South Enders no more civilized than anybody else when it comes to space saving

Smashed in windows in the South End

Somebody looking for a parking space in the South End last night found one on East Brookline Street with a recycling bin next to it, so he or she pulled in, perhaps not knowing somebody had been using the bin to save it earlier in the week. As Neal Gaffey shows us the car now has two smashed windows, in the only neighborhood where space savers are never formally allowed.

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Space saver users are a

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Space saver users are a criminal gang and their gang symbol is a stolen traffic cone. This is the behavior Marty and Menino have encouraged. They have spoiled drivers and now the spoiled brats are throwing a tantrum. If you let entitled thugs act like they own public property for 48 hours don't be surprised when they don't return it back without a fight. I know of drivers who don't move their car all winter because they know the space saver system is ridiculously bad and they don't want to suffer thousands of dollars worth of damage.

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Here we go again

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Calm down and take a deep breath Kinopio. I and thousands of other Boston residents use space savers. In my neighborhood, located in Dorchester, virtually everyone uses them, except the few lucky residents that have driveways. There have been no incidents I am aware of, and I've lived here for many years. (And just because someone smashed this car's windows in the South End, does not mean it was space saver related. Believe it or not, this type of crime exists in Boston for reasons other than the use of space savers.)

In one post, you have called me and thousands of other citizens of Boston "criminal", "gang", "spoiled", "entitled", and "thugs". None of these angry fantasies of yours are true, and don't reflect how space savers usually work. If you dont want to have a car and deal with the realities of parking, shoveling, and space savers, that's fine. But those of us that have cars in Boston need to deal with reality, not your fantasy world. I shoveled my space (yes I said "my") , and a space for my partner, who was working during the storm. As the snow melts, people gradually stop using space savers. Your accusations that Menino and Walsh are somehow condoning criminal behavior are the hyperbolic rantings of an anti-car extremist. Menino and Walsh recognized that a large number of voters,maybe a majority use space savers, and with good reason.

And as I stated in comments in previous winters when this subject came up, I am 100% certain that if you had a car and lived on my street, you would absolutely use a space saver. That is how things work. And that's a good thing, not a bad thing.

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It never happened

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As a long time Dorchester resident, I can tell you that no one has ever removed my space saver and I am not aware of it happening to anyone else on my street. Once, and only once, has the city come by to remove space savers, which on one section of one street was turning in to a dumping ground for large pieces of trash.

But to answer your question, I would probably ask around to find out who it was, and might try leaving a note on the car. If it happened again with the same car, I might retaliate, I might not.

It's your car

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It's not your space.

Save up and get a place with a driveway or rent a space in a garage if it's that important to you.

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ignoring realities

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This comment ignores the realities of living and driving in a snow prone high density neighborhood where the CITY DOESN'T REMOVE the snow. So it seems we are supposed to do the city's snow removal work ourselves and reap no benefit or reward? It is the city's responsibility to make sure the streets are well maintained and safe for driving. When we do the work, we are able to reap the reward for a small amount of time. If someone moves your space saver, call your neighbors and find out who did it. If not, leave a note. If the note doesn't work then you have other options you yourself needs to think about.

Single family homes are the most irresponsible land use zoning that exist. We need more density not less density for reasons obvious to many commenters here.

those guys also park in Boston

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The city "allowing" space savers is just to let themselves off the hook for doing a shitty job in snow plowing/removal. There shouldn't be 1/3 of spots taken up by snow piles instead of cars. What they should do is give people 48 hours to dig their cars out after a major storm - after 48 hours, if you haven't, the city digs your car out and you pay a fine. They can then remove that snow, along with the snow they removed during and immediately after the storm instead of using the sidewalks and metered parking as snow storage. On a case by case basis, institute odd/even side parking to allow for more snow removal after a storm. Then do that after EVERY storm. There are cities in the NE that actually handle the snow properly or at least better than Boston. Space saves are a bandaid for poor planning and budgeting.

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The storm was a week ago, the

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The storm was a week ago, the sidewalks and streets still aren’t sufficiently cleared, you think the city is going to pay people to shovel out cars? People used space savers for years before the city even acknowledged the practice, whether or not the city “allows” space savers, people will continue to use them.

