Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Monday, April 15

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Andrew / February 19, 2007 2:06 AM

Question suggested by Zach, back when we were still below freezing.

I personally think it's a bit annoying, but I'll admit to having done it, too. But that was back in the New Year's Blizzard of '99, when streets weren't plowed for days and some people were trapped at work because they couldn't dig their cars out. *And* someone ended up stealing the lawn chairs I used to block my spot. The bastards.

So consider me conflicted.

amyc / February 19, 2007 5:35 AM

"Dibs" is absolute bullshit. These are public streets. You move your car, you lose your spot, just like you would any other time of year.

When I see people's crap in the street saving "their" spot, I fling it up onto the parkway.

Snow Way / February 19, 2007 7:47 AM

Hehe...the one time someone pulled an amyc on me, I borrowed the neighbor's snowblower and put all the snow back, and then some.

Their little urban hipstermobile was buried under 8 feet of snow.

I honestly don't know how they got it out.

madachode / February 19, 2007 8:11 AM

I see alot of free furniture

adam / February 19, 2007 8:40 AM

I'm with amyc. I grew up in Pittsburgh and people did the same thing, and I didn't understand it. You don't own the street in front of your house (hell, you don't OWN your house unless your mortgage is paid off), so you have NO CLAIM.

Out of neighborly courtesy, I probably wouldn't park in a space I know a neighbor spent a lot of time clearing, but that's just me. Conversely, I wouldn't get mad if someone parked in a space I cleared. There aren't too many kitchen chairs used in my current neighborhood, and truthfuly I have never removed a chair to park in a spot, but that's not saying I wouldn't someday.

I understand the problems of plowing (especially getting plowed in repeatedly), but that doesn't change the fact that the streets are public.

Oh, and I'm not in favor of neighborhood street parking permits either, but that's a different issue.

amyc / February 19, 2007 8:56 AM

Hey, Snow Way -- what was the point of your little prank, exactly? You got mad that someone took "your" space, so you made it impossible for them to leave it, which meant you still couldn't park there. What did that prove, other than that you enjoy cutting off your nose to spite your face?

j / February 19, 2007 8:59 AM

In my neighborhood of North Center parkins is plentiful so it's not really an issue. That being said after a while living there one comes to notice who parks where- that is, on my block there are perhaps 10 cars who REGULARLY park in the same spots. All the neighbors recognize eachother and so there's a sort of understanding...

If I dig my car out of a spot that I park in EVERY day I don't really see the harm in saving it. I certainly wouldn't snake one of my neighbor's spots after they had cleared it out, but much like Adam I would'ne bee terribly upset if someone saw fit to take a spot I dug out. In the end if I can park then I'm happy.

Jeremy / February 19, 2007 9:12 AM

I'm all for dibs if you actually work to clear your space out with a real shovel and grunt work. The people who just floor it out of their space and then mark it are fair game.

I'm finally parking off-street, so I don't get to play, but in years past I always marked my spot with 2 chairs from my porch and a massive wooden beam. The beam was the deterrent, it would have gone into the windows or sheet metal of the car that took my space.

I'm usually vehemently against random violence, especially against other people's cars, but some traditions you just don't fuck with.

Pedro / February 19, 2007 9:12 AM

It depends on how much snow we get and how much time it takes to dig your car out.

If we get more than 12 inches in one fell swoop and it takes over fifteen minutes to dig out, you get the spot for the next few days. If it takes you a half hour to dig out, the spot is yours for a week. Dibs are no longer valid once the streets are plowed and reasonably maneuverable.

I don't think last week's snow was enough to justify the dibs system.

a scientist / February 19, 2007 9:24 AM

as a scientist, i look forward to the day when we can all be adults. unfortunately, my research finds that many personalities hit a ceiling at the 13-14 year age range, never progressing any further. it's a challenge to be an adult when a large section of humanity is stuck in middle school. emotional and intellectual growth are not absolutely linked, but in a non-scientific study i have observed that they will tend to create their own gravity, as a planet and a moon or a planet and it's star might.

snow way is only one example of emotional and intellectual gravitation. the other side of the coin is adam, whose chill gravity supports sustainable life. when taking into account that energy cannot be created or destroyed, positive or negative, it's important to understand that polarity, or boolean values for the computer types, are at their very core transmutable. this transmutation is not only a law of physics, i would argue that it's the keystone to a healthy, sustainable personality.

