Thursday, February 18, 2010

Don't save your parking spaces

I know parking is hard these days with the big snowbanks everywhere, but please don't be that guy who tries to save the parking space in front of your house.

I got an email from a reader complaining about a neighbor doing it, and I've noticed it a few places around the neighborhood -- people putting cones, lawn chairs, and buckets to block off parking spaces. The reader included this photo -- someone moved a cone and parked there, then whoever saved the space (presumably) put the cone on the person's car. Looks like they might have added some caution tape too. Lame.

MPD has said that you're not allowed to save spaces in that way, and any items placed in public space (i.e. in the street) should be moved. No space is your space, unless it's your driveway.


  1. People are doing this all over my street and it's ridiculous. I shoveled my space well, went out, and had a hard time finding a new spot. My boyfriend suggested just moving someone's lawn chairs... but I was afraid of having my car keyed. I finally found a spot.

    If we'd all just be nice and do a decent job shoveling our spaces there wouldn't be a problem.

  2. seriously, whether it is at giant buying food , sharing the sidewalk b/c only room for one person, or street parking, this snowmagedon has really brought out the WORST in people. Would hate to think what would happen if we were hit with a true disaster like Katrina or Hati. These fools would probably rob you to save themselves.

  3. This situation isn't even about the snow parking at this point (there are open spots to be had). This is about people refusing to park anywhere, but infront of their residence. Move your 4-runner and crap ass honda truck and stop being lazy.

  4. t.baller:

    You are probably one of those idiots that reserved a parking space thinking that you were "entitled" to it.

    Don't feel bad about moving someone's "place holders". I moved chairs just out of spite.

    There are no place backs. If you move your car you risk searching for a new space when you come back.

  5. It's proper snow etiquette that those who toil and go to the extent of clearing the spot should be entitled so retain that spot. Other cities have laws in place that allow this.

  6. I think you missed the point of my post. I am not pro-parking-spot-saver. I stating that at this point, since half the snow has already melted, there are places to park other than the spot people are guarding with their prized posessions. And that the only reason to still be saving 'your' spot is because you're to lazy to find a spot that isn't located and saved directly infront of your house. Reading comprehension is beneficial.

  7. t.baller:

    You make the assumption that people are trying to park in front of their house. Over by Howard we are just trying to park PERIOD. The students take all of the spaces. And you know they didn't shovel any of them.

  8. to shipdogg:

    Please show me a citation for one of these laws. i have searched boston's code b/c everyone blindly says that it is the law that you "own" the space if you shovel it.
    Instead of blindly following the herd why don't you research before you speak (post).
    The fact is the only thing i found is in Boston one can reserve a spot for 48 hours AFTER a storm, BUT it is not legal. They must move the space holder or the city will confiscate it. How long should one be able to hold a city street parking spot? till June?

    also, i shoveled my sidewalk. Under your logic, can i prevent you from walking on the part i shoveleved? why not? i did the hardwork in shoveling that part of the sidewalk and it is now only for my use (to get to MY city street parking spot).

  9. You're not going to find it in Boston's "code" (states/Commonwealths have Codes...not cities). It'll be in their municipal regulations or equivalent. Not sure how their city is administered, but it'd probably just be easiest to call a citizen services hotline of some sort to ask. Easier than trying to play lawyer, methinks.

  10. to anonymous: tballer made the assumption that people are too lazy to do anything but to park in front of their own house because, in fact, the person that did this, does, for a fact, refuse to park anywhere but in front of his own house.

    Please reserve your personal attacks and judgments for a forum more appropriate (see:

  11. I've seen people do this all over Columbia Heights and it's completely wrong. I've been moving people's cones, chairs, etc as I've seen them...Digging out a spot does not entitle you to keep it. It is public domain, if you didn't buy it, you don't own it..

    The toil of cleaning a spot?? It's your own car that you're digging out, you're not doing a public service...

    If you moved by Howard, guess what, expect there are going to be a lot of students around...

  12. Better watch your stuffFebruary 19, 2010 at 7:01 AM

    When people try to save their spots with lawn furniture and whatnot, I am always tempted to steal it. After all, they're stealing public property by trying to claim a space as "theirs," so fair is fair. If more people took or moved stuff like this there'd be less of this silliness and we'd all be better off.

  13. There are no laws anywhere that permit "reserving a space because you shoveled it." That's ridiculous.

    I would like to make a really obvious, and personal, point to those who think that they own a space when they shovel it out.

    I broke my foot. I can't walk easily, especially because half the sidewalks are still covered with 3" of ice because in some cases the same neighbor who is "reserving" a spot, couldn't be bothered to shovel their walk.

    Do you really think that I should park in a snowbank, or blocks away, so that you can have your selfishly reserved and unused spot?

    Has it occurred to you that there are probably many people, either infirm, or old, or otherwise less mobile than you, that really need that spot a lot more than you do?

