Parking Space Savers. Let’s just not.

You know what I’ve always hated with the fiery heat of a million suns? The idea of space savers. We don’t see them in Gloucester – and I’ll explain that part later – but in Boston, they’re a storied tradition of selfishness and “I got mine so fuck off” entitlement. They turn everyone into assholes. I mean, bigger assholes than usual. And they shouldn’t be allowed anymore. This asinine tradition is out of control, it’s gotten to the breaking point, and we all just need to grow the fuck up.

OK, it happened in Gloucester this one time last week but seriously who is this guy?

OK, it happened in Gloucester this one time last week but seriously who is this guy?

Let me let you in on something here, before we go any further: YOU PARKED ON A PUBLIC STREET. YOU DO NOT OWN A SPOT ON A PUBLIC STREET. IT IS NOT YOURS.

I’ve had this fight a ton of times before. It’s not like I don’t see the inherent unfairness of taking an hour, or more, to shovel out your car and go to work, only when you get back, there’s someone else in that space. “What the hell”, you think. “That’s not fair“. Well, that car belongs to someone else. Someone who probably, let me reach here, also most likely shoveled out a space in order to leave where they were during the storm to get to where they are now, which is “your spot”. They probably didn’t drive from Florida just to show up on your street, and if they did, maybe they need to pee so just let them park.

There’s such egregious selfishness in putting a bookcase, set of lawn darts, or your least favorite kid out on your street for days so you, only precious, special you, can use it, so no one else who needs a spot, even for twenty fucking minutes while you’re at your shitty job for the next eight hours. Here’s the thing: people need to do shit on your street. Grandmothers need to babysit grandkids. Visiting nurses need to help the elderly. Someone may have a friend visiting overnight. People that don’t live on your street? THEY CAN PARK THERE. BECAUSE AGAIN, IT’S A FUCKING PUBLIC STREET.




“WAH BUT I SHOVELED WAAAH IT WAS SO HARD! IT WAS WORSE THAN CHOLERA!” Okay, you know what? There’s a simple way to fix this (hint: sarcasm). It’s how we do it in Gloucester – you just don’t get to park on the street during a snow emergency. Any street, anywhere. That makes it easy – plows just plow the parking lane! Hooray, everybody gets to park after it’s all done! But it makes it a real fucking goddamn pain in the ass for you – hope you can find another place to park for a couple days, and then dig out of that spot just like you’d do at home. Hint: bring a shovel on the non-working T to go find your car. Oh, you can’t? It would be a bigger pain than shoveling out your car? See, we’re getting somewhere. Shoveling your car out is the price you pay for the convenience of parking on a public street by your residence during a snowstorm. Full stop.  And those unshoveled spots on your street are ALSO YOUR FAULT because plows can’t get to them since your car and your neighbors’ cars block access. So instead of whining about “your” space, dig out another one. Because that’s how shit works in the real world. You don’t like it? Well, you can always pay for a garage space somewhere.

The biggest argument against space savers is the absolutely fucking stupid vigilante shit that happens in its wake. People who aren’t aware of Boston’s storied idiotic tradition get their cars dumped on, or they get their tires slashed, or they get shot. It is not okay to do these things, ever. But clearly the sense of entitlement is so deep with space savers that it suddenly becomes okay to do thousands of dollars of property damage to some low-income transplant who cleans houses on your street, or some visiting CNA who makes $11 an hour to make sure your 99 year old neighbor isn’t dead on her floor. The worst part is that Menino (God rest his awesome soul) gave his tacit approval to the practice by declaring all space savers be removed within 48 hours.

“But my neighbor is ever so lazy and just waits for us to do the hard work!” Okay, so here’s a quick thought: maybe talk to your neighbor, like an adult, and see what the deal is. Maybe you don’t realize your neighbor is battling a health issue. Maybe your neighbor is lazy as shit after all. But that doesn’t mean you put broken TVs in the road and slash tires. Thankfully, the South End finally stood up and said “this is stupid, and it needs to stop”, and apparently they are not putting up with parking tomfoolery, horseplay, or shenanigans. From the Globe:

“This is a criminal act of vandalism. This is not a quaint Boston custom gone awry,” said Stephen Fox, cochairman of the South End Forum. “This is something that is intolerable in an urban environment, and it needs to be treated as a crime and not with a shoulder shrug.”

I’m done with this shit. Just ban fucking parking during storms, so people can stop acting like whiny babies and other people stop acting like it’s okay to be a giant assweasel.


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  1. February 20th rant – spot on.

  2. Yup, yup and yup! I agree with this wholeheartedly.

  3. Right on all points of law.
    But by conspicuous omission we must ask:
    Have you ever slid into a parking spot in your neighborhood that someone else dug out, and then been the recipient of retribution?
    This reads like a big loud ‘yes’.

    • Nope! i have avoided parking in southie. I park in seaport and walk in winter. Fuck it.

    • Alex-I have been the recipient of retribution from someone who felt entitled to a spot they slipped a save into. Here’s the catch: I’m the one who shoveled out that spot. The person who placed the saver in that spot, then felt justified in vandalizing my car, did not lift a finger to shovel anything.
      The use of space savers has done nothing to keep the peace, nothing to prevent cheating, and has only exacerbated an already difficult situation.

  4. In the other epic snow year of 1995(?) I personally hand shoveled 6 city off-street spaces near my old apartment on Friend Street. I worked in Burlington at the time and NEVER got access to the spaces I shoveled out, when arriving back in Gloucester at about 11pm after 12 or so grueling hours of retail. Do I want a medal? No. Did I guard these spaces? No. Did others do the same? Yes. Who pulled into those spaces? The people who did not shovel. They moved their cars out of the snowbank and into my freshly shoveled space. Repeatedly. I can understand anger, yet I do not own the street, and accepted by civic ‘thank you’ from my neighbors. You’re welcome.

  5. I was going to take a picture of that exact chair the other day and send it to The Clam, but I didn’t want to start a riot by stopping on Washington St. while I fumbled with my phone. Glad to see I didn’t need to.

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