to put it plainly, anyone can blow snow. it's the intent behind the snow blower that creates sustainable societies. to some a sustainable and healthy society is important. others value the "dibs" aspect of lawn furniture. neither view is absolutely right, they are both sides of the same coin.

as a scientist, and a human being, my preference is for the polar positive. but that's because i don't see it as "my snow" or "my parking space" - i see it as "our snow" and "our spaces." it's the power of "we." it's an impossible utopia, plainly demonstated in the need for fast food restaurants to lock their toilet paper in plastic houses. i wish i had the answer. this is a large part of my research.

carrie / February 19, 2007 9:33 AM

I dont have a car, so I guess I don't have much say, but I do think it's kind of silly. If everyone digs their spots out, then that means the street should be clean, which then means everyone still has a spot to park! Ok, that might be a perfect world senario, but whatever.

As trashy as it makes the streets look, it is pretty funny. I especially like the people that use laundry detergent bottles to save a spot or cribs. People always manage to find some junk to put out.

amyc / February 19, 2007 9:34 AM

If I dig my car out of a spot that I park in EVERY day I don't really see the harm in saving it.

Because it isn't yours to save. It's like saying a certain spot on the beach is yours, or a picnic table in a park is yours. It doesn't matter how many times you park somewhere or swim somewhere or eat lunch somewhere -- public property belongs to all of us, all the time (which is why it's also wrong for corporations to "rent" Millennium Park for the day and keep regular people out. If you want to throw a private party, throw it in a privately owned space, man).

If you want a personal parking spot, pay for one and leave the street spots for the regular taxpayers.

amb / February 19, 2007 9:37 AM

I think it's ridiculous. Nonetheless, I honor it because I don't care to have my own car detailed with a baseball bat...or buried under mountains of snow.

quack / February 19, 2007 9:40 AM

"a scientist" needs to stop blowing snow/smoke. That said, I'm in ur parking spot, stealing ur milk crates!

Mo / February 19, 2007 9:58 AM

I think every person with a car who parks on public streets should shovel out at least one spot per snow. That way, there should be no need for dibs because if someone "steals" your spot, s/he must have left a clean spot open for you somewhere (not necessarily a one person to one person swap, but you get the idea.) Of course, it's the douchebags who don't clear a space that ruin this perfect world scenario... I usually abide by the dibs rule, though, for exactly the reasons amb cited. But seriously, why the hell do SUV's take my clear spot when they can just as easily drive over the ice mountains with no problem whereas my little honda can barely clear a 3" mound???

Emerson Dameron / February 19, 2007 9:59 AM

Does anyone remember a few years ago, when someone put an old chair up on eBay as a "Chicago parking-space saver"? Good times.

Seriously, though, I would like to see a gallery of some of the weirder things that people have used to save their spaces. I don't drive, either, and I'm staying out of the argument, but I do find people's various "dibs" amusing.

Annie / February 19, 2007 10:18 AM

If I spend my time digging my car out of a spot, you can best believe that I'm gonna save it. You wanna park? Dig out your own spot.

adam / February 19, 2007 10:21 AM

I have chill gravity! It's scientifically proven!

Awesome. Thank you, Science and a scientist!

will / February 19, 2007 10:26 AM

Apartment/condo dwellers - tough luck.

For residential neighborhoods with mostly single family homes - that's the way the game is played.

Jeremy / February 19, 2007 10:28 AM

It's like saying a certain spot on the beach is yours,

So you're saying that you're not bothered if you're at the beach and you put down your towel in the sand, then go into the water or to the food stand, come back, and someone has taken your space on a crowded-to-capacity beach, leaving you no spot to lay?

As an engineer (take that, A Scientist) the problem is that despite the fantastic plowings to keep the travelled way open, on non-snow routes the City does NOTHING to maintain parking spaces. In fact, plowing makes the parking situation worse, by mounding the snow along parked cars. Spaces are in limited supply as is, and can easily decrease by half or more during heavy snow falls due to the non-navigable piles of snow and ice. Turning radii decrease, so gaps between spaces increase, etc. I argue that since the city, a public entity, does not maintain the edge of the public roadway, that temporarily, the person who does maintain that space in fact has control of it, until it is made usable by the city or nature.

