Achieving the Masshole parking trifecta on Mass. Ave.

Badly parked car on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston

Drew Starr could only stare in amazement at this person's parking job on Mass. Ave. near the Christian Science Center today: Too far from the curb, in a handicap space and with "a crushed bike lane marker underneath."



Free tagging: 


Definitely disabled

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Between the ears, that is.

Why is this person even driving?

They haven't

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Just at first glance, I see evidence of rear bumper repairs, trunk all dented, "Camry" and "LE" emblems falling off, hubcap missing, antenna missing...

it is

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Source: I owned one of these POS.


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If he's there just to run an quick errand (bank deposit or Dunk's coffee) it's understandable.


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It is not.


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there's no excuse ever for taking up two parking spaces or for parking in a bike lane - none, ever


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Never, never acceptable to park in a handicapped parking spot when you are not handicapped.

Never say never

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90% of the time parking in a handicap spot is a victimless crime, just like pooping in the wheelchair accessible stall when not needing a wheelchair. That's the downside of reserving resources for handicap use. Those resources will usually have very low utilization.


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Just like with "expectant mom" parking spaces. (I'm looking at you, CVS)


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just like pooping in the wheelchair accessible stall when not needing a wheelchair

It is not.

Prove it

90% of the time parking in a handicap spot is a victimless crime...

Unless you've stood there watching, you have no way of knowing whether that's true, because you don't see the cars with handicap tags cruising past and forced to find another space somewhere. If you aren't handicapped, you have no right to park there. You can easily walk from that more-remote space; they can't.

Actually, using handicapped

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Actually, using handicapped stalls is not an offense - unlike parking in such a spot. I bet there are quiet a few people with handicapped tags who don't need to use a handicapped stall.

Marty Walsh

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"Looks fine to me"- Marty Walsh

If this person were a cyclict

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If this person were a cyclict, he could have locked his bike to any of the poles seen in the pic, thereby freeing up all that space for someone couch(es), grill, etc. What a selfish prick thinking that space is for him and him alone.

Just a guess

Didn't see the bollard and then it got stuck under the car making a shitload of noise as it dragged on the pavement so they pulled out of the travel lane and threw it in park because they have no idea what to do now.

"just pulled over for a minute"

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I saw one of these recently near my work, blocking a crosswalk and wheelchair ramp. I said, "Hey, you can't park there." Driver said "But I'm just" I pointed to the person in a wheelchair who had just crossed the street in the crosswalk and was now attempting to maneuver, with difficulty, around her car. To her credit, she was mortified.

If you're in the space, you're depriving others of the use of it, including (potentially) those who really need it right now, not a "minute" from now -- like a person in a wheelchair whose ass is now hanging out in traffic because you just-for-a-minuted the ramp. That is why you cannot park there, period.

I get the parking rule stuff

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I get the parking rule stuff but I also once came across a driver that pulled over blocking a crosswalk and it turned out her toddler was choking in the car seat. I helped her and then went on with my day.

Rare emergency event

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Doesn't count.

99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the time, the only emergency is entitlement and laziness.

Horrible that drivers have gotten to be so damn lazy that they take away the very spaces that people who actually really and truly HAVE to drive need to use.

I disagree. Everything counts

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I disagree. Everything counts. There are emergencies that happen daily where drivers need to pull over quickly and you are assuming everyone is a villain.

Like "I'm Special" emergencies?

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Oh puleeze.

Unless the words "life threatening" can be used to describe the situation, you find a spot and walk.

Repeat after me: "I am not entitled to drive"
"I am not entitled to drive"
"I am not entitled to drive"
"I am not entitled to drive"
"I am not entitled to drive"
"I am not entitled to drive"
"I am not entitled to drive"
"I am not entitled to drive"
"I am not entitled to drive"
"I am not entitled to drive"
"I am not entitled to drive"

Meanwhile, I've dropped off

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Meanwhile, I've dropped off and picked up the kids probably 5,000 times at daycare and school. Only one (1) time have I ever observed a vehicle that needed to use one of the handicap spots. Never saw anyone needing the "van accessible" spot. The other 4,999 times, those spaces were empty. It's hard to justify that waste of space.

The handicap spots in front of this 7/11 always crack me up. Everyone parks in them, because hey, it's just a 7/11. Everyone's just running in for a minute.

