Man Hopes To Declare ‘Chair-Free’ Zones In Chicago

Updated 12-7-10 10:32 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – We’ve all seen it after a big snow: Chicago’s “dibs” tradition. That’s when residents shovel out a spot on the street and hold the space with chairs, furniture and other household items. Now, as CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, there’s a move afoot to end it.

You may soon be seeing signs in your neighborhood reading, “This area is a chair-free zone.”

The man behind the idea, advertising executive Kevin Lynch said, “It’s not legally enforceable but leaving chairs out in the street isn’t legal either. It’s really a system to be jerks to each other.”

Lynch has launched an anti “dibs” bandwagon onto city streets and he wants you to join him on it.

His website, Chair-Free, is offering to supply supporters, at cost, with the signs to post in your neighborhood.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding Reports

Lynch believes the “dibs” tradition breeds anger and conflict.

“You’re talking about people who might have had beers together at a block party over the summer, and all of a sudden, in the winter say ‘hey, that spot in front of your house, that is now mine,’” said Lynch.

How is this new “golden rule” of winter parking etiquette playing in the neighborhoods?

In Pilsen, there’s some support.

In the words of John Chavez, “It’s not right to put chairs in the streets.”

But in Bridgeport, considered the “dibs” capital of the city, not so well.

Longtime resident Frank Bruno said, “When you’ve got the snow, if you dig your way out, fine. Leave the parking alone.”

Bridgeport’s Nancy Pusateri agrees.

“People are out there breaking their butts, shoveling, breaking their backs,” she said.

Kevin Lynch is asking folks who agree with him to contact their aldermen to try to put a little more city heat on the “dibs” practitioners.

More from Lisa Fielding
  • shovelin hand

    I will work just as haed to bury your car as I did to ensure I have a parking spot in front of my house….get off your lazy a$$ and dig your own place out

    • roy

      so that gives you the right to keep it all day??

      You happened to have the sopt when it snowed, thats it! get over it or dont shovel anything, im sure others will do it without crying, its called having a car in chicago. GET OVER IT

  • ?????

    I agree shovelin. Why can’t people hold their parking space if they took the time and energy to dig it out? Seems fair to me. Whats unfair is that after I dig out the space, someone who didn’t bother to get up and dig their own will take mine. they were probably watching me dig out the space from their window.

  • Bill

    No dig zone by me is just another yuppie way of saying I’m entitled to park wherever I want because my Mommy says so!!! Try driving on flat tires! A web site promoting a no dib zone from the safety of your warm home?Proves you were raised in the suburbs where you left your warm attached garage to be driven by Mommy to a warm Mall because you were bored!!! If you grew up in Chicago you learned to shovel out the spots in front of your own home! If everybody did that,there would be no need for these signs! Go ahead,park in the space I shoveled at your own risk!It’s called respect!Not entitlement!!

  • Dan Pianetto

    Gee Bill, felony assault over a parking space? Perhaps you should talk to somebody.

    • Bill

      Where do you get felony assault from?You obviously weren’t born here!Did your Mommy ever spank you?

  • DigItKeepIt

    Dan, sure you can run over the chairs, but you’ll be doing it on 4 flat tires. :)

  • Sisu

    I like to use Chicago snowstorms as an opportunity to get some exercise. I regularly go out and shovel out as many spots as possible in an hour—I have never “saved” any of these spots for myself. It’s a city, they’re public streets–I hardly think it’s fair that, while I’m at work for 8-10 hours, no one is able to park in these spots. If your cleared spot is that important to you, go rent a private space. Otherwise, start acting like a grown up.

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