Citizen complaint of the day: Something needs to be done about the nouveau gauche in the South End

Gauche sign in the South End

A shocked South End resident cannot believe this sort of sign is now popping up on places like West Brookline Street:

This is a highly disturbing sign. South End Neighborhood Associations do not support space savers. Please have DPW begin removing these items.



Free tagging: 


Or just remove as many space

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Or just remove as many space savers as you can and throw them out, whether or not you are going to park there. Or vandalize cars that use space savers, since vandalism seems to be OK if you are trying to send a message in Boston. I don't have a car so the more vandalized cars the better.


But then ur face get

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But then ur face get vandalized too n its gotta be worse for ignorant lazy fuck coz I hve to goto jail..reason im so pissed coz I would never even think of takn someones douchey..I dont even have my spacesaver anymore..after other nite..everyone knos its mine..hve some FUCKING class!!!!!

Oh how classic

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after other nite..everyone knos its mine..hve some FUCKING class!!!!!

I don't suppose you have looked up that last word in a dictionary, no?

Who ? If u shovel a spot, why

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Who ? If u shovel a spot, why should some skumbag take it? Shovel ur own FUCKING spot..jus lazy ignorant fucks..almost got arrested other day for screaming n threatening to get FUCK outta my spot, guys says someone took his spot, so u take mine? Wheres fkn common courtesy??!!??

See there's this thing

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called taxes, and we all pay them for the streets. The streets are public, and anyone can park there.

Please Send City Hall $200 Per Month

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You are claiming public property as your private property. That is called theft, or it could be called illegal use.

Want a spot of your own? Buy one, or rent one at fair market rate or pay the public for your private appropriation of something that IS NOT YOURS.

Pay up. Oh, and go back to school and learn to write, please.


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Love the "it's a public street" comments. Of course none of you probably live in neighborhoods where the proud Bostonian tradition of keying your BMW for taking a space someone shoveled out still exists. I'm also sure none of you have the balls to try it.

Argue about the legal and ethical issues involved, but on the street no one gives two shits about the opinions of U-Hubbers.

The era of web cams, youtube, etc.

You might consider that you are being set up if you continue to assume that you have some special rights to pubic property that you don't have - and some "right" to do things that could get you a repair bill that won't be for your car.

Ahh, Swirly

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Swirly who sleeps peacefully in her little hamlet in Medford, safe in the knowledge that her little cherubs have shoveled out the driveway of her little piece of the American dream.

I'll bet money you didn't grow up in a neighborhood where your old man would unleash a tirade of obscenities like the old man in " A Christmas Story" if he came home from a long day in the cab to find someone in the spot he had saved after making us shovel it out.

Now my old man would just grumble and yell at us for not looking out for the space. He was not the retaliatory type, as he didn't want anyone fucking with his cab. Everyone else in the neighborhood would key the cars, slash the tires, sugar in the gas tank, etc.

So when you posit the ridiculous idea that a shitty web cam that is probably useless on a poorly lit street at night might deter someone from seeking revenge for their space being taken, it shows me that while you may pontificate on a number of subjects in these hallowed halls that you have a working knowledge of, clearly the ways of the street are foreign to you.


Show some compassion to the space savers!!

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They're presenting anti-social behavior. Everyone, please engage them and tell them how inappropriate their behavior is.

Compassion works! They'll get more volatile and aggressive but try to hug it out with them.
You're breaking thru.


What the hell...

You don't park your business car in a garage somewhere? I've seen the garages in the Fenway area stuffed with taxis. I thought they all went there to sleep during their off time.


You point?

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In the neighborhood I grew up in, there would be few words exchanged, but a couple of discharges from a shotgun.

Then again, I grew up in some of the same drug-infested shithole trailer parks that Tanya Harding did.

That doesn't make the behavior legal or acceptable.

I also considered my options when buying a home and got one with a driveway because I wanted a place that I OWNED to put my vehicle. It really isn't rocket science. Funny how Arlington requires off-street parking - no driveway, no car.

Boston has trailer parks?

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Do they have space savers in trailer parks? I can't really see the need. Point being you seem to have never had to deal with the frustration of engaging in back breaking snow removal only to see someone else take the space you shoveled out on Walford Way.

Then of course you feel you can make value judgements on people who live in those situations without showing me that you ever had to deal with the space saver issue yourself.

And on a related note, I'm watching the Ride try to get up my street to pick up a special needs person on my block. They can't do it. Why?

