The code of the Masshole: Police report vandalism across city against people who park in spaces they didn't shovel out

It's official: We suck. Boston Police report seven cases of post-blizzard parking-space vandalism across the city this week.

In most of the cases, tires were slashed. In one case, a window was smashed. In another, a plastic sawhorse was heaved at a car door. Two examples:

About 10:49AM, on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, officers from District D-14 (Brighton) responded to a radio call involving vandalism on Litchfield Street. On arrival, the victim told officers someone slashed one of her tires. Officers observed the victim’s car to be parked legally in a shoveled out spot in the area of 10 Litchfield Street. Victim stated that there were items placed in the empty parking space in an effort to “save” the spot which the victim says she moved prior to parking.

About 9:30AM, on February 12, 2013, officers from District A-7 (East Boston) responded to 163 Byron Street for a vandalism report. On arrival, the victim told officers that on Monday, February 11, 2013, he moved a chair from a parking space and then parked his car in the empty spot. When he returned to his car the next day, he discovered two flat/slashed tires on his car.

Incidents were reported in Dorchester, East Boston, Brighton, Charlestown and Roxbury, police say.



Free tagging: 



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Who runs this city, the mayor or a bunch of thugs?

Is there a difference?

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The problem here is that the Mayor is encouraging these thugs. With his official unofficial stance -- that space savers are okay for 48 hours after (this bit keeps changing; end of the snow storm? End of the snow emergency?), he gives the okay for this sort of thuggery. Those which damaged cars should forward their repair bills directly to his office.

wah wah

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wah wah

At this point,

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It's a matter of the inmates running the asylum! It's crazy!

Blame the victim much?

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If you are walking home late at night and you get mugged and stabbed, the blame lies 100% with the thug and 0% with you. If people try to say, "well, you should have known better, you shouldn't be out at night, you shouldn't be living in the city, you shouldn't be walking through that neighborhood..." the proper response is to tell them to eff off.

The same is true for the parking space savers. If we let the threat of violence run the public off its own streets, that's a huge mistake.

lol, "getting your tires

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lol, "getting your tires slashed because you pissed off people, took advantage of someone else's backbreaking hard work with no compensation, and violated a long-held and completely legal community standard" is just like getting mugged.

Also, only seven incidents reported to BPD? I bet a lot more people got their tires slashed and knew they deserved it, so they didn't report it, and even more people didn't get their tires slashed, and even more people didn't even bother parking in a saved space anyway because they are NOT A DICK.

lol, "getting your tires

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lol, "getting your tires slashed because you pissed off people, took advantage of someone else's backbreaking hard work with no compensation, and violated a long-held and completely legal community standard" is just like getting mugged.

Yeah, it's just like getting your skull cracked with a baseball bat because you wore the wrong color shirt in the wrong neighborhood, walked down the wrong block when you are of the wrong race, or dared to try to sell cheese to a pizzeria that was someone else's customer.

In all cases, there will be some asshole defending the thugs and blaming the victim, saying "that's what happens when you poach on someone else's turf."


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It's fucking shoveling!

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It's fucking shoveling! Nothing about shoveling snow is backbreaking. If you're injuring yourself, you're doing it wrong. If you worried about a heart attack while shoveling, tough shit. Get your fat fucking ass off the couch once in a while and exercise. Just because you uncovered your car so that you can drive away does not mean that you own the patch of pavement it was parked over. Get a fucking life, man.

You clearly weren't here for

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You clearly weren't here for that snowstorm, so you shouldn't be talking. People spent a good 2-3 hours digging their cars out of the spot, so they can make it to work, for whichever businesses actually opened and forced their employees to go to work. And when they come back some other jerk parked in the spot they spent hours clearing, with a placeholder, then that jerk is going to get their car vandalized. This doesn't mean I support vandalism in any way, but if I spent hours to get my car out of its parking spot and someone else parks there, even though I leave an obvious placeholder, then I'm going to cover their car in snow so they can dig themselves out like I had to, and then when they leave I'm going to take their spot, just so they can see how it feels to do all this work and someone else not obey "common courtesy rules".


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with sociopaths and narcissists is a lost cause.

It's why the city needs to come down hard on this childish bullshit, before it escalates even more. Space saving used to be a thing some people in Southie did. But it's exploded since Mumbles backtracking, and has spread throughout the city as the media find it newsworthy in a sort of sideshow sort of appeal.

People are claiming spots for weeks, claiming spots in the summer, and generally it's a race to the bottom with everyone fearing retaliation and fearing not having a place to park.

Game theory is taking over instead of the law.


I grew up in Revere and that's where I first observed this phenomenon. I've also seen it in towns from Haverhill to New Bedford.
So saying that it only occurs in Southie is as ill informed and ridiculous as painting the people who place space savers as "sociopaths and narcissists".

If you'd like, I can introduce you to some real sociopaths. Maybe we can see if they'd like to submit themselves to your scintillating psychiatric insight.

Also, no one space saves in the summer. You'd get laughed at.

