Chicago – Officials Remove Controversial ‘Dibs’ Markers For Parking As Tempers Flare

    8

    A chair marks a shovelled out parking spot in Chicago, Illinois, February 13, 2015. Lawn chairs, card tables and other items are placed on city streets by residents who sought to reserve their parking spaces - a controversial winter custom known as "dibs."  REUTERS/Jim YoungChicago – Officials on Friday started collecting the lawn chairs, card tables and other items placed on city streets by residents who sought to reserve their parking spaces – a controversial winter custom known as “dibs.”

    Some residents of the third-largest U.S. city welcome the cleanup, particularly after reports of vandalism on cars linked to dibs disputes.

    “I think it’s a terrible system,” said Meghan Mater, 21, whose sister’s car was damaged, possibly by explosives, earlier this week. “It causes way too much anger between people.”

    After 19 inches (48 cm) of snow fell on Chicago in early February, many residents who shoveled out their cars marked their spaces.

    The custom is honored by city officials – to a point. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he believes in “sweat equity,” or the notion that people who work up a sweat shoveling out a space deserve to use it.

    But the city cleans up dibs items once snow starts to melt, according to the Department of Streets and Sanitation. The melting appeared theoretical on Friday, as the temperature was 14 degrees F (-10 C).

    Peter Alter, a historian with the Chicago History Museum, said the custom dates back to at least the 1967 blizzard, the worst in city history, which dumped 23 inches (58 cm) of snow.

    It is not unique to Chicago – the concept of “dibs” is known in other snowy cities like Boston and Philadelphia. But Chicago is the biggest U.S. city with a widespread practice.
    A chair marks a shovelled out parking spot in Chicago, Illinois, February 13, 2015. Lawn chairs, card tables and other items are placed on city streets by residents who sought to reserve their parking spaces - a controversial winter custom known as "dibs."  REUTERS/Jim Young
    Every winter Chicago sees reports of vandalism because of real or perceived dibs violations.

    Mater’s sister, Ashley Mater, had parked in what she thought was an open spot in the Logan Square neighborhood. Some items were piled nearby, suggesting that someone had marked the spot, but another driver may have moved them.

    When she returned to her car, it was damaged inside and out, said Meghan Mater.

    Another woman told DNAinfo.com last week that her brakes were cut after parking in a spot marked with lawn chairs.

    Chicagoans interviewed about dibs tended to agree with the custom – but only after a big snow, and for a short time.

    “If I’m going to break my back to dig out a spot, I’m going to use it,” said Marge Luczak, 68.

    Fernando Martinez, 34, said the tradition “kind of sucks,” but he understands it.

    “There’s no parking,” he said.‎

    Follow VosIzNeias For Breaking News Updates





    8 COMMENTS

      • Yes, the spot is “yours” – until you vacate “your” spot. Then the spot is no longer “yours”. The vandalism, the threat of vandalism, even just the fear of vandalism, proves that this dibs system has to be abolished completely. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is wrong about “sweat equity” and is likely just pandering.

    1. This practice is ridiculous! I live in Montreal and we get a lot more snow that lasts for longer. No one would think of doing this. There is a sense of sharing. As a matter of fact if your stuck in the snow chances are that 4 people of different nationalities will stop to help you.

      It doesn’t make sense that because you spent 15-25 minutes digging out your car that no one should be able to benefit from that spot for the rest of the day. You don’t own the street. If you want you can buy a house with a driveway then you’ll always have a spot.

    2. Exactly how does sweat equity for parking spots differ from taxes – you work hard, you should be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor – not have somebody just coast in and claim benefits! Equity implies equal effort, not equal results/

      • Precisely. Public property belongs equally to each member of the public, regardless how much taxes they pay or even if they don’t pay taxes at all. Same with this illogically conceived concept of “sweat equity” – Public property belongs equally to each member of the public, regardless how much “sweat equity” they put in or even if they don’t put in any “sweat equity” at all.

    3. Okay, so I dig out a parking spot – can I charge a parking fee for others to use it? Logically, if the spot remains “reserved” for me, even when I am not using it, no one else may dare use it, why can’t I charge $30 for someone to use it?

      Alternatively, can I sell my DIBS Rights to someone else? Namely, do you need to dig the snow yourself or can you hire someone else to do it?

      Does DIBS only apply on your own block or also other blocks?

      Does DIBS Rights only confer one spot per person or you can own several spots?

      Here’s what I am driving at:

      I will hire someone to dig out the snow for parking spots on the ENTIRE block. Now I will start renting parking spots with short term or long term rental fees!

      In fact, I can do this for the entire neighbourhood! The fees to hire kids to dig out the spots will easily be paid back by the parking fees charged after one day!

      I will become rich and be able to learn in Kollel for life!!

    4. Maybe local residents should be able to rent spots from the city and they should have reserved parking signs (from the city). There also should be parking for non local residents somewhere. City living is the pits. it’s better to live in a small town and have your own driveway.

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here