It's due to the fact that everyday since I since I moved to Belmont, people with town stickers from places like Lincoln and Newburyport(!) park their cars on my street so they can walk to the #72 bus stop and avoid paying parking fees in Cambridge or Boston. In the winter it doesn't matter to them that they might prevent large vehicles from getting up my street due to the fact that the usual parking spaces are now snow covered and their cars stick out. So what, they seem to say, I still get to go home to my plowed or snow blown driveway after I'm done fucking up a whole street so I can save a few bucks.

Boston has a trailer park, yes

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1515 VFW Parkway, just south of Spring Street, on the banks of the Charles.

Ol' Man Clair built it originally, next to his car dealerships on what was then Rte. 1, then decided to expand the dealerships and kick all the residents out, only they didn't want to go, sparking a decade+ battle that, with the help of state Sen. Marian Walsh, they won. Clair sold them the deed and now it's some sort of trailer-park co-op.


It's actually quite nice

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from what I hear. It's right on the Charles River and it's set back from Route 1 so they're not that bothered by the traffic. I've never driven into it but it looks like it has a lot of trees and green space.

Had a Car in Kenmore Square for 3 years

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Never had a problem because I had a spot for it because I was the grocery getter for a 30-person cooperative for low income MIT students.

Wouldn't have gotten a car otherwise because I would not have had a place to put it. Even as an 18-year old, I could get that much.

You have two choices: you can have your own spot, or you can get a sticker and go fish. If you chose the latter, you don't get rights to bitch that you don't get the privileges of the former.

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You've never lived on a street that space saving was the norm, correct?

There were resident stickers

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Most of them ended up at the metered spots because there were too many of them.

I didn't want to have to play that game, so I didn't. Simple.

If you want the advantages of owning a spot, own one (or rent one). I don't understand why you don't get that, and seem to hate on me because I do get that AND have made appropriate choices.

Oh, Swirly, I couldn't hate on you! It's Valentine's Day!

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You just don't relate to my mindset on this issue because you didn't grow up in a situation where it was the norm. It's why I don't make comments on parenting teenagers because I don't have any.

Besides, it's only for a couple of months of the year!



Screw the norm

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It used to be the norm to ban black people from white people's restaurants, too.

You could change your mindset if you put a little effort into understanding that the world we inhabit is not the same world in which the space-saving habit got started. There aren't enough spaces to go around, so hogging one with a chair while you're not using it is no longer acceptable.

Why would it matter in the

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Why would it matter in the least whether someone has lived where is space-saving is the norm? You don't own the spot because you shoveled your own car out of it. Your only reward for shoveling is that you get to drive away. The person that takes your coveted spot probably also dug his car out. So, tough shit, dude. Don't want to lose your spot? Don't drive.


What's this "frustration" you speak of?

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Point being you seem to have never had to deal with the frustration of engaging in back breaking snow removal only to see someone else take the space you shoveled out

I seriously don't get it.

I shoveled out my car over the weekend. I drove it on Monday afternoon. Of course there was another car in the space when I got back -- I'm sure it arrived 10 minutes after I left. I drove around and found another space. If I had arrived home at 6PM when no spaces are available, I would have put my car in a garage, just as I do in the summer when there's no snow.

Why would you expect me to be frustrated and angry?

There's this (to me) utterly bizarre sense of entitlement ... the frustration and anger seems to stem from the belief that you are somehow entitled to the space just because you dug it out. Why do people have that idea?

#72 bus?

That route doesn't quite go to the Belmont town line does it? Those people from parking on your street from Lincoln would have to walk a good .... 6 or 8 blocks ? At least they're getting some exercise.

10 says that's the 73....

....which is nitpicky on my part but I'm just trying to picture the area.

If it's Waverley Sq., those out of towners might also be using your street as a parking lot for the commuter rail station.


You still don't get it.

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Clear what spaces, Will?

There are 1200 street spaces in my neighborhood, and 6000 cars with resident stickers.

Are you seriously proposing that, post storm, the street spaces should be reserved for the exclusive use of the 1200 cars that happened to be in them on the night of the storm, and that the owners of the 4800 cars can go pound sand?

When do you propose that the owners of those 4800 cars should be allowed to park on the street again?

The Crux of the Issue

I agree with you, anon.

I think the disagreement between supporters of public use and supports of space savers is rooted in the overall availability of parking in each neighborhood (and even more locally, blocks within neighborhoods).

In the parts of Boston where supply of parking spots generally outweighs demand, shoveling a spot and claiming the space for the 48 hours after a parking emergency has been lifted is generally acceptable. The true reason that someone "steals" a saved spot may be that they are too lazy to shovel the snowy spot a few spots up the street.

