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Streets & San Tries To Halt Dibs

By Karl Klockars in Miscellaneous on Feb 22, 2010 8:00PM

dibs by Katie Scully.

Not that we desperately want to re-ignite the conversation about dibs again, but the department of Streets and Sanitation has decreed that dibs is done. Streets & San bossman Tom Byrne released a statement over the weekend calling it off until the next big snow. No word if last night's snow met the criteria.

"We do not advocate putting anything into the street, but are initially tolerant of it because our priority during a storm is to repeatedly plow and salt our 9,500 lane miles of main streets and side streets until they are clear...It has been a long time since the last big snow, and temperatures are mild, so anyone who has put anything out in the public way needs to get rid of it or we will do it for them."

This dance happens every year. Snow falls, cars get shoveled or driven out, and ironing boards hit the street. The city plows as best they can (and this year trumps last year without a doubt) and then looks the other way at the folding chairs and milk crates. Maybe some windows get broken or doors get iced when the unspoken pact of dibs is broken, and maybe we get a statement from the mayor about how it's a "tradition" and we should just live with it.

Then, after not acknowledging its existence for the previous 3 months, the city releases a poorly-timed statement that it's time to get right with the Lord of Dibs and toss the ottomans and ladders to the side. Which, like washing your car right before rain is forecast, is a great way to get the city in the way of a huge snowstorm. With three sloppy inches of precipitation last night and more snow forecast in the next few days, it's not likely that we'll see the end of dibs any time soon. After all, as the Trib notes, Mayor Daley himself has - in the past - given an "unofficial endorsement" to the "technically illegal" act of dibs, so The Powers That Be can't expect folks to follow along when you only selectively enforce a law.