3.6 min readBy Published On: February 13th, 2015Categories: Features3 Comments on Southie Snomageddon Etiquette

Since this is turning out to be a historic nightmare of a winter, we thought we’d offer up a lesson in etiquette for some Snomageddon-type issues that we’ve observed:

Share the road.  Motorists are now sharing the streets with pedestrians, which at times can get a little nerve wracking.  Pedestrians really have no other alternative due to the fact the sidewalks are like walking through a winter valley of death complete with giant walls of snow, narrow paths, icy, snowy and slushy patches, and let us not forget the ice daggers hanging from the houses.  Walking in the streets with cars seems like the safer alternative.  Be considerate of each other.  We’ve been both motorists and pedestrians and each time we’ve been like, “Pfft…this guy, driving down the street….” or “Look at this lady walking in the middle of the road….”   So if you are a pedestrian, and hear/see a car coming, go to the safest nook in the snow mounds and wait for the car to pass.  It’s also nice to give a little wave or smile to let people know we are in this together.  If you are in a car, no need to be driving 30 miles an hour up the pedestrians ass.  Slow down.  They know you’re there.  Be patient.  When the pedestrian finds the nook to let you pass, it’s polite to say thank you with a wave or a knowing smile.  

Southie Standoff.  We’ve all been victim of this scenario –  a two-way side street that is now narrowed down to only allow one car, you make the turn, start driving and then come head to head with another car.  Who has the right of way?  We say the person closest to the corner should back up.  Also, use good judgement.  If you see a car coming down the street, don’t make the turn or cross the intersection and floor it, just wait.  If you are in a head to head situation with multiple cars, you need to back up.  Five cars can’t back up.  UPDATE:  The City of Boston has issued a new travel system in Southie to help with this situation.  Get the scoop: https://caughtinsouthie.com/news-politics/snow-emergency-and-transportation-configuration-southie

Temporary parking pass.  There is no where to park right now.  We all have marked our territory when it comes to shoveled out parking spots.  It is clear that most people are at work all day or doing errands or living their lives, by the numerous spot savers lining the streets.  It’s okay if someone parks in your spot temporarily.  Maybe it’s to pick up their kids, visit a family member, clean a house or run into a store.  Don’t immediately jump to conclusions and think that someone stole your spot.  If you are parking in someone’s spot, have a ready-made note, complete with your cell number, and put it on your dashboard.  If you find a car with a note in your spot, calmly and call the number and wait patiently.  

Parking spot pride.  Tend to your parking spot.  Make sure to keep it shoveled.  Use a decent spot saver.  An old Pampers box filled with snow ain’t cuttin’ it.  

Support our local small businesses.  We know the bars and liquor stores are doing well this stressful snowy season.  (We’ve recently developed a nightly hot toddy habit.) Make an effort to support the other local businesses.  Go out for a nice dinner.  Buy yourself a candle.  Stop by the boutiques and do some shopping.  Make an appointment for a facial or a new hair do.  We all should reward ourselves for living in this frozen hell.  

Bottom line, we are all in this together.  Be kind to one another.  Be patient with one another.  We promise, spring is almost here.  

For a refresher in Snow Shoveling Etiquette visit: https://caughtinsouthie.com/tips/snow-shoveling-etiquette

Take the Good Neighbor Pledge: https://caughtinsouthie.com/feature/good-neighbor-pledge

Anything you’d like to add?  Email Maureen at [email protected]


  1. The Truth February 18, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Although the Mayor's office seems to turn a blind eye to space saving, hasn't the practice actually been banned by the city?  You're shoveling to free your car, not a spot.  If you want a reserved spot, you should pay for it like any other time of year.  All this space saving causes everyone to act like total children and shame on your for promoting it.

  2. Nope February 21, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Space savers were banned in the South End. Now they're having more issues because of huge swaths of streets where no one has bothered to shovel out their cars. Can't blame them 

  3. Anonymous February 21, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Space saving is still legal in southie for 48 hours following a storm.  I agree with you in principle, though.  Too many residents feel entitled to these public spaces.  The sense of entitlement is part of the reason why there's so much discontent around here, and why city ploys can't actually move in to remove snow from our side streets.  Vehicles that are still sitting under a mountain of snow from the first storm should be towed.  Also, our last storm was a week ago, yet space savers are still out in full force.  The couple of inches accumulated throughout this past week is ridiculous to count and just shows how much some people milk the system.  Free parking doesn't exist in major cities, and its impossible to sustain forever in a growing southie.  Everyone who owns a car without a private parking space needs to be willing to pay his or her fair share for parking, and the city needs to add parking meters to the streets.

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