It’s time to get those chairs, stools, buckets, milk crates, card tables, plant stands, lumber, toys, vacuum cleaners and bags of garbage out of the street, Chicagoans.
The Department of Streets and Sanitation said it’ll officially start clearing unofficial dibs placeholders on Friday, so move ‘em or lose ‘em. Pending 311 requests for removal will be prioritized, the department said.
Dibs — the longstanding practice of claiming a shoveled-out parking space by using basement/garage/attic detritus — is one of the most polarizing traditions in Chicago, defended and despised with equal passion.
In the absence of legit rules, the ad hoc parameters people have created often produces humorous results — in the form of some truly bizarre choices of dibs objects — but can be dangerous too. Slashed tires, shouting matches and even physical threats have been reported during confrontations between members of the dibs and anti-dibs factions.
Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) waded into the great debate at the beginning of last week’s snowstorm, tossing out dibs items from the get-go.
Reaction to Lopez’s action demonstrated the classic dibs split: “Those poor people who shoveled out their spot” vs. “It’s NOT their spot, it’s a public street.”
To solve the conflict once and for all, some are calling for Streets and San to borrow a page from suburbs like Evanston and implement “curb to curb” plowing. No curbside snow means no one gets to claim “I shoveled out my spot.”
We are clearing those blocks with the highest dibs complaints today & will push forward with the entire ward throughout the week. Now is your chance to take back your lawn furniture, baby strollers & buckets before I consign them to their final resting place! pic.twitter.com/aLohqR6Jjh
— Ald. Raymond Lopez (@RLopez15thWard) January 31, 2022
My favorite winter pastimes in #Chicago is finding the strangest/most obscure items people used as #Dibs pic.twitter.com/QbyEAV7WBl
— Sox-Side Pride #LeuryLegend Stan (@SoxSidePride420) February 5, 2022
Saw this evidence of a #dibs war on my way to collect signatures at the Howard El stop. I’d love to know what the “or else” was… pic.twitter.com/ma1A8eQMb8
— Rep. Kelly Cassidy (@RepKellyCassidy) February 9, 2022
3900 block N Sawyer
Caller says a male is threatening her because she is moving his dibs items & parking#Chicago #ChicagoScanner
— (@Chicago_Scanner) February 9, 2022
No snow = no dibs.
Don’t be this selfish. pic.twitter.com/4b70AMS2It
— john j. kim (@jkimpictures) February 1, 2022
Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 | [email protected]