SNOW ETIQUETTE... saving that cleared parking space

SNOW ETIQUETTE... saving that cleared parking space
is it fair for someone to mark their parking space when they leave?
all in an effort to insure a cleared parking space for their return

Washington Post Poll
Can Shovelers "reserve" parking spots that they clear?

What is the Etiquette? Can someone save this parking space just because they shoveled it?
This is a classic case of ownership over public space...
This is a classic case of civic contribution and respect of others...
this is a little more than asking people top walk outside the sledding track or the cross country ski path... but only slightly different

we are a culture of ownership...
when people are on a picnic... when they put down their blanket... that space is there and they expect people to respect their right to space
the same goes on at the beach with the towel and the umbrella
we are a culture of possessiveness
this right to space can be seen in everything that we do all the way down to the spacing of people in elevators...
the aggravation of right to space can be seen on the escalators where so many people fail to STAND TO THE RIGHT so that those that want to move forward can not walk

does the investment of several hours of time actually give the person ownership of this piece of public land?

there are all sorts of unwritten codes to our society...
in areas where it snows more frequently... these unwritten codes of ethics are more widely known
apparently the Northeast has some sort of TEN COMMANDMENTS OF SNOW
or so it seems
whenever one of these subtle concepts comes up I find people prefacing their statement with.. "I am from Massachusetts and in Massachusetts we..."

well... sadly... in Massachusetts there are people that still walk in the cross country ski path... people still walk in the sled track rather than along side... and people will also take a parking space that was dug out by another citizen
even thought there may be more snow and more widely known unwritten code of ethics
there is one thing that outweighs this code of ethics
our modern day societies DEFAULT SETTING: SELFISHNESS!

unwritten laws... people do not obey the written laws
common known snow etiquette is about as common as common sense or common courtesy... these things are not so common

people are selfish...
people will walk the path of least resistance with no care or concern for what their impact is
it is no worry to them that the kids will not be able to sled or that the cross country skiies will not swoosh... they just do not want to step in the deep snow

as far as the parking space goes?
well... this is a little more tough
parking in the city is already tough enough
return to my block in the evening and you may not get a space... return to this block now... NO DICE ROCK SLICE! there are absolutely no free space
so... where do people stand on this marking of the spaces... is this allowed? is this common practice? is this RIGHT thing for people to do?

luckily... this is the weekend... the parking space issue is about to change... the weekend is here... people are getting mobile... people are on the move
the streets are starting to clear and people are clearing out

last night I saw an older gentleman on the block...
a man that I have been a friendly neighbor with for many years
last night we were each on the sidewalk with our dogs
this man had a stack of orange cones... I inquired if he planned on moving his car

when this man spoke his previously subtle Boston accent got thicker
with no intention to waiver he got straight to the point... rather than discussing the hypothetical of the shoveled space he went for the jugular... telling me... "if you take my space... then we are no longer friends" I tried to discuss the rational hypothetical... he was adamant... I told him I could deal with the loss of friendship telling him he had no right to be possessive over public space
then walked off with my dog and my five year old son

I agree with his situation... but I understand that there is a reality and that the unwritten code is not entirely fair
I would figure if I dug out my space and someone took it while I was gone... well... then I would be free to take any vacant space that remains
because blocking the space while gone for the day prevents people from using that space in their absence
it is a bit of a puzzle

if everyone did their fair share and shoveled their spaces
then upon their return the odds are that they may find a space... but maybe not

that is the deal... you put in... you get out
not hovering over what is "mine"
if everyone does their part and puts in
there should be just enough to get something back

What is the course of action on the shoveling of a space and taking of another shoveled space?

I do not know the answer... but if people are shoveling their spaces then blocking their spaces with cones or chairs... well then I guess I should do the same
otherwise I will come up empty


Big Daddy Mike said...

Tough one. You shovel the space, it's your space. If it's sunny out, no issue but five feet of snow? You have to understand that. And the possession is temporary. It reverts to the public once the snow has been returned to its liquid state.

Unemployment is making you bitchy...

gwadzilla said...

it is a tough one...

I am all for a uniform understanding...

but I fear that is not what we should expect to happen

Anonymous said...

Why should a community rsource stay unutilized for hours.? That is a waste. There are solutions to digging your car and feeling you contributed positively to society. Take a cab or walk. Let's not condone reserving public resources simply because one contributed to deactivating it's potential. Philip

gwadzilla said...

I am all for walking...

but that is not an option for everyone

I have not moved my car since it started snowing... but like a fool... I have dug it out each day
only to have it plowed back in each evening

if everyone did their part (in this case shoveling out their space and then maybe half of the next space)
this would not be an issue
there are too many people who weasel around... not digging out spaces... but stealing the open spaces

right now our block has a fraction of the parking spaces it once had because there are snow barriers preventing people from parking... unless they get their shit together and start shoveling

I have done my shoveling
and I have no intention of moving my car any time soon

Unknown said...


what do the people with no off-street parking and no "saved" spot do?

it's illegal to save a spot and we don't have an established etiquette to save spots. we aren't talking about snagging the spot your neighbor cleared for himself in front of his house in the 'burbs- these are common spots up for grabs for everyone.

in my neighborhood, it's not a matter of taking a shoveled space INSTEAD of clearing out an unused parking space. there are few if any unused spots to be shoveled. btw, I have off-street parking, so I am happy I don't have to deal with it. but, people without spots cant' be expected not to park near their house until the snow thaws days or weeks later.

believe me, I wish more people did their share of shoveling (we do way more than our share), but I don't think spot-saving is practical.

as for walking in ski and sled tracks- grrrrrrrr

Anonymous said...

When we moved to the city from the country I thought it was ridiculous that people would save spots. It only took a few snow storms before we had to resort to the same behavior. No one has off- street parking and the snow piles take up additional parking. The last thing I need after a 12 hour day on my feet is to come home and have no place to park. We can't always depend on the young healthy people across the street to keep their house neat, let alone dig out their own spot. A sad situation that we are sometimes forced into. Funny, because I would have defended your position a few years ago !