59 Comment

  • justinbc

    Whoever posted this please update after the first car politely moves that crap out of the way with its bumper.

  • You don’t own the street chair/recycling people.

    • Seriously!!! Want to make sure you don’t lose your parking space? Then leave your car in it. Or buy a house with a driveway.

  • #FreeChairsInBrightwood

  • South Side, not Southie. Try moving those chairs in some neighborhoods in Chicago – come back to no air in your tires.

    • Southie, as in South End in Boston, where I’m sure the tires would meet the same fate 😉

    • It’s a South Philly thing too. Lawn chairs, ironing boards, 5-gallon buckets… Move ’em and you get your car keyed.
      .
      I’d hope people could aspire to more than this petty behavior, but there seems to be something in the south parts of cities that prevents that from happening.

      • justinbc

        What if someone else moves them who didn’t park there? If I saw this crap on my street I would go around moving all of it, and I don’t even own a car.

        • Then you’d be sentencing the next person to park there to a broken window, at least in Southie. I’ve spent significant time there and I’ve seen it happen many times. Not saying it’s right, but your best bet in certain places is just to mind your own business and keep walking.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you’re unable to reserve a parking spot like that even in this weather (unless it’s a handicap space). I remember during the last snowpocalypse that some woman on my block was insistent that she could.

    • No, you can’t. Though I kind of commiserate because people had to work today and what do you do when there’s no parking when you get home and there is an impending blizzard and no garages nearby?!

    • In places where it snows a lot and is cold for long periods of time, the etiquette is that if you shovel out a spot you can reserve it. That’s not law here or elsewhere, but you’re a reall a-hole if you take someone’s spot.
      .
      That said, it’s completely unnecessary here. Looking at temps next week the snow will be mostly gone by Friday. Just don’t drive in the interim.

    • No, I don’t think anyone has a personal claim to public property.

    • saf

      We have one on the block who does this, for multiple spaces, year-round. It’s infuriating.

  • Understand the actual “protocol.” You don’t get to reserve a space like this before snowfall – this is just stupid-crazy stuff. But if you shovel out a space from deep chunky frozen plowed snow, you do kinda deserve some consideration. Hopefully no stabbing, but yeah, a little respect is expected.

    • Your consideration is that you get to drive your car wherever it is you drove it to on roads that everyone else helped pay for that are clear because everyone else helped pay to plow them. You are entitled to nothing more, you deserve nothing more, and you should be thankful you got what you did.

      • I agree with Anon 2:26 I drive, i park on my car on a DC city street. If I shovel my car out tomorrow, the moment i leave, the spot belongs to the public and I have no right to begrudge the person that takes it. If you want a reserved spot you must pay for one.

      • HaileUnlikely

        You misunderstand. It is not about what anybody is “entitled to” or “deserves.” But parking in front of somebody else’s house in the space that they, not you, invested significant physical labor into clearing is a distinctly un-neighborly thing to do. I own a house with a driveway and I don’t have a car, but I don’t find this bit of neighborliness too hard to grasp.

        • justinbc

          “Significant physical labor” oh come people, it’s snow shoveling, not marathon running.

          • Snow shoveling can indeed be significant physical labor — depends on what kind of snow it is (some are easier to shovel than others), and how much of it there is.

          • justinbc

            So is paving a street, something everyone pays for.

          • Where is your condo building? I guarantee you don’t own a house in DC that you shovel if you’re going to say something as stupid as “shoveling a 2 foot snowstorm isn’t physical labor.” I exercise 4-5 times a week and came in sweating and out of breath and we are only a few inches in. Try to be serious.

          • HaileUnlikely

            As a former competitive runner I’d dispute that. After Snowmageddon I helped my old landlord dig out his car. It took me more time than my last marathon, and I was more sore after the dig-out than the race.

        • What if there are no other spots on the block? Where is a person supposed to park if they were away from home during the blizzard and now when they return home every empty space for a mile is reserved because someone else dug it out? It’s not like most people are choosing to park there instead of digging out a new spot. They’re choosing to park there rather than in a lawn or double-parked or circling the block for hours waiting for someone to leave without reserving their spot.

      • Thank you Mother Superior!!!

      • I didn’t misunderstand anything, Victoria said “you deserve some consideration” and I was responding to that.

