Snow emergency in East Boston

Webster Street, East Boston

Roving UHub photographer Rose captured the scene this afternoon on Webster Street in East Boston, where storm-ravaged residents were forced into desperate measures.



Free tagging: 


I'll go out on a limb...

By on

And guess it is an "old Eastie" family with blood lines, or even better monetary lines to some jackass Boston politician or other. Nothing more obnoxious than the Entitled East Bostonian. "Hey, I moved my car during a flurry, so this spot is mine!"

It doesn't have to be snowing

By on

There does not even have to be any snow, however little, for this to occur in East Boston. Especially among the older, long time residents. It is a matter of course, rain or shine. They feel entitled to "their" space, and heaven help the sinner that attempts to park there.

This may sound stupid, but

By on

This may sound stupid, but why doesn't someone just take these chairs and throw them in a nearby dumpster as soon as they see them? Breaking some kind of unspoken code? Shunned from the community forever?

Whenever I walk by space

By on

Whenever I walk by space savers I pick them up and move them away. Not to park there, just to mess with the rednecks that do this.

An entire neighborhood thinks

By on

An entire neighborhood thinks it's OK to vandalize cars that are parked in spots that the city has repeatedly said are not theirs to own or police, and the guy who's moving space-savers is the trouble-maker? That is some world-class victim-blaming, anon.

2nd Anon

By on

The facts on the ground are what they are. Entire neighborhoods have been saving spaces for generations. (I drive a Jeep so I don't have to deal with that nonsense.)

Removing a saver but not telling the "owner" or the parker is just stirring up trouble, not taking responsibilty for it, and it does nothing to solve the underlying problem.

If people feel so strongly about it they should make themselves and their actions known to the people doing the space saving and save the unwitting parker a hassle.

And just to be clear, the victim here would be the unwitting parker, not the jerk who set him up for trouble.

Make ourselves known?

By on

If people feel so strongly about it they should make themselves and their actions known to the people doing the space saving and save the unwitting parker a hassle.

We have made ourselves known. We have done so at the voting booth, by electing a government that, representing us, has made it illegal to use public on-street parking spaces to store anything other than duly registered vehicles.

It's not up to us to communicate that message to those special snowflakes who think the law doesn't apply to them and that they're somehow entitled to save a space; that's up to the police.

You haven't made your actions known, though

By on

You let the snowflake think the innocent parker moved his saver. Thus causing trouble for someone who happens into situation.

If it's not up to you to communicate anything then why are you moving savers if you're not parking there?

You're communicating a message, but doing it in a cowardly way while putting the potential confrontation or repercussion on some guy just looking for a parking spot.

If it's up to the police and authorites why not just let them move the savers?
Again, it's a needlessly dick move.

You are massively missing something here

By on

You're communicating a message, but doing it in a cowardly way while putting the potential confrontation or repercussion on some guy just looking for a parking spot.

The idiot who thinks he or she owns public property is the problem, the aggressor, and the cause of any confrontation.

Please get that through your head.

I'm not missing anything

By on

Let's all agree that people saving spaces are huge asses with entitlement issues.

They are the big problem. But clandestinely moving their steers someone else into their path.

It's like flicking the ear of a mean drunk in a bar and then pointing at someone else and denying you had anything to do with the ensuing trouble.

Guess what, you did.

Mind your own business and move savers for your own car. Yuo're not doing anyone a favor.

Yes, person moving the space saver is causing trouble

By on

I was raised in Dot and hate this behavour but it's pretty much understood by all parties.

If you want to remove a space saver to park in a spot go right ahead so the guy who wants to take issue with it has the right guy.

Just moving it so some schmuck parks there and gets his car vandalized or worse is a dick move.

To anon above

By on

I commend you for messing with the space saving queens, but as the other anon said you might be making life miserable for some unaware resident who thinks they found an open spot.

