Features

The Unofficial Rules

Saving Parking Spots During a Snowstorm
written by Peter Gailunas

Winter is growing closer and I’d like to take a moment and review the time honored Southie tradition of saving parking spots during a snowstorm.

 

Let’s recap the “rules” that were agreed upon by our ancestors:

  • 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 5 blocks away from your house.  But you can’t “hold” you’re spot until you get back – that’s just bad manners.  It follows the same sentiment as Rule #2.
  • If you did not shovel your car out, you cannot keep the spot.  Self explanatory right?  Wrong.   How many times have you seen a somebody drive their car out of a spot without shoveling any snow and put a barrel there? Not cool.  You must shovel.
  • 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.  However, you are allowed to retaliate as long as you don’t get caught. If you get? caught, you shouldn’t complain about the beating you will most likely receive.
  • The City allows for space savers up to 48 hours after a storm. ?Hogwash!  As long as you are not the last one with a cone out, you’re cool. If you live on my street, you’re all set because I have a crazy neighbor ?who leaves his electrified barrel out until the swan boats are being put in the water.
  • After the 48 hrs is up, the city will pick up any space savers still ?left out.  Seize this opportunity to get rid of anything lying 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.

 

I hope this review helps make winter a little more bearable and clears ?up any confusion over spot saving.

?

Happy shoveling!

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Hockey mom, yoga enthusiast, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.

Comments

  1. You fogot to add

     

    Shovel in front and back of your car and place the snow neatly on the sidewalk.  Placing the snow in front or in back of your car does nothing for making room for other cars.

  2. What i hate is when the city moves a space saver, then you park in the spot, and the person thinks you moved it.

  3. get along guys.  Are we still bickering over who’s parking spot is who’s? Believe me I get it.  It is a point of stress, uncertainty, and frustration when dealing with parking in the city during the winter.  But the ill-will the space saving mentality seems to evoke is a bit over the top.  Realizing you come out and are at WAR with whomever may steal your spot, you should take a step back and realize that these folks are your neighbors.  The same people you would want to enjoy a block party with, the same people you would hope to watch out for you while you are on vacation.  The same people you would hope would help you in a time of need.  It would be nice if we could put the space saving angst behind us and think more about something positive in our neighborhood for the winter season.

    Sure, the space savers can be funny, I absolutely still laugh at the floor waxer I saw saving a space and the broken microwave.  But should we be concerned that by parking on a public city street that our car may be keyed, slashed, or windows broken? This doesn’t seem to be the kind of thing that a friend would be to another.  I hope that I would be able to consider my neighbors to be friends this winter.

  4. Couldn’t have said it any better!!! LOL!!! Very true!! Soooo do the right thing when (u think) nobody is looking because most likely there is a old timer true southie lady lookin out her window & will let the person who shoveled out the spot know that you took the spot they shoveled out! lol!!!

  5. If you don’t like the “winter parking rules”, you could always move to another city!

  6. The saving of parking spots is hands down, by far, the absolute, no question, worst part of living in Southie. Friendly neighbors turn into knuckle dragging Neanderthals as the cones and chairs start to stack up. I have seen entire blocks of spot savers 7,8, 9 days after the last drop of snow has fallen. The rule in my part of the city is leave your marker out as long as you can. As much as I hate the drummed up separation between us and them, southie townies vs. the outsiders , you can bet your mortgage, 95% of neighbors leaving cones out days past common decency are locals, just daring some college kid who just moved in the ‘hood to move their marker. I have lived this reality for well over a decade and it gets worse and worse every year. It is embarrassing how the press covers it and how it is viewed as funny and some kind of cool time honored tradition. There was nothing funny or cool about the young college girl on my street who got not one but two entire gallons of paint dumped on her car after parking in a visitor spot that had no space saver in it, a week after last snow fall.  She did nothing to deserve that kind of response to her simply parking her car on a public street,  in a spot with no marker.  South Boston has evolved into one of the best places in the city to live. It would be a perfect world if the South Boston space saving tradition could evolve as well, maybe to something that resembles common decency. 

