A Southie resident is taking the guesswork out of the space-saver game with a website that tells residents exactly if and when they can stake claim to public parking spaces.
The city took steps to limit the longstanding — and controversial — tradition to use any object at hand to stake claim over a public parking space that has been shoveled out after a snowstorm. In 2015, it limited residents to just 48 hours of ownership over a space from the time a snow emergency is called off.
One Boston neighborhood, the South End, banned the practice altogether in 2014, but the lawn chairs, crates, garbage barrels and road cones continue to pop up in parking spots in the cities six other neighborhoods even after a light dusting.
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In Southie, the Boston neighborhood known as ground zero in the space saver tradition and debate, space savers peppered the streets after a Jan. 7 storm that brought only a couple inches and didn’t warrant a snow emergency from the city.
And when local dad Igor Belagorudsky moved an illegal space saver to park his car, he returned later to a threatening note.
“I took down your license plate number…take my spot again and I will key the s*** out of your car and slash all your tires,” a notereported to 311 read. “This is your first warning. DO NOT F*** WITH ME.”
Belagorudsky told WBZ he thought the aggression was unnecessary.
“People here are so nice and it’s such a neighborhoody feel, everyone is so friendly. All of that friendliness goes out the window when it starts to snow and people are shoveling, and there’s no need for it,” he said to WBZ.
He wanted to do something about it and thus, CanISaveMySpace.com was born.
“I live in Southie and for years wasn't sure if and when to put out a space saver. Between tweetsandweb sites, there was no one place that could tell me for sure. Now there is,” Belagorudsky wrote on the homepage.
The website automatically updates with information from the city’s 311 alert system, and gives answers people who are wondering if they can use space savers: “definitely no” or “definitely yes.” The answer is scrawled in large letters across the top half of the webpage.
“I hope this simple page helps,” he said.