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A quaint and curious custom

For years in Boston, the city has done a crappy job about getting snow out of the streets. To deal with this chronic negligence, residents have adopted a tradition to deal with this. They shovel out a parking space for themselves, then "claim" it with trash cans, traffic cones, chairs of various types, and in at least one case an old toilet. And woe betide the trespasser who encroaches upon a claimed parking space; reports of slashed tires and smashed windows are common.

Not this year, though. Wednesday Boston's mayor ordered city garbage trucks to go around and collect all the claims markers and toss 'em away. Mayor Menino says that from now on, residents can "claim" their space for a maximum of 48 hours after the storm; after that, it's fair game.

Boston residents, as might be expected, are up in arms with the Mayor. They feel that they earned that space through their own sweat and toil, and they'll be damned if anyone will take it back. The city hauled off 27 tons of "markers," and many defiant residents put out fresh ones right after the trucks turned the corner.

Apparently it's never occurred to anyone down there to simply get the city to get rid of the snow, as they do in most other cities. Until they do, however, I'm gonna sit back up here in warm, cozy Cow Hampshire and enjoy yet another laugh at the Massholes' expense.


Comments (11)

Apparently it's never oc... (Below threshold)

Apparently it's never occurred to anyone down there to simply get the city to get rid of the snow, as they do in most other cities.

Most other cities probably don't have snow removal crews whose members call in and say, "Whaddaya mean I gotta come in to work today!? The streets are all clogged with snow -- how the @#$! am I supposed to get anywhere, much less to work!?"

In Chicago, the practice is... (Below threshold)

In Chicago, the practice is known as "dibs."

Newspaper columnists cover it once a year, probably by mayoral mandate so everyone knows the etiquette.

I guess it never occurs to ... (Below threshold)

I guess it never occurs to the Massholes to get rid of the mayor. It's like getting rid of gun or getting rid of criminals, liberals never figure things like that out.

People in North Jersey do t... (Below threshold)

People in North Jersey do the same thing. However, some creeps actually claim a space they didn't dig out and intimdate the people who actually did the shoveling.

The issue really isn't abou... (Below threshold)

The issue really isn't about getting rid of the snow. Chicago does a good job of plowing and salting the streets (thanks, coff, to Jane Byrne), but can't do anything about the buildup of snow in parking spaces because, er, there are cars parked there. Joe Resident digs his car out for 45 minutes, drives away, and another guy comes along and takes his spot. Ergo the rise of "protecting" the spot with all manner of objects and furniture. Less of a problem in areas where each house has a garage (or as we say, "grodge"), but a mess in areas with multi-unit buildings where parking is already at a premium.

In Germany [the only place ... (Below threshold)

In Germany [the only place I've lived in the past decade where it snows] I shoveled out the entire apartment parking area and sidewalks. It was good aerobic exercise. I didn't care who got what spot. I always had a place to park.

But then the Germans I lived near tended to be much more respectful to order and personal space. Wouldn't work here.

They aren't stupid however: they knew I was nuts for doing it. :-)

I'll bet a fleet of snowplo... (Below threshold)

I'll bet a fleet of snowplows are assigned to the task of removing snow on an hourly basis from Teresa Heinz Kerry's neighborhood.

I thought they had started ... (Below threshold)

I thought they had started this nonsense a year or two ago. I seem to recall posting about it last winter, or planning to post about it, as a real life instance of the what and why of "property rights," however transient.

Add value to something that was, in a sense, of no special value before, you "own" it. Subject to enough of a common convention or claim/defense mechanism to support that as a status quo.

Mayor Mumbles, who needs to be fired long ago, is going against all convention, against the nature of people and the world as it is, and against something logical that works.

Now, I can see limiting the tagging of spots with placeholders, since it's a transient form of earned property, but 48 hours is too little unless it's quite the modest snow.

Hey! New Hampshire. ... (Below threshold)

Hey! New Hampshire.
Not Cow Hampshire
Not New Hampster

I live here too. Show some dignity.

Sorry, Sorry, I just get too much crap from freinds in the Peoples Republic of Mass calling NH disparaging names.

27 Tons? My god. Next thing you'll be seeing is IEDs.

Well, they wanted to live in the city. I guess they can suffer along with the parking. When I lived in an apartment in Portsmouth, I just didn't bother shoveling out. Neighbors never would and then always took the spot I dug out. So, I bought a 4x4 and just climbed in and out. Nothing like smiling at the ass next door when he is spinning his tires on the ice and then asks for a hand getting out.

I had that happen to me las... (Below threshold)

I had that happen to me last winter, not with street parking, but with the driveway. There are three spots in the upper drive. Officially one for each apartment and one up for whoever gets it first. They aren't designated, but it's become standard for me to park in a specific spot and to leave the other two for the other tenants.

Last winter I shoveled my spot in a storm only just deep enough to justify shoveling anyway, and the lazy prick took the spot I'd parked in exclusively for several weeks, leaving his empty. I am still harboring a grudge, even though there was little enough snow it wasn't a big deal to pull into the snowed-in spot.

This big storm we had, I still haven't shoveled out my Sentra that's parked in the spot I have used almost every day since last winter. We have the other two cars in the lower driveway that they don't use, and shoveled those out thoroughly. Even if one of them is gone, they can't steal the spot because the cars are parked end to end, one long spot, not side by side. They'd be blocking us in, and even the lazy prick has more class than that.

Ironically, whoever the landlord has plow the end of the driveways behind the cars also plowed part of the lawn, where there is room to park an extra car in good weather. That's where lazy has been parking. We also widened the walk he gets paid to shovel, which he eventually gets to and does in "okay for nimble twenty-somethings" fashion, but not in "full width of the walk cleared in a manner safe for people carrying a baby."

Same thing, at any rate; you don't shovel the spot, it isn't yours to take.

Jay's right. The smartest ... (Below threshold)

Jay's right. The smartest thing to do would be to move the cars when the plow comes down the street; then you move back into your space and those on the other side of the road, move their vehicles so the plow can get that side. What theiy're doing after shoveling and playing dibs does not get rid of the snow. It's stupid and it takes a few minutes of one's time to move the car so the plow can go down the street. Idiots.







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