South Boston man charged with punching out neighbor in parking-space dispute

The Globe reports the alleged assailant, in his 30s, knocked his 65-year-old neighbor into unconsciousness when they argued over who could park in the space the older guy had paid somebody to shovel out.

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    According to the Globe,

    According to the Globe, Suldog has it right. As a Southie resident, this is exactly the problem with space savers: it is always going to get people angrier and angrier. Yeah, in this case the guy shouldn't have punched the one who saved the spot. But I blame the institution.

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    Sad

    This is why the practice needs to be done away with all together. It seems like every year these reports are getting worse and worse. I'm waiting for someone to get stabbed or shot at for moving a space saver (seriously!). What was even more un-nevering is that in both storms Boston didn't have a parking ban in place, and people were putting space savers out long before the first flakes ever flew.

    Look, I understand why people want to do it. Its a lot of work to dig out your car, but if people can't act civilized over a silly parking space, maybe the whole practice needs to be done away. It'll suck for the first few storms, but people will eventually get the hint.

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    This kind of tussle is only going to get more commonplace

    Developers in old residential Southie (I'm not talking about the Seaport) are converting three-families to rental apartments as fast as they can. A three-family that used to have maybe three or four cars now has three apartments with three to four adults apiece, so those young professional types add as many as a dozen cars per street address to the resident street parking pressure. We're only at the beginning of the troubles here. What's the over/under in months before someone gets shot over a space-saver dispute? 12? Two? Something's gotta give.

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    Renting Numbered Spaces

    Pay $100-200 a month, get a numbered space and a matching sticker. You get towing rights if someone jumps your claim. Limit it to one side of the street, with free-for-all on the other side (no cars permitted on that side during snow emergency).

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    $100-$200 a month doesn't

    $100-$200 a month doesn't sound too far below market value for Southie. This isn't the Back Bay or something.

    In fact, searching on Craigslist shows that it's just about spot on; parking spaces running $100-$200 a month.

    So yes, the suggestion is that individual parking spaces should be rented out at market rates, rather than a limited shared resource being first come first served and subsidized by all taxpayers, even those who don't take advantage of it because they don't have a car, or can't because there aren't enough spaces to go around.

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    Subsidized

    Like the home we all pay for on behalf of the punk allegedly responsible for this attack? How about the alleged murderer of Amy Lord or the druggie shooting at BPD last July? Old Colony should have a fence put around it and armed guards on patrol.

    Illogical

    So, the city should designate one side of the street for rented spaces and the other side will be a "free for all" with no parking during snow emergencies? Riiiight, that'll work well for Southie. Have you ever been to Southie? There's not enough room! Too many cars, not enough spaces. I can see it now, yuppie car windows smashed just for being yuppies and paying for a space.

    How about people recognize they don't own the street

    I agree it would be bad form to park in a shoveled spot just because you didn't bother to shovel, and there is plenty of space to dig out. But in downtown neighborhoods with limited parking, which southie is becoming, parking is hard to find as is. You take what you can get, and it's generally a different spot every day.
    Plus, this policy makes it untenable for people to visit, do business, check on family, etc etc. take the space savers away.

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    Show me.

    All you Judge Judy wannabes, show me the law that specifically states that you cannot save a parking space you shoveled out.
    And yes, the Yuppies are the biggest offenders.

    Show me

    Where it says you have a right to claim free parking on taxpayer's dime? What welfare legislation was passed that says this? And why does this right only miraculously turn up when it snows? What is really to stop anyone from claiming to own a space any other day of the year?

    At the rate things are going,

    It won't be long before this:

    What's the over/under in months before someone gets shot over a space-saver dispute? 12? Two?

    takes place, especially since we're such a gun-happy, trigger happy society and culture, generally.

    Wish me luck...

    I am a home care physical therapist who covers only S Boston. I have no option but to move people's savers all day long. I have 3 signs posted on my vehicle explaining I am there for only 30 minutes to care for one of their elderly neighbors(phone number included) just in case someone returns and decides to nail gun my tires. It's like a war zone!!!

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    Obsession with South Boston and it's local residents?

    It's crossed the line into creepiness and stalking.

    I grew up in Jamaica Plain and Allston, before it became 'gentrified' , we also used space savers during winter snow storms, it was NEVER an issue. Today the city has a huge transient population of people, most of whom come from low density small towns, suburbs and regions of the country with lower density. And today many of the homes that previously housed a family with maybe at most two vehicles, more often just one, now has double, triple the number if vehicles. The issue is simply most of the city and many parts of some of the surrounding cities and towns are very built up, congested and not designed to handle the number of vehicles on the road today. But people want to live in the city, but have a suburban lifestyle, or behave the way they did in the place they grew up in, which in most cases was less congested than the city they now live in.