What possible theory of economics, of society, of governance?

That is how things work. And that's a good thing, not a bad thing

What possible theory of economics, of society, of governance leads to the conclusion that, in times of scarcity, hoarding more of something than you actually use, is a good thing?

A friend lived in a dorm in Russia for a semester about 30 years ago. There were about 50 rooms on the floor, and a bathroom with about 10 stalls. The first day he noticed one of the toilets was missing its seat. The second day, he noticed that *all* of the toilets were missing their seats. And then he noticed a guy walking down the hall toward the bathroom, toilet seat under his arm.

Yup, the Soviet hoarding behavior was so ingrained, that the first ten people thought, "I'd better grab a toilet seat for my exclusive use, because that's what everyone else is going to do, and if I don't get there first, I'll be out of luck.

And that, right there, is the space saver mentality.

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Terrorism

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People who smash windows are criminal thugs. They are parking terrorists who use violence to get people to play by their rules. I would love to see the city arrest all of them.

Total fabrication

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K just makes it up as he goes along. Supposedly he/she knows car owners that dont move their car because they might suffer thousands of dollars of damage. There is no way that this is a true statement. He/she made it up.

Nah, this is common

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I'm not in my neighborhood at the moment with a camera but if I was, I could take at least a half-dozen photos of this phenomenon with just a couple of blocks. Those cars that just sit on the street until the snow melts enough make it a nightmare to get the streets reasonably plowed.

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You are so self righteous

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I can only assume you are young and have never had to own a car and deal with snow when you have a car. And don't lecture me on how people don't need cars, either. Some people do.

I think it was terrible that this person may have had their windows smashed in retaliation for parking in a "saved" spot. But your response is so over the top. You seem extreme and unreasonable.

Hmm....looks like there's a

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Hmm....looks like there's a lot of comments in this thread, but only 2 or so from people with actual experience with this.

Well ...

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Neal has added to his initial tweet:

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Share!

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By all means share the picture of the car in the "saved" spot earlier this week with the police.

But also share it here!

(To others: I am aware that is not conclusive proof the owner of the car did this window smashing. So save your reply.)

I won't share it here...

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For the very reason that you cite: there's an off chance that he didn't smash the windows and I wouldn't want to contribute to any sort of vigilante "justice". I think that there may be cameras trained onto this section of the street from the adjacent Doctors' Office Building garage, so that might yield something more if the Police want to look into it.

I have since remembered another reason I took the photos: I witnessed him throwing snow from the street onto the cleared sidewalk when I walked by the first time, and noticed an Uber sticker on the back of the car. I didn't say anything and gave him the benefit of the doubt, in case he cleared the snow that he had thrown onto the sidewalk. It was only when I walked by a few hours later and found that the snow had not been cleared off of the sidewalk that I took the photos of the car and the BHA issued rubbish barrel. I didn't end up doing anything with them, partially because, even though I think doing things like blocking a sidewalk with snow should result in a severe fine, I didn't want to interfere with anyone's livelihood in the event Uber got wind of it (assuming he is an Uber driver).

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I shold also add..

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That there are dozens of cleared spaces up and down East Brookline Street that people park in, whether or not they cleared it. This was the only space on that block with a space saver.

Time for This to End

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This practice has to go. Walsh just got re-elected. Now is the time to say 'enough is enough.'

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I disagree

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The use of space savers is an effective way of dealing with the reality of a big snow storm in Boston. The system works just fine most of the time, and it isn't going away.

Works just fine?

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Most of the time?

Um, no, it clearly does not work "fine" at all, in any way.

You want a reserved space? Pay for it.

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bzzt

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Wrong! Let me fix this for you

The use of space savers is Having a proper snow removal plan that removes snow to the curb directly after a storm is an effective way of dealing with the reality of a big snow storm in Boston.

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Great Idea

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But while the powers that be and the voters are figuring out if they want to do that, I'll continue to use my space saver. Thanks anyways.