In the parts of Boston where demand frequently outweighs supply, the South End in this case, shoveling a spot does not give the shoveler the right to reserve the space when not in use.

Stupid. Shoveling snow does

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Stupid. Shoveling snow does not impart ownership. It only enables a person to move his car. Don't want to lose the spot? Don't drive.

It's not me, but

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Parking facing the wrong direction poses a safety issue.



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How do these cars with out of state tags get resident stickers? There used to be one on Jersey Street from Illinois.


Seriously, I was told by city

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Seriously, I was told by city hall that I had to transfer everything over if I wanted to park in Boston, meaning, I had to change everything over before I actually moved here, making multiple trips from NY to get a parking permit so I could park here the night I moved.


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The only thing I could think of is an exception for people in the Armed Services.

Or you could do like many

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Or you could do like many others coming from out of state do and pick a local auto insurance agency that will register your car here for you.

I love..

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I love how the post says "The SE Neighborhood Association does not support space savers"

Um hello. Who cares? The City of Boston does. You've been overruled.

Seriously though.. who cares, once again these neighborhood associations continue to suck.

(Edit: Correcting my english)

Does the Mayor even have that authority?

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I know that the Mayor has instructed City employees to wait 48 hours after a storm before enforcing the law by removing space-savers, but, politics aside, does he have the legal authority to grant exclusive use of public property (the street) to private individuals (whoever put a chair out there)? Generally, when public property is going to be sold, or given away, or leased out, there needs to be a public process, not just fiat by the mayor.


I think so

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I think so.. if the mayors office can rent/lease space for events (i.e. Gov't Center Plaza). He must have authority.

I should also say that a few years ago they TRIED to stop the space saver thing and failed because people complained. So now the policy is 48 hours.

Sometimes ya gotta just suck it up and deal with it.

I would say that sometimes

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I would say that sometimes those poor shovelers who lose their precious parking spots just have to deal with it. Don't want to lose a spot? Don't drive.

Meanwhile, in Brighton ...

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please aggresively ticket cars illegally parked on Radnor and Kirkwood. They're taking he spaces we shoveled. Even moving legal space savers.


Space savers are not removed immediately after a snow emergency as a courtesy to resident; but the city cannot provide enforcement for space savers moved by other residents. i hope this info is helpful.



Right. People keep saying that space saving is legal because the mayor said so. What he said was they wouldn't enforce the law in some instances due to practical concerns (i.e. savages attacking garbage collectors). That's not legalization, it's selective enforcement.

Big misunderstanding of the law

There is no law that says you have a right to keep the space you shoveled. It is perfectly legal to move a "space saver" someone has placed in a shoveled spot. The cars are not illegally parked.

What the current understanding means is that the normal laws against littering and putting pieces of junk in the street are temporarily suspended after a snowstorm, and for forty-eight hours after a snowstorm these items will not be thrown into a trash truck or result in fines against those who put them in a public street. That is all.

They are legal space savers in the sense that it is legal to place them in the street. They are not legal space savers in the sense that they do not give you legal exclusive use of the space they mark.

Not parking in a space someone has marked in this fashion is simply a courtesy extended to one's neighbors - much like shoveling their walk, or bringing over misdelivered mail. Nobody is under any legal obligation whatsoever to do it, but being nice to one's neighbors is a good idea.


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Actually, it's a federal offense to do anything with misdelivered mail other than give it to the right person or put it in an outgoing mailbox. ;-)

But otherwise you're totally right.

No nits here

As you say, Eeka, there are two perfectly legal things you can do with the mail of your neighbor that ends up at your house. My point is that one is the nice thing, and one is less nice.

Nice: walk over and give your mail to your neighbor.
Not as nice: write NOT AT THIS ADDRESS on the mail and put it back in the mailbox.

Both responses are totally legal. But whereas the former will result in your neighbor getting his mail in an expeditious fashion, the latter will not. The first is the neighborly thing to do.


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You can tell by the writing it's either an Architect or Interior Designer.

Screw what the law says. Its

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Screw what the law says. Its just wrong to take someone else's space. If YOU put in that work to shovel a spot out and you put something there to save it then it should be YOURS. People are just lazy fucks and they dont want to put in the work. Personally, I'd kick your mirror off or flatten multiple tires so you'd need a flatbed to get out of it. Say what you will, but people are pricks. There are even people with driveways who are complaining about other people parking on their street even though they cleared it themselves.

You didn't shovel out "a

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You didn't shovel out "a spot", you shoveled out "your car".

You only own one of those things.

Just because you put in some physical labor into something doesn't mean you're owed something.

