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Walsh: 48-hour space-saver rule will remain in effect this winter - except in the South End

Walsh at salt dump off I-93

Walsh addresses winter preparation at DPW salt and equipment area off I-93.

Mayor Walsh said this morning it's steady as it goes for the city's informal rule that lets residents save parking spaces they've shoveled out after the end of a snowstorm serious enough to require declaration of an emergency declaration.

The one exception is the South End, where the city will continue to ban all space saving all the time, Walsh said at his annual pre-winter preparation news conference at the DPW facility off I-93 in the South End.

Jerome Smith, the city's chief of civic engagement, asked residents to shovel out hydrants after a storm.

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Comments

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Marty and the other life long, townie hacks have got to go. We need people that have actually lived in a world class city.

At least the South End residents were able to overcome the hacks at City Hall....there is hope.

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Why are u "FORMERLY" a sobo yuppie?

Did you get old or move?

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Tells everyone how they should live, how they should get around the City, where they should eat. Then moves out after three years and we are stuck with their moronic ideology.

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Both feeds trolls and breeds trolls.

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and not going anywhere. I will continue to fight to make boston a world class city again and I will fight for quality of life for my elderly neighbors. (like moving the St Patricks Day parade to the south shore.

But Honest question...when did Boston stop being a world class city? I would have to think with all the history and higher learning that it was at some point. My guess is the "Roaring Twenties" when cities like NYC and Chicago really took off...and Boston probably fell behind or stayed stagnant(?).

Anyone know?

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We must be this “world class city” thing you keep talking about? Keep fighting....the losing battle. No one cares about being on the world stage. We aren’t douche canoe NYers.

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Want to brand yourself as brand fresh new in town and completely ignorant of anything local? Talk about wanting to make Boston a "world class city".

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So still in southie.

So definitely urban, and assuming still employed.

So now you are an old urban professional making you an ouppie? I may just need to call you "a southie"!

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And is no longer a professional. Yuggie?

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Sorry for the harshness, even though you are just a troll.

I would have been cuter if I had time to once again do the research and point out that this is a tradition in cities like Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and even parts of New York. But, since I did that last winter to no avail, I’m being lazy and resorting to insults. Still, not as lazy as you’re being with this.

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As a former Chicagoan, yes, we did space savers, but Boston's much more serious about it.

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But I'm sure that in Philly they make Bostonians look laid back with the practice.

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I would have been cuter if I had time to once again do the research and point out that this is a tradition in cities like Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and even parts of New York.

Yeah, hoarding parking is a "tradition." Just like shooting people from the rival gang if they walk onto your turf is a tradition.

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As I've said to you in season past, we come at this topic from different perspectives. What works in Dorchester won't work on Beacon Hill. If the South End could get this banned, why can't you see if the civic groups in your neighborhood can do the same thing?

I like you, even though I usually disagree with you. I hate the yuppie troll.

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i don't hate you.

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Voting closed 7

Obviously if someone moves my space saver I have the city's blessing to slash their tires and key "GO BACK TO NEW YORK" on their hood, but am I allowed to lie in wait with a crowbar and work them over when they come out to see the results of my handiwork?

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Voting closed 10

Or you could just shoot someone over the space like this guy in Dorchester did last year.
https://www.necn.com/news/new-england/1-Person-Shot-in-Dorchester-Sectio...

Its ridiculous that a mayor of a major city endorses a system based on threats, violence, littering and theft of public property.

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Voting closed 13

In the decade long history of space savers one person allegedly got shot over one in a neighborhood where gun violence is rampant. This is the same neighborhood where kids and other innocents get shot for nothing!

Someone got stabbed to death a block over recently over a trash dispute.

The fact is there are a lot of criminals running around with guns in that neighborhood. And they have beefs with other criminals that want to shoot them. Not surprisingly they are inclined to settle beefs with guns.

This has fuck all to do with space savers. And even less to do with the law abiding citizens of Dot.

Gang violence with readily accessible guns is the problem in that neighborhood.

Not space savers.

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They’ve been putting stuff out to claim shoveled spaces for about 4 decades. Heck, the 48 hour rule is over 10 years old.

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Meant to say "decades long." Thanks for pointing it out though.

I'm well aware. Grew up in Dot 4 decades ago.