Solution, witty and (to the townie) infuriating passive aggressive stick it notes explaining that one of their good neighbors moved the (in violation) of mumble decree space saver, and that you don’t even own a car, and will continue to do so if the policy is abused.

That's a great idea, but better still....

By on

There should be chairs with this kind of "This space is reserved for a selfish a-hole" already inscribed on both sides of it, for people to buy, and then everybody will be able to see what the person(s) who put their chair into their space to reserve it is really and truly made of!

Better yet

City-approved, resident-only (can't get one if you have Florida plates, tax cheats), single-year space savers.

The city could close the budget gap putting a dated sticker on an orange cone and throwing everything else in the trash truck.

So the city is at fault when they remove space savers?

By on

The city removes these space savers (occasionally) too, so people on here saying those of us who clean the streets of trash as well as the city are responsible for vandals who smash windows or slash tires of people who park in those spaces?

How about blaming the vandals, the city cant say 'OK, we will leave trash in the street since vandals might damage cars that park there.' Its time for all those people on these boards who claim they don't agree with the old gangster rules but they abide by them to stop abiding by them, and the few people who keep doing this will be forced to stop, or move to Indiana where I have seen this is respected practice.

damn right

By on

the city is resposible.

It's only a matter of time until the wrong persons car is vandalized and they sue the city of the illegality and libaility caused by mumbles stupid and illegal "decree".

Look, I agree they should be taken. But here in reality you do need to realize that you might be screwing some poor sap who wasn't a part of your plan.

IE, got to get more creative then just moving the savers, because the boneheads that put them there in the first place usually will think nothing of lashing out and causing property damage.

This whole thing is absolutely disgusting, imho.

By on

One doesn't have to reside in East Boston, Southie, or any other neighborhoods/towns that have a reputation for nasty residents of such areas damaging somebody else's car, or worse, physically assaulting people who inadvertently park in the space that they've been saving for themselves. It's pretty disgusting that people can act this way over a parking space. it's the equivilent of a child throwing a huge temper tantrum because they can't have a certain new toy that s/he craves, or is restricted from having too many candies.

One solution to the problem, which the city could/should do, is to do a better job of snow removal after a winter storm, and make school and municiple parking lots, as well as garages available for residents for parking their cars until snow removal is done, and after the storm has passed.

Space saving didn't seem as douchey as it is now

By on

Maybe some other old-timers can back me up (or contradict me)but I don't recall this being such a big deal back in the day.

It was almost more of a neighborly thing. I'm sure some people abused the "system" and put out savers for dusters but I remember it more for big storms when you did a lot of work.
You knew our neighbors back then and you wouldn't want to take advantage of them in any way. More of a cooperative spirit.

Just more civility when interacting with others back then so the space saver was really just that, not a loosely veiled threat of vandalism.

Then again, maybe I'm just old. :)

Here's another thing, Raised in Dot:

By on

Why should people act like spoiled brats about their parking spaces and damage cars of people who don't know the score, leave threatening notes on their windshield(s), or, worse, physically beat up on unsuspecting people who park in their space who don't know any better? They shouldn't imho, and, as I mentioned on another post, one doesn't have to reside in any of the above-mentioned neighborhoods in this thread to hold an opinion.

Um, they shouldn't?

By on

Maybe you missed the part where I said this:

"Let's all agree that people saving spaces are huge asses with entitlement issues."

You're certainly entitled to your opinion, especially since its in agreement with mine. :)

The post you just responded to merely noted that the custom seemed more benign and neighborly back in the day. More about respecting the fact your neighbor worked for something rather than hijacking a spot for the whole winter just b/c you swept off an inch of snow.

Shovelling snow certainly is work

By on

If you're not in great shape- due to age, illness or any other condition that effects your strength and mobility.

Wrong explanation

By on

No, it was different in the old days because back then, there were fewer cars and there were enough spaces; because there were enough spaces, a space wasn't of any value except when it snows, and then the value of a space was merely the value of the time it takes to clean it.