        I think you misunderstand what neighborly means. The neighborly thing to do is not to mark your spot so no one else can use it and slash their tires if they do, its to let someone else use the public space that you cleared out. It is to help other people clear out their spaces. You didn’t dig out the car so you have somewhere to park later, you dug it out to get your car out. If you invest physical labor for yourself other people don’t need to reward you.

        If someone else takes the space it means either there is not another space (so what is that person supposed to do) or there is going to be another space that someone else cleared out that you can then use. Under your system there is zero room for anyone who wasn’t parked there before the storm to come, that is not how street parking works. When the person who dug their car out drives somewhere, I am sure they expect somewhere to park it, they are not digging out a car on the other end are they?

        • So sorry you are unable to understand what I wrote.

        • Thank you for explaining this. (Even if some people don’t and will never get it.) Let’s not mince words: it is indeed a sense of entitlement over public property that causes people to do this (and also complain about cars parked in front of their house). Unless someone has a deed for that space, s/he has no rights to it.

          • It has nothing do to with rules, entitlement etc. Be nice, Kind, fair, logical, sensible and neighborly. Not that hard.

          • The funny thing is your snarky comments above make it clear who is being kind, fair, logical, sensible and neighborly and who is being self centered, entitled, etc. in these situations. The person putting up the lawn chair clearly feels they are entitled to a spot wherever it is they are going, otherwise they wouldn’t be going there but no one else is entitled to a spot where they are coming from? It has everything to do with entitlement.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Well, it clearly means different things to different people. Yes, I get that the street is a public good. But under extenuating circumstances such as a blizzard when the only reason the parking space is usable by anybody is because the person who shoveled it shoveled it, I think it is reasonable to allow that person to have first dibs on it. Now in a place where neighbors actually respected each other, there wouldn’t be any need to put objects in the road to protect your space, as people would respect the efforts of their neighbors and just let them continue to use it until the storm is over and the roads are clear.
          .
          Other fun way to “reserve” your space: pull out, then heap the snow back into it. Want to park there? Ok, fine. But you’re gonna have to shovel it your damn self.
          .
          Again, I don’t have a horse in this race. I have my own private driveway and I do not have a car. I just think availing yourself to a space that somebody else just spent an hour shoveling so he can go to the store and get some more food for his family is a dick move.

    • Being from Chicago, everything you said Victoria is spot on. Zero need to put them out before you actually shovel. And if someone shovels out their car from 20 inches plus plow drifts to run a quick errand, I have no problem reserving the space in a residential neighborhood. Especially b/c if no one else digs out their cars there literally will be no spaces to park in when you return.

  • You put the chair out after you shovel! There’s no point in reserving unshoveled space, there’s an overabundance of that. Idiots!

    Plus what’s with two chairs and a recycling bin? One will do. Or are they offering the extras for neighbors?

    In seriousness, I’m from Boston and I always thought the whole “dibs” thing was just stupid. Yeah, it sucks to shovel a space and come back and find someone else parked in it. But if only the person who shoveled it can use it then no one can park anywhere.

  • This is my photo. I am from Boston and thought this was funny. This morning my father told me after I shovel out my car to put a chair in my spot (unwritten rule in Boston) and I said “this is DC, no one does that.” But you better believe I would never park in a Southie resident’s “reserved” spot. It’s asking for trouble, to say the least! Stay safe everyone.

    • alissaaa

      Also from Boston–it’s legal to save your space after you dig it out in Boston, but not down here–free for all!

      • It happens here too. People generally respect it post dog out.

      • It’s not legal. It’s tolerated, but not legal. There was a big to-do a few years ago when then-Mayor Menino said that he was sending crews to Southie to pick up space savers and the compromise was that they could stay until the snow melted. This was no small deal — When I lived in Southie some jackholes would keep their space savers on the street until June. And you definitely risked a smashed window if you dared move dear sainted Granny’s settee that she bought on layaway in 1963 no matter what the time of year.

    • I was living in CH/Petworth for both the 2003 President’s Day storm and the big storms of 2009-2010. Tons of people were using folding chairs to save their spots after shoveling. I don’t know whether they’re all from somewhere else or not, but it definitely happens here. And I grew up in Chicago so it didn’t strike me as odd 🙂

    • It’s a Yinzer thing too. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parking_chair: “This practice is especially common in the Northeastern United States (Boston and Pittsburgh) and the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions (Chicago). In Pittsburgh, the use of parking chairs is considered to be an ‘iconic’ regional practice.”