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Only for 48 hours. Then you instantly transform into a neighborly member of the community who cares about other people.

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...space-saving works so well.

(you slack-jawed pandering idiot, Marty)

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Clearly most people in the city agree with him and his policies. Including this one.

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If only the guy who was running against him had had a different opinion on the matter...

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Clearly most people in the city agree with him and his policies. Including this one.

27% of the city showed up to vote.

Clearly most people in the city neither agree, nor disagree–they just don't care.

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It's tough to be a world class city when neighbors come to blows over a parking spot!

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Threaten or harass anybody legally parking in a public spot, lose your free parking privileges for life.

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If you live in the South End, you can afford to park your car in a garage for the winter.

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Former South End renter here. The neighborhood has million-dollar condos and $3,000 studios, sure. It also has multiple large housing projects and Section 8 buildings, and everything in between. I lived for years on a block with both the extremely rich and extremely poor back-to-back. On the same street, people parked their BMWs in their building's garages, and others street-parked deteriorating Toyotas from the 90s. This isn't the Back Bay we're talking about; suggesting that all or most South End residents can afford to garage their cars suggests you should take a stroll further from the Southwest Corridor, and closer to Harrison.

That being said, I approve of the space saver ban closer to the core of the city, where public works should be able to clear the streets & vacant spaces completely.

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. If you live in the South End,
By anon (not verified) on Wed, 11/29/2017 - 10:52am
If you live in the South End, you can afford to park your car in a garage for the winter

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Voting closed 5

There's a spectrum ranging from "imaginary policies" to unwritten rules to written rules to actual laws.

Why does this space saver mess have to remain in the shadowy imaginary/unwritten side? Not just that, but a few years ago the city passed an ordinance that EXPLICITLY banned space savers (to block Haystack).

Just pass a freaking space saver law already, and make it official. While you're at it, come with some sort of web/mobile app to so people can register and track these things.

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from the very first snowflake of the season, until the start of street cleaning.

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In a more-perfect world the idealistic beliefs that all happens in conformity with an orderly and lawful society would be the norm. However the people moving to Boston via what ever the draw is, fail miserably to understand how it works here, then they complain, wring hands, clutch pearls... etc. Their iconic image of Boston has been broken.

I think we can all agree that a public street is a public space. No one argues that.

However the Colonial mentality and Revolutionary mentality is strong here. People born and bred in Boston and vicinity are still very quick to dump tea in the harbor just as much today as in the past, and like President John Adams, will get in your face and drop a 4-letter word or two. It's part of the culture here that the real estate agents leave out of the sales pitch, not to mention the cutesy narratives from TV spots.

The Law of the Jungle here is simple, whether you like it or not -- if you work hard for it, it's yours to keep. In this case, at least for a period of time. And if you take something away from a person after they pour a lot of sweat-equity into it, well... you're in for a lot of tea-dumping.

This attitude is stronger in some parts of the city than in others, and if you are a recent transplant, you need to weigh carefully your neighborhood and the people in it before you get up on your high-horse, or what ever other animal you may think raises-up your level of importance. People in Boston are extremely quick at cutting such people down a peg or two -- in fact, right at the knees, and often.

They will go out of their way to be nice and work with you until the Law of the Jungle is broken. You can either learn from that or suffer the consequences and ostracizing.

We can highly criticize the Mayor for this announcement, but a part of his job is to weigh carefully how it works here. His 48-hr limit appeases the people who shoveled, and those who will scoop up the free -- and let's be honest here... it is free - nicely shoveled space. It may be legal, but grossly disrespectful.

What the newbies should consider is getting out their with their neighbor, shovel in hand, and help, and cut a deal to share the space.

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A vast incomprehensible tangle of excuses for WAHHHHHH ITS MY SPACE WHAHHH WHAHHH

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Ah, so you're a tire slasher, eh. I lost count of all the veiled threats. World class city?

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Mmhmm. And where should visiting nurses/home care workers/contractors/regular visitors park? If one of those people moves your cone/chair/trash and parks in your space, are you entitled to park in someone else's? Is that person then justified in raining down "street justice" upon you or your car for parking there?

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I have a sign on my windshield w/
My phone number written or I park in a spot that wasn’t shoveled. Never had a problem.