Back then, you could just take a shovel, shovel out an empty space, and have a parking space. Anyone else who wanted a space could do the same thing. It was perfectly reasonable to ask your neighbor to shovel out his own space rather than taking the one you had shoveled out. Nowadays, there are no empty spaces; supply is tight enough that a private parking space sells for $200K.

Great answer!

By on

I knew i wasn't just being nostalgic.

That's a great idea

I'm sure nobody at all will complain if the city starts towing cars after a snow emergency so they can plow to the curb.

Cambridge used to enforce that rule years and years ago.

By on

They should go back to strongly enforcing that rule so that they can do a better job of plowing the streets. The need for the city to do this is especially obvious on many, if not most of the secondary and side streets in Cambridge, but also in Somerville, as well. Hopefully, if both cities (especially Cambridge, which has long been notorious for the worst plowing) enforce the towing policy during snow emergencies when people don't move their cars, the scofflaws will learn their lesson. One thing that Cambridge could do (and Somerville has done for the past several years) is to make garages, school lots and municipal parking spaces available for resident parking, in the event that they can't find parking on the even-numbered side of the streets, or wherever.

The City Does Its Best With Available Tools

By on

When the City declares snow emergency/parking ban, they open up places for people to park cars ( You are allowed to go to these garages/municipal lots up to 2 hours before declared ban goes into effect and stay up to 2 hours after the ban is removed. The City of Boston is one of the few cities that offers safe, alternative parking options for residents during snowstorms.


You shovel a spot,it's yours. You can call the complaint line all you want, you can debate it all you want, ti;s the way it is, and the way it's always been.

Is it right? I;m not going to get into that debate, it's just the way it's been since I was a kid and it's a rule I live by. You spend 2 hours shoveling out a space and then someone in a BMW who just moved into the duplex across the street takes that space when you're at the market buying eggs, see how you feel when you get back.

Want your own spot

Pay for it.

As in, get a driveway or rent one.

Otherwise, maybe it is time for Boston to paint and number spots, and rent them to people who want *their* spot for a reasonable fee - say, $100 a month. THEN you could claim it as YOUR spot.


By on

That isn't by accident, either. I pay for them, too - one in mortgage and property taxes, the others in food.

You want a car in the city, either get a place to put it or stop whining that you have to share what you do not own.

You complain about space

By on

You complain about space savers, but aren't willing to do the work to get your own spot. We just had a blizzard this weekend. I spent hours digging 3 feet of snow around my car and the 5 plus feet from the plow that came by. You think you are just going to show up and reap the benefit of my hard work? No F**king way. You will certainly pay for it if you do. You think it's fair that I go spend another couple hours digging out another spot for some other a**hole to park in? Get over YOUR entitlement issues that you should get to park where I did all the work. Get a shovel and make your own damn spot, or move the F**k out of the city!

Oh, puh-leeze

By on

I dug my car out on Sunday.

What did I get for my work? I got an on-street space from Thursday night, when I parked my car, through Sunday, when I dug it out. Period. Done. I did $25 worth of digging and got $60 worth of parking. If I go drive my car somewhere else, then someone who wasn't so lucky, and who had to pay for a garage space for those three days, might come along and take my space, and then I'd have to go in a garage.

You say "get a shovel and make your own damn spot." What you and your ilk seem to fail to get is that, in much of the city, there are no damn spots; there are only enough on-street spaces for 20% of the cars registered in the neighborhood.

Wow! Either you didn't have much snow to shovel or....

By on

you have an incredibly reasonable hourly rate!

I must say that I don't miss living in Brighton during weeks like these. It's ugly on the side streets (although, I must say the city did a very nice job on the snow emergency arterials, e.g. Chestnut Hill Ave. excepting right on the City side of the Brookline line), and I pity the folk who will have to deal with this for a while to come.

I didn't check the prices

By on

but typically, the high school kids patrolling with shovels will shovel out your car for $10 plus tip; I figure this was a particularly bad storm so I guessed at $25.

