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Gage Park, Brighton Park

Anti-Dibs Alderman Throwing Away Items Used To Save Parking Spots On Snowy Southwest Side Streets

Nine truckloads of stuff have been carted out of Ald. Ray Lopez’s ward, which covers parts of Back of the Yards, Gage Park and Brighton Park.

Pilsen residents set up "dibs" to claim parking spots after a big snowfall in Chicago on January 27, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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BRIGHTON PARK — A Southwest Side alderman is tossing dibs across his ward Wednesday, eschewing the time-honored tradition of saving hard-earned parking spots.

Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) said his office received nearly 40 complaints from residents about dibs over the weekend. The alderperson warned constituents this week to remove their dibs or he would have Department of Streets and Sanitation workers do it for them.

Even with parts of the city getting a foot of snow, Lopez said there will be no reprieve. He said nine truckloads of stuff have been carted out of his ward, which covers parts of Back of the Yards, Gage Park and Brighton Park.

“Clearly people are fed up with dibs,” Lopez said. “We’ve got to make sure it’s not getting completely out of control.”

Dibs — putting out large items to claim cleared parking spots on the street — is a Chicago winter tradition, albeit a controversial one. Some say residents should be able to save parking spots they spent time digging out, while others feels the custom goes too far and roping off public spots creates accessibility issues.

Some get especially creative with dibsor with shaming people who claim dibs.

Dibs is not sanctioned by the city and Streets and Sanitation crews often warn residents to clear them from their blocks when snow melts.

Lopez said he understands the sentiment of respecting the work people put in to clear themselves a parking spot, but it gets out of control when one household is claiming five or six spots on a street. He also said he can’t send snow plows down a block that’s filled with random items.

“Common sense has to prevail,” he said, reminding his ward residents to be good neighbors.

Lopez said his priority for now is making sure snow gets plowed from streets and sidewalks as soon as possible. In the next couple of days, as snow starts to melt, he said the dibs removal is likely to continue.

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