    As far as they 32 year old guy knocking out a 65 year old guy over the older man's space saver, it speaks for itself. There's this thing called self control. I encounter too many people today with 'attitude', too many people who will talk smack at the drop of a hat and too many people willing to resort to physical violence at the drop of a hat. People need to control their emotions, their mouths and propensity for violence better. A world where most don't control their emotions is a very unpleasant place. We needed fewer drama queens, not more.

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    Lol

    Lol, people from Chicago complaining about Boston; pot, meet kettle, Chicago is one of the few places in the country more corrupt than here

    An obvious solution, Adam

    Just conduct a poll of all the random anonymous kibtizers here, asking them how long you have to live here before you can be deemed worthy in their eyes of commenting on the city and its local customs. Then suggest they emerge from their ma's basement, brush off the Cheetos dust, and get out into the real world once in a while, where people can tell them to their faces to f*!% off.

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    Chicago

    You're right, there's no such silliness going on in Chicago. Instead it's over more important things, like wearing wrong color or standing on a wrong street corner. Also, they tend to favor bullet to the head over nail through a tire over there.

    Correction: The population of metro Boston has grown

    grows, an continues to grow. There's never been a decrease in the population of greater Boston, each census the population increases. However, the population of the city itself is considerably smaller than it was in, say, 1960,when it was 800,000. Today it stands at around 625,000. Same with a few other surrounding cities like Somerville, which at the same time as Boston's population peaked at 800,000, it peaked at 100,000. Today Somerville has around 78,000 people, but of course in a tiny 4.5 square miles, so it still is very densely populated. But Boston today also has the large influx of people from surrounding towns and cities into it to work,etc. proportionately, of any major American city. It's population effectively doubles on a weekday basis, to we'll over 1 million people. But the city is only 48 square miles in land area, smaller than Disney World. Atlanta by comparison has around 425,000 people in a land area of 130 square miles. The average Boston inner suburb/city has a population density greater than most major American cities. In plain English, it's pretty crowded around here, our roads were designed before the the age of everybody living in apartment buildings and multifamily homes having a car/SUV/truck.

    And a big part of the reason Boston's inner city population dropped dramatically from 800,000 during the 60s and 70s is a huge number of homes were destroyed during so called urban renewal. A big chunk of Jamaica Plain was destroyed in the area that is now the so called southwest corridor, to build interstate 695, which was never built. It was official policy for decades that Boston's population was too high, the city was too crowded and ghetto-like.

    Do you have statistics for

    Do you have statistics for the number of housing units in 1960 and today, in JP and the rest of the city?

    I suspect the population decrease is not due to fewer units, but rather singles and couples with no kids replacing large families.

    Poor comparison

    The increasing population of Greater Boston bears little in this discussion. Even if, say, the population of Hyde Park has boomed since 1980, that doesn't affect the parking situation in Southie, let alone that Hopkinton has bloomed over the past few decades. If you live in the burbs and drive into Boston, the odds are great that you are dealing with lots. Moreover, every neighborhood that thinks that suburbanites (or outer Bostonians) are parking in their area to go to work get resident permit parking. As I remember, Southie fought this for the longest time, until they realized that they were getting screwed.

    This parking rage has a lot of possible causes. Breakdown of the neighborhood cohesion through the influx of a new population which equals a lack of "neighborliness" is a possibility. The rise of the motor vehicle in sections of the city that were not designed to hold a lot of cars, or it's relative the move from 3 "family" houses with one car per unit to 3 "unit" buildings with 3 cars per unit is another. General rage throughout society is another, though I think that is overplayed. The rise of sites like UHub and social media sites like twitter give us more stories (speaking of which, I saw a box truck with a sheared top on Storrow Drive by Charles Circle Tuesday) which make things seem worse that they might have been 15 years ago. However, suburban growth is way down the list of causes. Below perhaps Pete Bouchard envy.

    By the way, the data that "Boston's population double's every day" is sketchy. One can the so named report here. But still, people do come in to town. By train, bus, plane, and yes, by car.

    Can everyone who wishes to

    Can everyone who wishes to comment on the tradition of saving a spot after it snows please tell where they live and if the practice is used in their neighborhood before commenting. And Adam, why don't you use your position of running this website to get a referendum on the ballot in Boston regarding the savers. A vote up or down would end this debate once and for all.