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Glad you're admitting it, people cry about "their" parking spot yet they didn't pay a dime for the permit sticker.

How abouts we start charging for the parking and couple it with more rigorous snow clearing? Move cars and plow to the curb. Nah that just makes too much sense.

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We're a society of laws. You can claim to have any unwritten code you like, but most of the behaviors you're condoning explicitly or tacitly here are criminal, and if you are party to them, you deserve the full smackdown of the actual law, not your barbaric, imaginary jungle law.

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do you own or rent a spot?

If Yes, shovel it out and it is your spot.

If no, go fish.

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So, basically you're saying "entitlement". Got it. Not like I couldn't tell from the way everyone drives.

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Responses are very interesting.

No skin in this game. No car, and even have unused driveway available.

We may not like it but that is how it works here.

As to "entitlement" one might look at this from another angle and reflect that anyone taking a shoveled space is doing the same thing. "It is a public space so I am 'entitled' to it after you spent all day shoveling it out for me. Tough luck Charlie."

This is a 2-way street. The shovelers and the takers need to sit back and think about this.

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The only TAKERS here are the ones who think they own a public street that the don't pay any more for than anybody else.

Grow up or get rid of your car.

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If you're "spending all day" shoveling out a parking space, try something bigger than a soup spoon. You parking space people are such pansies.

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Let's take a typical downtown neighborhood with, say, 1000 parking spaces and 4000 valid stickers.

So, the night of a storm, 1000 cars are parked in legal street spaces, and the other 3000 are parked elsewhere (paid garages, people out of town, at work overnight shift, etc.

Do you really believe that the owners of those 3,000 cars that weren't parked on the street the night of the storm, actually lose all rights to park on the street for the next 48 hours? Or, as the old-timers would claim, until the snow melts?

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It would be different if there was plenty of parking for everyone, and it was just a matter of people shoveling out a space for themselves; but of course, that is not the case.

By condoning the use of space savers, the mayor is encouraging some residents to arbitrarily deprive other residents of the right to park on their own streets, in their own neighborhoods.

It would seem those residents denied parking are owed some compensation for their loss— at least the cost of parking in a garage, plus something for their inconvenience.

In a city such as Boston, there must be more than a few attorneys who would entertain a class-action suit on behalf of taxpaying residents to redress the inequity.

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The Menino Rule remains.

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I'm well aware of the problems with the status quo, but what alternative policy would be better?

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We move cars and sweep streets, move cars and plow to the curb like every other city in northern latitudes that does snow removal.

Once an emergency ends first 24 hours is even side, next 24 is odd side. Space savers not allowed.

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a stumper of a question

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I didn't expect such a logical and obvious response. I have been educated and I thank you.

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Plow to the curb, meaning plow snow onto the sidewalk?

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After one side of the street is cleared, the parking ban switches to the other side. Cars not moved are towed — typically, just around the block to a spot that's just been cleared (and with a hefty ticket to help pay for snow removal).

Note: at the end of the video, the white car is parked against the curb in a freshly cleared spot. On this particular street, the sidewalk has no poles or other objects between it and the curb. Regardless, all other sidewalks in the city are mechanically cleared of snow, as the snow is removed from the street. It only makes sense to treat pedestrians with the same respect as motorists.

That's how "World Class" cities do it.

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Why is it such an unreasonable expectation to have the city do this? I don't quite understand... is it because we get so many above freezing days that the city just expects the snow to slowly melt on its own? Or is it the lack of productivity of the unionized employees that would eventually just siphon all the money?

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...because the "tow it around the corner" rule wouldn't work; there simply aren't enough spaces. If/when you have to tow them all to a more distant location, it's a lot harder to do. OTOH, if this were the rule, you'd have a LOT fewer cars to tow.

Having to park on street in the winter in Boston is a pain in the ass. It's one reason why many people try to avoid owning a car here. But -- with the notable exception of that one February -- the days when you have to go find a snow lot to park your car are really not that many in the average winter. I think it would be doable -- difficult, but doable, and much better on all the other days when there isn't a big huge snowstorm.

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Voting closed 5

The street "around the corner" has just been completely cleared of snow, and the very first cars parked there are those towed from the next street to be cleared. The vehicles are put in normal parking spaces, so no space is wasted.