If the city banned parking altogether during snowstorms, plowed everything in one fell swoop, I'd wholeheartedly disagree with dibs, since there would be nothing to shovel out. But of course, you can't do that, because where are you going to put the cars during the blanket ban?

amyc / February 19, 2007 10:40 AM

So you're saying that you're not bothered if you're at the beach and you put down your towel in the sand, then go into the water or to the food stand, come back, and someone has taken your space on a crowded-to-capacity beach, leaving you no spot to lay?

That's a bad analogy. A more accurate one would be to say you picked up your towel and left the beach, then expected your "spot" to be there the next day just because you picked some cigarette butts out of the sand the day before. (And then you kicked sand all over the person who put a towel down there because it's "your spot" and you're a giant whiny-ass titty baby.)

eighmie / February 19, 2007 10:42 AM

I dig my car out, I dig all the way down to the curb everytime. I leave it and when I come back, if it's still there, wooo-whoo i won, if not, I dig another spot out all the way down to the street and park.

If I see someone trying to dig their car out and I have time I stop to help them. I dig all the way to the street and wish them well.

As far as dibs goes, I tried that, lost a bunch of old crappy chairs, and still had to dig out my spot. This was during the blizzard of 99, between my upstairs neighbor and myself, we dug what was essentially a two car garage out of snow that My car was parked in all day, when he got home, I'd roll back to the second position and he'd park, but we had 8 foot walls of snow around our cars for a week.

If everyone dug their car out and cleared it to the street like I do, wouldn't it be a better world?

Skokie has a lovely way of getting the streets clear, on odd days after a storm, parking is banned on the odd side of the street, even days even sides, they get their streets cleared pretty quickly and relatively painlessly. City tried that after the 99 dump and couldn't get the streets plowed, but it was an exceptionally brutal storm.

tk / February 19, 2007 10:43 AM

In our mostly single-family neighborhood, I'm seeing much less of it this year. The few houses that do have "dibs" marked are the ones with much older residents, which I'm more OK with.

Meanwhile, the thought of "ur" parking sopts and "ur" milk creates brings up a whole new way of thinking about all of this - thanks, quack!

The Infopornographer / February 19, 2007 10:44 AM

Am I the only one who's totally curious to know what Blagg the Axman is gonna have to say about this?

Jeremy / February 19, 2007 10:52 AM

No, the analogy is valid. You can leave the beach, since it is a small subset of the world. It has well defined boundaries, from the water to the parking lot, and all up and down it. You could go to the mall, the coffee shop, or the office, and those would all be areas defined as not-the-beach. And if you left the beach, I agree with you, your spot is lost. But, a parking space is different. If you don't have a garage, it is the only place for you to leave your car. You can't leave it in the middle of the street, you can't take it inside your house, you shouldn't put it on your lawn. In essence, you can never leave the beach in regards to the parking space, because you have nothing else to do with it.

But, thanks for attacking the analogy and completely neglecting the rational analysis below. The name-calling was cool, too. I bow to your debating techniques.

JB / February 19, 2007 10:58 AM

"I dig my car out, I dig all the way down to the curb everytime. I leave it and when I come back, if it's still there, wooo-whoo i won, if not, I dig another spot out all the way down to the street and park."

Me too. I always thought of shoveling as a part of living in a place that gets a lot of snow.
I hope you are my neighbor, eighmie :)

amyc / February 19, 2007 11:00 AM

But, a parking space is different. If you don't have a garage, it is the only place for you to leave your car.

But this argument depends on the assumption that there is only one parking spot for your car -- the one you dug out. This is untrue. If "your" spot is taken, you drive around until you find another one. Just like you would do when there is no snow on the ground.

Jeremy / February 19, 2007 11:12 AM

If "your" spot is taken, you drive around until you find another one.

Yes, if that was consistently the case, there would be no reason to save parking spaces. Dibs exists because that rarely is the case. The same number of cars need to park on the street, regardless of the snow, as a function of the number of people living in the neighborhood. The snow decreases the number of available parking spaces. I argue that there isn't a space around the corner.