    I live in JP. A few people in

    I live in JP. A few people in the neighborhood use space savers, but it's not hugely widespread, less than one per block. I haven't heard of anyone nailgunning someone else's tires or punching anyone else out over a space saver in JP.

    Dorchester 37 Years, Watertown Now

    In Dorchester, once in a while. It had to be a really severe storm and a lot of sweat put into the shoveling. If you really earned that space, nobody had a problem with you putting a saver in the spot (and nobody would have blinked an eye if you got into a fight with somebody who 'stole' that space. As a matter of fact, you probably would have had folks who saw you sweat for it come to your aid.)

    In Watertown, I've never seen it. Of course, here they don't allow on-street parking during a snow emergency, period, in order to allow maximum plowing.

    Suldog
    http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

    The whole fracas was

    The whole fracas was pointless. Not only was the recent snow the 'soft fluffy' kind that can practically be blown away and driven through easily, but the few inches we got are going to completely disappear off the streets in the next couple of days as it gets warmer, if they haven't already. If more people paid attention to extended forecasts they wouldn't bother with space-savers.

    Boston should have all

    Boston should have all residents park on odd (or even) sides during snow emergencies as Somerville does (which has higher population density than Boston). That way plows can fully plow the other side of the street (not just the travel lane). And ban parking space savers enforce it. Of course, that would require a mayor who is willing to stand his ground and actually make a case for change, not Meninos strength, but perhaps the new mayor wants to lead.

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    The plows in Somerville (at

    The plows in Somerville (at least where I live) rarely try to plow all the way to the empty side of the street, and some idiots always park there anyway and ruin it. Then you just end up with less parking because no one is going to shovel out spots on the empty side of the street to get their car out.

    Tow em

    Just like they do for sweeping. The city can even raise the rates for the tow lots for "storm emergencies" to combat the PITA it is for them to tow a car in ice and snow. Pass it on to the jackass that refused to move his car.

    As long as the city allows on street parking, they should be clearing the snow to the curb just as they sweep trash all summer long.

    This is easy to fix.

    If Walsh has any sense, he'll fix this during his first winter as new Hizhonna. And this is a really easy one to fix. Citywide, starting 24 hours after the last snowflakes fall, if there's trash in the street in front of a residency, the cops write the building owner a ticket. Make them cheap for the first few storms, and then BPD can start writing $250 tickets for littering. Is it the building owners' fault? Nope. But it will make damn sure that anyone who sees a space saver sitting in a parking space will pick it up and throw it in a dumpster, either to save him/herself a ticket, or as a public service to a neighbor. We can get rid of this honored Boston institution in a couple of months, hopefully before someone gets stabbed over a parking saver.

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    My building has a garage

    Southie resident for the past 7 years. My building has a garage, no residents park on the street. Tell me why the building deserves to be ticketed if our neighbors leave their trash in the street?

    Many people have no choice

    Many people have no choice but to park in front of buildings that they do not reside in, ticketing building owners will not solve the problem. People use space savers all over the city. Is it really feasible to enforce such a thing? Parking is terrible in Southie without snow. People park blocks from their homes daily. When people hear snow in the forecast they throw out the space savers just for an excuse to claim a spot.

    You make it sound like NYC

    A block in Southie is a 1/16 a mile tops, if you're on one of the bigger ones. Walking from D to F street for a spot is not a big burden.

    And if it is, they're a process to get a placard and spot in front of your residence.

    Hell, there's plenty of parking if you also know where to park in Southie. But there's also a weird stigma of parking in the more commercial areas right next to residential areas with plenty of it. The only problem with parking is everyone feels they're entitled to the spaces directly outside their residences, which isn't feasible in the sort of neighborhood Southie is.

    I've parked on 1st street for years without any issues. I also have a friend on the East side who had a car stolen from a private driveway. People have false fears that seem to be leading them away from the areas with plenty of parking.

    Try this.....

    Tow all the cars on the street that still have snow piled on top 5 days after the storm.These inconsiderate people haven't used their vehicles, don't need them and are taking up valuable parking spaces.

    Really?

    Just because a car hasn't been used in 5 days doesn't mean the owner doesn't need it. What if you just happen to be out of town during a snow storm? Or, say, you physically couldn't shovel - elderly, sick, disabled, pregnant? Besides, if they did shovel their car out, they'd leave and mark their space with a saver making it off limits to everyone else. I'd rather see a car in the spot than a vacuum cleaner.

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