There are two very

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There are two very straightforward things Walsh can do (and hasn't done) to address the issue:

First, start charging for resident parking permits, to attempt to reduce the number of outstanding permits. You've spent enough time looking at the issue. Just do it!

Second, come up with an online registration system for space savers. If you're going to allow them for 48 hours, make people register them, so we know who placed them, and aren't totally anonymous and faceless like they are now. That should at least cut down on the vandalism.

I don't understand window

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I don't understand window smashers, have they lost their minds? Shouldn't they at least be stopped from destroying cars by the fear of getting caught and punished for this illegal activity? Or are they so blinded by rage that they literally cannot stop themselves?

No matter how hard I had to fight for a spot, I really can't imagine parking, getting out of my car, grabbing a bat or crowbar or something, and then SMASHING IN THEIR WINDOWS. Insanity.

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LOL

by the fear of getting caught and punished

I just laughed so hard, it hurt. If anything, people are empowered to do stuff like this because they know they'll get away with it.

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Sorry, I choose not to own a

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Sorry, I choose not to own a car since I live and work on the T (and to avoid hassles like this one). So I only know about space saver issues through UHub and friends without off-street parking.

If I did, though, I'd for sure look into getting a motion sensor camera for my car, in the hopes that if this happened to me I could track the person down and make them pay for repairs.

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Oh I didn't

mean that to be a shot at you! A shot at the city and its lack of action or leadership, absolutely.

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Wait,

is that phrase not universally understood to mean you live within/close to the T's service area?

Serious question, I really thought it was.

Amusing

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Kinopio, you amuse me. But when you finally grow up and own a car, and if you have to park on the street like so many of us, you will understand. And you will use a space saver. Until then, have fun working yourself into a lather about those of us that use them. The next time you get so upset, try smoking a bowl. But I guess you wont do that because Jeff Sessions says it's illegal.

Because...

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Because you aren't truly a grown-up until you throw tantrums over parking, and you can't do that till you own a car.

Stop riding the (T) and be a good grown-up, one who drives in the most densely populated city in New England. Heaven knows we need more cars!

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Adult with car here

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And I also have children, seniors, people with disabilities, and an essential employee in my family, lest anyone want to use those demographics in their "but but" speech about how certain folks are somehow exempt from the rules.

I have a car. I also understand that I live in a city. I don't ever expect there to be a parking spot, unless I'm willing to pay for the convenience. If I use my car, I either prepare to pay a ton of money for a garage spot where I'm going, or I prepare to maybe have to walk quite a ways. It doesn't matter who or what I have with me; my choices about who is in the car and what errand I'm doing don't override laws or the fact that cities aren't car-friendly and no one should expect them to be.

If I absolutely need to be within a few feet of my destination, I walk, bike, take transit, take Lyft, or whatever combination of these works for my particular errand and my current entourage. I don't double park, I don't park illegally across accessibility spots, I don't park in bike lanes, and I don't space save.

Oh, and I do the same at all the various jobs I've had. I plan ahead, and I set limits with employers/customers/colleagues about not being willing to break laws and requiring that I have money for parking if needed. If there isn't somewhere to park something, I'm not driving it to the place where you would like it, unless you can pay, get a permit, or otherwise arrange for there to be a safe and legal place to put it. None of this "oh, but I have to park here for a JOB" or "I won't be here long" bullshit. Laws about parking are there for safety and public order, so follow them. They apply to anyone who chooses to live or do business in a city.

I'd file this incident under

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I'd file this incident under "The high cost of free parking". There is an excellent book by that name and I'd encourage anyone who cares about these issues to check it out.

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Playgrounds

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I don't have a car but I'm an adult who still enjoys swinging on swing sets in public parks and playgrounds. Last Friday, I had the opportunity to work from home so I decided to shovel out the snow from under one of the swings at a playground in my neighborhood so I can use it, since I am over 6 feet tall.

It took me about 35 minutes of real, hard work but I was able to clear a pathway to the swings and clear the area under one of the swings so that I can swing. I knew that I wanted to swing again later the next day and I didn't want anyone to think that I worked hard to clear this space for the good of the public, so I left a 5 gallon bucket under the swing to mark my spot.