      I can’t say I ever thought of my hometown (which one author calls “The Paris of Appalachia”) as part of the Northeast, but whatever.

  • I’m guessing they are at work and want to save the spot immediately in front of their house. But they live in Brightwood; does not compute.
    Please please please post an update when the snowplow obliterates these chairs.

  • The audacity! What’s next? Building a tree house on public property?

  • No one is going to be able to see any of that come Sunday morning. It will all be under a 2 ft snow bank.

  • Clueless

    cars < plastic

  • The philly police dept made an awesome video about not saving spaces. Posted on their Facebook page

  • Blithe

    This is an interesting clash of cultures. I’ve lived in places where it was generally understood that each household with a car would park one car directly in front of their own house. I’ve lived in places where it was understood that if you shoveled out your space, it was “your” space, and other places where in order to indicate that it was “your” space, you had to put out folding chairs. I’ve also lived places that were free for alls — where cleared spaces on the street or in a lot are open to whoever nabs them first: no dibsies.

    • It is interesting. I think in this case, the other parking issues (notes, churches, etc.) are clouding the view on this one. I have no problem with this custom even though I firmly am in the “you don’t own the spot in front of your house” and “you live in a city so deal with parking problems” camp.

    • In parts of town where there is plenty of parking and availability of parking spaces, then of course, you don’t have to park in a newly-shoveled space. But where I live, it’s first-come, first-served on the street all the time. Musical cars, so to speak. If someone tried to reserve a spot either with or without snow, it just couldn’t be sustainable. It’s basically submarine shifts around here, so at least three cars have to be in that spot each day. If someone tried to “hold” it while they were out, then no one else could enter the neighborhood. Madness!

      I’m not from any place where it is normal to dig out and reserve, so if I were visiting an area like that, I’d park there and think nothing of it.

  • Lots of talk here about labor invested shoveling out a space … But there ain’t no snow yet! And if they mess with your car, well, you know where their house is, right?

  • I sent my sister the link to the totality of this comment stream. She is in Boston, where they got 97 inches of snow in roughly six weeks last year. Here is her response:
    These people are sniveling idiots- I don’t think I “own” the space but it comes down to staples not being “neighborly”- am I supposed to come home everyday after a snow storm and leave my two year old in the car while I attempt to shovel out a new spot everyday in what eventually becomes ice blocks because people don’t shovel out a spot for themselves and take my spot? Last I checked- no town or city graciously plows out street parking – so I am not paying for that “luxury”- I also shovel out areas where no cars were parked to be “neighborly” and the fire hydrants- I’m pretty sure no rail commuter does that- or thinks to shovel out the sidewalks they walk in daily- and wouldn’t it be for the good of everyone?- no they walk in the plowed road and yell at drivers for not driving safer- really? Then you invite your driving friends to come visit and they park in my shoveled spot and for some reason you feel justified? Please.

    • Your sister can tell herself she doesn’t think she owns the space all she wants but that doesn’t make it so, she clearly thinks she does based on her comments. it is funny that to justify this position assumptions have to be made about people on both end of the transaction (the person who puts up the lawn chair has a better reason to park in the neighborhood and has a better reason to leave the neighborhood, while the person coming to the neighborhood didn’t have to dig their car out to get there and has a worse reason for visiting the neighborhood). I can play the game too.

      Am i supposed to shovel out my car out to take my 2 kids to visit their dying grandmother and then get there and find the only spot within 3 blocks has some lawn chairs in it because someone and their driving friends had to go to a fancy cocktail bar. If I park in that space they will surely deflate my tires or smash my window. Wouldn’t it be for the good of everyone if people didn’t act as though shoveling out their car entitled them to that parking space indefinitely?

      It always works when you pretend like everyone else is a sniveling idiot and that you are more justified than everyone else.

    • “My shoveled spot?” I think I’m seeing the trouble here. It isn’t her shoveled spot. It’s a space on the street that her can was in, and she had to dig her car out of it.
      .
      There is also some major leage trolling here. I lived in the same block as Victoria for 10 years, and I’m hard pressed to remember chairs on the block more than once or twice. Her claims that this is a frequent occurrence are hogwash. Also, that block is literally adjacent to DCUSA. if you live in a purely residential neighborhood, this might fly, but to argue that someone can monopolize a parking spot half a block from a major commercial strip is ridiculous.

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