Most residents will heed the warnings and follow the schedules to move their cars before snow removal takes place on their street. Not many vehicles need to be towed, but those that do are moved out of the way quickly and efficiently.

Yes, it happened to me many years ago. At first, sheer terror to not find my beloved Toyota Matrix, Virginia, where I had parked her! Then, relief to find Virginia safely parked around the corner. Next, a bit of shock at the price on the parking ticket she received.

Ultimately though, admiration for a city that had mastered the art of snow removal. I paid the ticket and apologized to poor Virginia for what must surely have been a humiliating experience!

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Voting closed 5

I'd love to see the streets plowed to the curb. And the sidewalks. And my niece wants a pony for Christmas.

Make it happen without raising my taxes and I'm all for it. Otherwise I'll deal with the space-savers.

Such a non-issue. I'm in Dot in saver central and my neighbors and people out and about don't even talk about it.
I'm not the biggest Walsh fan but I don't blame the guy for just sticking with the status quo. No percentage in him going out on the limb on this one.

I would like to see the trash guys just trash any and all savers every trash day all year long. If it's on the street it's trash. If it's a trash barrel it goes on the sidewalk. This in itself would go along way to reducing the practice and wouldn't increase the budget.

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I know that won't happen, but it honestly makes the most sense. It could be phased in, banning winter overnight parking at first. Then go to the full year. Build lots of paid parking garages. Street sweeping/ snow removal overnight. Problem solved.

A smart, fair solution that brings voluntary revenue to the city. Which means it will never happen.

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Voting closed 9

In Niagara Falls (NY), they leave the street sweeping schedule in place all year, and plow/scrape all the way to the curb during the winter. Sure, it doesn't help everyone immediately, but it's certainly better than saved spaces separated by ice mountains!

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Niagara Falls is so deserted in the wintertime, why do they need to plow at all? They can close the roads and wait for the snow to melt, and nobody will care.

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on PUBLIC streets are provided for the benefit of the PUBLIC, and are not to be reserved by anyone for their exclusive use.

So, you dug your car out. Good, now you can use it. Shouldn't entitle you to have that space when you get back.

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Voting closed 5

On another note can New York, Connecticut and New Hampshire please go home during the week and free up our resident parking spaces? Their vehicles are giant space savers that need to go. When the city can get that taken care of then maybe we can worry about what residents are doing.

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At least half the street gets plowed to the curb each time. That half the street changes each winter to make it fair.

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Voting closed 14

The city does have an odd/even parking ban rule for extreme snow emergencies. I think it was last declared in 2005.

I never understood why it wasn't declared in 2013/2014. If there was ever a time to use that rule, it was that winter.

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Like waving a red cape at an angry bull!

Now excuse me while I grab my popcorn.

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If I dig out the hydrant on my street, don't go trying to use it to put out a fire at your house.

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Will they be continuing the "wait till winters over and it melts" rule when to comes to bike lanes/cross walks/curb cuts around the city?

Hell most of these clowns that "earned" their spot end up shoveling the snow onto the sidewalks anyway.

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Citation please.
If you park in front of your own home, you’d get a ticket for not shoveling sidewalk (if path is too narrow). If you park in of someone else’s home and throw snow onto their shoveled sidewalk, chances are your vehicle will be covered in snow when you get back.

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I have a driveway, but neighbors park in front of my house, which I actually love in the winter as the plows cannot push compacted snow and ice onto my sidewalks. That said, a few times car owners have left piles of snow on my pristine sidewalks. Suffice to say, the snow gets pushed into their cars or spots (I respect the saver system.) That usually sends the message.

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How do you know the car currently occupying the spot is owned by the person why dumped snow on the sidewalk?

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Are you positing that someone took shovelfuls of snow, walked all the way to the sidewalk in front of my house, then dumped it there, just so it would look like the people whose cars are parked in front of the house shoveled the snow onto the sidewalk?

Oh, and I shovel the sidewalk next to my property on one side and the driveway cut to the street is on the other side.

