There’s only one thing missing from the city’s new ChicagoShovels.org site: a “Dibs” app. A Dibs app could finally end the unsightly Chicago tradition of marking out a shoveled parking space with broken chairs, bar stools, milk crates and sawhorses. From December to March, every snow day looks like garbage day on the side streets of Chicago. We’re better than that. Because now we have satellite technology.

With a Dibs app, after you’ve shoveled out a space, you could input its exact latitude and longitude coordinates, using a Global Positioning System.

Anyone thinking of parking there would then consult Dibs.com on his or her smart phone to find out whether the space has been reserved. If it has been, don’t park there. If you don’t have a smart phone … well, anyone in 2012 who doesn’t have a smart phone is just asking to have his car keyed by a miffed shoveler.
Unfortunately, the Nestle corporation has already called “dibs” on Dibs.com, to advertise its bite-sized chocolate-covered ice cream treats. ChicagoDibs.com will work just as well, and no one has called dibs on that URL.

Of course, we may not even need ChicagoShovels.org or ChicagoDibs.com this winter. Last month was one of the warmest Decembers on record, with no significant snowfall. No more snow is expected until at least a week from Thursday.

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