Let's say a space is 22 feet long by 5 feet wide and the snow was 2 feet deep -- that's 550 cubic feet of snow; 20 lbs per cubic foot is extremely heavy snow, so that's 1,000 lbs, or a little more than half a ton, two kids can easily move half a ton in half an hour (that's less than 20 lbs per minute per kid)... $25 per hour plus tip is pretty good wages for a high school kid.

I do do the work for my own spot

By on

I have a driveway that I pay for. One that needs to be shovelled out, too. It is my personal property, however, and not public property.

When I lived in Kenmore Square I had off street parking, too. Otherwise, I would not have had a car.

Do tell me how many "residents" use those "resident" parking spaces that ring the lot where I park in Fort Point when I go to work and pay for parking? Funny how so few of those were occupied and shovelled out this morning.

Moral of the story: want your own space, then pay for it through rent or ownership. Use public space that you have to share? Then understand that you do not own it and either 1) advocate for a numbered spot lease program or 2) stop whining and vandalizing and pissing in the corners.

Hours to dig out a freaking car? Malarkey

By on

I spent hours digging 3 feet of snow around my car and the 5 plus feet from the plow that came by.

I see this a lot here on UHub, and a lot from word of mouth from friends and neighbors.

As Joe Biden would say, what a load of Malarkey.

I helped my father dig out his 500 foot driveway and it didn’t take us much more than 2 hours, in a area that got more snow than here. Came back and dug myself out in a much, much shorter time. And that’s including the sidewalk, storm drain near my apartment, and a hydrant no one else ever bothers with. Under an hour, tops.

If it’s taking you hours to dig out a freaking car, hit a gym. Otherwise, find a better lie. You’re not kidding anyone. You're not a special snowflake (we all had to), and you don't own that street space because you had to put a little sweat and equity into cleanup after the storm.

Where do you put the snow?

By on

When I shoveled out my car it included carrying the snow 30 feet to avoid putting in the street, on already shoveled walks, on other cars.
That is a good part of the 3 hours. Not the remove the snow from the car.


By on

1) Shoveling snow packed against and under a car from plows is different from shoveling freshly fallen snow on a driveway.

2) People have different physical abilities, and I don't really know what it's accomplishing to imply they're weak or liars or whatever because you're more physically able than they are.

Thats not reasonable

By on

When private spots are going for $250,000

I'm for it though! Then again I'm also for congestion pricing.

Bootlicking Randians that love complaining about government and taxes and paying for others, while completely overlooking their own benefits subsidized from the system. I’d like to see the rude awaking they’d get if they had to pay out of pocket for their own consumption of road transportation and parking. They have no idea how good they have it, and how expensive it really is.

Meanwhile, I’d love to see the city where the real prices and costs were realized, pricing most cars out. It be a much nicer city to live in, and it might get the transit infrastructure investments it really, really needs.

Not among civilized people

By on

"That's the way it's always been," my ass. After I shovel out my car and drive off, I fully expect someone else to be in that space within three to five minutes, same as I would if I drove off during the summer. That's the way it's been all my life downtown, and I'm over 50.

You like the rule of the jungle, in which someone can claim for his exclusive use what is supposed to be a shared public resource by beating his chest and bellowing, fine, but don't expect civilized people to put up with it.

"The way it's always been" is a stupid argument... if we thought about policy that way we'd still have slavery.

When does the public get its spaces back?

By on

Under your, "That's the way it's always been" theory, when, after a storm, does the public get its spaces back?

In other words, in a typical neighborhood that has, say, 1000 street spaces and 4,000 resident stickers, there are, by simple arithmetic, at least 3,000 cars that weren't in a street space during the storm: their owners may have been at work, or out of town, or in a paid garage space.

When, after the storm, are the owners of those 3,500 cars allowed to park them on the street again, without fear of violent retribution for breaking some unwritten code-of-the-jungle?