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Should Charlestown Residents 'Hold' Parking Spots?

Parking is already difficult in the neighborhood, much less without two feet of snow on the ground.

In the wake of the Blizzard of 2013, parking has become unbelievably difficult between the city's parking ban, the shrinking of streets to one-lane roads, and the 10-or-more-foot high and five-foot deep piles of snow that line the streets.

Bostonians all know of the tradition in the city that when you shovel out a parking spot, you can "hold" that parking spot with a chair, trash barrel or other object for up to 48 hours after the parking ban ends. 

Proponents say that the ban encourages people to do a good job clearing out their spot, knowing their hard work won't go to waste as soon as they move their car.

Opponents say that you can't claim a parking spot as "yours" just because you parked there before the blizzard. 

What's your personal policy? Is there anywhere to park, between Charlestown's ongoing parking ban, the huge snow piles in the neighborhood and the spot savers? Is it your right to a parking spot after you put in the sweat and manpower necessary to clear it out? Should the city do anything to discourage this behavior?

Which streets in the Charlestown area have the highest number of "saved" spots?

Let us know in the comments below.

mm February 12, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Keep ur space for 48hrs! You spend out shoveling and reshoveling , so why should you have to give it up to someone who did nothing. You can say park on opposite sides, but be honest with yourself we couldn't even get sidewalks plowed never mind the streets. Realistically you dig it you keep it. If you dont like that why dont you try actually being the one who does all the work instead of the one who steals others! If you did the work youi would see where the rest of us were coming from!
Joseph February 12, 2013 at 08:50 PM
For sake of a healthy discussion, I would be curious to know your (and others) thoughts on whether homeowners vs tenants would have a "greater" claim when it comes to reserving spots after a snow emergency has been declared? As a homeowner, I pay far more in taxes than someone who rents. Should a homeowner have a "greater" claim to street parking than someone who doesn't own? I'm not saying homeowners are better than tenants, even though that is how it will be construed. It's obvious what my stance is, but I'm curious to know what others think? I'm not so sure even I believe that homeowners have more rights, but it does beg the question.
Joseph February 12, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Damn JAP - We think too much alike.
Christina February 12, 2013 at 09:00 PM
After I spent all day Saturday shoveling enough space to walk down my street and up to civilization, I realized the unwritten 48 hour rule was totally justified. I get it- people are tired... come home from work, drive around, can't find a spot. Sorry.. I deal with that every day when all the stay at home people and those with early schedules beat me to my space and I have to walk 15 minutes in the dark alone. So... I'm small, I beat myself up shoveling everyone's walkways, plus mine, plus my parking space, plus I pay a ton of taxes for owning... then I waited until today to get my street plowed. I love helping people and therefore I think I am entitled to my space for a couple of days in return for that!
Jillian February 12, 2013 at 09:30 PM
I'm confused as to how it was determined that I'm a tenant, we bought a single family home in Charlestown in June. We were also homeowners in Bay Village. I just think it's part of city living to deal with things like shoveling and street parking. I am also fairly young so maybe it would be different if I were older and more accustomed to the rule of space saving. I think the city would be more appealing to young families if the mayor would abolish old and unwelcoming rules like space saving. We are in this together. Maybe it's a good idea for resident only parking during snowstorms. Those are my thoughts and I do not think you can put renters in a different tier, they pay hefty rents and their landlords pay taxes. That's my opinion.
4ssa February 12, 2013 at 10:05 PM
As a Charlestown home owner who lives on a street with no parking, I too like the space saver rule. While parking my car back in it's spot today, I saw a person in an old beat up black Ford pick-up slowly driving down Phipps Street with a truck load of metal beach chairs, metal frames and other bits and pieces. If you get home tonight and find your beach chair missing and someone in your spot, please don't jump to the obvious conclusions. I reported it to the police and saw them actively looking for him.