I think the Skokie approach mentioned above would be perfect. Tough for the first couple of days until the streets are cleared, then its just like any summer day. Which, hopefully, are coming very soon.

eep / February 19, 2007 11:14 AM

I have enough trouble parking in Oak Park as it is. Don't even get me started about what happens when it snows.

::shakes fist at Oak Park::

leah / February 19, 2007 11:41 AM

I agree with Mo.

Everyone who is drives & will then be parking on the street have presumably dug out a spot somewhere already, therefore entitling them to A parking space somewhere. And me, too. Dirty baby buggies & 80s lawnchair not required.

What goes around, comes around.

jen / February 19, 2007 12:06 PM

all i have to say is that there is an SUV on my street that's gonna fuckin' get it. as a small car driver (makes sense, i live in the damn CITY), i HAVE to dig out a lot to even get out of my spot - which, as someone above pointed out, is basically to the pavement. because i put a ratty chair in my spot and left for three hours (grocery, target, etc. - not even that long) and came back to an SUV in my spot, chair gone. well, my back was already sore from having to shovel out TWO spots (another was sort of available but again - small car - i can't clear 8" high of snow), so i just left the "person" a nice note telling them what i thought of them. had i more energy, dude's stupid vehicle would've gotten iced and covered in snow.

and yes, i'm on a block of mostly single-family homes, and there are various other chairs/tables in the treelawn - no one stole theirs. just mine.

so - i think dibs is crap once the snow thaws and everyone can park easily and evenly (using all available street space), but when there is a foot plus of snow and a finite amount of space to park because of it, if i shovel out my spot and only leave for a couple of hours, don't take it like a douchebag.

kate / February 19, 2007 12:40 PM

I find nothing wrong with calling dibs on a spot that has been shoveled out.

If a "saved" spot is taken, I think it's childish to ice the person's car but I can certainly understand the frustration. I think a nasty note is always appropriate in such situations (and so very fun to write).

I also think it's childish to whip whatever is holding the spot into the person's yard. If you're going to steal a spot, don't be a mega-douche... just take the damn spot.

Or just ram your way into an unshoveled mess and wait until it thaws to move your car.

Mo / February 19, 2007 1:11 PM

What bothers me about the whole dibs thing is that since not everyone shovels out a space somewhere, and I don't want a broken window or a snow-blown fortress around my car, I end up shoveling out like 5-10 spaces in the course of a snow. Sigh. Nice gals always get the short end of the shovel...

Steve / February 19, 2007 1:27 PM

Dibs is pure BS -- ESPECIALLY in resi neighborhoods where people keep their garages full of crap and park on the street. Public space is fair ground for all.

I miss the city tons, but I don't miss the car-clogged streets.

civic / February 19, 2007 1:31 PM

I get very annoyed especially when I see the able bodied, unencumbered young folks claiming unshovelled spots.

If you can't hike a few blocks, or shovel some snow when you are twenty, and are an ass about saving the spot directly in front of your house- to hell with the elderly, the people with babies etc, then you deserve the disdain and hatred of your neighbors

If you own a car in the city, you should shovel a spot. It's just common sense. If everyone did that, no one would need to mark a spot, because they would all be shovelled.

Jeremy / February 19, 2007 1:31 PM

Nice gals always get the short end of the shovel...

The Karmic imbalance in your favor ensures you're going to get a bitchin' parking space in Valhalla.

ken / February 19, 2007 2:42 PM

Moved to the burbs, still no garage tho - and never really cared besides - I take public trans. - its less hassle.

I do hope it snows again tho, I could use some new (used) lawn furniture.

wow / February 19, 2007 2:47 PM

amyc- you are a fool.

Look, if I dig out my car, clear the spot and then run a quick errand, say go grocery shopping I see no problem with holding the spot.

You go to the beach and clean off a spon in the sand for yourself, you then decide to get some ice cream at a vendor. You leav your stuff expecting that since you're only going to be gone for a minute there will be no problem.

