Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Making It Clear That a Clear Parking Space Isn’t
December 28, 2010
By dawn on Tuesday, the space savers were out in abundance on East Seventh Street in South Boston. Someone had staked out a neatly shoveled parking spot with a potted plant, its dead fronds trembling in the wind. Someone else had reserved a space with a hot-pink beach chair.
Elsewhere in the neighborhood, the epicenter of the parking wars that erupt here after a snowstorm, the narrow streets were lined with bar stools and coolers, end tables and shopping carts, all meant as warnings: This shoveled-out space is mine until the snow melts. Occupy it at your own risk.
Marguerite Maguire, who had an orange parking cone ready to guard her spot, was hoping to avoid the kind of confrontation she got into after a 2009 snowfall, when someone tried taking her space the minute she finished clearing it.
“I told her, ‘Forget it, lady,’ and we yelled at each other for a few minutes until she pulled away,” Mrs. Maguire, 50, recalled. “I think she must have been new here.”
Though not unique to Boston — Chicago, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are among the other cities that embrace it — space-saving after snowstorms has an impassioned history here, especially in scrappy, densely populated South Boston. When snow puts parking spots at a premium, as the blizzard that just left 18 inches of snow here did, snatching someone’s marked space can lead to hurled insults, slashed tires or worse — in 2005, a man was arrested after smashing a car window with a plunger during an argument over a freshly shoveled spot.
Posted by Yulie Foka at 9:41 AM