Matthew February 12, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Joseph, No, homeowners should not have more privileges than renters. I am in the military, and I transfer every four years. Owning a home would be difficult for me once I transfer. So I would not stand for having someone, perhaps someone who hasn't served, have more rights and privileges than me simpley because thay own a home. And yes, I would make a huge stink about it.
Matthew February 12, 2013 at 10:42 PM
JAP, Easy there, buddy. Please don't think you're more entitled because you own a home. See my response to Joseph ,who got that discussion going.
Matthew February 12, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Do we really nee to get a homeonwer/renter debate started. I stated my case in response to Joseph. I will not abide entitled attitudes from homeowners. I worked just as hard digging out.
Anne Flink February 12, 2013 at 11:51 PM
I live in a "non gas light" neighborhood where we all shoveled together until we all had cleared all of our cars. We then all put our chairs, cones, tables, cardboard boxes in our individual spaces and everyone went home happy. We are respecting each others' "chairs" and hope that others will do the same. There was no hatred, violence or vindictiveness, only a community that came together and respected a lifelong neighborhood practice.
Just a person! February 13, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Hear! Hear!
Just a person! February 13, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Jillian, How about you clear out a space either at your house or mine, and I will let one of my neighbors that don't have a spot park there, and then! When someone else takes that spot you come down again and shovel another spot so I can have that one, and so on and so on.
Just a person! February 13, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Put things that you can't get rid of out there, like old tv sets, toilets and anything else that the city won't pick up, that's the wy to get rid of it.. But, do not put aluminum chairs or metal object out there, to many scrapers collecting metal.
Just a person! February 13, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Matthew, I am also a vetran, and I do believe you have a privilege that some renters don't, you can have your car registered in any state and still get a resident sticker for Charlestown or any other resident permit parking area! Thank you for your service. And we are not talking privileges we are talking about a right for a mere 48 hours of their service of shoveling to have a parking spot!
Anne Flink February 13, 2013 at 01:15 AM
It's trash night. I saw it happen a couple of years ago. Might be opportunistic but I'm more inclined to think it's a misunderstanding. Put out your old computer terminals, paint cans, etc. Saves a trip to West Roxbury to get rid of them.
Matthew February 13, 2013 at 01:15 AM
JAP, Do you have an issue with active duty military being able to register their car to any state in the country? It's that way to make life just a bit easier for those who sacrifice so much. You served so I'm sure you know. I worked just as hard as any homeowner to dig my way out. And as far as your comment about renters with friends staying over, it brings to mind images of a bunch of lazy twenty somethings who just don't care. Hopefully that is not your mental image of renters. My wife and I are in our mid thirties and have established careers. I think the bottom line is that renter or homeowner, if you put the sweat equity in, you claim the spot for a little while. I think we can all agree on that.
Just a person! February 13, 2013 at 03:28 AM
Did you read something that I didn't write? Where in any of my posts that I stated I had an issue with active duty personnel? I stated that they have a privilege that many renters do not have, and or visitors. I personally wish they would do away with resident parking, but that is another issue. It was also in my post I thanked you for your service. Don't read into things that are not there!
Just a person! February 13, 2013 at 12:31 PM
Everybody will be all set today, they finally lifted the parking ban.
Matthew February 13, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Why do discussions on the internet always go this direction? I ASKED you if you have an issue with that. Just a question, nothing more. I didn't make any blanket presumptions about you. Have a nice day. P.S. Thank you for your service as well.
Joseph February 13, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Matthew - Thank you for your service. I hope you enjoy your time here in Charlestown. I know you will. These "privileges" are strictly about saving a spot after hours of shoveling, nothing more. I understand what you're saying, but let's just agree to disagree. G'day.
Matthew February 13, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Joseph, Perhaps I'm reading this wrong, but it seems that there is a presumption that renters didn't also spend hours digging their sidewalks and cars out. I get that some land lords do snow removal, but not all. I know plenty of renters who handle their own shoveling. I think we actually agree. Spend hours shoveling, save the spot.