Oh, and if I were to see someone on my block removing my chair to snag the spot I spent 20 mins digging out I would have no qualms about letting the air out of their tires. So I lose the spot, they'll get the hint.

unsolicited legal advice / February 19, 2007 3:04 PM

While there is not any law protecting the rights of someone who shovels out a space on a public street, there are laws against damaging somebody else's property, smashing cars, breaking windows, even deflating tires. You are better off to move on and find another space or risk legal trouble.

amyc / February 19, 2007 3:07 PM

You go to the beach and clean off a spon in the sand for yourself, you then decide to get some ice cream at a vendor. You leav your stuff expecting that since you're only going to be gone for a minute there will be no problem.

Again, this is not the right analogy. The towel/beach stuff would be equivalent to the car, no? If I leave my towel or car in the space, I can reasonably expect it to stay there even if I personally am not there. If I move my towel or car, that space is up for grabs -- I cannot reasonably expect to keep that space if neither I nor my stuff remains, right?

In other words, the analogy you're setting up would require your car to be stolen from the space. While that may be a problem in some situations, that's not what anybody here is talking about.

Shoveling does not entitle you to even temporary ownership of public space. Dibs is illegal, letting air out of people's tires or smashing people's windows or keying their doors is illegal. But you think a couple inches of snow justifies your antisocial behavior and property destruction? Who are you calling a fool?

As if / February 19, 2007 3:10 PM

amyc is spot on!

I go further than that, though this may be what she meant:

Whenever I'm out and about--not matter where, in my car or not--if I see someone attempting to save a spot for themselves on a public street, I toss their shit onto the snow a few spots down. Messes up their heads, lets anyone who comes along park in a spot without having to think about it, and basically restores chaos--which is exactly what urban street parking is!

The rule is simple: if you want a saved spot, you have to pay for it with hard-earned cash! No exceptions!

goodness! / February 19, 2007 3:31 PM

My gosh, were all the hostility on this thread focused into something productive like say, shoveling icy sidewalks we'd all be better off!

Now there's something to talk about; what is one to do when one house on the routinely refuses to shovel or salt! That can be quite dangerous!!

Jeremy / February 19, 2007 3:43 PM

Didn't we already discuss the beach analogy?

Well, as usual, nobody's going to change anyone's mind on a blog discussion thread. So, I'll keep marking my spot, you'll keep parking in my spot, taking or tossing my furniture, and I'll keep vandalizing your car. (hypothetically, of course. I've never actually done it, because everyone in my neighborhood has the common courtesy to honor the dibs). We all win!

Of course, I don't even park on the street anymore, making the whole discussion moot on my end. I'd just be happy if the city would plow my alley. The ruts in the ice make me scrape my undercarriage the whole way.

Dispite my dislike of name calling, how many of you anti-dibs folks are from out of state (not including NW Indiana, they're cool with it too)? I only ask because in my circle of friends, only the out of staters hate it. Even native downstaters I know are down with it.

As if / February 19, 2007 3:44 PM

That's simple...just take the stuff people use to try to save parking spaces on the block, and pile it in front or the steps or gate leading to the house that stubbornly refuses to shovel or salt.

Two birds with one stone!

As if / February 19, 2007 3:48 PM

jeremy, I'm "anti-dibs", as you succintly but incorrectly put it. And I'm a lifelong Chicagoan, and I know the law. Mark a spot and you're breaking the law. Period.

I'll sign your petition for alley plowing though. Those things are just nasty this time of year.

jerry 101 / February 19, 2007 3:49 PM

I wonder how many of the anti-dibs people are transient suburban 20-somethings who live in the city until they get married and move to Schaumburg?

I may be a transplant, but I'm not a suburban transplant, and I don't have the sense of entitlement that follows so many suburbanites. Thus, I get the whole dibs thing, and I'm cool with it. I would never, ever mess with someone's dibs, even though I have never participated.

Its about common courtesy to your neighbors. That chair you're throwing on the lawn might belong to an 70 year old grandmother who's son came over to shovel her space out because she couldn't shovel it out herself. Or it might belong to a 30 something mother with 3 school age kids who really doesn't have the time to spend shoveling out a new space with her 3 year old throwing a fit.

Grow up and quit throwing a fit over dibs. Its common in any urban environment.