Also, no one space saves in

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Also, no one space saves in the summer. You'd get laughed at.

There were a few complaints on Citizen Connect last summer and autumn about neighbors putting out space savers, e.g. traffic cones. On at least a couple of occasions the mayor's office responded that they'd resolved the complaint by picking up the cones. For what it's worth I don't think any of the complaints were from Southie; I remember ones specifically from Dorchester and Jamaica Plain.

When I lived in Oak Square 15

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When I lived in Oak Square 15 years ago- I had a neighbor that space-saved year-round- had plywood cut-out roughly the size of his car that was chained to pole in front of house

You wanna bet?

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"Also, no one space saves in the summer. You'd get laughed at."

You obviously don't live where I do in East Boston. People, mostly old time residents, put these things out all year round. They do it simply as a matter of course as part of their daily routine. They do not feel they are doing anything wrong and nothing will disuade them from thinking they are absolutely justified in doing what they are doing.


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It’s getting worse and is a growing trend, ever since the Mayor backtracked. And no, I’m not ignorant that Southie wasn’t the only place on earth doing this; but are you ignorant at just how much more it’s happing now, and how bad things have escalated because of the vacuum Meninio created? It was one thing when the city just looked the other way and dealt with it on a case by case basis, but backtracking has all but legitimized it and the anti-social behavior behind it.

Just wait, someone is going to get stabbed, curbed stomped, or shot one of these winters over a flipping parking space. And the city, and thus us, will probably be on the hook against a liability claim, as the politicians scramble to finally end this practice.

Not a good scenario, imho!

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When the below-quoted scenario happens,

Just wait, someone is going to get stabbed, curbed stomped, or shot one of these winters over a flipping parking space. And the city, and thus us, will probably be on the hook against a liability claim, as the politicians scramble to finally end this practice.

then it'll be way too late!

Where's your logic?

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Why is it OK in the winter to protect the half hour you put into shoveling out a space by saving it, while it is not OK in the summer to protect the half hour you put into driving around and finding a space by saving it?

I'm just not following your sense that one of them is morally OK and the other is wrong.

Yup, seen it in JP, too

It takes balls to do it in non-winter months, but it's done. I've seen it done by long-time residents, and neighbors just shake their head and avoid any contention, which just may be the best thing to do.

Different standards for different times

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In Revere when you were growing up, what was the ratio of cars to available spaces? In a lot of Boston today, it's now over 5:1.

In Revere, when you were growing up, after a storm, was there such a thing as an "empty" space (i.e. a space that had no car in it, and that could be yours for the taking if you were willing to shovel it out?) In a lot of Boston today, there isn't.

In Revere, when you were growing up, were parking spaces so scarce that buying one cost 2 years' of a decent professional salary? In parts of Boston today, they are.

Could you allow for the possibility that saving a space in Revere when you were growing up was perfectly reasonable, that taking a space someone else had shoveled out was blatantly selfish because there were others to be had just for shoveling, but that none of that holds today in much of Boston?

It's always important to re-examine traditions and see if the conditions under which they developed still hold. Often times the rules need to be changed.

Yeah, it's a drag that I can't graze sheep for free on Boston Common or go duck hunting on the banks of the Charles any more, either.

Great post!

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Say you lived on a street in south boston with say 40 spots and on a bright summer day 20 cars parked on that street. When winter comes and those 20 cars still park on that street...and there's a big winter storm, if you shoveled your car out, OF COURSE you'd hope your neighbors respected the fact that you did the shoveling and didn't park in your spot when you left. Then it's just a matter of putting in the effort and shoveling your own space. The problem is, when there are 20 spots on a street, and 80 cars looking for spots. Just because you shoveled it doesn't mean you own it for a week.

You're escalating some situations yourself, anon2

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By anonymously removing savers you're putting ramdom strangers into possible contact with people you consider sociopaths.

All to make a point?
You're almost as kooky as the space savers.

Douche move randomly removing spacers

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I originally responded to another thread where some skylarking non-townie thought it was constructive or amusing to randomly remove space-savers.

It' not. There are repercussions. As we now see. Put your money (and your car) where your mouth is and only remove a saver for a spot you park in yourself.

Don't set up some true innocent to get their car vandalized just
because you're on some jihad against space-saving.

I'll find my own spot and let the psychos keep "theirs" for a few more days.

Start a petition or something if you want to change things, dick.


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How dare anyone have guests during the winter! No fraternisation until the snow melts. Screw friends and tell Granny to suck it.

Seriously, the Mayor has to teach people that no one owns a public street.

Yeah, put Granny in some psycho's crosshairs

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Real bright. Do you look for dates for her at the prison release half-way house.

You're missing the point: Space-saving is douchey. Vandalism is criminal. We agree.

BUT where I disagree with many on this post is with the vigilantes who will rem,ove a saver anonymously and then let some sap or, for the love of Godm, their own grandmother park in that spot.

You're not doing anyone any favors. And if I found out some dick with a hardon for space-savers set me up to be vandalized by another dick I'd have plenty of anger to go around.

