Tribute To Death Of Dibs Deadline
Get your crap off the darn street!
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.
Streets & Sanitation will start removing all this flotsam and jetsam off post haste.
In honor of the end of “dibs”, we have a collection of interesting articles and websites devoted to this quaint or annoying (depending on your point of view) tradition.
Let’s kickoff our tribute with a frighteningly comprehensive history of this so-called tradition by the Chicago Reader’s Straight Dope columnist Cecil Adams.
In his piece, Adams links the practice originally to the Blizzard of ’67, but says the practice did not become an entrenched practice in Chicago until the Blizzard of ’79 and then Mayor Bilandic’s inept response to all the snow that swept Jane Byrne into the mayor’s office.
Here’s Adams full column, “How did parking-spot “dibs” start in Chicago, and what are the rules?“.
Surprisingly, fans of “dibs” have set up some photo sites for the practice.
One entitled Chicago Dibs, allows users to post their own dibs photos.
Art buyer and illustrator Amy Loeffler-Gaw is another creative person with a website to document dibs.
Honestly, she’s a pretty darn good photographer too as the photos on her website, Chicago Snow Parking, will attest.
Loeffler-Gaw, who’s been doing this photo documentation since November, has wanted to chronicle this queer behavior for ten years, according to the introduction on her website.
“My Chicago Snow Parking photo project has been an idea I’ve had since experiencing my first Chicago winter when moving here in 2000,” explains Loeffler-Gaw. “After a heavy snow fall I was surprised to find a beautiful old wooden chair on my neighborhood street. My first thought was that someone had thrown it out and it was free for the grabbing. Then, after a closer look I noticed it was not hastily tossed aside but rather carefully placed between two parked cars. After observing more objects on the street I soon realized that this was not a random act at all. These personal possessions had been selected by their owners to hold a parking space on the street after they had finished their hard work of excavating their vehicles.”
We’ll close our little tribute to the kind and wonderful members of Chair Free Chicago, a group opposed to the concept of saving spaces on the public way.
A few days after the big snow, a group of about 10 people affiliated with the group went out to Bridgeport to help drivers dig out their cars to help promote the idea of not littering the street with junk to save their space.
We need less crap on the street, and more community spirited people like the members of Chair Free Chicago in this city.
Hopefully Chicago won’t see anymore substantial snowfall and keep all that unsightly litter off our streets.