Stephen / February 19, 2007 3:52 PM

This thread is helping me realize that the entire planet is filled with inconsiderate jerks. On one side of the coin you have those who feel entitled to park in the spot they shoveled out hours/days/years ago; on the other hand you have those who feel it's their dual responsibility to preserve "public space" at all costs and antagonize folks who feel entitled to the spot they cleared. Neither attitude is very flattering. Relax, people! You can't always get [the parking space] you want. It's not the end of the world.

Good thing I have a Hummer I can just park ON TOP of all y'all's cars. SUCKERS!!!

o bother / February 19, 2007 4:06 PM

I am neither transplant nor transient suburban 20-something, I am born and raised in the city. Moved to the burbs after traveling abroad for many years. That being said - I have always been against "dibs".

The only sense of entitlement I'm witnessing here is those who feel entitled to a public space because they used a shovel.

Dibs is not common in any urban environment. It wasn't in Northern Minnesota and it wasn't in Denver - when asked the people in both locales laughed. Nevermind down south.

If you are tired of people taking your shoveled out space - take public trans. the city could use a little less pollution.

Appleby / February 19, 2007 4:07 PM

It depends a little on your neighborhood, don't you think? I mean, I live in Idiotville (yes, I know, I know, I chose to live here). I don't have a car. But many people here have big honkin' SUVs. I used to live next door to a guy whose car was so big, it wouldn't fit into his own garage! Does that guy get to mark out his shovelled spot and keep it? I say no.

And yet, I'm ok with the elderly lady down the street and her late-late model Ford station wagon. She can even put out lawn chairs (which would certainly be crushed by somebody else's suv soon afterward) and mark "her" spot if she wants. Oh, I'm just a bundle of contradictions, I am.

Jeremy / February 19, 2007 4:22 PM

take public trans. the city could use a little less pollution.

I'm a step ahead of you there, I bicycle to work most every day. I did take most (read: all) of February off, though, I try not to ride when its below 10-15 degrees, my minimum cycling temp.

The only sense of entitlement I'm witnessing here is those who feel entitled to a public space because they used a shovel.

Yes, I do feel entitled to ownership of the "public" space. If you don't maintain your private property, the city will fine you, and if it goes too far, will condemn your private property. The city does not maintain the parking lanes. While the snow is on the ground, I am temporarily condemning that space, which I personally maintained, to my possession. Is there a legal basis to this? Of course not. Is there a social basis for this? Well, check the quotes on what the Mayor has said. (Note: He's with us.)

I've mentioned in my posts before that if the city would plow the parking lanes, I would quickly say that marking your parking space was the stupidest thing in the world.

dan / February 19, 2007 4:37 PM

I too am a native chicagoan and resolutely anti-dibs. throwing your cracked up old plastic lawn furniture onto a publicly owned street is just littering. no amount of lazy and/or stupid people holding it forth as a time-honored tradition will change that.

I was infuriated when Daley basically defended the practice following the dibs argument related shooting several years back. Granted, most folks are like jeremy: too chicken shit to defend "their spot" face to face. but our mayor is too simple or old school in his thinking to realize that he had given parking spot squatters a license for violent attack or vandalism.

Jeremy / February 19, 2007 5:03 PM

like jeremy: too chicken shit to defend "their spot" face to face.

No, sir. Chicken shit is what I would dump on cars in my space. That's what the kids call eggs these days, right?

Well, mark down another President's Day that ends with puffed-out-chest threats and evil tomfoolery. Its almost as if we, as a society, have forgotten what this day is all about.

I think Washington would be for dibs. You guys can have Wm. H. Harrison.

Leelah / February 19, 2007 5:06 PM

I'm against residential parking permits, and I'm against dibs. You made a choice to live in a place without a parking spot, now live with it, even if it means you might have to shovel more than once.

o bother / February 19, 2007 5:15 PM

Since shoveling snow once or twice a year is "maintaining" the public space and thus gives you the right to claim it, then the city should by all means include this property in its assessment for taxes of your home. Then you can pay the tax on it, own it and "maintain" it all year-long i.e. clean the filth out of it, including pot holes and parking enforcement too (or be fined).
Oh wait - I forgot about that nice colorful sticker we all have had to fork over a couple hundred dollars per year that says we all pay for that spaces regular maintenance regardless of who shovels it once or twice a year.

d. / February 19, 2007 5:30 PM

Oh, so it wasn't a free-folding-chair-in-the-street-festival!?