We all get it. Move a spot and park and you make a statement and maybe take a chance.

Shouldn't put unsuspecting people into the mix though. Let them move their own spots and fight their own battles. They shouldn't have to fight your battles (maybe literally) or have their car take the abuse meant for your car.

This isn't baling the victim. It's finding an accesory to the main culprit, the spacesaver.

Criminal move

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Last time I checked destruction of private property and vandalism is criminal. Sorry that I don’t feel the need to defend shitheads that need to be locked up for their criminal behavior. Especially ones that are now complaining that us car-less people that are moving their space savers and making them vandalize innocent people. What a load of malarkey.

Space saving is not a law.
Putting trash or dumping objects in the road is illegal.
Destroying or vandalizing others property is illegal.
People doing so need to be arrested and charged as the douches they are.

No criminal move until AFTER the douche move

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In the circumstances we're talking about.

This is really simple.
First, I've never defended space savers and certainly not vandals.

Now let's look at two scenarios, both with an unsuspecting driver looking for a spot:

1. You, anon2, and your ilk choose to march on City Hall, or start a petition, or knock on the space savers door to tell him how you feel. You do anything and maybe everything about this issue you feel so strongly about EXCEPT anonymously remove a saver and leave a spot open that you're not using.
Unsuspecting driver then makes HIS OWN informed decision on where to park and whether to risk interaction with scumbags with propensities for violence and vandalism.

2. You and your kind randomly and anonymously remove savers and expose untold people to unknown acts by people we all agree are true shitbags.

And you don't see a problem with that. I do.

It's as basic as the golden rule. I don't want to come find my car vandalized and possible have an altercation with some freak with serious issues. I would certainly never put someone else in that position.Not to make a point, that's for sure.


Not blaming the victim, not defending the asshole. Finding fault with a specific behavior by YOU, not the victim or the perp.

How about this easy fix:

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Have garbage crews remove all items left in the street on their normal runs. Not only will this discourage leaving shit, but it also gives the benefit of the doubt to people who want to legally park. Fuck space saving, fuck vandalism.

At the same time, shovel out a goddamn spot ya filthy animals.

The only people that have

The only people that have spot savers on my block are WT townies that are known to slash tires, and use the traffic cones and whatnot year-round. Luckily, there's more than enough on- and off-street parking for the rest of the neighborhood.

Here's the problem.

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You remove the space saver and park there because you're only going to be an hour or so...but you don't put it back. I drive down MY street looking for a space (because I was out of town during the storm, I don't have a "saved spot"). I see an open spot and park my car there. Some meathead comes out and sees my car in HIS spot and thinks I'm the one that moved the space saver....and slashes my tires.

Who is at fault? How is this avoided?

the Meathead

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he needs to be arrested and charged with destruction of property / vandalism.

He's commiting a crime. No one else invloved was.

this isn't rocket science people.


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You basically need to video tape them doing it to get them arrested. My neighbors vandalized my car in the summer for parking in front of their house. There's really nothing BPD can do unless you have proof.

Being a busybody asshole isn't always a crime

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Why the need to randomly remove space savers and put other people's cars in danger of vandalism?

You've said someone will eventually get seriously hurt over this but you're doing absolutely nothing constructive.
You're just fanning the flames and causing trouble.

Why don't you just mind your own business?

(And no, I don't space save and don't condone it in anyway.)

WT Townie??

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Easy with the "WT Townie" comments. It is these long-term residents that have helped keep Rozzie a nice place to live for so long. And I can guarantee that if you ever needed a neighbor to lend a hand in a jam, these "townies" would be the first to help you out. (over some new Roslindale Village resident renter/hipster). People in the city need to realize that a shoveled spot (being held with a space saver) is off limits - for a few days. If you have the stones to actually move someone's space saver (within a few days of a snowstorm)you should expect a few unkind words etc. (although I strongly disagree with the vandalism of cars etc.)

"WT TOWNIES"? - Typical comment from a new resident. Newsflash Gradontrip, Rozzie was a nice neighborhood (filled with good people)long before the restaurants and farmers market started popping up - although the food and farmers market have only enhanced our neighborhood and made it better.

Just funny because would you be so quick to toss around a racial comment in regard other parts of our community? Why don't you head down to Archdale, toss around some racial nicknames and lecture the people about the rise in crime in the area...see how that goes for you.

Kidding aside, don't dis you neighbors, or your neighborhood. After all, isnt it this very "diversity" that we all love so much?

Take care.

"People in the city need to

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"People in the city need to realize that a shoveled spot (being held with a space saver) is off limits - for a few days."

Absolutely not. No one owns a parking spot on the street. Just because you had to move snow off and from around your car doesn't make it your spot. It just means that you did the work that enables you to drive away. That's it, that's all. It's immature and selfish to think that the space magically becomes yours.

OK Mike, when you live in the

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OK Mike, when you live in the city for a few years you might see things a little differently. ("immature and selfish"? relax)

No, Mike's right

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and I've lived in the city for 50 years.