  7. The saving of parking spots is hands down, by far, the absolute, no question, worst part of living in Southie. Friendly neighbors turn into knuckle dragging Neanderthals as the cones and chairs start to stack up. I have seen entire blocks of spot savers 7,8, 9 days after the last drop of snow has fallen. The rule in my part of the city is leave your marker out as long as you can. As much as I hate the separation between us and them, southie townies vs. the outsiders , you can bet your mortgage, 95% of neighbors leaving cones out days past common decency are locals, just daring some college kid who just moved in the ‘hood to move their marker. I have lived this reality for well over a decade and it gets worse and worse every year. It is embarrassing how the press covers it and how it is viewed as funny and some kind of cool, time honored tradition. There was nothing funny or cool about the young college girl on my street who got not one but two entire gallons of paint dumped on her car after parking in a visitor spot that had no space saver in it, a week after last snow fall.  She did nothing to deserve that kind of response to her simply parking her car on a public street,  in a spot with no marker.  South Boston has evolved into one of the best places in the city to live. It would be a perfect world if the South Boston space saving tradition could evolve as well, maybe to something that resembles common decency. 

     

  8. I am a Journalism student at Emerson College and have the South Boston beat. I have heard about the shoveling and saving parking spots in South Boston, but have not had a chance yet to really investigate. I am heading to that part of town Friday to get some story leads. Any suggestions? 

  9. It is only the lifers like Peter Gailunas that perpetuate this BS. The only people on my block who are out there are the lifers who think they own the street, the “new” people shovel and are cool with it. I especially love the lifers who have driveways but move their cars onto the street before a storm to save more spots.

  10. Sounds like ” it’s only the lifers” is jealous of not being an OFSB. Too bad, our town, our rules. Just roll with it. Thanks Peter
  11. FYI: The two people that saved spots on my block when three inches accumulated last week were non-locals – or non- lifers as you would call them.  So you can’t blame it on me. 

    They also do this (save spots after snow) in other cities in the country i.e. New York, Chicago, Philly etc. So it’s not exclusive to our city. 

    Sincerely,

    Peter Gailunas

    P.S. This has been going since the 1970’s.  If you don’t like it, I suggest you buy a house with a driveway or move out.    Question for you “It is only the lifers” do you save a spot when you shovel it out? I’ll bet you do.

  12. I, for one, would NEVER move someones cone……..2hours shoveling it out…. YES it’s mine for a few days sorryyy. People that are new? Will learn quickly. I feel very strongly about it. It is total utter disrespect. If you move someones stuff you deserve whatever you get!!!!!!!!!!!! If you don’t like it MOVE.

    thanks!

  13. I live in Eastie and the same goes on here. I decided to have fun with it one afternoon. It was past the so called time limit after last snow fall, and there were about 30 savers out in the street. Well, I removed everyone of them sat back and watched the show. it was quite entertaining. The next day I swapped the pices of junk around. What had been marked by a BBQ was now marked by an old chair and so on. Even more entertaining. 

     It was a fun winter.

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  16. I moved to Quincy. Today, I experienced something I've never experienced before – my neighbor used his snowblower to clear parking spaces in front of my house for me! Add the fact that I can get to the Red Line in under 2 minutes on foot, not spend 2 hours looking for parking if I should happen to return home after 5:30, ohh and did I mention I now have a luxury 4-Br, 2 1/2 bath HOUSE (not apartment) 1700 SF for a mere $2,000 a month. I can smash whomever I want, wherever I want. On the counter? Check. On the stairs? Check. In the shower? Check. With the money saved by not living in southie, I can actually afford to go out in Southie and spend freely. Also, Mai Tai's for days down here, never needing to go to South Bay to go shopping, don't have to memorize the street sweeping schedule, the list goes on…

  17.  I have been a resident of South Boston since May 2013. This is one of the first times I've ever felt unsafe in this neighborhood that I have grown to love. As you are very much aware, we had a pretty big snowstorm on Tuesday. This was going to be my first snowstorm having a car in South Boston. I purchased my car earlier this month as I am now a mentor with TEAM at the Laboure center in South Boston . I needed a car as I felt safer picking up my mentee (she is 9 and wonderful!) from the projects in a car. I have only had the car since Jan 7th.  I moved my car into a garage the day of the storm and finally moved it out of the garage on Thursday, January 29th. 2 days after the storm. I was lucky enough (or so I thought) to finally find a spot – located on the corner of west 1st and F street. There was no space saver in the spot. I went to check on my car yesterday and found if vandalized . Not only was there a note indicating that it wasn't my spot to park in, but my car was egged and my drivers side mirror ripped off. I was shocked and became frightened. I have no drivers side mirror as this individual was so enraged that he/she ripped it off. Thankfully there was no other damage to the car. I drove my car back to the lot where it is now but I am paying on a  daily basis. I also am supposed to meet my mentee tomorrow and do not have a vehicle that is safe to drive her in. I am very nervous to park in South Boston again as I do not want my car to be targeted. I will be filing a police report this morning and have filed an insurance claim. I am asking  the city of Boston to reimburse my deductible in the amount of $500 . My truck is now not safe for me to drive without a side mirror and not safe for me to park in South Boston. I love my area of South Boston but am somewhat frightened and alarmed by this act of vandalism. 