Speaking as a completely

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Speaking as a completely UNlazy person who shoveled like a maniac for two days, I do not consider it MY spot. Everyone on my street was shoveling. Who the hell cares which spot I park in when I get home? I think space savers are a thing of the devil. Even if it means I sometimes have to be inconvenienced and walk a bit to get from my car to my place. The one time I tried to go to the dark side and use a space saver it was gone when I got home. So it's just pointless anyway.

AMEN..FUCK law..comes down to

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AMEN..FUCK law..comes down to lazy ignorant ppl, basically ppl COMMON FUCKING COURTESY!!!!!!!!!! how do u argue that?an to person who said u only own car n not spot..clearly DICKHEAD ALE..either these pussies lost there spot or there not going through it..coz im supposed to believe u wouldn't care if someone took ur spot? Again either pussy or ignorant classless D-BAG

Again, CJ, not

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"Your" spot. It's a public street. And please learn to spell.

Save Up!

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And someday you can live in a place with your very own driveway!

Just lay out the rule for us idiots, please.

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As has been asked many times of you space-savers, please just explain the rule for us idiots.

There are 6000 resident stickers in my neighborhood. There are 1200 street spaces.

When, according to your logic, do the owners of the 4800 cars that weren't in a street space the night before the storm, and therefore had no space to shovel out, have a moral right to park on a public street again?

This can only go so far...

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Woah woah woah- why threats of vandalization? Whatever happened to good ol' passive aggressive notes left on the windsheild?

It's been 4 days since the storm ended. How long does the "I shoveled this so therefore it's mine" argument last? I shoveled out my car (which took about 3 hours), so in March can I still say, "I put in all this work a month ago...therefore it's mine"?

Also, let's be honest, half the space savers I've seen are in spots that were barely cleared. Doesn't count if you just kicked around the snow near the driver's side door and drove over the rest.

Perhaps the best fix

Would be for the Mayor to call for a citywide shoveling initiative. Call It "City Shoveling Hour." Make it 6 PM on a weeknight after a big storm. Encourage all residents to grab a shovel and clear snow from streets and sidewalks for one hour after work. Like other manual tasks, it's a lot less of a chore if everyone is doing it.

My home has a lot, but it doesn't have marked spaces. I shoveled a spot when I came back from a weekend business trip on Sunday night, and I will continue to mark it with a chair when I leave until somebody shovels the rest of my lot or it melts to the point where I will comfortably drive over it.

Perhaps a better fix

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The best fix is a car ban for everyone in the city without a driveway. In many cities if you park on the street, legal spot or not, come a snowstorm and they just take your car away.

But snow emergencies aside, we need to reduce the number of cars in the city by roughly 80-90%. This could be accomplished by the method applied here:

What frickin' reality do you live in?

Do you know how many people live in the average Boston home? A car ban if you don't have a driveway? First of all, consider how many households don't have a garage or driveway in the first place.

Second, consider that the feds won't let Boston have more garages. Frankly, I don't see how that's a thing. We founded the modern manifestation of this country, for (expletive's) sake. When did we stop making the rules? There's nothing at the corner of Harvard/Comm where Kelly's was most recently. Put a garage on top of it. Tell the EPA to screw and get it done.

Real Solution to parking and cars

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Time for the city to charge residents the real costs of keeping a car in the city. It’s nice that it’s “free” or assumed to be part of your property tax, but that’s not really the case. The tens of thousands of miles of roads, bridges, tunnels and public transit the city supplies cost a hell of a lot more. The economic damage clogged streets cause, and the damage to health caused by exhaust in the air is also large. Either way you slice it, Residents getting free parking are getting heavily subsidized rates. Especially when demand for personal transportation is so high.

Start charging $300 year per car for a pass. Doing so we could probably allow a city wide pass system, then the horrible neighborhood one going on now. Don’t like it? Don’t pay it and use public transit. Dump the money back into infrastructure, and the MBTA. Peg increases to inflation.

When something is free, demand for it is unlimited. It’s why when dunks has free coffee days, or the bakery on the corner is giving out cupcakes there’s a line down two blocks and around the corner (which always amused me, since waiting an hour for a free $2 cupcake is not time well spent for someone making $20/hr+, unless they really need that extra util of happiness). It would end both the space saver problem, and the issue where 4800 stickers are given for 1200 spaces.

We like to breathe

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More parking spaces = more cars = more smog.

The Clean Air Act has been extremely effective. And I'm thankful for that. The pertinent regulation under that law used in Boston only applies to downtown and some nearby areas though, not Allston.

