Citizen complaint of the day: Just because it's Christmastime doesn't mean you can save spaces

Space saving

A vigilant citizen finds space savers on Rosemary Street in Jamaica Plain somewhat disconcerting on a day when the temperatures reached into the 60s and there's nary a flake on the ground.



Free tagging: 


Perhaps that street just had

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Perhaps that street just had garbage pick up and those were just left in the street? That often happens on my street in JP


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The city of Boston public works picks up the garbage and recycling in front of my house, but fairly consistently leaves both containers on the road. In fact, the distance they're left from the sidewalk is directly correlated to the weather. I'm not aware of people claiming I'm space saving.

Strategically placed

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These trash cans seem rather strategically placed to have just been tossed there by garbage collectors. In my neighborhood the trash collectors just toss the empty cans back in the general direction of where they originally were, and they are usually upside down or on their side in the gutter, and certainly not with the covers back on, as at least one can in the photo seems to have. These definitely look like space savers to me.

Plausible Deniability

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They have that special "oh, the trash guys just threw them there and we haven't been home to bring them in" look. Just like the folks who put their full trash cans in the street rather than the curb, just to scare off others...

I live a few blocks from

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I live a few blocks from there and that happens in front of my building after garbage pickup too. No one in my building is saving the space out front and it's just where they're left after being emptied.

I actually used to live right

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I actually used to live right by there on South Street and those people save spaces year-round. I used to curse the d-bags out while looking for parking on Spaulding / Rosemary (I knocked over their trashcans a time or two but never parked there, lest my car be vandalized). It's one thing in the winter - if you've shoveled out the spot, ok save it for a day or two - however, it's another thing altogether to save year round (if I recall correctly, a Boston Public Schools vehicle frequently parked in one of the "spaces").

no, it's never okay to save a

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no, it's never okay to save a spot. ever. if you want a dedicated spot, buy one.


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Every winter the city has it's own little arms race because city hall decided not to enforce the rules because of a few old timers pushing back.

I can't wait until someone gets into a fight over a space saver and dies. Maybe the city getting sued for million will get Mumbles off his butt and actually enforce the law.

People love to call the folk down at OWS entitled brats, but since when does shoveling off a car entitle you to a public spot? It's normal work that is required if you live in a snowy winter city. Deal with it. It doesn't make it yours anymore than shoveling out your neighbor makes their driveway yours to use.

Occupy City Street?

I can't wait for a phalanx of 200 BPD officers per street to sweep through the streets collecting space savers, towing cars, and arresting drivers.

You may be on to something brilliant here...

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Let the current Occupy Boston-ites rent themselves and their tents out as living space savers. You shovel your spot, pay someone a few bucks an hour to set up their tent and defend your spot until you come back. The occupiers are out of Dewey Square and can spread their message to public spaces all over the city, shoveled spaces are saved, and paying money directly to a service provider makes everyone happy.

Granted, they might need smaller tents...

Well, clearly

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...the people saving these spots love Christmas and wintertime (assuming that they live in the two festive houses the spots are in front of).

Once there's snow on the ground, a team should assemble and give them some extra winter cheer by waiting until cars are parked there for the night and shoveling about 4 feet of merriment from all the other spots on the street right on top of 'em.

You know what's a fun game and a good workout?

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"Toss The Parking Saver."

When there's snow, it's especially fun to toss the "saver" into the giant mountain of snow in the yard the "saver" is in front of. Have fun fetching that, especially if the snow is soft.

Or, get the neighbors on your side and toss it in their yard; the neighbors pissed at Mr. or Mrs. Saver. "Why is your shitty-looking folding-chair on my lawn?"

People kept putting out new savers in my neighborhood, and I kept launching them into the middle of large yards...

You're probably lucky ...

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... that none of your neighbors saw you, and recruited you for a bracing game of "beat the interfering busybody with snow shovels until he stops moving."

Love it too...

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But you probably just ruined some innocent persons day that parked there relived they found a non-marked spot.

Which is why Menino has to stop the bullshit and enforce the actual law. People's property is getting damaged because he's too afraid to do the right thing and sic the cops on people for both littering and commandeering public property.

The city can very easily stop it by also instituting even/odd parking bans and plowing to the curb. With the added benefit of ticket revenue for the people that try to protest and leave their cars.

Hell, we do it all summer for street sweeping, why stop once it snows?

I don't either

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It would make too much sense. It would also involve telling the townies that they can no longer save spaces.

Why no even-odd parking ban?

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  1. Many streets are too narrow to have parking on both sides
  2. On those streets that do have parking on both sides, an even/odd parking ban would cut the available number of spaces in half. Where would you propose to put those cars for the duration of the ban?

The same places they go

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The same places they go during street cleaning.

Street cleaning = 10%

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In my neighborhood, street cleaning days are arranged block by block (e.g., first and third tuesday, on one block, 2nd and 4th wednesday on the next, etc.) so that no more than 10% of the cars are displaced on any one day. And mid-morning (when street cleaning happens) is a time when the available parking capacity is not 100% used up, because some people take their cars to work, or out on errands, etc.

Another similarly fun game is

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Another similarly fun game is "Will This Space Saver Fit Into The Next Trash Can I See?"