Get over yourself. Street spaces are for anyone to use. I shovel mine, I pull out, and someone else pulls in. That's the way street parking works; if you stop to think of it for a second, it's the only way it could possibly work; the only way to share when there are more cars than spaces is for someone else to use yours while you're driving around.

I suppose 'white trash' to you

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is anyone with a 'local' accent and didn't move to the city for college, a job, and out of a boring small town or suburb?

One day someone is going to

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One day someone is going to get shot, and I hope the victims family presses charges against Menino for encouraging this.

We Don't Suck

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Mayor Menino sucks. He sanctions this riddiculous system of space savers and ever since he's sanctioned it's spread from southie to pretty much every other Boston neighborhood. This is ridiculous and we need a mayor who isn't going to let marshal law run parking.

This has EVERYTHING to do with Tommy

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He could have educated people -- used his leadership position to point out that a lot of traditions need to change when conditions change. You can't graze sheep on Boston Common any more, because the city has 750,000 residents and not 5,000, and there just isn't enough Boston Common to go around. You can't hoard parking spaces any more, because the city has the same number of parking spaces but ten times as many cars as it did back when the tradition got started, so you need to share.

But he didn't. He caved in to the unthinking and gave official sanction to a practice that is blatantly not in the community's best interest.

Dear Dani,

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1). Space saving is not new. They were doing it in JP when I moved here 28 years ago.
2). What is this marshal law garbage? Are you saying the military is now in charge of parking in the city?
3). The Mayor does not suck.
4). Learn to spell.
5). You're a dumbbell.

Key word being......?

From CBS Boston's web site:

Traditionally, Bostonians who spend hours digging out parking spots place items in the street to keep people from stealing their space.

snow saving press coverage

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With all the press on this subject, one would think there is no other violence in the city, and no more important news stories.

"hours" The keyword is hours.

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"hours" The keyword is hours. That's bullshit. No one spends hours digging out his car unless he's doing it with a teaspoon.

I'm with Dvdoff on

I'm with Dvdoff on this.

Place savers go back decades.

Personally I'm not in the place saver or tire slashing camp, but it's shall we say disheartening to spend a few hours cleaning up a space and have some hotshot slide right in to benefit from your work.

If your the kind of person who is always out shoveling after each storm, you can see who is also out there, and who is not.

I understand some folks being really frustrated and taking some action to discourage such reaping of someone's else's labor. In fact If I was on a jury, I would vote to acquit.

And was no work involved in

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And was no work involved in digging out the other car that swoops in? Or was there spot cleaned by magic?

They did you a favor then

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They paid a lot of money and left spots open for people who didn't pay a lot of money.

How did they leave a spot

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How did they leave a spot open by not being there? We're talking about during a snowstorm - if their car was not there, the spot fills with snow - and once it does, it will soon fill with snow from adjacent spaces being dug out. If anything, parking in a garage during the storm and then coming back to claim a space makes matters worse - it's one more car that seemingly comes out of the blue after the storm that expects to have a space waiting for it when it comes back! At least keep your car there during the storm and shovel out like everyone else, so at least someone will know you worked for it.

It's not disheartening at all

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I dig out my car after a snowstorm. What I get for my trouble is the use of my car. I drive off, someone parks in the space I left behind, probably within 15 minutes. I don't find that disheartening in the slightest, because I don't have the foolish notion that digging out my car entitles me to anything other than getting my car back.

I am the kind of person who is always out there shoveling after a storm. I clear my sidewalk promptly. I go up the block and dig out the fire hydrant. And I clean my elderly neighbor's walk and steps.

I have nothing but contempt for someone who, in my shoes, would think he's somehow entitled to personal private use of a public parking space.

Wait, the victim acknowledges the space saving system?

I'm not Johnny victim blamer, but if the cops don't see it, it's not a crime (at least at this level of crime.) Guess what, lady, you won the parking battle, but you lost the war. Whether you believe you're right or wrong, the real consequence is that your tires are slashed. I'm assuming the act is not on videotape, so you have no recourse, and your tires are still slashed.

Again, "City Shoveling Hour." Let your neighbors see you contributing to the cause of clearing snow to maximize on-street parking. There are only so many cops. I got my car broken into, and the cops told me straight up (but politely) that they would not assign a detective to look into recovery of my stolen items. At some point, we, the laypeople, are the police. Street parking after snowstorms is clearly one of those points.


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mind telling me where you park your car?

Maybe I don't like the color. Should be reason enough for me to do what I'm planning, no?

After all, it's not a crime if no one sees it.

To people, especially those not from this area:

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it is rude by the standards of our local culture to park your vehicle in a spot you didn't shovel. It's a simple matter of respect. Many areas of Boston and surrounding cities and towns have as you've probably noticed limited on-street parking.

Now technically yes, it's a 'public' space, and yes, you can park where ever you damn well feel like [provided you have a resident parking sticker in some neighborhoods]...but, reality is it's not kosher in these parts. An analogy: yes, we have freedom of speech in America, and yes you can say whatever you want to someone's face, or on the common, even hold a sign listing your likes and dislikes...but, be prepared for people to be pissed off at you and to let you know they're pissed off, maybe even assault you. There are consequences to actions, regardless of the fact something may be your 'right'. Mature adults understand this.