When I go to Walmart I do often see cars with handicap plates filling up the handicap spots. The ADA ratio does seems to make sense there, but most of the time, it seems out of touch with supply and demand, especially in big cities where supply is so small.

So in the 5000 times x 5

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So in the 5000 times x 5 minutes you spent at the school you saw no one parking in the handicapped spot, so that awesome sample size makes the spot useless? What if handicapped people don't live on the same schedule you do?


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There is no right to drive and your reeking entitlement is stinking up the place.

Why don't you park a few blocks out and walk with your kids? You might find that it is much quicker.That's what I did - except when my son broke his leg and needed the handicap spot (and it was sooooo much fun to watch the vice principal bounce entitled wanking lazyass losers like you out of it so that we could use it).

Justifying the "waste of space"

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I understand your point about under-utilization of the space, but the efficiency argument fails --under what circumstances do we ever expect public resources to be utilized with perfect efficiency? The "no harm done" argument also fails, as has been pointed out upthread - we can't know when a just-a-minuter has deprived someone of the space. But the winning argument for me, at the end of the day, is that a disabled person needs these accommodations to have access and be able to use the public space. An able-bodied person does not need to park there. No nearby convenient parking? Go farther away. No parking at all? Circle the block, or give up and go home. Yes, it sucks to not be able to park, but the problem of your not being able to park wasn't caused by that one (or two or six) handicapped spaces. If parking in the handicapped space was permitted or nod-and-winked at or whatever, and all the other spaces were taken? Then the handicapped spaces are just like another space, and they'd be taken too, and you'd still be out of luck.

tl;dr: the "wasted space" fails because if there's that much demand, an extra one or two spaces isn't going to fix the problem.

Ive never understood the idea

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Ive never understood the idea that its ok to block a crosswalk, park in a handicap space, take up several spaces, block a bike lane, park on the sidewalk, etc. if someone is sitting in the car. Someone being in a vehicle doesn't make it not block the space. Whether someone is in a car is irrelevant if someone is trying to cross the street, park in the other space, or use a bike lane. They should be ticketed or towed either way (but its Boston so instead either way the city will do nothing).


Parking in a crosswalk isn't even that much of a ticket. Sometimes it's just easier than finding a garage

How about...

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knocking on the window? It looks like something is in the driver's seat.

Yeah no

Motorists aren't very receptive to others knocking on their windows to ask them to move. "Mind your own business" seems to be the common response. That or "I'll fucking kill you if you touch my car again."

Different purpose

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You wouldn't be asking them to move, you'd be getting them to roll their window down so you could get a better picture of their face for U-Hub.

Now, in his or her defense...

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If he/she is lived parked in the handicapped parking space, however poorly, the person could be assisting a handicapped person (i.e. waiting for them). We are making a lot of assumptions here without really knowing.

Heck, I saw someone just last night taking two parking spaces, parked right down the middle. The driver could be aged and/or a really poor parker.


Being handicapped gives you to ability to park in certain spots, not ignore traffic laws and damage property.

Yes, I know that.

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It appears that there is a sign on the pole which may say, handicapped parking only, for the space ahead. All I am saying is that since there is someone in the driver's seat, he or she may be waiting for a person who is physically impaired and/or is handicapped. We do not know.

I am going to make an assumption and say that the driver is probably someone who is up there in age and thus drives as such. Yes, it does not excuse the driving over the bike lane thing (if, indeed, the driver did that).

It doesn't excuse anything.

Park or wait in the legitimate parking spot (handicapped or not) or keep moving. If someone lacks the ability to do that or can't help but run over posts they have no business driving a car. This is how people get killed by drivers who should have stopped driving years ago.

It excuses a little.

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Let's say you're driving your auto, and are picking up a person who has a disabled placard for their auto. Is it OK for you to pull into a handicap parking space while you wait 2-3 minutes for them to leave their building and amble over to your auto?

I think the answer is yes. If not legally, certainly morally. And, if a cop came up, you'd simply tell the cop with your big boy words that you were waiting for your disabled friend, and if the cop would like to wait a minute or two, you'd be happy to introduce.

So, ifI the person in the car falls into that category, then it's only a double play. Because even if this unlikely story applied, the driver is still parked in the bike lane having run over a bollard.

Red Herring

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Placards go with the person, not the car.

Your friend could give you the placard to use while picking them up.

