Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Street Law

This story, about a judge who has been taking the law into his own hands with regard to a certain Toyota Corolla, is just of Worcester.

If you have ever lived in a New England city without the use of a parking spot, you know this dilemma well. Saying that parking is at a premium in most neighborhoods is an understatement, and when it snows it gets MUCH worse.

Parking spots are personal. I understand. Driving around looking for street parking is tiresome and loathsome and awful especially when it's super hot or snowing. Sometimes trying to find a spot where you won't be towed, ticketed, vandalized or stolen is so exhausting that you eventually give up and park on that corner you're not too keen on. If you're lucky enough to snag a spot, you don't just let it go after you've spent a few hours shoveling your car out from under the most recent nor'easter. (of course if everyone with a car just shoveled it wouldn't matter).

People take certain measures when trying to protect a spot on the street. Typically they start by finding some object and leaving it in the spot. Lawn chairs seem to work well, as do the faux-ficial orange cones, old computer monitors and garbage bins. Most people are too lazy to get out and move these items and therefore just continue driving aimlessly until the end of time looking for a spot. I will admit right now to never moving an item out of a spot, as I was always too afraid that a neighborhood spy would rat me out and I would become the victim of some wild yelling maniac.

Wild maniacs are people I typically try to avoid.

Other people take what I'll call the "I own the street approach". They believe that because their house is on that stretch of road, they are the only ones entitled to park there. We once had neighbors move in and post handwritten signs on the trees on the road explaining that they just bought this whole house, there was not any off street parking, and they were reserving the street for themselves by proclaiming "Parking for #32 Only". This basically got them laughed off of the road. I will admit to taking pleasure in parking there at every opportunity I got.

Then there are the people who believe that their longevity in the neighborhood somehow puts their name on the spot in front of there house. I once left on a Sunday morning to go get bagels. I returned, parked the car and headed inside to spend the day toiling away at writing some paper. A few HOURS later there was a knock on my door and a woman standing outside that I had never seen before. She asked if that was my black car. When I responded yes, she said I should move it now, as I was parked in her spot. When I refused, she got quite heated proclaiming her long time residency and the fact that she was at church as her right to that spot. When I tried to explain that it was a street spot, she had been gone for HOURS and anyone could park there, she started yelling at me. I believe I told her "where to go" and did not move my car for the rest of day on principle. Of course I avoided that spot in the future lest she let the air out my tires.

No comments: