Friday, February 12, 2010

"reserving" cleaned street parking spaces

This message is from a 1st Street NW resident.

(Try to be nice when commenting.)

1st is a PUBLIC STREET with PUBLIC PARKING, not Private Concierge Servce

I have witnessed on several occasions over the last few days of people "reserving" their cleaned parking space along 1st street, as if they have some sense of entitlement to a specific parking space. In one case, a new resident on V street pulled his car into a cleaned spot on 1st street, did more shoveling about it and then proceeded to "reserve" HIS spot with 2 wooden chairs when he was away.

I also saw a resident of 1st street come home, kindly remove those chairs and parked in the available PUBLIC PARKING SPACE.

Sadly, the V street resident, upon returning home many hours later, felt betrayed and began shoveling snow and ice upon the parked car. A Vengeful act of unkindness based upon a false premise of entitlement.

Everyone, you do NOT own a sparking space on first street or any street, even if you spent an hour digging your car out of one. There is not enough space on first street to park and really, I think if anyone has any level of entitlement, it may likely be those who pay to live on first street...a right to park near their home.

Sure, anyone can park there and everyone is welcome to park anywhere they find a space, BUT we do not have private spots, reserved spots, or metered spots. If you want your private spot, I suggest you buy a home with offstreet parking or find an offstreet spot to rent.

In all the kind neighborly news, it is really sad to see people putting chairs and white plastic boxes, and other things in spaces to reserve for them hours later. It is even sadder to see people trashing other peoples cars because they parked on a public street in a free spot that is open to anyone.

Treat your neighbors with respect. Parking is first come, first serve. If you don't want to lose your hot spot, then walk or take the metro or taxi and leave your car there. If you move your car, the space is no longer yours. And perhaps a visit from the police department for throwing ice and snow on someone else's car will make you think before you do that again, too.

40 comments:

  1. Oh boy, this will probably bring out a lot of opinions. And I actually don't want to get into my opinion of the whole putting chairs up to reserve parking when it snows thing- I just avoid driving until the snow has melted enough that it doesn't matter if I lose the space I left and I don't feel bad about taking other parking spaces that have been cleared and left. I will take this opportunity however to complain about the red & tan van that parks on the end of V Street near North Capitol and has decided, at least for the last few years, regardless of the weather, that is their own personal parking spot, and puts up parking cones during the day there. The van has a magnetic sign on the side- I don't think it's the Boys & Girls Club, but it's some similar organization. Has this van annoyed anyone else? Has anyone tried to do anything about it? Is there anything that can be done?
    C on V St.

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  2. There are a couple of neighbors here on first street (between Adams and W streets) that have been placing chairs on 1st street (reserving parking spaces). Is that fair to the rest of the neighbors? I cleaned up the area were my car was parked and I did not reserved the space when I moved it. After all, it is public property and we all have the right to use it regardless of who cleaned up the space. I spend 35 minutes tonight looking for a parking space because I did not feel comfortable moving the chairs that were holding 4 parking spaces on my block. I won't do that tomorrow... if my neighbors are holding the spaces again, I will move the chairs and park my car.

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  3. C on V Street: YES! My lord, I thought I was the only one that woman ever annoyed. I tried to get her to stop putting the road cones out to save "her" space. Asking nicely only got me a face full of yelling and obscenities. I emailed her organization, asking the same, and got no reply. I eventually sent in 5 or 6 requests via the District's web site, and all but one of the requests were closed without action. She got ticketed once that I saw, was booted on one other occasion.

    To those unfamiliar with this particular van, it has a magnetic sticker on the side claiming to belong to a local organization that, as far as I can tell, is a private firm which offers transportation services. It's a 15-passenger van with a DC license plate beginning with C, which means it's registered as a commercial vehicle and thus cannot be parked on a residential block. The parking permit on the van also says "No RPP". The registration had been expired on the van for several months, but I noticed a couple of weeks ago that a new registration sticker was sitting on the dashboard (the old one's still in the window).

