Imagine this: you’ve just been hit with a snowstorm and your knuckles are white as you’re driving home to a snowy Philly. No music on the radio. No distractions—just focus. The roads are already bad enough as it is. You’re just trying not to slip and slide into the other cars.
You finally get there and what else would you see but this: a row of shoveled out parking spaces filled with lawn chairs, orange cones, garbage cans, little brothers—anything. You name it—it’s out there. Saving spots.
The past couple of winters, the Philadelphia Police made point of telling us it isn’t legal (#NoSavesies), but its tradition so let it happen, right? A lot of residents do feel this way—and these are their confessions (*Usher voice*):
1. “I spent 8 billion hours and 56 minutes shoveling out that spot. It’s mine.”
Technically speaking—no it’s not. Someone could really just drive through as soon as you finish, toss your kitchen chairs aside, and slide into that spot. Is it bad karma? Probably. Is it illegal? Nope. The street is public property and you don’t own any part of it.
2. “On my block, we egg cars and slash tires when people steal our saved spots.”
Well this is a completely different story. I think it’s obvious that if you destroy someone’s property, you’re liable to pay for the damages. You’ll be sued without a doubt. It’s no different than throwing a rock through the window of someone’s house. If you do this regularly, you’re going to be caught and you could even end up getting sued for every similar offense in your neighborhood.
3. “I won’t get a ticket. My hard work + my property = my spot. My things are safe.”
This is a misconception. You might not get ticketed, but that doesn’t mean your things are safe and it certainly doesn’t mean that piece of street is your property. Like I said before: public property. Say it with me: pub-lic prop-er-ty. If the police happen to stumble upon your saved parking spot, they’ve made it clear that they’re able to confiscate your property. If anyone else steals or damages your property, again, you may be able to press charges. Maybe. You can’t destroy someone’s property, but then again, you technically can’t save a parking spot.
4. “It really does suck when you’re caught on the other end, driving in the snow, and being told you can’t park in a legal spot.”
Yes. Yes it does. So maybe we should just share the street.