And what's this CONSTANT reference to 'Southie'? I grew up mostly in JP, Allston and Somerville, and that's how we rolled,too. I also was born and lived in NYC, and we did the same thing there.

Carry a shovel in you vehicle [you should have some sand/salt,too] and shovel out your own damn space, preferably in front of your own damn home/building. Then mark your territory. I promise, I won't steal your space.

Why the Southie references?

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Because only Southie threatened insurrection when the mayor announced a crackdown on space savers a few years ago.


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No, we don't do this shit, you'd be laughed out of town.

In front of your own building?

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"shovel out your own damn space, preferably in front of your own damn home/building."

There are 35 apartments in my corner building. There are 5 on-street parking spots in front of it. It- and the neighboring buildings- offer no paid parking. Unless you can come up with a way to bunkbed park cars on public streets, this simply will not work.

What the Mayor should do is track which streets have reports of vandalism, then, during the next storm, declare them NO PARKING-SNOW EMERGENCY and tow any cars parked on the street. People will learn quickly that vandalizing cars means they don't get to park near their home any more.

Townie bullshiz

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This is why I moved from Cambridge/Somerville to the burbs. I have my own drive-way, no one but me shovels it and parks in it. 100% my spot and my responsibility.

The city needs to make street cleaning a year-round activity. December through April - instead of street cleaning, plowing when necessary. Cancel if no snow. Simple as that. Then the streets will slowly be cleared, streets will be back to semi-normal, and over-sensitive townie idiots won't have to complain and vandalize cars because their 10X10' piece of asphalt (that they don't own and is free to anyone with a permit or even the full public) doesn't get taken. Maybe knock down a few busted up building and build a neighborhood-only (permit) parking lot for situations like this when snow is still in the streets and parking is limited.


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Because you expect others to show a minimum of respect and civility by not taking a parking spot you shoveled out?

And are there no 'townies' in the town you live in? Is it a bad thing to be a 'local'? Locals are inferior to you? We are supposed to all be transients with no particular culture, accent, place we call home? This makes the 'townies' parochial, while you are a cosmopolitan transient and suburbanite?

Yes, Bullshit

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Because you expect others to show a minimum of respect and civility by not taking a parking spot you shoveled out?

It's bullshit for you to think, because you shoveled out a space and hoarded it with a chair, while I shoveled out a space and shared it with the rest of my neighbors, that I should spend $60-$75 to use a garage for 3 days instead of pulling into "your" space.

In my experience

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it's people who don't shovel, or do a bare minimum, who are the first to take a spot their neighbor shoveled out.

If everybody shovels, than the problem ceases to exist. It's just another day in the neighborhood.

We have many people in this country who want something for nothing. Who have a fine tuned sense of entitlement, and I'm not referring to the person who shoveled out the spot.

If everyone shovels

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If everybody shovels, than the problem ceases to exist.

No it doesn't, and that's the whole point: you still have 5,000 cars trying to park in 1,200 spaces.

Yes it does

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If everyone shovels, then all the spaces are cleared, and it returns to the way it is the other 9 months of the year. There's no rationale for saving spots, at least for the 99.9% of us that don't try putting savers out in the summer. No it does not solve the problem of more cars than spaces, but that's a whole other issue.

No, all the spaces are not

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No, all the spaces are not cleared - unless the city orders all cars off the street and plows both sides to the curb. People are only going to dig out their cars, not everywhere a car could park on that street. You presume that before the storm that every street will have no space that is not occupied by a car, everyone will dig out their cars, and then everyone will interchange the spaces with each other. You forget that if only half the spaces are occupied by cars on any given street before the storm, after the storm parking is limited to the occupied half of spaces after the cars are dug out - in other words, after the storm, ALL AVAILABLE PARKING IS CUT BY HALF. If more than half of the dug out spaces are claimed by more cars that were originally parked before the storm, someone is not going to be able to park - unless he or she digs out a space that is not presently there.

might take a month though

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The problem with that is it could be a couple of weeks or a month before the next street cleaning day on your street. I'd rather see a notification go to everyone in the neighborhood via mailman as soon as possible after a big storm with a curb clearing schedule. Odd side one day and even the next, move your car or it will get a ticket larger than it would have cost you to pay a couple of kids to dig it out and move it.

Yes, it would add expense to the snow removal budget but if limited to the bigger storms or after multiple smaller ones I don't know that it would be that bad.

Have a truck hauling one of these bad boys around and send the melt into the storm sewer system and have winter parking like a summer day a few days after the storm.

Use a pen, not a knife

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I have found a note works fine.

Inevitably, the people who shovel the least in my neighborhood are the ones who grab spots others have shoveled out. They do the bare minimum to get their car out, snow tossed all over the street and sidewalk. One group of guys around the corner used to direct their weekend guests to the clean spots on our street until I told them to knock it off. Plenty of room in front of their house to clear a space for their guests, but they were too lazy. Not to mention the sidewalk that mostly was left covered in snow.

