Sunday, January 30, 2011
Please note: You do not own the street
From the Daily News:
A neatly shoveled parking spot has become a rare commodity in this winter of record snowfalls - and that's pitting neighbor against neighbor in a normally agreeable part of the city.
Drivers who live in Middle Village, Queens, have been using traffic cones, garbage cans and folding chairs to call dibs on parking spots that they've huffed and puffed to clear out. And they're not taking lightly to freeloaders who swoop in.
"I broke my ass to clean that space," said one man who plopped down two plastic garbage cans in the spot he dug out from 3-foot-high snow banks across the street from his house Thursday on 81st St.
"Let them do the same," the man said of people who take advantage of the labor of others.
Igor Magoc, 53, who has lived in Middle Village for 15 years, spent two hours Thursday digging out his space. He said he feels he should be the only one allowed to park in front of his house.
"We pay taxes, over $4,000 [a year]. It would be nice to legally have the space in front of your house," he said.
People may rightly feel territorial about their shoveled spots after an intense workout, but that doesn't mean they can claim it for their exclusive use, said Robert Sinclair, spokesman for AAA New York.
"I can sympathize with them. You dig out your car and when you come back you'd like your space back, but blocking it with some sort of obstruction is illegal," Sinclair said...
But just try telling the folks who've plowed and shoveled their cars free that the practice is illegal.
"I've seen arguments break out because of it," said Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, an active community group in Middle Village.
Attempting to save parking spots is a perennial source of tension in the neighborhood, but this winter's repeated snowstorms have put a premium on spaces and ratcheted up the tactics.
"People get more possessive when it's in front of their house and they dug it out. It becomes personal," Holden said.
Holden got an email recently with a photo showing a garbage can on top of a car's roof - a gesture that the car's owner felt was in retaliation for moving the trash can and taking the cleared spot.
Okay, this has been going on for decades. People think they own the space in front of their homes. They even put garbage cans out when there is no snow to reserve their spots. You do not own the street. If you dug your car out, the person parking in "your" space did the same at some point. Get a grip and get over it.