You can incorporate "Toss The Parking Saver" afterwards if the answer is "no".

so sick of this tired story

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You know, can you possibly give the person the benefit of the doubt? Maybe the homeowner has a contractor coming to do work with a big truck? Maybe he's moving some furniture. While it is true we do not "own" the spaces in front of our houses, would it hurt people to assume for a moment that we might have a reason for trying to save the space and cut us a little slack? Now OK, maybe this is a pattern of abuse...I don't know. But these busybodies reporting silly stuff like this annoy me.

If you contact the city, you

If you contact the city, you can reserve the spots for big trucks and/or furniture moving. You will even get some cool signs to let others know not to park in the needed spots for the required days. If you live in Boston, then I'm sure you've seen the signs before; they're red and white.

You shouldn't just save spots at your whim because you're too lazy to go through the proper channels.

actually, that doesn't work

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Actually, when we did get a permit and post the signs, they were torn down. And to deal with the commuters who park in front of our house to save $4/day, the neighborhood signed a petition to have the street made resident-only parking. That was a year and a half ago. The guy in BTD has been telling us signs would go up "any day" since April.

Why silly?

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I live one block over. The two spots in the photo are reserved 365 days a year. If I was a closer neighbor this would drive me nuts and I don't think complaining about it to the city would be silly. Better than sneaking by in the dead of night and tossing the trash cans into the yard, at least, although I imagine the chances of the city doing anything about this are pretty slim, so probably also less effective.


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That makes it easier to find out who's doing it, since it's so often.

Fine them. Keep fining them, and when they don't pay, put a lien on their place or start pressuring the landlord.

There's ways to enforce the law. It's too hard or boring isn't the right answer.

limited resources

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So... cops can either patrol this particular block so no one ever saves a space again, if that is indeed what is happening in the above photo, OR they cops can patrol neighborhoods to deter crime, respond to 911 emergencies, etc. Which would you prefer in your neighborhood?

it doesn't take much

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They can take 5 minutes to stop by, write a ticket, and go on to more important things.

The revenue from the ticket will more than make up for it.

After all, it's the same for all other kinds of tickets, including parking.

You can ticket an unattended

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You can ticket an unattended car because it has a license plate.

How do you ticket a trash can?

How to ticket

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The same way the city (supposedly) uses tickets for people who improperly dispose trash or leave their bins out.

See the numbers?

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also don't need to ticket the trash can numbers at all. Ticketing the residence is enough, same as keeping their sidewalk clear.

So I can put a chair in the

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So I can put a chair in the street in front of someone else's house, and they get the ticket?

I don't think that's what the law says.


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You must not live in the city.

BTD are the ones enforcing parking restrictions.

The police can write tickets, sure, but there's always BTD ticket officers paroling neighborhood and on foot beats. They can simply focus on this area until the numbskulls get the idea.

Further, as stated, implement even/odd parking during snow emergencies and clear the roads to the curb. They do so on the major roadways, time to do it on the side streets like a normal city in a winter zone.

Spacesaving then becomes moot, and an obvious infraction, as others don't have to continue this bullshit escalation just to park on a resident public street.

What's wrong with...

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... the rules that the rest of us follow? If we're having construction materials delivered, or moving furniture, then we go to city hall, post bond, take out a permit, post notice in advance, and then call the city to tow violators away, thereby leaving space for the moving truck or construction equipment. That's how you reserve a parking space.

When you reserve a space, you're forcing someone else into a pay lot and costing them $20. You don't get to help yourself to $20 of someone else's just on a whim.

I love these stories

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Every time I regret moving to the suburbs, I see one of these stories and remember why I did in the first place.

vigilant or pathetic?

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It's pathetic that this busy-body opted to snap a photo / file a complaint against this neighbor instead of moving the alleged street savers themselves and/or talking to the neighbors first. Now this picture is making its way around the internet as a way to shame these residents without any proof whatsoever. Why am I not surprised that this happened in JP?

I usually advocate talking directly

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to the people who are causing problems for their neighbors, sometimes without realizing it, but not around parking issues. Even if they don't have a right to a particular parking spot on a public street, people are crazy and will vandalize your car or find other ways to make your life miserable if you try to talk to them about things like year-round space savers or the concept of "public" streets. I'm glad this person complained in a way that saves him or her from retaliation, because retaliation does happen, even in JP. Sad, but true.


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"Now this picture is making its way around the internet as a way to shame these residents without any proof whatsoever."

As has been said a couple times upthread by people who live in the area, these people "space-save" year-round. That is proof enough, and they should be publicly shamed (I personally moved the alleged space savers a few times when I lived there, but, alas they just re-appeared).

from one anon to another

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Do you believe everything you read on the internet from anonymous message board posters?

This is a joke, right? ;-)

...instead of moving the alleged street savers themselves and/or talking to the neighbors first.

Even this clueless suburban guy knows exactly what would happen if you approached habitual parking spot savers. First, realize that these people know exactly what they're doing, so anything you tell them will be a) nothing they haven't heard before, and b) nothing they don't already know.

The usual response is "I've lived here for X years and that is my space. I had it long before you moved here."

I would love to know if anybody has ever had a positive result after asking someone not to save a space.


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an ashtray filled with cigarette butts dumped in your airfilter intake count?

Problem street

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Searching citizens connect, it appears this house / string of houses seems to have a problem with space saving:

they also don't shovel their sidewalk:

So, how long until everybody is forced to space save on that street for fear of retribution, or others doing so?

As if space-saving weren't bad enough

Judging from the Citizens Connect pictures, it looks like the dirty little scofflaws have been leaving their Christmas lights up well past what is socially acceptable. Let's run them outta JP!