The city will begin removing space savers – those ubiquitous and parochial signs of winter in the city -- starting next Monday during garbage collection.
The savers are meant to be used on a short-term basis, with 48-hours after the last flake falls being suggested as a guideline from Mayor Marty Walsh’s office.
Parking can grow contentious when the snow piles up in Boston. Lawn chairs, golf bags, garbage cans, coolers, even oversized teddy bears are plopped down in the middle of parking spots for days. Sometimes notes are attached to the space savers. “If you move these chairs I will break your window don’t be disrespectful,’ read one such recent missive in Boston.
Another read, “Respect the chair! This is my 2nd time digging out a spot! Please!!! –A high school teacher who gets home late + leaves early.”
Yet another stated, “Whomever had the audacity to take my spacesavers & spot, (expletive) you! Sincerely, The guy who spent 3 hours shoveling it out.”
Sometimes, the tension over parking space savers can lead to vandalism and, occasionally, physical fights.
Earlier this month, a Chelsea woman said her car was vandalized – three of the windows were smashed – after she parked in an open spot in Southie. The side of another car was spraypainted in Boston earlier this month after the driver moved a space saver to park in a space.
In December 2013, a Southie man broke a 61-year-old man’s jaw in a fight over a parking space.
In making the announcement about the space savers, Mayor Walsh urged residents to treat their neighbors with respect and to use good judgment following snowstorms.
Under a pilot program, space savers have been banned in the South End this winter.
“The city of Boston has seen an unprecedented amount of snow in the past month, impacting many aspects of our daily lives, including making parking difficult,” said Walsh through a statement. “If you spend hours digging out your parking space, you should have access to that space for a reasonable time period. I’m asking residents to remain respectful of their neighbors and their property as the process of space saver removal begins and as we continue to clean up from nearly eight feet of snow in less than 30 days.”