When calling ‘dibs,’ city looks other way

Joe Murphy of Port Richmond begins the task of digging out yesterday afternoon.

After he got done digging his fiancee’s car out of an East Falls parking spot yesterday, James Moock called dibs. “I don’t like parking four or five blocks away from home after I did my part shoveling the street,” he said. “There are a lot of people more than willing to snag any spot they didn’t spend any time digging out of.”

This lines-dug-in-the-snow dynamic is nothing new, but some are calling for change.

Last night, Darby Township commissioners approved enforcing the state’s obstructing-highways law with a fine of $300 for anyone reserving spots or shoveling snow back into the street.

In Port Richmond, 29-year-old Pat Dever continues a grassroots campaign that has brought slashed-tire threats if he removes on-street placeholders.

“I’m not saying that nobody should do it, but there should be some sort of restrictions, like six inches or 24 to 48 hours. Now, they can just block off the spots for two weeks if they want,” said Dever, who’s written “letters to the editor” and started an online petition.

The PPA has no snow-reservation rules.

A year after Mayor Michael Nutter publicly acknowledged a deserved respect for someone who “spent two hours digging your car out,” City Hall deferred questions to the Police Department.

“We try to have neighborhoods police themselves, so to speak,” Lt. Ray Evers said. “We encourage people to be good, understanding neighbors and don’t get involved unless a major issue breaks out, which is a rarity.”

Ups and downs

Lines in the shoveling-earns-parking-privileges war were dug long ago and resurface each time flakes hit the ground. Here’s a “Crossfire”-type exchange from a recent online debate over whether moving markers is cool.

“Just ain’t right. I shoveled out my neighbor’s spot because she’s an old lady. If I saw you move her cone … I wouldn’t be surprised if your tires were slashed when you got back.”

“If they want private parking, they should buy a house with a driveway. My true feelings towards the scum that do this is they should all die.”


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