Saving Spaces Does Have Some Benefit

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I'm no fan of space saving, but I do see one area where it could be helpful. On my narrow, one way street, one side is off limits for parking during a snow emergency, meaning that side ends up with really big snow piles. Residents will then try to park there, but be 4-5 feet from the curb, creating problems for drivers.

There is no incentive for residents to put in the big effort to dig out one of these blocks of snow. They won't be able to "possess" it and not enough other residents will dig out these spots for there to be a reasonable distribution of spots to others. In a bad winter, the unparkable spots could stay that way for 1-2 months.

This week is a good situation where these blocks should be dug out... the warmer weather has made the snow softer than usual, but I bet few will bother to dig out, because there isn't a personal gain to be made unless your car sits all week. No need spending an hour or more digging out a big spot if someone can reap the fruits of your labor when you leave for work the next morning. Instead, spend 5 minutes scraping the pile a little to let you park closer and hope you don't get hit or ticketed.

Space Saver

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I know it's 48 hours after, but the city plows did an awful job on our street, piling impossible to move snow in what would be available parking spaces. If we don't save the space I dug out, I end up either parking on a pile of snow that I mash down with 4 wheel drive, or someplace unsafe, or in someone else's spot. It doesn't work with the amount of snow still on the ground to deal with the overflow parking. That and we are a popular street during the day for people to park for free and use the Red Line. Those assholes are the biggest offenders.


There are micro-economic factors that favor 48 hour space saving; namely, it gives citizens an incentive to clear snow from city streets that cannot be easily accessed by plows (streets that are parkable during snow emergency; in other words, spot savable spots).

If you drive through Southie this afternoon, after the space saving spots have been removed and most people are at work, you will find neatly shoveled, cleared streets.

Now, after you drive through Southie, head up West Broadway across the street the bridge to the South End via Berkeley St, and you will find a much different scene. Since parking spots can not be saved, residents have no incentive to spend the time to shovel out non-emergency spots, so the street is kind of a mess, and you need 4x wheel drive to get in and out of a lot spots.

The 48 hour spot saving is actually a great rule, and I'd imagine most of the complainers in this thread either:

1) Complain about anything that happens in Boston
2) Don't actually live in Boston, and/or don't park on the street.

1) I love this city and would

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1) I love this city and would live here over anywhere else.
2) I park on the street in the South End. Sometimes I can park near my apartment. Sometimes I have to park several streets away from my apartment.

Sweat equity doesn't entitle you to parking on a city-owned street. This is city life - limited parking all year long is an issue for residents, visitors, and businesses. There are few driveways and parking lots. I have to show my resident parking sticker, otherewise I will get ticketed -- because I don't own the city curb where my car is parked. It's really very simple. If people want a guaranteed parking spot after a snow storm, they should buy or rent one.

I see two big logistical

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I see two big logistical problems with the space-saving/tire slashing phenomenon:

1. I leave for work, come home, someone has taken my spot (whether or not I left a trash can there). so, what do I do? my spot is gone. I have to take someone else's spot. Where do these tire-slashing people park when they come home and find their spot taken?? do they then get their tires slashed?? When does the cycle end?

2. Person 1 moves a space saver to park in someone else's spot. Person 1 leaves, and person 2 comes along and parks in the spot, not knowing that that person 1 moved a space saver. Person 2 gets tires slashed. Something similar happened to me and I had a crazy lady screaming at me "you moved my fucking barrel!!!!", um no lady I didn't.


I wonder how many people complaining about spot savers:

A) have a car
B) park on the street
C) grew up here

with regards to C, this seems a lot like people who move in next to railroad tracks/a bar/etc and then complain about the noise and/or try to change it. It's basically a tradition, the majority of people seem to get along with it just fine, seems like those offended should either go along with it or go somewhere else.

Hat trick

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All three. I have a car, I park on the street, and I grew up here.

In my youth, it was also a "tradition" to throw stones a the black kids who dared venture into white neighborhoods. Most people seem to have given that one up, too, thanks in part to those who refused to either go along or go somewhere else.

Parking space saving is hoarding. Hoarding is pretty severely antisocial.


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A) Yup, all thought I rarely use it during the week. There is no need unless you need to leave the city.

B) Yup. And I'll park blocks away if needed, although there's plenty of places in Southie to park that the yuppies think is "too dangerous". Never had a problem.

C) Got me there, only been here 10 years. But you got me wrong, I'm all for expanding hours, uses, and places. I think the “city that always sleep syndrome” is going to kill Boston in 10-20 years when the boomers and their money leave after making sure the luxury apartment city was as quiet as their old burbs. Just about the only thing I don't like seeing is another bank with 9-430 hours taking up a long held, local storefront.