Well, I have a bunch of folding chairs in my living room now! Thanks, Chicago!

jen / February 19, 2007 6:13 PM

don't start with the BS city/downstate vs. out-of-state/suburban folks. i'm from out of state, and i'm for dibs. shit, i'm from ohio, where we get a TON more snow than this (snow belt, baby).
and if there were an old lady shoveling out her spot, of COURSE i'd help her. it's about karma, kids. as in, the dipshit who moved my stuff and took my place is gonna fuckin' get it (somewhere, somehow) - i don't have to let the air out of his tires - it'll come back to him.

and finally - someone brought up the city sticker. i think that $75 entitles me to getting my spot back the ONE time i move my car in the snow (and i don't drive to work, i take public trans, so you can all get off your high horse now).

Jeremy / February 19, 2007 6:31 PM

Jen, sorry for the cheap shot.

I made an official survey of my block on my way home this evening. Snow levels have diminished enough, and given the general late-ness of the winter, I officially declare the Winter '06/'07 Dibs Season ended. Everyone should feel free to park wherever they want, without fear of retribution.

Thanks for your participation, and see you all next year!

Spook / February 19, 2007 11:12 PM

How's this for an alternative? A city ordinance that allows a home owner to purchase an Official Chicago Police Dept. wooden parking horse for four hundred dollars a year. Every year they would be expected to turn in said horse and if they chose, pay for another one for the next season, the color would change yearly. Only property owners could purchase them and only in front of said owner’s home. This way, neighborhoods, don't have to look all ghetto with those stupid chairs, crates, tables, etc, the city earns additional income and morons who live on other blocks can’t "lay claim" to a city street not in front of their moronic castle. Like the idiot who claimed “his” space in front of my home for his junky 70's conversion van. Did I need the space, no, but did I want his chairs in front of my home. Hell no and so I tossed them!

say what? / February 20, 2007 1:07 AM

amyc is 100% right on this thread. And I don't mind at all calling names at Jeremy. You're a whiny tit, Jeremy. Every single argument you make in every one of your 8000 posts, above, is bullshit.
Clearly you are an engineer.

sarah / February 20, 2007 2:37 AM

i think the "dibs" system promotes animosity between neighbors. in my neighborhood, only a few people actually do it, and i'm grateful. it makes me feel good about the people around me, because it seems to illustrate that we generally do not want to be assholes to each other.

jaye / February 20, 2007 6:43 AM

blah, blah, blah..

D - I love it! You should see the table and two by fours we picked up!

Trade ya!

michele Seiler / February 20, 2007 6:58 AM

I'm with Sarah. In my little part of Andersonville, we don't have the dibs system. If I shovel out a space, it's for me and my neighbors. It's much nicer that way. When I lived in Lakeview, everyone put out chairs. Ridiculous.

Appleby / February 20, 2007 7:20 AM

I really like spook's idea. If people pay for the right to call dibs on a space, maybe the city could use some of that money to do more plowing.

printdude / February 20, 2007 7:59 AM

I used to shovel, never holding my spot. Year s of this activitity must have influenced my parking Car-ma, for I now get great spaces exactly when I need them.

Now, I park in the garage, the silly room for a car that my wife thought unnecessary when we were house-shopping.
Had anyone of neighbors "dibbed" the spot infront of the house, I would have no qualms about chucking their crap in the garbage.

dbs / February 20, 2007 9:31 AM

i'm gonna go meta and say, what entertaining answers. i'd like to know the ratio of people who say they vandalize cars that park in "their spot" to the number of people who actually do. i bet even the most bellicose have probably never done it. and if they do, they're stupid - you can do a lot more financial damage to someone's house than you can to their car. they'd be putting themselves at quite a risk messing with someone's car, when their house is a huge target sitting right there.

same thing with the people who say they are out there tossing furniture aside or bringing it home to their house (yuck!) just on principle. probably no one.

vise77 / February 20, 2007 9:49 AM

Dibs? Further evidence that so many people in Chicago are a bunch of selfish anti-social wimps.

Say it slowly: You have NO right to claim public space as your own (unless, of course, you are a big corporation and want to shut down Mil Park for a night).