    Sorry you feel entitled to it because you shoveled it out. Hey, guess what? I shoveled a spot out too. WE ALL DID. We wouldn't be driving otherwise.

    You also probably put all that snow on the sidewalk, which I then shoveled into a front yard out of the way.

    You also aren't using that spot all day when you are at work.

    You can go suck it. I am going to move your chair if I have to drive, and if you want to key my car, I will hit you with my crutch if I see you.

  14. I'm with the ok to save camp if you cleared the space. If everyone cleared a space there would be no issue. My street is replete with people that could give a crap about their neighbors. Barely cleared their sidewalks, if at all, and when they shoveled anything they just dumped it into the street. We cleared in front of our house completely, not just one space and the whole sidewalk, wrapping around the corner. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect to enjoy the fruits of the labor. There are plenty of places to park if you get your shovel out and clear one which is exactly what we did.

    John Locke

  15. John:

    Are you suggesting that people block traffic while they shovel a space free?

    There are no place backs in life.

  16. John:

    Wow! we should start a petition to have pope give you a medal. You mean you did not only your civic but LEGAL duty and shoveled your sidewalk! Wow! Do you want a medal everytime you don't jaywalk too?

    I dont' understand why this is even a debate. you don't own your street and therefore you don't have the right to reserve the spot. if you want a reserved spot, move to condo and pay the extra $200 month for that right or move to the 'burbs with a driveway.

  17. "There are plenty of places to park if you get your shovel out and clear one which is exactly what we did. "

    As did everyone else who's car was parked with 100 miles of DC when the snow hit.

    Simple logic for ya:

    1) I live on this street.
    2) I am driving a car.

    Inescapable conclusion: I dug my car out just like you. I just didn't try to save my spot.

    Even if I didn't dig out my car, er, because I just bought a new car or was hundreds of miles out of town, who gives a @!*#? I have just as much right to park as anyone else. Which is to say - absolutely no right at all. It's first come first served, as always.

    Yes - there are plenty of places to park. Just move the lawn chair and take one of the WASTED PARKING SPOTS that your selfish neighbors want even when their car is not their half the time.

  18. Can't we make it illegal to park on DC streets with out of state plates during a snow emergency? I'm not shoveling out to let some jerk with VA plates capitalize on my hard work. Out of staters don't pay taxes here. In exchange I promise I won't drive to their hideous suburbs.

  19. With a 'nym like "John Locke," you'd pretty much expect him to be a tool.

  20. RE: 13th and You. No all non-district plates are non-district residents. A vehicle can be registered in any other state, yet the owner (such as myself) can still be paying DC taxes (and DC business taxes, as I do). Do you realize how many DC-registered vehicles were parked down in Potomac Yard, Alexandria during the mess? Should the city of Alexandria have ticketed or asked those vehicles to be moved? I don't think so.

  21. This is a practice in some other cities in areas with more street parking space.

    However, in areas like Adams Morgan, and parts of Columbia Heights, parking is so hard to find at the best of times that nobody should be able to claim a space at any time, even if they shovel their own car out.

    The city really needs to come out with a strong statment about this

  22. I verbally confronted one of the coners this weekend and asked when he intended on removing the cones/caution tape/etc. The response I got was slighted laughter and when I proceeded to tell him it was illegal to block parking spaces he justified his offense by insisting that it was his spot because 'I clean it'. Needless to say the exchange became increasingly aggressive with passing by neighbors yelling at the coner.

    Later that evening my friend decided to move some of the cones out of the street. After this event the owner of these particular cones threatened physical violence if one were to touch his property again.

    I guess at this point it will be interesting to see how long the cones stay up after the rain today/tonight.

    Oh, and I got a lovely parking ticket for failing to paralell park. I would say I was at a 10 degree angle from the curb...absurd. And the people who had coned their spots with their cars nestled safetly in paralell did not recieve any sort of violation!

  23. Here's what I don't get in all this what's the big deal? Really, why are you all so pissed about it? It must be because you shoveled your spot out and came home to find someone parked in your spot and you had no where to park.

    Its not like people put cones out every single day. This strom was an extreme situation. Shoveling out a car took days in some cases. I know, I shoveled mine out 3 different times. While I didn't put cones up to save my spot you better believe I wished I had when I came home to find the person who had been parked behind me just pulled out of his spot - did not shovel - and parked in mine. RUDE.

    Oh, and to the person who called John Locke a "tool" you know who John Locke is right? And I'm not referring to the one from Lost.

  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  25. Any racist comments will be removed.

  26. Well I for one live in the Burg..Pgh PA that is and for all yinz guys over there we have "the parking chair" aka the yinzer chair... and as the fan clubs name say: "If I shoveled it, you better believe I am parking there!" I didnt spend all that work clearin a spot for some jag-off to park in it!


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