, why shouldn’t they be allowed to put dibs on a spot for a few days or week here and there in the winter?

  11. [...] Friday was the deadline the city gave city drivers using any foreign object to “reserve” their recently snow shoveled parking spot to remove their junk. [...]

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