In parking space ‘dibs’, a return to barbarism

In the event of an actual national emergency or disaster, it would be unwise to expect civil order to last more than a day, maybe two.

The big storm on the East Coast has proven that once again. If the post-Armageddon demand for food doesn’t turn people into barbarians, the demand for a place to park will.

The uniquely urban “dibs” problem has reared its head in Boston, a commenter on Reddit notices.

At this time of year, parking space savers are impenetrable fortresses of “mine.” They’re a window into our souls.

Oh, the stories people tell!

My friends dug out their car on Thursday during the storm. Left in the morning, didn’t place a space saver (because they don’t believe in doing that). Someone came along and put a space saver in the spot they cleared. They parked elsewhere on Friday, couldn’t find a spot Saturday, so removed the space saver. Their logic was, hey, we cleared out the spot, this guy took it, it isn’t even rightfully his anyway. The guy came to their house (he was a neighbor, knew their car), and screamed at them. I don’t get how this makes people so crazy!

Why it’s so bad out East that someone posted a message on Reddit that makes the Minneapolis snow emergency system sound positively understandable.

How it worked in the twin cities is you would move to the directional side you could park or put it in a lot of some kind. Once your street was plowed you could move your car back on it. That was before smart phones so I’m sure they could develop real time plow apps that would let you know their path and if it’s been cleared or not.

In South Boston, the space saver capital of America, there is some hope for the post-nuclear America. They have made order out of chaos by developing “rules” for this sort of nonsense:

1) You can’t put something in your spot until AFTER the snowstorm is over. I understand how inconvenient it is if you have to go to work or a party or wherever and won’t be back until after all the spots on the streets are claimed and you end up five blocks away from your house – but you can’t “hold” your spot until you get back – that’s just bad manners. It follows the same sentiment as Rule #2

2) If you did not shovel out your car, you cannot keep the spot. Self-explanatory, right? Wrong. How many times have you seen somebody drive their car out of a spot without shoveling any snow and put a barrel there? Not cool. You must shovel.

3)If you move someone’s space saver and park your car in its place, you have no right to complain about what happens to your car. (Although if someone has prematurely saved a spot – see Rule 1 – you can move it.)

4) The City allows for space savers up to 48 hours after a storm. This is just a guideline – not a law. Don’t be the guy who keeps putting out the spot saver until the spring. Nobody likes that guy. If it’s a blizzard with over 20 inches of snow – maybe 48 hours isn’t long enough. Be respectful of your neighbors.

5) After the 48 hours are over, the City will pick up any space savers still left out. Seize this opportunity to get rid of anything laying around your house you want to get rid of i.e. radiators, foosball tables, mattresses, old televisions, whatever you want to get rid of. Just put it in your space and the City will haul it off.