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https://311.boston.gov/reports/101002012019

https://311.boston.gov/reports/101002014273

https://311.boston.gov/reports/101002013831

https://311.boston.gov/reports/H194025-101001306836

https://311.boston.gov/reports/H194025-101001306836

https://311.boston.gov/reports/H190475-101001288520

And would you look at that, crystal clear roads for the motorists, ice and snow mounds for the plebs!

Mostly examples of city-owned property but not sure how I can cite the people who throw snow on the sidewalks? Also judging by how the sidewalks are never narrow enough to pass, either fines are laughably low or theres not enough enforcement. Either way, the city coddles motorists and tells everyone else to go screw.

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Voting closed 9

I totally agree w/ the beginning of your comment, they city does a s*** job of removing snow. I was referencing the second part re: clearing a spot and throwing snow onto sidewalk.

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As the Hubway bike stands all over the streets AND sidewalks of Boston. Same as the spots saved on city streets and municipal parking lots for Zipcars so all you big mouths shut your face.

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An internet tough guy ... and Mommy just ran out of hot pockets!

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You can have your own spot.

Yes, Zipcar pays.

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Hubway is owned by the City. Public transportation option using space on public lands.

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It's a private company that the city pays a fee to because of the value of getting people out of cars and exercising, supporting tourism, etc.

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As shown by the number of comments on this article I'm not the only one with strong feelings on this. So here's my 2 cents to be ignored or maligned to your liking, and here we go shouting into the void.

Space savers are incredibly stupid. You don't own the road or the spot you park in. Most snow storms I clear out 2-3 extra spaces over the course of the melt. During the storm I clear out my car and if I have the energy left I clear the handicap space at the end of my street.

When I leave for work my spot becomes available to anyone with a resident parking permit. When I get home if the only spot I can find (or just the one closest to my front door) has a saver in it I'll take the saver. You left the trash in the street, I'm just helping pickup the trash (got some nice camping chairs a couple years back)

At least around me, people with larger vehicles (SUVs and what not) tend not to actually clear the spot they're in if it's anything under 2 feet of snow. More often than not I end up having to shovel out at least 1 if not 3 of those each storm just to park on my block. (My car is small, and it was at least in part selected because it's easier to shovel out)

Do your part, help your neighbor, and if you can't shovel that scrap of pavement, ask for help, or pay someone.

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Voting closed 6

Space savers are not permitted in the South End and nobody does that in Back Bay/Beacon Hill (at least that I've ever seen).

You're right - this is a stupid tradition and to Bob's point below - completely illegal.

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It's ironic how a little bit of shoveling brings out all the snowflakes. "But I had to shovel it myself! It's my spot now! WAHH!"

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Voting closed 4

In 2014 the City Council passed an ordinance that states:

No person or entity other than the City of Boston and any of its departments and designees shall have the authority to sell, lease reserve, or facilitate the reserving of any street,
way, road, or parkway, or portion thereof, under the City of Boston's control

There's nothing ambiguous about this: space savers are illegal.

I understand that under our city charter, the city council is close to meaningless and the mayor is all-powerful, but, still, this is a blatant case of "Who cares if it's the law; I'm not going to enforce it."

http://www.universalhub.com/files/haystack-report.pdf

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Voting closed 2

The ordinance has nothing to do with this.

But hey, good luck suing the City about this.

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How about we have enough respect for the law to believe that those who wrote it and voted for it meant it to say what it says?

Under what theory does an ordinance that explicitly bans the reserving of parking spaces, not actually ban the reserving of parking spaces?

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Voting closed 4

If you think that a jury of Suffolk County residents (who support this, don't forget) or an appellate judge will buy your claim that an ordinance passed expressly to deal with parking apps applies to this policy, do it. It'll make for good reading in the papers. Otherwise, just admit that original intent has a meaning in the law.

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that an ordinance passed expressly to deal with parking apps

Parking apps may have initially surfaced the need for an ordinance, but the ordinance is much broader: If the city council had wanted to limit it to apps, or to commercial services, they would have done so; instead they chose to pass a general ban on the reserving of parking spaces, which of course includes the apps, cones placed by valets outside of the designated valet dropoff zone, and personal space-savers. Give them some credit for their legislative drafting abilities.

And, by the way, this type of case is usually decided by judges rather than by juries, and judges tend to have a position on legislative intent versus textualism.

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But in the meantime Walsh will follow the precedent of Menino.

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