Chair Free Chicago Launches to Combat 'Dibs'

Community Effort Asks Chicagoans Not to Save Parking Spots with Chairs as Snow Shoveling Season Begins

Dec 06, 2010, 12:55 ET from Proximity Chicago

CHICAGO, Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Every winter, Chicagoans are faced with bitter cold, heavy snowfall, and an unsightly armada of chairs, construction cones and other sundry items in the street meant to stake claim to shoveled out parking spaces. Now, with the launch of the Chair Free Chicago movement, like-minded citizens who appreciate that public spaces should remain public can take a stand against the polarizing tradition known in Chicago as "dibs" – as in "I have dibs on this piece of the street for the next week (or two, or three) because I shoveled it."

(Photo: provides signage that Chicagoans can hang in their neighborhoods to declare chair free zones, as well as fliers that can be placed on rogue items in the street to deliver the message directly to the parking spot savers. Fliers range from the apologetically admonishing Minneapolis Mad ("It's just so gosh darn snowy here in Chicago, if everyone started saving spaces, why, we wouldn't have anywhere to park!") to the more aggressive New York Mad ("Consider yourself a selfish prick, you selfish prick."). There's even an option for those who believe actions speak louder than words ("Free! Please take me home, I'm all yours."). Signs and fliers can be downloaded and printed for free, with sturdier options that will last through numerous heavy snowfalls available for purchase. A photo gallery encourages people to upload pictures of their Chair Free Chicago signs and fliers in action, and they can also be shared on the Chair Free Chicago Facebook page.

For those who want to make their voices heard beyond the neighborhood, the site provides a form allowing residents to directly contact their alderman and express objections to the lax enforcement of laws that are supposed to prevent the streets from looking like the last hour at a garage sale.

Chair Free Chicago was launched by Proximity Chicago, a digitally-minded consumer engagement company. For more information or to join the community effort, visit or participate in the conversation on Facebook.


Katrina Cabrera


SOURCE Proximity Chicago