Category Archives: Winter Parking
In honor of another several inches of snow coating the streets of Chicago today, and the assumption drivers will drag their household junk back outside to “reserve” the spot they shoveled out, we present a history of dibs via DNA Info.
DNA Info city hall reporter Ted Cox researched the subject and says the practice here goes back to the Blizzard of ’67 which crippled the city for days nearly 50 years ago.
But his research seems to indicate that dibs actually began in Pittsburgh as late as the 1950′s and perhaps even before that.
Here’s the full story, “The History of ‘Dibs’: Did It Begin in Chicago?“
Several recent incidents being reported by DNA Info seem to indicate that some people who use household junk to save a parking spot they’ve dug out are becoming increasingly thuggish in enforcing their dibs domain.
Last week DNA Info reported on a Ukranian Village woman who believes her brake lines were cut because she parked in a spot being “reserved” using lawn chairs.
In the same report, a driver in Ravenswood had a threatening note left on her windshield for violating the unwritten rule of the road.
Then on Friday, a Logan Square motorist returned to her car to find it completely vandalized with her windows busted and interior destroyed. The damage is pegged at $5000 or more. In this case, the driver says there was nothing in the street to indicate the spot was being saved but a pair of chairs on top of the curbside snow bank.
Here are the full stories from DNA Info: “Dibs Gets Dangerous as Woman Claims Her Brake Lines Were Cut in Retaliation” and “Another Dibs Attack? The Owner of This Car Wonders Why She Was Targeted.”
That’s the warning message the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation issued Wednesday to tell car owners to remove any household items that have been used to save a parking space after the big snow storm two weekends ago.
According to Streets and Sanitation spokesperson Molly Poppe, crews will begin removing ‘dibs’ related debris off streets starting Friday, February 13th.
Streets and San workers will start by removing items from streets reported in complaints to 311.
“As is the case with every winter season, once snow starts to melt, Streets and Sanitation crews begin to remove material from the public way,” said Commissioner Charles Williams. “I want to ask residents to be good neighbors and remove material from the public way to ensure it is not moved by our crews.”
Alderman Deb Mell announced on her Facebook page Monday that “dibs” was over in the 33rd ward.
“The City is coming through today (Monday, 2/9) to pick up items used for ‘dibs’ or reservation of street parking spaces,” said the Facebook post. “Dibs is NOT a sanctioned practice in Chicago; parking on the street is free for all residents and guests, unless City signage indicates restrictions.”
But chairs, two by fours, plastic buckets and other household junk remained on streets in Mell’s Northwest Side ward late Monday evening.
Emanuel picked up on the idea just recently proposed by Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) which is, when big snow storms are on the horizon, residents would be restricted from parking on one side of the street to allow for snowplows to clear side streets more effectively according NBC 5.
Once one side of the street was cleared to the curb, drivers could move vehicles to the other side of the street to allow the opposite side to be cleared. The idea, much like how the city handles street cleaning, would improve snow removal on side streets and perhaps eliminate the need for some people to use trash and other household objects to save parking spaces.
Snowplow drivers have been working continuously since Saturday evening while a slow moving storm dropped 19 inches of snow over a 33 hour period making city streets a challenge for driving.
As of early Monday morning, the 350 snowplows and 150 pieces of heavy snow removal equipment had successfully cleared the city’s main arteries. Trucks were re-deployed onto residential streets around 8:30 AM and as of 11 PM Department of Streets and Sanitation officials say 90% of side streets has seen at least one snowplow come through.
But with another storm expected to hit Chicago late Tuesday night into early Wednesday, DSS has reduced it’s fleet of deployed snowplows to allow truck drivers to get some rest before the next snowstorm begins.
With winter snowfall all but inevitable in Chicago, the lawn chairs, lumber, children’s toys and other junk will be soon be coming out to reserve neighborhood street parking spots. Hence Curbed Chicago’s entertaining dibs bingo card.
Dibs is the quaint tradition some Chicago residents engage in by using junk to save a parking spot on their street after they spent some time and energy digging out.
I was reminded last night while standing in sub-zero weather pouring a bottle of Heet into my wife’s car, we haven’t posted our annual “get your car ready for winter” story. It’s belated–for which we sincerely apologize.
Here’s some tips and reminders to make sure your car starts on the coldest mornings and you get from here to there and back safely.
Keep Your Gas Tank Full
The first thing I did was top off each vehicle’s gas tank. Keeping your tank at least half full or more will make starting your car on mornings easier on your battery.
Use Fuel Line Anti-Freeze Treatment
You may want to “Book Hook.”
While Chicago has avoided any significant snowfall so far this year, one man, armed with a shovel is ready to aid Chicago drivers in digging out their cars when the snow finally arrives.
According to DNA Info, the 24-year old Hook is a waiter and an actor who came up with the idea during last year’s extra-challenging winter.
“Last year, when we had a bunch of snow I was in the shower and had a random idea to shovel snow off of cars,” Hook told DNA Info.
The mayoral candidate introduced a resolution at Wednesday’s City Council meeting calling for a hard look at the 34-year-old practice to see if it needs to be revised or even eliminated altogether.
Fioretti’s resolution had four other signers including aldermen Scott Waguespack (32nd), John Arena (45th), Nick Sposato (36th), Brendan Reilly (42nd) and Roderick Sawyer (6th).
Beginning every December 1st and continuing until April 1st, parking is prohibited on 107 miles of what the city considers “vital arterial streets” every early morning from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. — whether there’s snow on the pavement or not.
Thousands of unwary motorists every winter end up at one of the city’s auto pounds to pay the $150 in tow fees and a $20 per day storage fees to retrieve their vehicles, in addition to the $60 parking ticket for violating the ban. Historically, the city tows 8,000 to 9,000 vehicles every season, generating nearly $2 million in fees and fines for the city.