As for your suggestion that we tear apart Allston some more, how about no. It's not 1963, Will. We now know that bulldozing our neighborhood to build more parking lots will only produce more problems and cause more decay. Allston has too many parking lots as it is.

The corner of Harvard and Comm is a heavily foot-trafficked intersection next to one of the busiest surface T stations. It's empty right now because Kelly's made the stupid move of signing a 10 year lease and then completely sucked at running a restaurant. Despite that, the Bon Chon restaurant is looking to take up their lease and expand in that location, last I heard.

The registration requirement is extremely effective in densely populated cities you may have heard about, such as Tokyo. There is very little on-street parking and vehicle owners are required to present proof of parking when they register a vehicle.

Boston is different than Tokyo to be sure, but different neighborhoods of Boston are different from each other. In Southie, there is a culture of car owner entitlement. In Allston, about half the people don't even have a car. In the North End it's closer to two-thirds.

You claim to have a libertarian bent, so you ought to understand the concept of paying for the land that you use to store a car, and of not receiving subsidies for it.

A better fix

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would be to round up the kind of sociopaths who think they own the fucking street and are willing to use violence to protect their "ownership" and stuff them in some cage somewhere.

Street-cleaning days, maybe?

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They could also change street-cleaning days into snow-removal days, and keep street-cleaning parking rules in effect between November and March. That way, you can send a plow rather than a sweeper down the even/odd side of the street a couple of times over the course of the winter, and clear most of the big snow piles out to reclaim parking spaces. It would also get rid of parking savers in a big hurry.

I've always wondered why they stop the street-cleaning days going year-round, since so many people get so irritated by the contortions you have to go through during winter in the city if you own a car

It is the city's

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It is the city's responsibility to clear the public streets (the whole street, travel lanes as well as bike lanes and parking "lanes". Practically, that is an impossible task. So anyone shoveling out a city space is actually spending time and effort doing for the city what the city is supposed to do.
So for performing this public service the shoveler gets some personel benefit (their car is dug out) but the city also reaps a benefit. Therefore, it is reasonable to for the city to compensate the shoveler by allowing them for a few days to have priority to the space they cleared. It isn't the way it ought to be but it is a best fit solution.

Best fit solution?

They can't plow to the curb because your car is there. Therefore, you are hindering the public service plowing is supposed to provide to ALL citizens of Boston.

The best fit solution would be for you to move your car before a storm hits, wait for plows to clear the street and then you can find a spot again on the street with everyone else.

There are not enough

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There are not enough offstreet spaces to allow everyone to move their cars. And what offstreet places there are need to be reserved for the snow emergency route parkers. Take South Boston as an example, do you really think there are sufficient offstreet spaces for everyone.

Sure do.

Yep. You just might have to take the T back from the parking lot. If you want a car in the city without a dedicated parking spot then you have to take responsibility for the consequences.

How could you enforce a rule

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How could you enforce a rule that snow emergency off-street parking is only for people who normally park on a snow emergency street?

I know of a lot of people in Cambridge who used the free garages, even though they usually park in their driveway or on a non-emergency street with plenty of spaces.

They did it so they could come and go at will as soon as the driving ban was over, without even having to dust off the windows, let alone shovel or wait for a plow service for their driveway.

"The City" vs "The Residents"

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Honestly, aren't they the same damn thing?

Government is only the things we do collectively that we can’t do ourselves. Paying for and plowing the roads is one of those things, but smaller things like removing snow from in front of your house, catch basins, fire hydrants and street spaces isn’t an unreasonable effort for one to do on their own.

Paying taxes isn’t an excuse to say you don’t have any other civic responsibilities. Although as of late more and more people seem to think so.

We’re all An Rand, ain’t we.

if you want to save "your"

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if you want to save "your" spot, then don't move your car from the area you shoveled. I've shoveled out several spots and not expected that they were "mine" when I returned hours later, it's just plain inconsiderate to think you've developed "rights" in a public street by shoveling out your car and then driving it away, leaving trash and debris behind as a warning to others who have just as much right to that space as you do.

Boo crappping hoo...

Raise your hand if you DIDN'T find out about parking before moving here with your car.

ok. Now take that hand, swing it around towards your back and shove it straight up your ass! That's the only warm feeling you'll get from me on this issue.

CJ, seriously man, get some schooling.

That's really beyond disgusting!

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I've heard of some rather nasty stuff going on regarding people saving parking spaces after a huge winter storm, but this, imho, really takes the cake! It's also quite sneaky, to boot!

Hi Miki!

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Hi Miki!