    During the day, when DPW does ticket, she puts two road cones in front of the house she lives in (the corner house at North Capitol & V on the north side of the street), and parks on North Capitol. Then, shortly after the parking restrictions expire on the residential blocks (7:00 or 7:30 - I can't remember at the moment), she drives her van down North Capitol, down U, up first, up W, then down North Capitol, parks in the bus stop adjacent to her house, gets out, moves the road cones behind her gate, then parks the van.

    I asked at some point for DPW to come out and move the cones when they're ticketing on V Street, and was told that only the MPD can move the road cones. I called the 5D station, and they told me it was a DPW matter unless the cones were blocking traffic.

    She's been doing this at least since October 2007. I've since accepted the likelihood that she knows someone at DPW who conveniently overlooks the expired registration or the commercial plates or the lack of a parking permit or the ways she games the system.

    But I also assumed I was the only busybody out there who even bothered to get annoyed by this. I feel just a little more justified that there's at least one other person out there who feels some irritation at our bad neighbor.

    Seriously, thanks for that.

    J on North Capitol

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  4. Am I the opposing opinion again? It's a lot of work to shovel out a space. Why should someone have to shovel out two spaces (the one to shovel out of, and a second to park in when returning) and someone else gets to park with no effort? That seems unfair to me!

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  5. As someone who lives on First Street and has put objects into a space that I took the time to dig out, I offer another perspective - not a defense I guess, but a perpsective. I cannot disagree with those (like the original post) that remind we do not have private parking on a public street. I also vowed that if anyone moved the object from my space, I would not complain about it (and certainly would NEVER think of doing any sort of retaliation). However, I honestly thought that putting an object in the space to let others know that I am indeed intending to come back - as opposed to someone visiting that has no intention of returning to the space - gives people the opportunity to just be kind and realize that after spending hours digging out my car, they might like to let me keep the space when I return. I have two small kids, so leaving my car parked and walking to the subway simply was not an option the past several days. When our burglar alarm sounded on Thursday and I raced home, it was an incredible relief that I could park where I'd dug out and wait for the police. When I asked the responding officer if I would get a ticket for putting the object in the space, he of course told me it's illegal, but also told me everyone seems to be doing it (I know, the popularity of a wrong does not make it right). For those that feel that what we did for a few anomolous snow days was selfish and unneighborly, I apologize. Before I started doing this, it never bothered me when others did it because I figured they just wanted to give me the opportunity to be kind and not help myself to the benefit of their very hard work digging out from the snow. I will cease my chair-planting, but I can't guarantee I can convince my husband as well! Adrienne, First St. between V and W.

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  6. Re the cones at North Capitol and V, although the officer noted that putting chairs and such in the street is illegal, I would very much like to see the DC Code provision that would prevent someone from placing the cones in the parking lane. My advice: move them and park there. And if the van is there during RPP hours, report it to 311 and send me an e-mail.

    But again, whatever the law says about private citizens putting orange cones in the parking lane for their own personal use, none of the other residents are obliged to pay them any mind. If you want to park there, then do so. And park there often enough so that she gets the message.

    John T. Salatti
    Commissioner, ANC 5C04
    (202) 986-2592
    John.Salatti@gmail.com

    "Together, Building a Better Bloomingdale"

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  7. I paid for offstreet parking but alleys are not plowed (in fact one neighbor decided to shovel their yard and roof by building a snow mount in the alley) so I had the opportunity to dig a space on the street. It was hard, back-breaking work, and I don't see why someone else should profit from my labor.

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  8. Isn't it a little silly that people feel they have to post their comments on this issue anonymously?

    It's true that these are public streets. It's also true that private labor cleared the space. Why shouldn't we grant the laborer a temporary license to restrict access for one week to a space that he/she cleared?

    What is the alternative? People either don't move their cars or they steal the fruits of someone else's labor.

    I haven't touched my car yet because I don't want to move it and then not be able to obtain parking later because all of the other spaces are full of snow. I don't want to place an obstruction in the space I clear either because it may be seen as an affront to other residents.

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  9. I'm always amazed at the emboldened power and posturing that anonymity grants one when posting something on the Internet. It's pathetic that one can have such strong opinions, yet seemingly lack the fortitude to put their name on it. Anyway, to those that do—for those with whom I agree and for those with whom I do not—I applaud you . . . for that reason alone.

