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Ald. Ray Lopez Has Crews Clear Parking Dibs Items Amid Complaints, Concerns About Snowstorm

CHICAGO (CBS) -- More snow is on the way this week – and in at least one Chicago ward, that means dibs for street parking are on the way out.

You of course know dibs – the tradition of putting out whatever you can find in your house to save a cleared parking spot. As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported Monday, city crews in the 15th Ward – which covers parts of Back of the Yards, Brighton Park, Gage Park, and West Englewood – hauled some of those items away on Monday.

Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) said calls to his office prompted him to put the crews to work gathering up the dibs items. As of late Monday, nine truckloads of dibs items had been plucked off the street and hauled away – but some items remained.

Lopez tweeted that the crews were starting by clearing the blocks that are the sources for the greatest number of dibs complaints – and will push forward throughout the entire ward as the week goes on.

Thus, one man's dibs is now the city's junk.

"We've seen everything from toilets to mattresses to vacuum cleaners," Lopez told Kozlov as they stood in front of a vacuum cleaner that was being used for dibs.

Lopez directed his ward superintendent to get his Streets and Sanitation crews to remove the haphazard items. One reason was complaints to his office, of which there have been 40 since Friday.

The other reason was the anticipated snow dump coming later in the week.

"We want to make sure that we address these complaints so that people don't think that their calls are not going unanswered," Lopez said.

Lopez said citywide, there were 829 dibs complaints in the last three days – suggesting that the time-honored Windy City tradition may not be so honored anymore, at least after a certain point.

"At the end of the day, we want to make sure that we're not only just clearing the debris, but also freeing up parking spots," Lopez said, "and if we can come through with our trucks that have the plows in the front to take out all of the excess snow, we'll do that as well."

Lopez, again, said the dibs item removal will go on throughout the week. It is not clear if any similar effort is under way elsewhere in the city.

By the way, it is actually against city ordinance to block parking spots with dibs items. But it is difficult to issue tickets, because they would be issued to the adjacent house. And if you know anything about city parking, the driver who cleared and then put up the dibs could live around the corner or on the next block.

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