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City: No More Dibs On Parking

CHICAGO (CBS) -- If you're still using an old folding chair or some empty crates to save the parking spot you dug out during last week's blizzard, get rid of it soon, or the city will.

City officials said Tuesday that in three days, they'll start taking away the junk that people have left on city streets to call "dibs" on parking spaces they cleared out during the storm.

"While the historic blizzard did present challenges for Chicago residents, we also know that nearly two weeks after the storm's end, routines have resumed to normal for most of us," Department of Streets and Sanitation officials said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

"The warmer temperatures over the last several days have helped to melt and reduce snow volume, and those above-freezing temperatures are projected to continue throughout the week. Given this extended period of warmer weather, we are asking residents who have placed items in the street to save parking spaces to please begin removing those items -- as snow melts, these remaining items add clutter to the public way.

Officials said garbage truck crews will focus on completing trash pickup for the rest of the week and expect to be back on track by Friday. At that point, they'll also begin clearing away "any remaining debris from the streets" -- in other words, the junk that people have set out in order to save parking spots.

It has been a long-standing tradition in Chicago that many motorists who have to park on the streets call "dibs" on parking spaces after a snowstorm by putting down old furniture, empty crates, buckets or other items after digging out a space.

Sometimes, if someone swoops in and "steals" a parking spot that someone else has "called dibs" on, fights can break out or the "violator" will later return to find his or her car vandalized or covered in snow and ice.

The "dibs" practice is illegal in Chicago, but city officials long have allowed drivers to call "dibs" on parking after heavy snow while crews focused on plowing streets and getting back on schedule with garbage pickup when it is interrupted by a blizzard.

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