  18. If you're driving around Boston, Southie, South End wherever, in current conditions, and you see a shoveled out spot – take it at your own risk!  Assume someone did the work, and probably not for you!  I personally wouldn't try to "drive in and park" in the city right now, unless it's a garagre etc.   Things aren't the same in Southie (where I grew up and live), we all know there's been an influx of Yuppies, I'd prefer the Walking Dead personally, but whatever.  Anyway, don't drive into the city and think you can just pull into a cleaned spot right now, I don't care what the mayor says – Don't be an A Hole and take someone's spot!  Not cool!

  19. The funny thing is the number of Southie residents who leave "their" spots for the day and park in Fort Point, taking spots that people in those neighborhoods shoveled out.  We all know what would the outcome would be if the reverse happened. 

    everyone able bodied should shovel

    48 hours, that's it that's all

    it's not your spot, unless you pay rent for it

    don't assume somebody is just lazy because they took "your" spot.  Somebody could have taken theirs, or who knows what sort of hardship they may have.  Be thankful all you have to worry about is another parking spot.

    Honestly put hours on your spot.  Why should a spot be vacant for 8 or more hours when somebody else could use it?  Do their errands, help drive the local economy etc.

    Parking is limited in Boston, that doesn't mean "go elsewhere" it means live within your means, consider if you need to own a car in the city or not, plan accordingly.  That goes for shovelers and non shovelers alike.

  20. When I'm hammered on Friday and Saturday night, I kick, punch, and people's elbow the shit out of everyone's cones, chairs, and whatever else people use to reserve a parking spot on a street during a snowstorm. For those of you who think a parking spot on a public street can somehow be "yours", you should pay for a private spot in a private parking lot or garage, then buy one of those signs that says "parking for assholes only" and put it at the end of your spot.

  21. Or you can just obey the laws, so after the 48 hrs is gone, there are no items littering the streets. And if you do not like city rules, you can move to another city.

  22. So what happened to the city rule about removing space savers after 48 hrs? Last time I checked Southie was part of the City of Boston…

     

     

  23. The practice of "space saving" in Boston is illogical and dangerous. It has been banned in some neighborhoods and should be banned city-wide. These are public streets. Everyone has to shovel their cars out. Just because you shoveled out a spot like everyone else doesn't give you the right to hold an empty space all day long while you are at work. Worse still, this perceived entitlement creates the danger of violence and vandalism (example: http://goo.gl/F1bjPG ) Surely in an educated city like Boston we can let logic prevail over emotion and think of a better way to manage a scarce shared resource. Smart parking spot time sharing app, anyone?

  24. YOU H AVE 48 GODDAMN HOURS TO KEEP YOUR SHOVELED SPOT. After that time is over, move your sh*t. You have NO RIGHT to condone violence, threaten, or vandalize whoever takes the spot, as they have every right to park along a public street. 

  25. Past the 48 hours, you have no lawful right to maintain your claim on the spot. Cry about it all you want, but it's the law. You are legally mandated to remove your saver and open the space to the public.

  26. if the spot was given to me by the Mayor…because i shovelled it, then it's my lawful property, right? So if it's my property, then i can sell it. If the neighbors leave their space savers out for months then the value goes up proportional to the cost of monthly parking, say $200 per month.  I'll be selling my parking spot for $400.   Thank you, Mr Mayor.

  27. Spot savers should just shut up and enjoy the fact that all they had to do for a free parking spot in the city is shovel their car out after a snowstorm.

  28. Beyond ridiculous. Think about what you're doing. You're placing obstacles in a city street, creating a hazardous situation for everyone else. You're not the only one who lives in Boston who needs a place to park. Count yourself lucky the Boston PD doesn't start confiscating licenses for the practice.

     

    Think about it. Space savers? That's a kindergarten practice. Grow up!