Chicago's "Dibs" Debacle

Every winter after a snowstorm hits the city, a Chicago tradition begins.  "Dibs" as we call it, Chicago's every-man-for-themselves approach to claiming a parking spot on the street.  This toxic tradition triggers media stories and heated discussions all over the city.  According to

"'Dibs' refers to the practice of holding a shoveled-out parking space after a heavy snowfall by putting chairs, laundry baskets, or other items in the street to mark the claimed space."

Photo by Zbigniew Bzdak, Chicago Tribune, Jan. 3, 2014

Photo by Zbigniew Bzdak, Chicago Tribune, Jan. 3, 2014

Either you love it, or you hate it.  I'm personally not an advocate of "Dibs".  Why?  Here are five reasons...

  1. Dibs is technically illegal.
  2. It's rather selfish - instead of claiming dibs, help your neighbor shovel out their spot.
  3. Public parking is public parking.
  4. You look like an ass.
  5. Chicago is a city, parking always sucks in the city.  You don't get to reserve a parking spot in the summer, why should you in the winter?

If you feel entitled to practice "Dibs", do so at your own risk.  Those chairs you set out on the street just might be seen as freebies to your neighbors.  If you feel you're entitled to reserve a public parking space, maybe you should consider living in the suburbs, where you have your own personal driveway with a garage.