Parking space savers out in full force

From shopping carts to bags of trash, Cambridge has become the new South Boston when it comes to saving spots during snowstorms. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
From shopping carts to bags of trash, Cambridge has become the new South Boston when it comes to saving spots during snowstorms.
PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

‘Tis the season of holiday cheer, hot toddies and battling your neighbors over parking spaces that you painstakingly dug out in the frigid aftermath of a snowstorm.

Parking space savers recently made their winter season debut, popping up not only in Southie, where the art of place saving seems to be a neighborhood pastime, but throughout the rest of the city and Greater Boston area.

Boston allows residents to use space savers for up to 48 hours after a snow emergency has been lifted. After that, the items are collected by the Department of Public Works. The city does not ticket people who leave space savers out beyond the grace period.

However, there is one thing that will earn residents a citation: piles of snow.

“We more so will write a ticket for unshoveled sidewalks or for people placing snow in the street; not so much for space savers,” said Lisa Timberlake of the The Boston Inspectional Services Department.

Although Somerville, Medford and Cambridge do not allow the space savers at any time, they were already out in full force this week, littering the streets with household items like chairs, vacuum cleaners and boxes. Some even bear friendly — and in some cases not-so-friendly — notes asking neighbors to respect the unspoken space-saver code (if you shovel it, you save it).

But residents in those communities shouldn’t expect the method to work.

“Public Works’ first priority is returning the streets and public sidewalks back to safe, passable conditions as quickly as possible,” said Cambridge Public Information Officer Ini Tomeu. “Once primary snow removal is complete, crews will begin removing space savers as they come upon them.”

A snow emergency was not issued for Tuesday’s snowfall, meaning Boston residents were in the wrong if they placed items in the street. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll face repercussions.

“There are no rules. This is not a program, it’s not an ordinance, not something that officially exists. The mayor supports space savers during declared snow emergencies. Other than that we’re not involved in it,” said John Guilfoil, a spokesman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

As for the occasional act of retaliation between scorned neighbors, Guilfoil said: “We’d strongly caution residents against vandalizing vehicles or breaking the law.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Bloomberg launches $50 million anti-gun violence effort

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots anti-gun violence network to challenge the National Rifle Association.

Local

East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Local

Police look for man suspected of threatening Muslim…

Police seek man suspected of calling a teen Muslim girl a "terrorist" and spitting on her multiple times while on a Queens bus.

The Word

Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg are engaged

If Donnie Wahlberg wants to get vaccinated against anything, he should do it soon: he and Jenny McCarthy are engaged, she just announced on "The View."

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 16: 'The Americans,'…

'The Americans' Philip and Elizabeth face "painful turns" in their missions. Maybe next week they'll have a nice easy mission with no moral ambiguity? Probably…

Movies

Curtain raiser: The Tribeca Film Festival arrives this…

The Tribeca Film Festival begins its two-week run in Lower Manhattan on Thursday, boasting dozens and dozens of films of all stripes.

The Word

Paul Walker's brothers will replace him in 'Fast…

Ever since a car crash took Paul Walker's life, fans have wondered what the "Fast & Furious" franchise would do without one of its most beloved stars.

NHL

Islanders back to rebuilding mode after disappointing season

One season after qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, the Islanders finished 2013-14 with a 34-37-11 record.

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.