Citizen complaint of the day: You shovel five spaces and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt

A weary citizen in East Boston sighs:

I'm not sure if this is asking too much, but on border st and white st in East Boston, I've already shoveled out 5 parking spaces, and everytime I come home at night people have moved put of theirs and into my shoveled out spots. I'm exhausted from having to shovel a new one every night. By that point, it's hard and icy. Is it possible that the snow can be removed during the day, because my neighbors aren't doing their part?



Free tagging: 


spot saver...

After losing my 2nd spot to a neighbor I would have pulled out a SPOT saver!!!
You knew to this Town?? they are the best and you can use anything and for the most part people do respect them!!!

Good luck Neighbor!!!! and welcome to Boston!!!


You are missing two key

You are missing two key points.

  1. Anyone who is parking on the street has, by necessity, already shovelled out a space somewhere. Therefore, the supply of shovelled spaces should not, in fact, change, although the distribution may be slightly off. (This doesn't make a good deal of sense, though, since people usually park near their apartments very consistently.)
  2. People who are aggressive enough to use spot savers are usually unapologetic about moving other people's spot savers to their own advantage.

That's not exactly true.

That's not exactly true. Plenty of people just drive out of their spot which then gets packed down into 4 inches of ice. Also some places don't let you park on one side of the street for a snow emergency so they can plow, except they never actually do plow all the way to the other side of the street, so the spots are reduced by half because no one is going to shovel out a spot out of the snowbank on the other side of the street if someone else is just going to steal it.


No shoveling = no space savers

My next door neighbors prefer to spin their wheels with the five cars they have every morning and night to get in and out of spaces they don't shovel, but put space savers in anyway. I can empathize with the OP, as while I have a driveway I park on the street in front of my house during storms because it makes the driveway easier to clear out. I enjoy shoveling and am pretty anal about it, so I shovel the full width of the sidewalk and all the snow in the two spots in front of my house into my yard, plus the old lady's sidewalk next door. Come home and find that the aforementioned neighbors drove out of their unshoveled spots through mine, dumping snow all over the sidewalk and street in the process, which is now a sheet of ice. Meanwhile, the guy who parked in front of the old lady's house cleared his car off onto her sidewalk, and someone else had the audacity to put a space saver in one of the spots I cleared.

Best part: the neighbors cars all have "what would Jesus do" bumper stickers.


Or mabye not

I am "aggresive enough" (not sure what that means since I don't consider myself to be an aggresive person) to use a space saver, but I wouldn't move someone elses, mainly for 2 reasons:

1. I wouldn't want someone to move my space saver, so I wouldn't move theirs (you know, that whole love thy neighbor thing...)

2. I don't want my tires slashed/nail gunned, car keyed or windshield smashed

I think your broad judgement about people who use space savers is way off base.


I learned a lot about my

I learned a lot about my neighbors this week. The ones who threw a chair on the street and claimed it as their own are low-lifes. I made some enemies forever this week and I won't forget it. Note to decent people: Don't move the space savers and throw them in a yard as you go down the street--I know it seems like a good idea and I commend your intentions. Unfortunately, the scumbags who put them out don't know who threw the chair aside and the unsuspecting driver gets the full thug-life experience when she gets home. We have to make the city do something about this. Winters might be just tolerable if we do.


Aggression comes in many forms...

Space savers aren't backed up by any laws, even though they're quasi-tolerated by law enforcement. It'd be great if fairness and cooperation were what drove most people to "respect" the "rules" of space saving, but you yourself pointed out the real reason these ridiculous practices continue: the threat of violence and property damage.

When people see your space saver, they don't know that you're non-aggressive. The reason they're not throwing your garbage in the garbage and parking in "your" spot is because you might be a psychopath who is willing to do hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of damage to their car in the night, or perhaps even start a physical altercation if they catch you parking in "your" space. The only reason your space saver works is because there are plenty of psychopaths out there doing the same thing. The fact that you aren't backing up your threats with real violence doesn't change the fact that your space saver is threatening everyone who might want to park on your street with violence. That's all space savers are, and that's why they need to be done away with. I don't know what should be done instead, but I think we can do better than this Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome bullshit, especially when it is immediately abused. Once it is established that every space saver might be defended by a psychotic ape that is somehow unaccountably living in a major city, people (probably psychotic, maybe just douchey) can and have started setting up "space savers" when it's not snowing, just to reserve a spot. Why not? At worst you lose a cone - or a vacuum cleaner or whatever, and if you're lucky, you get to park wherever you like, at the city's and your neighbors' expense. It's a bunch of giant assholes enabling lesser assholes, and while you may not quite be an asshole yourself, you're riding on their coattails and supporting their freakish system.