What is so bad about shoveling a space, and, if need be, shoveling another one? That way, all the streets are clear. I always thought Chicago was tough macho place, that digging a little snow was no big deal, that Chicagoans would not then throw fits of temper like little girls when "their spaces" are stolen.

I don't drive anymore, but I do have fun chucking used furniture into dumpsters. After all, it is litter.

dbs / February 20, 2007 10:17 AM

I'm with DBS, you guys are all talk.

Really what it comes down to is this - if you know who your neighbors are, you wouldn't take their spot in front of their house. The problem is people don't know their neighbors anymore.

leah / February 20, 2007 10:24 AM

fits of temper like little girls???? you better check yourself! that makes me angrier than the dibs folks!


I can't resist.

quack / February 20, 2007 11:46 AM

Stephen (February 19, 2007 3:52 PM) said:

This thread is helping me realize that the entire planet is filled with inconsiderate jerks....Good thing I have a Hummer I can just park ON TOP of all y'all's cars. SUCKERS!!!

Irony can be so ironic...

Also, your hummer is either a Tahoe or Colorado (h2/h3) with some body work to make it look like a schoolbus. No more suited for monster trucking than all the other lifted station wagons, except you paid an extra $10K for it. Sucker.

skafiend / February 20, 2007 12:49 PM

What is so bad about shoveling a space, and, if need be, shoveling another one?

Cause who the f*ck want to end up shoveling the whole street just so a bunch of selfish jerks can take advantage of their hard work? If the people who complain about dibs would get out there and shovel their OWN spot, then guess what? EVERYONE would have a space and no one would have to try and save one for themselves. If you don't mind sharing your shoveld out spot, then get out there and start scraping away and stick a sign in the ice reading "Open Parking Spot. Welcome!" But somehow I don't see that happening.

And if NO ONE shoveled out a spot, then the anti-dibbers would be here bitching about how the city needs to shovel the side streets and I'm sure everyone wouldn't mind paying extra in taxes to support the hellacious overtime that would result from that.

I drive and I don't mind passing up a spot that someone is saving. Tossing aside someone hard work is the TRUE mark of a selfish jerk.

leah / February 20, 2007 5:31 PM

If every single person believed in & participated in dibs in this city, where would anyone park?

Where are you dibs-ers going in that car when you leave your parking spot?

I hope not parking in a non-dibser's space. Or a parking meter. Because that person who drove the snow plow through there might want to park there later.

If you want a spot to call your own, shell out the cash.

Stephen / February 20, 2007 10:26 PM

Just to clarify, since 'Quack' quoted me three posts up, the Hummer comment was sarcastic... I walk/Metra/CTA pretty much everywhere and only bust out the car (which is parked off street and most definitely not a Hummer) on the weekends.

But I'll agree w/ Quack that anyone buying a Hummer thinking they're getting a "real" "truck" meant for "off-roading" is sadly mistaken and truly a sucker...

lee / May 31, 2008 2:25 AM

For Fuck sake,I wish I could say I pulled up this website, to complain about the snow factor.I am a bartender in middle class America/Bayside,NY.I drive a 94'Acura integra,it has 153,692 miles on it.It's been under water for at least 12 hours(due to the blocked storm drains on my corner)..She looks tiedyed do to the oxidation(explain scientist).She's a champ, and I love her.On the corner of my block,is a car dealership(lets just call themBNW)whom take up every parking spot,for at least 3 blocks.Now ,if I find a spot by the house on our corner,there is no reason why the homeowner has the right to vandalize my car with dirt,cement,rocks,looked-like coffee... After a certain point, you can rule out the possibility of the gardener,or landscaping truck. I've rang the doorbell twice,this has happened at least 7 times(my husband twice),and no one will answer the door.My next step is to file a police report.Can I do that?...or will they throw their hands up,and say that there is nothing they can do....? / December 4, 2008 12:07 AM

okay. I'm sure "B" is really for "Blair"

kathy / January 24, 2009 1:14 AM

I'm a native Chicagoan and strongly anti-dibs. Leah is right. If everyone reserved spaces, it would be a disaster. People are coming and going throughout the day and often the night, and no one has a right to hold a space when they are not using it. There is a good reason why "dibs" is illegal. The city should have cracked down a long time ago.

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15