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Using Your Child to Reserve a Parking Space? Seriously. How do people usually handle this situation?

parking_admo

“Dear PoPville,

I am aware that residents of busy neighborhoods such as Adams Morgan often “reserve” parking spaces using trash cans or lawn chairs. In those situations I tend to just play along and keep driving. However, today I encountered a situation that took this ploy too far: instead of using a chair, someone used a 10-year-old child.

I was searching for parking in Adams Morgan this afternoon, but spaces were scarce due to the street festival. Finally, I saw an empty space on a crowded side road and happily pulled up next to it. I then saw two (approximately) ten-year-old kids standing in the street near the curb. One moved immediately, but the other did not. When I asked him to move, he said he was saving the space and even laid down in the street. He implied I had run him over and said he had a broken leg! Amused but resolved, I informed him the several people walking nearby could see that I hadn’t hit him, and that he could not save spaces on a public street. After several minutes he eventually moved. There was no cursing and no yelling involved. When I returned to my car 45 minutes later, this note was on my car, presumably from the child’s parent.

I don’t pride myself on picking fights with children (I don’t consider this a fight), but there was no adult in sight and it seemed extreme for a 10-year-old to stand in the street to reserve a parking space (I’m assuming for the parent). Did I go too far in telling this boy to move? How do people usually handle this situation?”

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