You can have a placard and a plate.

Again, ethics, not law

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Just because you're picking your friend up doesn't mean you were with that person beforehand to hand off the placard.

If you're picking up "the person" for whom the placard "go[es] with," from an ethics perspective live parking in a handicap space is perfectly reasonable.

Photo Proof

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There is a photo on that placard - if that person isn't with the placard, things could go badly.

On most disabled person placards I've seen

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the photo is covered over, usually with a blank white label. And, no, it's not because somebody other than the legal placard holder is using it, but because most people, for various reasons, do not want to openly display the photo.**

Also it should be remembered that the placard holder does NOT have to be the driver of the vehicle.

** Disclaimer: As a three-times weekly dialysis patient for over five years, I've gotten to know a number of people who have disabled placards. Most of them have expressed this sentiment about having their photo displayed on the placard.


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I used to take my MIL to appointments. I would drive and physically assist her into/out of the chair.

One day I returned to the vehicle to find a cop writing a ticket because somebody spotted an able-bodied person using the placard. However, I had the placard holder with me. I pulled the placard from the mirror and showed the picture that matched my MIL.

The cop apologized to my MIL and went on his way.

I didn't mind because they were just keeping the spot clear for people like my MIL. She owned the car and could have easily gotten it dismissed.

Oh, I know

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I just don't know how comfortable the owner of said placard is to giving it to someone while they're not with them.

My aunt was pretty liberal with hers and I don't think I would be the same if the situation were reversed.

That part of Mass Ave. is

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That part of Mass Ave. is already annoying with the non-straight lanes, and now people have to maneuver around this person.

As someone who gets around

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As someone who gets around mostly by foot, cars parked on sidewalks are one of my top pet peeves so I report them to 311 when I see them.

If my recent experience is any indication, this Camry driver can relax and need not worry too much about getting a traffic ticket.

This Saturday morning, I reported a car parked entirely on the Sidewalk at Harvard and Esmond St. in Dorchester. It was there until mid-day Sunday, and there was no way to walk past it. I included a very incriminating picture with the plates in my report and it took nearly 43 hours for traffic enforcement to show up. To their great surprise I presume, the enforcement officer found out that the car was no longer there by the time they arrived.

To be fair to traffic enforcement, this was a major improvement over the previous case that I reported to 311 on April 27th at 3:49 PM. This one was resolved… today less than 4 hours ago, or a mere 624 hours later! In that case, the car had been pushed onto the sidewalk at 218 Westville St. (Dorchester) after getting rammed by a van in a staged accident. It was on the sidewalk for five days before getting towed by a third party, but it took our mighty traffic enforcers nearly a month to check on it and close the case.

My computer skills are too limited to post pictures and links in this section, but these can be looked up on the Boston 311 site as case # 101002092911 and # 101002074316

Or as our esteemed mayor recently said; pedestrian, you’d better watch out for yourself!

There is no BTD parking

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There is no BTD parking enforcement on Sundays and holidays. You would need to get a BPD officer involved for anything to happen.

311 doesn't appear to care much about cars

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I have a still open report from 692 days ago about a city vehicle parked in a travel lane when there were plenty of open parking spaces available.

Whenever I need a laugh I just open up the 311 app and see it's green "Opened" status.

I'll go you one better

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I have a still open report from 1015 days ago about a BPD cruiser I observed going down Boylston Street by the Common in the opposite lane without lights or siren on.

Apparently, 311 operators are trained to disregard any complaints regarding City vehicles.

seems hit or miss

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Idk, I've reported sidewalk parkers and seen tickets issued. Even more satisfying was it was some tool who illegally registers their car with NH tags.

Be the instrument

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of Karma,Deflate all 4 tires then move on. Your good deed for the day completed.

People live this are why you

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People live this are why you should drive with a dash cam. There are some outrageously terrible drivers out there.

Hitting for the cycle

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A bit over 20 years ago when I was living in San Francisco, a jerk driving a Bimmer convertible parked his ride on the corner on a main street in a dense and more residential neighborhood and so also spanned a bus zone, a handicapped curb cut and a crosswalk so that he could pick up a latte or some such fancy cup of coffee.

A parking officer happened by and whacked him for the four violations to the tune of close to $500 in total. Those who witnessed the tagging applauded the officer.

At least those who were able to stop laughing hysterically.