From the Daily News:
To find any convenient parking spot in Middle Village would be welcome; a spot near one's home ideal.
But some locals on streets off busy Eliot Ave. are going to unusual - and illegal - lengths to guarantee themselves spots using traffic cones, garbage cans and even Christmas decorations.
"It's been happening for years. If it's a not a traffic cone, it's a garbage pail," said Ann, 59, a resident of 62nd St., who declined to give her last name. "They think that because it's in front of their homes, it's their spot."
This tactic to ward off outside motorists is just one symptom of pervasive and chronic parking woes all over the borough being chronicled by Queens News in the Queens Parking Crunch series.
Locals in Middle Village who save spots will often take a traffic cone from the trunks of their cars and then place it near the curb, said Karen Sommese, 52, who has lived on 62nd St. for 15 years.
On 77th St., some residents use cones to save spots even while their driveways are empty, said a resident of the block.
People who ignore the cones and garbage cans may find a nasty surprise - slashed tires or broken side mirrors, locals said.
Using trash cans to save spots is illegal and can earn you a $100 fine, city officials said. Using cones to reserve parking spots on a public street is also illegal, a Transportation Department spokesman said.
"We're going to monitor the situation," said Matthew LiPani, a spokesman for the city Sanitation Department, after inquiries from Queens News.
Sanitation cops visited a home on 62nd St. last Thursday notorious among neighbors for using a trash can as a spot saver. The homeowner was slapped with a "failure to store" citation, LiPani said.