    Having gotten that little rant out of the way, I have to say that considering the UNPRECEDENTED deluge of snow that we've all endured, it's absolute lunacy for someone else to enjoy the benefit of one's back-breaking labor in unearthing their car—especially in this instance. In full awareness of the illegality of cones or structures to hold spots and the "PUBLIC STREET" and "PUBLIC PARKING" mentioned in the aforementioned original anonymous posting by the "1st Street NW resident", I think whomever shoveled their car out during this historic 2010 blizzard deserves a pass—AND THEIR SPOT . . . seriously. My opinion.

    Sincerely,

    Anonymous! LOL!!! :-)

    Sam at the corner of First and V Streets, NW

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  10. I plead technological ignorance on posting "anonymously" in my initial response - I didn't know how to list my name at the top of my post but made sure to sign at the end of my comment above - hope that's sufficient identification! :) Adrienne CLAIR, First St between V and W

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  11. I think the placing of "chairs" is a request for consideration of the person that bestowed the labor. I practice it. But let me hasten to add that, as has been my custom since moving to Bloomingdale nearly twenty years ago, I spend the next few days after a storm clearing the road of piles between cars and making at least one additional space each day for anyone's use. Perhaps, if as a community we would simply shovel a "little" more everyday, parking would normalize sooner. Dexter, 39 W, NW.

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  12. rene on bryant street, we gotta lot of piled snowSaturday, February 13, 2010 6:30:00 PM

    The amount of snow is the problem, and the lack of consideration of those that don't want to shovel.

    It wouldn't matter if people came and took a shoveled spot if they then kindly shovel out another spot for someone else. Then that person could park and then shovel and so and so on, then all the street would get shoveled. But that isn't what happens. The non-shovelers take the spaces and the shovelers show up to park... and yikes.

    If it wasn't so much snow, the 20/80 rule would apply, and 20% of the people would end up shoveling 80% of the spots. (Just like some folks pick up litter, go on neighborhood walks, contribute disproportionately to make life easier for others.) But with this much snow, the 20/80 rule won't going to work, there seems to be some sort of tipping point at which even the 20% who tend to contribute throw their hands up.

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  13. It is illegal under DC law to obstruct or reserve public parking spaces. This was actually the subject of a WTOP news story today. Anyone violating the law should be reported to the MPD.

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  14. "+ From a 5th Street NW resident: "I need to respond on the "saving a parking space" and Chicago comparison. In Chicago, after a snowstorm and the snow is piled up to about 5 feet (compliments of the snow plows), residents will put a kitchen chair in the spot that they dig out in order to save it. These sorts of "save your spot" are honored due to the effort involved in shoveling out that spot - it's back-breaking and time-consuming. I wouldn't compare that at all to someone bringing a cone out on a pleasant fall day in DC. If a Chicagoan tried to put a kitchen chair out in the fall, spring or summer to save a spot, someone would run it over while parking in that spot. It's seasonal. Two cents from 5th St NW.""

    Hilarious

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  15. Snowed in on W, wishing I had a clean spot.Saturday, February 13, 2010 8:35:00 PM

    What was missed from the original message is that the guy pulled into a spot on 1st Street that someone else already cleaned out, he shoveled a little more, and then laid claim.

    So, basically, it is squatter's rights on 1st street in any snowstorm. Whomever is parked on 1st during the snow, cleans their spot, then gets to reserve it for their personal use until all the snow is gone. Wow, that is awesome.

    And our local ANC bud, Kris, advocates ignoring the law to do so.

    And it is also okay for neighbors to trash other's property for "stealing" a public spot that they have reserved. Great ANC leadership, yes.

    Can this rule apply in a heavy downpour, too? And sweltering summer heat? Hell, why not have everyone just pay to buy a parking spot on 1st street. The ANC could raise some money.

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  16. People, just call 311 and report them. If they choose to break the law, they must be able to afford the fine. Convenience does cost.

