Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Dibs: It's serious business in Chicago

See also

“Dibs” has caused neighborhood wars in Chicago. Disrespecting “dibs” just isn’t done in the nation’s third largest city. One woman on Chicago’s Northwest Side took to peace-making in her neighborhood by taking a day off work and shoveling out all of the unshoveled parking spots for them, according to a WGN-TV news report on Friday.

More Photos

What are “dibs?” It’s an age-old practice in Chicago that occurs after every sizable snow storm – perhaps three inches or more as recently seen in the city. People shovel out a parking spot in front of or near their house on their block and claim that city property as their own until the snow on their block is totally removed by the city or simply melts via Mother Nature’s change temperate mood.

The method in which a person claims “dibs” on their public parking spot is to place an item – usually a chair – in the parking space. While chairs - often missing a leg or simply a family-reject of sorts - are usually the method of calling dibs, there are others. People have put out an array of child's toys, child's car seats, stand-up Christmas decorations, and much more in an effort to have a parking space available to them when they return home.

When a person violates one’s “dibs” on a parking space by moving the item from the parking spot and parks there, hell breaks loose in a variety of forms – to say the least.

Incidentally, the kind neighbor on the Northwest Side, in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, who shoveled out her block is Jamie Lynn Ferguson. Interviewed via phone on WGN-TV, she said she just didn’t like seeing her neighbors arguing and fighting over the “dibs” issue and decided to take to the street with a shovel. When asked how her neighbors reacted, she said they were really nice about it.

Some offered to help while others didn’t even own shovels. In Chicago? Yes, some didn’t even own shovels. When asked if she would ever do this again, she said “probably not.” She’s hoping that doing it once will get everyone to pitch in and clear the street in the future. After all, it only takes one person to start a “movement” of shovels. She is – no doubt – the Chicago neighbor all Chicagoans wish they had.



  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!