Space saving was fine when passive aggressive notes were the worst thing going around, and everybody wasn’t gunning to be the lowest common denominator. It’s exploded even since I’ve been here (and mumbled decree) as far as I can tell, and it’s got nasty with property damage and threats between neighbors. Sorry, but it’s got to end when people start commiting crimes against their community.

"Space saving was fine when

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"Space saving was fine when passive aggressive notes were the worst thing going around" -- That must have been a while ago. I remember my officemate at MIT telling about tires (not hers) in her Cambridge neighborhood slashed after a snowstorm back in the mid- to late '80s.

(I've been back in Somerville 7 years now, have a driveway, & try to stay out of this other than letting a neighbor share my driveway during/after storms - but I did get a bit upset when someone took my barrel on trash day, with my trash inside it, to use to save their space in front of my house! It was funny though. Did they really think that would work?)

I have to agree with this

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I have to agree with this poster, especially option C. My impression from many posters on UHUB is that they are transplants and are shocked to find what has been going on for decades and decades in the city. This space saving thing is not new and although I take no sides on the issue, I have a feeling those screaming loudest are newest to the city-not that it makes it right or wrong, just an observation. If you want to live in a very old, congested city, where street layouts were born centuries ago, and have a car - well I think any of us could've told you this was a winter tradition.
Also old neighborhood traditions that you may find illegal and wonder why the mayor has done nothing about it, well that's part of Boston - in particular this issue since this has been a way of life for many their entire lives. Menino understands this, I believe.

Way of life for their entire lives

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Some of those "entire lives" are shorter than many "transplants" have been around ... but don't let that reality bang you in the arse. Some even have driving age kids that were born here too.

Now "I OWN THIS CITY BECAUSE I WAS BORN HERE" people, please answer this honestly:

IF the city said they would rent spots to residents that were numbered and would be for your exclusive use for the entire year AND had a way for you to have cars ticketed/towed for infringing on your leased spot, how much would you pay for the privilege for having an actual spot that was ACTUALLY yours to save?

Swirly your a touchy

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Swirly your a touchy transplant, I get that. But please, don't shoot the messenger - chill.

So ...

Do you have an answer to my question.

How much would you pay to the city every year to ensure that "your" space is yours?

Cookie problem, perhaps

More likely a very dated version of IE that I use at work and am not allowed to upgrade on my own because they don't let us touch anything. We'll see when IT fixes it, as it is now causing me difficulty accessing journals and other important work stuff.

I work 50-60 hour weeks on salary, 80-90 or more if I'm on the road, and I'm a grownup and treated as such, so mucking about on the web a bit at work a bit isn't an issue.

Superiors? Plural? Um, no.

Loving it from the 'burbs

I love all of the UHub socialists who want everything to be free and equal for everyone, until it comes to a parking space they spent 10 minutes shoveling out. All of a sudden "tradition" becomes overly important and vigilante justice (including vandalism and violence) are justified.

You can probably hear me laughing at the hypocrisy all the way from MetroWest.

Socialist? LOL

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Asking people to show some civility and respect towards anyone who has shoveled out a space in front of their home/apartment is 'Socialist'? I think you have it ass-backwards,boss.

What civility?

Look at the responses from pro-space savers. It's our tradition and if you take my hard earned (read as 10 minutes of my time shoveling) space then I might/will vandalize your car/beat you up/slash your tires/break your windows/etc.

The right thing to do is to shovel out your car and then realize that you park in a public spot and that EVERYONE has a right to park there that is equal to yours. If you don't like it, don't move your car.

Someone will get shot over this one day and it'll be a "gun issue" and not a "culture" issue. Some of you will twist logic well past its extremes to try to rationalize the fact that you don't get any special treatment for shoveling out your car..

BOO friggin HOO.


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10 minutes? Have you ever shoveled?

A few points:1) If anything,

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A few points:

1) If anything, this illustrates the need for more investment in public and bike transportation, to the point where more people (like myself) can leave their car in place under the snow until it melts and go car-free if they feel they can make it work.

2) I am doubtful that space-saving occurs nowhere else in the U.S. except for Boston's neighborhoods. I can easily see this happening in NY or Chicago. How do those cities handle large amounts of snow? Do they plow to the curb and ban all parking on all streets, including side streets, while they do it? Do they have an absolute 'no-space saver' policy?

3) Vandalism is never justified - what if the person who took your shoveled space lost their shoveled space to someone else and felt they had no choice? One car coming late to the scene would cause a domino effect, then before you know it, everyone's tires are slashed! (I would think if you were to do anything, you could write a note or if you're more daring, double-park the offender in if the street were to allow it)

4) If it is totally impractical for the city to remove all snow from all residential streets in order to return the street to its unblocked condition, it is equally impractical (not to mention sanctimonious) to expect some people to not to have a problem giving up their shoveled space (though again, nothing justifies vandalism as redress for this grievance) . While I understand it is still a public street, it is only human nature to feel cheated if one puts a good deal of physical work into an accommodation only to lose it to someone who may not have - it goes against every person's innate sense of fair play.