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  17. Our friend dug out 3 parking spots. All 3 had strangers put chairs in those spots. There's nothing wrong with leaving a sign where you shoveled stating your hardship (dug and have 3 kids, etc) and hope people give you a break (I'd give the lady a break)--but as she said it's public space and there are also laws. So, no rights to any space. I don't have kids and enjoy leaving my car sit until the big thaw. I definitely would not claim the spot if I dug it out. Walking in the snow covered city is refreshing. I and a few others went with John Sallati to dig out a very long icy alley around my house to give a neighbor in a wheelchair access, then dug the sidewalks around the 2nd&V church, a ladies sidewalk on 2nd St, then the sidewalks, ramps and street access around the 1st& Rhode Island church. We didn't lay claim to any of the sidewalks, alleys or churches. We just let other people enjoy them. Back breaking work yaddee yaddee yawn. Felt good. Throw snowjito shoveling block parties--good times!
    Oh gosh, better show fortitude...yes, that strength of mind that enables me to encounter danger and bear pain & adversity with courage...the courage needed because I posted a comment on shoveling parking spaces--LOL. Sign your names everyone to show how bravely you can stand up to the dangers of posting about parking spaces! It's a rough neighborhood. Those chair people are vicious.
    Oh yeah, sign my name-- Mark Mueller 1st and W. Seriously, I'm drinking a snowjito now...there good...cheers

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  18. Dana Matassa
    1745 First St NW
    Washington, DC 20001

    There, I'm not anonymous! I have been kicked off listserves in the Bloomingdale area for my opinions and profanity. So I will be as delicate as I can.

    Let me start by saying that not only do I, on most snow events, shovel my entire sidewalk between Randolph and S Streets. I also assist others in shoveling their cars and steps etc, etc. Soooo, when I take the time to shovel out my car, about 6 times throughout the night of a major snow event, so I may go to work the next day and some f-er from MD comes in to have a coffee and takes my spot, I have to say that I am a bit annoyed.

    Ok, maybe it's not my spot, however the tree box on my block isn't mine either, but my wife takes the time to keep them looking nice.
    Maybe the dog shit in front of my house isn't mine but I cleaned it up for someone and I don't have a dog.
    IT'S CALLED COMMON COURTESY!!!!!
    HEY ANONYMOUS!!! Call 311 and ask them about that.

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  19. Listen, the fact is that it's illegal to stick a plastic pink flamingo in a parking spot and call it your own. However it's also illegal to challenge someone to a duel on a public sign, or to have marital relations in any position other than 'the missionary' in our fair city.

    So, take your chance if you'd like, but be mentally prepared to have your plastic pink flamingo moved and your parking spot claimed when you get home.

    And don't be so crotchety. Geez.

    LINDSEY STONE :)
    "Bloomingdale Court"

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  20. I think that the snow storm created an exceptional situation and it was OK to reserve a spot for those few days when the roads had been barely touched and there were few if any available parking spaces anywhere in Bloomingdale. It took incredible effort to shovel out during that time and it is reasonable to want to hold on to that space for a day or two. However, now that things are getting back to normal, the normal rules should apply. Sure it's frustrating with or without snow to come home and not find a parking space close to my home on the street, but that's city living. I have no right to expect that I have a reserved parking space nor does anyone else. If I find a parking space with lawn furniture, chairs, boxes, or anything of that nature reserving the space after today, I will kindly move the items to the sidewalk, park my car, and not give it a second thought.

    CleverGirl, Unit Block of W

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  21. Sam, As always I applaud your honest and genuine comments. I have seen you digging and clearing the snow (looking fly as usual in the latest Burberry LOL) and I appreciate it. Just as I do everyone else that has dug, cleared and shoveled through the snow hell. And to everyone else, let me be openly honest, I guard my spot. I am the one that placed a sign of warning to anyone that considers helping themselves to the fruits of my labor- Take my spot and I will bury your car. I spent over 30 hours digging out sidewalks, alleys, neighbors cars, my own car, V Street and more in the past 7 days. Anybody that wants to park there is free to, just know that you are going to have to do just as much work to get your car out as I did. I will, without the least bit of remorse, bury your car with the snow that I am going to dig out of another snow filled spot where I will park- because I am not going to take someone else's spot. Why do I think that I deserve this "right", first becuase my wife is 5 months pregnant and I am not making her walk down the ice covered sidewalk that some perfectly capable neigbors have neglected to shovel and then climb over snow mounds to get to a car. She fell getting to our car in December after someone decided they were too good to shovel and took my cleared spot- luckily she and the baby were not hurt but that risk will never happen again.(and dont try to claim that these uncleared walks were probebly some elderly neighbor's, because I shoveled all the steps and walks for those neighbors.) Second, I do alot for this neighborhood. I mow the street boxes for the entire block, I pick up trash up and down the street and alley constantly, I mow the lawns at the houses of lazy renters that couldn't give a shit about the neighborhood- you know who you are. I prune the trees, I rake the leaves. I have personally push mowed the entire park numerous times to make it enjoyable for everyone. I can honestly say that I have tried when ever possible to help any neighbor in need when ever I can. I have put myself in harms way to report the specifics of drug activity to authorities and willingly testified against them in court (to those of you who say big deal, I cant wait to see you stand up and state your full name and address right in front of a drug dealer and his thug buddies in attendance when you know the government will likly give a minimal sentence and that they will be back on the corner in no time) and I am sure that there are many more things that I do on a regular basis just to be a good neighbor- so you know what, I am not terribly disturbed that the people trying to get to the temporary renter's keg party across the street cant find a spot to park or that others get mad that I have parked in the middle of two of the multiple spots that my home owning neighbors and I have cleared together to save it for one of those neighbors. I don't care that those who have MD or VA plates cant find a spot to pull over and complete their drug deals, you also know who you are.

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  22. If you dont like my sign, Call 311 if you like, the chance that they respond before the snow melts is about as likley as me winning the lottery (in which case I will gladly pay to have the entire block shoveled). As long as mounds of snow are on the ground, go ahead and park in "my" spot if you want to. If you are still there when I come back, bring your shovel, you are going to need it when you want to leave. At any other time, when the town isnt still nearly paralyzed by back to back record snow storms, parking is fair game, first come, first serve.

    Right now, in these "rare" circumstances, and things are no where near back to "normal"- I am still a good neighbor to my neighbors regardless of want others who dont know me may or likely will say in response to this posting. Honestly, I don't care. I am protecting what is most important to me- the safety of my wife and unborn child. Anyone who complains about people saving spots, more than likely never shoveled one themselves. If you would spend as much time with a shovel in your hands moving snow off the street as you do posting your complaints to this blog and others, there wouldn't be a parking issue becuase the snow would all be moved. Need a shovel- I have one, no wait three, that I will let you borrow. Better yet, Home Depot has them for $7.99- and since you drive, luckily they have plenty of parking- invest in one for your very own.

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  23. Anonymity promotes truth. Its a fact.

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  24. Hey, everyone! I'm glad you feel good about staking a claim to very public parking spots. I'm sure you know that garbage in the street is likely to disappear - so I hope you're all home to defend YOUR PERSONAL public property later this week when I drive through the neighborhood and clean up all the GARBAGE in the streets!

    I won't be parking there afterwards, so feel free to exchange words with whoever owns the car you're about to vandalize because you are both cheap (too cheap to get a private parking space you might be entitled to) and possessive (of something you didn't build and don't own).

    Enjoy!

    -PARKING LIBERATOR MAX, REPRESENTING BATES STREET!

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  25. i'm totally cool with respecting my neighbors that shoveled out their spots and have "reserved" them. it doesn't bother me in the least. throughout the year people block the street for moving vans, dumpsters, those portable pod things, and funerals and people rarely complain about that. this seems similar to me.


    that said, this is hysterical:
    http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/fuo/1600519495.html

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  26. Ms. Trina R. Crawley
    2216 First Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20001

    No one has the legal right to reserve a parking space UNILATERALLY. N O O N E. Now, I can appreciate that folk have shoveled an historic amount of snow away from their cars and home and seemingly feel entitled to "their" space(s). However, every person who has needed to move their car has done the same. So what. I turned a blind eye for a few days when there were so few spaces on this block...but a week later -- No More.