Seriously though, everything I said. People can rationalize it however they want, but it's a really really really stupid way to try to get by in a city. And participating in it while thinking you're above it is pathetic.

Spot saver destroyer

I just drive up, and onto anything in the street. You want to save your spot leave your registered motor vehicle there. Anything else is violating the boston city code.

Spot savers beware my BMW 535 loves cones, chairs, and anything else used to save a spot. Hell most of you have already banged into my bumper and dinged it up. So a chair certainly is not going to hurt the bumper any worse. Hopefully you have a table for (6) maybe you can make it through the week.

It's over move on.



Quite a few people do not seem to understand that space savers are only for during/immediately after (48 hours) a snow emergency. Although there was a lot of accumulation, a snow emergency was never declared so this resident is actually in the right by not having used one. No snow emergency = no space saver. It's a pretty simple concept that seems to be wildly misunderstood.


Self Interest & Parking Spots

But I do think this points to a flaw in the "no space saving" approach. When people can save their spaces, they tend (though not always) to put more work into them. They might get the spot down to bare pavement and make it easy to get into and out of.

With the likelihood you will not return to that spot, drivers aren't investing their time at all, especially on all the crap that is under their cars but which will freeze hard and make it hard to park in that spot in the future. That's especially true if a few days of melt/freeze happens and the spots are impossible to shovel out without a blow torch.

I absolutely agree that we don't have any rights to a particular spot on the street, but our own inherent laziness (and lack of a reward for effort invested) makes the parking situation much worse.


There are the people who park in garages or their own driveways during a storm, then park on the street later. In addition, there are visitors, house cleaners, repair people, delivery people, people who were out of town during the storm, people who were working during the storm, etc.

I doubt the city has the

I doubt the city has the resources to do this. But putting that aside for a moment, it would cause new issues like plowing in driveway entrances again along with pedestrian ramps at crosswalks after they've been shoveled. Maybe that's acceptable if it opens up parking, but it's not without its own set of problems either. Also, would be a lot harder for cars to move to different streets like they do on street sweeping days since presumably less spots would be available if snowed in.

OK, I had one

At one time I lived in the Charlestown Navy Yard and rented a spot in the garage under the apartment building to fit both my Ninja 1000 and Honda CRX. Never lost a window and radio like those parking on the street.


It is car owners be dammed. Homeowners just shovel everything from the walkway into the parking spot - Any spot left open during a storm is home for a giant ice pile.

I am really glad to see the rain coming this weekend. Don't look forward to weeks of driving by these ice pile homes every night.

This happens only where there are open parking spaces

In front my home I put it on the sidewalk next to the parked car flowing into the street next to the car. Total maybe a 18" wide spot. Most homeowners do this on my street and most of Beacon Hill. There are just a few spoiled people who decide that they need more space than others on the street.

This 18" is all that is available to both homeowners that have parking in front of their home and those who have only a travel lane.

There just isn't a lot of space snow we all have to share.

When I need to park where someone has dumped the sidewalk snow completely into the parking space, I generally end up carrying it across the street to the other side for fear of damaging someone's closely guarded spoils (namely more cleared sidewalk then the rest of the street).

The City could do a better

The City could do a better job plowing snow off the streets and removing it. Now it just creates pathways down the middle of most residential streets surrounded by snow/ice walls. I've noticed Downtown consistently gets better treatment.


You do not own the streets!

I shoveled out three spots so far and honestly I enjoy the exercise, but this is what makes me mad. These are city owned streets and not anybody's property. I'm sorry you shoveled and someone took that spot but it is not "yours." Also, someone had the audacity to put a barrel in a spot I actually shoveled in which case I ran the barrel over and threw it in their yard.

It's the winter and sometimes you're going to have to do a little extra work, but that doesn't mean taking ownership of city owned property. If you want your own spot, build yourself a driveway or buy a space.