Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Things I don't like (but find interesting) - Reserving parking spaces

In the past week we had more than 25 cm of snow. It hasn't melted away either. It looks pretty but if you ever tried driving in this weather - you know that it's a pain. Not only is it dangerous to drive on the streets because it's slippery but you also have to deal with your car being snowed in at the parking spaces.

It takes a long time to dig out your car. Some people completely clean out a parking space which can take an hour of labour. Other people (like me) just clean superficially, just so they don't get stuck in the snow.

So, in Chicago - how do you avoid that somebody else takes your space that you just spent so much time on? You "reserve" your space by putting something there - a chair or an ice box or whatever you don't mind maybe getting destroyed if somebody else does not share the same philosophy about "reserving" public property.

And that's were opinions split. This is actually quite a heated discussion in the city - as I understand - every winter. 
Some people think it's only fair to keep a space that they consider "their" space.
Other people argue that the streets are public property and everybody should be allowed to use any spot that might be available.

Surprisingly there are many good shovelers that are against reserving spaces and there are a lot of people who just take an already shoveled space and then mark it as their own with a chair.

Personally I feel that public space is public space and should be available to everybody. If you want to have your own parking space, rent a garage or buy a parking space. I do however understands how it is annoying if you spent an hour shoveling and then somebody takes your space for days at a time.

I don't think we will be getting a chair out anytime soon though.

If you want to see how the chair reserving looks like - check out this website.


Hayley said...

Don't recall seeing this in Cleveland, but maybe it was because I had a private parking space at my apartment. However, wouldn't it be easier to take the bus/train/metro on the heavy snow days - save the hour or so of digging out your car?

The Austrian said...

According to some websites I read - this is common only in a few cities. Apparently Philadelphia and Baltimore do the same thing.
In Boston it is so bad that the mayor intervened one time.

Also, apparently in Chicago it's mostly the North Side that is effected by that. I guess it's all places where you trust your neighbors to not run over your chair.