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  27. For all of you who do so much for the community, we are all thankful for the better place you make it into. However, as soon as malicious acts (such as piling snow onto someone else's car as an act of revenge) are taken, you do remove a sense of that community you apparently strive so hard to work toward. Why don't we all just practice kindness toward others and treating each other as we'd like to be treated??

    ~ a carless RENTER on 1st St

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  28. What about visitors to our neighborhood. Where are they supposed to park? If everyone blocks off their own person space of the public street, that leaves no where for visitors to park.

    I left my car on the street during the latest Friday/Saturday storm, and then dug it out on Sunday, before I was able to move my car back into my garage. I suppose to make room for my guests, I should have blocked off that spot until the snow melted so that people could visit me and have a place to park. After all, I shoveled that spot so it should be mine, right?

    Oh, and by the way, please don't walk on the sidewalk in front of my house if you are walking down Bryant Street. After I, I shoveled the walk, so only I should be entitled to use it, right?

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  29. Maybe everyone on the block can make a group effort to shovel all the cars out. It probably wouldn't take that long collectively and then we wouldn't have people getting upset and claiming that they own public land. I am glad I don't live on 1st street during times like these...as that street seems full of random pieces of junk to claim their spot.

    To me it appears like there are a lot of selfish people in the neighborhood that feel entitled to the world. Talk about a lot of negative energy! It is truly disappointing...

    Flagler Pl resident....

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  30. I am pleased to say that I walked down both 1st Street and V St and moved all of the items some idiots have placed to reserve spaces. I encourage everyone else to do the same. I need to park just like everyone else. Some things I do not care about: 1. how many times you came out to shovel "your" spot, 2. how many children you have, 3. how much you paid somebody to dig "your" spot out, 4. how long you and your friendly neighbors have been engaging in this reserved spot practice, 5. how much snow you'll put on my car if I park on your spot (mainly because if I come out to a snow-covered car, I will promptly drive to the Home Depot and buy a box of roofing nails and camp out find out who you are and make sure you have a miserable morning. Thanks....tooodles.

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  31. Brian, I removed your sign, too. I laughed the entire time doing it to. Thanks for the entertainment.

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  32. Dear Brian,

    I hope in the future you learn to proof your posts. I do not agree with the reasons why you choose to take the stance that you do. I understand that you are major contributor to the community. At the same time, don't also contribute to the ugliness of it. Also, please do not ever act justified in doing such. Most importantly, please proof your blogs. There are several misspellings. Also, you are inconsistent in your apostrophes. Lastly, please become familiar with periods where you have put commas.

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  33. Two comments really: First, I completely disagree with the person who said that anonymity promotes truth. I think Sam is correct that the majority of the time it's just a way for someone to make a snarky comment with no real substance.

    Second, as also mentioned above, my only frustration with this whole issue is that so many people inadequately shovel out their spots. Over on the unit block of T where I park, the majority of the spots are shoveled tunnels. This makes it incredibly difficult to back up into a spot and often leaves two wide open spots between the cars parked at either end (neither wanting to get boxed in). If you have an SUV and can drive over that snow bank, it shouldn't recuse you from properly shoveling the space for your non-SUV driving neighbors.

    I see no problem with reserving a spot with furniture if that's your MO so long as you've earned it (even if I don't do it myself). I'm not so sure about the throwing snow back on top of a car however...

    I too get frustrated with out of town parkers taking up spots, but that's just as true in the winter as in the summer, so I don't see a huge difference in the practice. If somebody really needs the spot (pregnant wife, disabled, etc.) and the spot is taken by a neighbor, then sure, get pissed. But that's probably more the result of a neighbor being inconsiderate and will go beyond just a parking spot.

    Mat on North Capitol

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  34. I love the way this community pulled together during this snow storm. It seems that those who have done what any neighbor should do: help themselves and help each other, now have a false sense of entitlement to break the law. Reserving spaces on public streets is not legal in Washington, DC. Furniture and crates set out are not innocent. They are there to evoke fear "park here and look forward to paying your $500 deductible." Those that did not make any effort to shovel a parking spot and their walkway should be ashamed of the inconvenience they have caused the rest of us. But those that threaten their own neighbors should be more ashamed. It's tacky and lacks class.