When I returned the next day, I was absolutely livid when I noticed that the bucket had been moved and a mother and her two young daughters were using MY SWING. The one that I just worked so hard to clear for ME! Who do these people think they are?? Don't they know that I worked really hard, moving heavy snow for 35 minutes? Do they think that I did that just to be nice and decent?? I'm the one who took the time to clear this space so that I can use it later - why do they think they can just get a free ride in life?? I should have exclusive rights to swinging on that swing since I'm the one who did the actual work to make it usable!!!!!!!

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Thanks for the story Deesak

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You certainly spent some time coming up with this cute little parable. But it has nothing to do with the reality of parking in Boston after a snowstorm. But thanks anyways.

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I disagree

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This is a good analogy.

Street parking = publicly owned
Swing set = publicly owned

Public street parking spots are first come first serve
Public swing sets are first come first serve

It is my choice to shovel out a spot to use for my personally owned car
It is my choice to shove out the swing set for my personal use

A space saver is claiming that because of my labor, I deserve to claim the publicly owned spot as my own personal space
A barrel under the swing set is claiming the same

Obviously, everyone on here is a rational, logical, and non-impulsive person who wouldn't think to maliciously damage someone because they are upset that they worked really hard and someone else is getting to have a convenient parking spot (swing set) because of it. Unfortunately, this is not the reality that we live in. People see space savers as a way to take ownership of a commodity that is already in short supply. Combining this with the increased stress that we feel after a major snowstorm, and the kinds of people who would destroy property because the world isn't accommodating their suffering, have a perceived justification to act out.

I own a car, and park on my street. I shovel out my car multiple times during every storm, but am reluctant to move it unless absolutely necessary. I don't use space savers because, at the end of the day, it contributes to this increasingly hostile issue. It sucks, I came home last night and had to wait for commuters, who park in my neighborhood for free and walk to the T, to get out of work and give up the spot that I shoveled out. Obviously, part of me resents them for this, but I also recognize that they have just as much right to the spot I cleared as I do, I don't pay for it, I don't own it, I chose to buy a car, to rent in the city, and to drive my car instead of seeking alternate transportation to work.

A really quick solution has been said many times, if space savers are treated like other curbside garbage and collected as part of the normal route, the "enforcement (malicious destruction of property)" becomes a non-issue. I hope that the guy on twitter does talk with BPD and that the person who smashed the Honda's windows will be held accountable. Smashing someone's windows in the middle of the winter is a really shitty thing to do.

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Kindly explain

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how this is any different than the wildly-entitled practice of claiming public commons as one's own personal property? Remember to show your work. No rush; I'll wait for what I'm sure will be a well-thought-out explanation free of profanity and in no way expressing the thesis of "we've always done it this shitty harebrained way, so we have to keep doing it."

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Eliminate on street parking and

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the space saver problem as well as a few other problems will be eliminated.
Flooding may occur though, from all the whiners crying us a river.

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Why stop there?

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Why not eliminate the residents and the houses? Even more problems magically solved!

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Newsflash

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Boston had more residents before Boston had more than a handful of cars.

You don't need a car to live here.

So of the thousands of space

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So of the thousands of space savers used in the city (which should all be gone by now, but ppl think they can reserve spots til April), 1 person vandalizes another’s car in an area that doesn’t even allow space savers and everyone else is the problem. I thought the South End was better than that.

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Doesn't everyone in the

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Doesn't everyone in the neighborhood have one of those video cameras / doorbells in front of their house? Seems like vandalism should be harder to get away with today.

How About the City of Boston

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Instead of this bull crap with people having to shovel their spots and place items there as space savers causing all kinds of issues, why doesn't the City of Boston, during winter, institute a sticker system for resident only parking? Tenants go to the city, provide proof of residency, get a sticker for their car for winter parking on whatever street they live on. It doesn't seem so far-fetched to me.

Space savers and violence = grow the hell up.

Spacesavera

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I lived in the South End for 25 years. I parked on the public streets. I never thought of any space as "my" space. I saw it as my obligation to shovel out the space that I was parked in. I was grateful to be able to park for free with my South End Sticker.