It is not unreasonable to me that many would feel that their private sweat put into returning a portion of the public street (which is the city's responsibility to keep clear) to an accessible condition entitles them to some implied recompense from the city, namely parking rights for that section cleared, for at least as long as the rest of the street continues to be in an inaccessible condition for parking. So while the law may be on the side of the space-usurper, that does not necessarily make the taking of the space morally right.

5) I would very much like to hear from the 'no space saver crowd' how they would deal with the hypothetical case of a person who lives and parks his/her car in South Boston, digs out and saves a space on a street that has had the number of spaces effectively halved by the storm, commutes to work in an area not served by public transportation (let's say Maynard), works late and drives back to South Boston find his/her space taken, and no other spaces within walking distance available. What would you recommend? I suppose that person could drive downtown, pay an exorbitant amount to park in garage overnight, wait 20 minutes for a bus in the cold and get dropped off 5 blocks away from their home and repeat the process in the morning, and possibly for days on end. Or they can save their space.

6) I say, if you must leave a space saver, make it a shovel with a note attached reading 'I have already cleaned this space for my car. Please feel free to use this shovel to make your own space.'


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there is always free road parking in Southie. It's what makes this all the more amusing and pointless.

I've moved my car right after snow storms and have always found parking, at all times of day.

Is it sometimes more than a few blocks away? Yes. Is it always outside my house? No.

But make no mistake, you can always find a spot. 1st street is always a good place to start. This is just a bunch of entitlement from a bunch of a-holes

I don't believe I said

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I don't believe I said parking isn't free in Southie, but there is always parking? In the evening? After a snowstorm like this? I am afraid I haven't had your luck, when I lived near Telegraph Hill. I don't expect a space right outside my house, but I don't expect to traverse the entire neighborhood either. And your loose use of invective undermines your 'entitlement' charge. However, am glad things are working out for you.

if you took my space.......

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i usually would only use the space i shoveled out for a day or two until snow started melting. if someone took my spot shortly after the storm? my friends and i would get our shovels back out and bury the car and i mean really bury it. now YOU can shovel too.snow karma.


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What an asshole way to treat the ER nurse who worked a double shift during the storm, drove home exhausted, and parked in a legal public space.

i knew my neighbors

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if it was an er nurse working a double shift tehn i probaly knew her and the spot was all hers. if it was some douchebag neu kid with a tricked toyota? he got buried. it used to be fun to watch these idiots trying to shovel out without shovels.

er nurse? do you think i care? i work pretty fuckin hard myself skippy. idiot.

Doesn't matter how hard you work

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You seem incapable of grasping the very simple concept that a street parking space does not belong to you in any way, shape, or form.

It's called CIVILITY and community

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You share congested streets, neighborhoods, city with fellow neighbors, and out of civility [and showing a little class] you respect their spot that they shoveled our, while apparently you didn't bother. Maybe you aren't properly socialized, grew up a spoiled kid or isolated somehow and never learned to get along with others. This seems to be getting more and more a problem in America.

YES, you can legally say this thing or do this thing, but of course other factors come into play. If everybody behaved in a sociopathic manner, did whatever they wanted, trolled because it's legally their right to troll, our world would be far worse than it is now.

Ok, so you judge people based

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Ok, so you judge people based on your own prejudicial stereotypes when deciding to commit antisocial and illegal acts against them. You sound like a wonderful person.

i am a wonderful person, thanks!

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i grew up in the city. we saved spaces. if i shoveled it was my space for a few days. i didnt invent the process. if you took my space then instead of slashing your tires (which i saw a lot of older, more responsible people doing) i would get my shovel and bury your car in. now you have to shovel too. i didnt hurt your car and i didnt base it on any prejudicial stereotypes. i di it because you took my spot. boston rules. i think i mentioned that i would not do this to little old ladies with canes or er nurses pulling double shifts, lol. i would do it to one of the countless assholes, that lived in my neighborhood in 10 month shifts, and acted like it was there personal playground. antisocial? maybe. illegal? i dont think so.

4 easy steps

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1. place a few undercover cops in strategic locations in the neighborhoods listed above from 7am - 9am

2. watch someone pull their car out, set a space saver, and drive away

3. when they get to the end of the block hand them a $100 ticket

4. tip the herald so they can report it

do this a couple times and word will get around.

Napalm is a gasoline thickener

All that would do would turn the tank to jelly.

If you are saying blow up all the cars, though, I'm not sure that would work too well because nobody would bother cleaning up the mess.


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But all the UHub commenters led me to believe only WT Townies from Southie did this.


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Southie baiting, Southie bashing. Everyday. From day one. Boorish. I wonder what the late Len Zakheem say about this stereotypical nonsense being trotted out all the time? Broad brushes and all that. Sad really.

Referendum question

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I think the space saving debate should be put on the ballot in the next election. You would see that it would pass with flying colors. there are a few outspoken "tough guys" who claim to be against this practice, but in reality are "closeted" space savers themselves. On my block 99.9% of the residents (Yuppies also!) put out space savers.
Put it to a vote and end this stupid debate.