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  35. No need to be anonymous to be truthful. That post is from me. I will no longer oblige the reserving of parking spaces, particularly in front on my home.

    Ms. Trina R. Crawley
    2216 First Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20001

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  36. Dina Purcell - 1929 1ST ST NWWednesday, February 17, 2010 11:10:00 PM

    After the December snowstorm, I refrained from opining on the parking spot reservation issue. Since I have a private parking spot, I believed that the discussion didn’t apply to me. After the first February storm, my husband and I managed to get our car out of the alley, and weathered the second storm from a family member’s home in Virginia. Upon our return, we were unable to get to the alley (U street was still poorly plowed, and the alley entrance was not passable), and needed to park on the street. In fact, since all of the nearby vacant parking spots had chairs or garbage cans in them, we tried to get into the alley, got stuck and subsequently paid a neighbor to help us get unstuck. That was when I started to follow the parking spot reservation debate. Today, I formed a solid opinion on the matter.

    During my 5 mile drive from Wisconsin Avenue, I witnessed 4 USPS trucks/vans, 2 police cruisers a hired car and a UPS truck double parked on busy two-way streets during rush hour. In all 8 instances, there were vacant nearby parking spaces being “reserved” with trash cans, crates, chairs and the like. This caused the H3 bus to be stationary on Porter street for at least the 15 minutes after I caught up to it, since people were driving on the wrong side of the street to get around the double-parked USPS van. Later I encountered a backup on Mt. Pleasant Street because a left-turning taxi couldn’t fully complete his turn—since someone was in his lane, passing a double-parked USPS van. This time, the pedestrians felt the effect, as they had to walk into traffic lanes to get through the intersection.

    My point is that reserving even one public parking space can exacerbate the problems of parking scarcity and lead to more undesirable behavior, and no one is immune to the direct or indirect effects. Mail delivery and traffic are certainly impacted. As a result of the increased traffic obstacles, public transit and emergency services are impacted. After observing all of the drama today, I no longer believe that placing objects in public parking spaces is harmless or irrelevant. I believe that it is selfish (hopefully naively so), and that there could potentially be serious consequences. Please keep in mind the potential consequences to yourself or your neighbors before you “reserve” a parking spot.

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  37. People, use your iphone and BB cameras if you see anyone throwing snow or ice up on someone's car. Then, call the police and report them for vandalism. We do not need nor WANT any neighbors like this in our community, pregnant wife or not... Imagine how that poor child will be raised...

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  38. Without the time to do the research for you, consider the fact that "Anonymous Tip Lines" exist for a variety of purposes. DOJ and FBI solicit anonymous information.

    The Department of Defense also solicits anonymous info for a variety of reasons; as do many major corporations and universities. Why?

    Before you say that the safety of anonymity doesn't apply to a parking debate, consider the nearby and nearly violent interaction of two neighbors over a parking space.

    InShaw.com/Blog

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  39. Dana Matassa on 1st St, Proud of you, stand up to all those "neighbors" who do very little or nothing, but feel privileged to park at their convenience. Matthew on !st St.

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  40. Okay, so I know I'm a year late (I just stumbled on this blog & saw Sam's name, so I decided to read), but I had to weigh in.

    I am disappointed that what is tantamount to a disagreement over precipitation (precipitation that is a non-issue for at LEAST 11 months of the year) has turned so ugly. Why can't we use this forum for its intended purpose? As neighbors, we should be able to discuss & disclose our grievances & praises without resorting to the kind of mean spirited and disrespectful discourse exchanged above.

    In lieu of my opinion on the parking brouhaha, I will say what is clearly in dire need of saying: CHILLAX. Snow melts. Are you really going to be the kind of person who talks about someone's child, damages their property or behaves in an otherwise juvenile manner? If so, you are detracting from the very sense of community that makes this an attractive place to live. Surely that is more detrimental than snow in a parking space.

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