Virtually all of the snow that blanketed Chicago more than a week ago has melted away, so if you’re still saving that parking space you dug out with a lawn chair, trash can, orange cone, or some other piece of junk, it’s time to give up your “dibs.”
Last week, city officials warned they would begin clearing away “dibs” markers beginning Monday. That means, if you don’t get your stuff out of the street, the city will just throw it away.
For many neighborhoods – especially where people don’t have their own driveways or garages – drivers save parking spots after heavy snow by calling “dibs” after they dig out their cars, and putting down anything from sawhorses to empty buckets to handmade signs warning other motorists not to “steal” their spot.
Drivers who dare to ignore someone else’s dibs risk having their car vandalized – be it having the doors keyed, or covered in water so it freezes, or some other more damaging or creative retribution – or simply buried up to its roof in snow.
Although officially illegal, the city long has tolerated drivers calling “dibs” while crews focus on plowing the streets.
Normally, the city gives people several days to hang onto their saved parking spots before warning them it will get rid of dibs, whether there’s still snow on the ground or not.
With at least seven days in a row of temperatures climbing above freezing, most of the snow from February’s snowstorms has melted away, but some drivers stubbornly hang on to their “dibs” until the city forces them to give it up.
While most people use any piece of junk they can find to call “dibs” on parking – brooms, ratty old lawn furniture, folding chairs – others get more creative.
An Instagram feed @chicagodibs chronicles some of the more interesting examples of dibs over the last several years, from a toilet to near-life-sized Darth Vader and Stormtrooper figurines. One person even was spotted using a snowmobile to save their spot, while another went so far as to drag out a bathtub with some of the plumbing still attached.