Joseph February 13, 2013 at 05:16 PM
Matthew - Yes, we agree. And no, I'm not implying that. It sort of goes back to something told to me many moons ago, when I first moved here - The spot in front of your house was your spot. That's where you parked. Obviously, that doesn't hold water any longer and I don't expect that, but it was an interesting thought.
Velvet Jones February 13, 2013 at 06:08 PM
You shovel the spot it's yours for a couple of days, then it's fair game. As far as Matthew goes , I think the same goes for you, you shouldn't use the ''I served, you didn't '' card , a lot of us didn't have to , or couldn't or didn't for whatever reason and still ''serve'' our country somehow. The person that shoveled the spot gets preference, period, whether they are a home owner, boat owner renter, serviceman, or member of the freakin Taliban, it's theirs.
Matthew February 13, 2013 at 06:22 PM
I never said "I served, you didn't". I just said that I've given far too much service, as have all people who have served, to stand down to someone who thinks that because they are a homeowner that somehow they are superior. Yes, I have run into that tpye of arrogance in the past in several of the many places I've lived in this country. This might ruffle the feathers of certain people, but those who have served in the armed forces deserve a special place in this country. They aspired to the highest of callings. Unfortunately, too many people in the U.S. shrug off military service as if it amounts to nothing. That's just the way it is.
Jillian February 15, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Do we really want toilet seats and televisions along our streets? It's incredibly tacky as it is.
TheMaskedTruthsayer February 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM
Somebody "Serve" me up a burger!
Jay February 15, 2013 at 04:29 PM
A couple of observations about Charlestown...It's very urban, yet tons of people have cars. No, too many people have cars. Would this work in NYC? Definitely not. Well Charlestown is very densely packed. There are a lot of people that should be using car-sharing services and renting from Enterprise on the weekend. Having a car in such a dense area is a pain in the ass, and it should be. While public transit isn't fun, it's the way of the world in cities, but the more people think they can have both, the more traffic and parking issues created. The city should definitely do a better job plowing, but people shouldn't be able to expect parking here anyway. On the issue of owners deserve more, that's crap. Renters help pay people's mortgages. In a down economy, people don't sell they rent. Imagine the issue if they didn't, more people would have lost there homes-be thankful for renters...well at least the good ones. Keep in mind also that owners can refinance, pay off their credit card debt and then essentially get a tax deduction on their credit card interest. There are a lot of advantages to being an owner, but you don't get first right on parking spaces because of that. Sure, I get that people should need a resident sticker to park and people with significant others, friends and family shouldn't even think about parking in Charlestown when there is a snow storm, but renters live here and contribute too.
Jay February 15, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Maybe parking permits in this town should be a function of size of the vehicle? Maybe more people would have smaller cars. No, I don't care about the size of your family either because many people have families and don't have a car...you use more, you pay more. There is a sense of entitlement in this town and it isn't just coming from Yuppies...it definitely comes from the Townies as well. You live so close to one of the oldest cities in the nation...parking being a hassle is a given.
oneofseven February 18, 2013 at 07:13 PM
WAH WAH WAH, Why cant we all get along..........Now here's a topic for you all to bicker about. What about the person that owns the house on the private way. They pay just as much taxes as the next person BUT,,,,DOES NOT, I repeat DOES NOT receive any city plowing services. They shovel and shovel and yet their neighboring "NEIGHBORS" on the abuting streets feel that they can shovel their snow in to the private way, not only blocking the WAY but basically, you have to shovel again, God forbid the police or fire had to get down there. Also the city plows dropping their snow there. Or in the nice weather having to deal with your LOVELY NEIGHBORS weekly trash barrells and bags lined up across the mouth of this Private Way. What? You dont think that this is right? Whats the matter you dont like picking up and dodging other peoples dirty trash barrells after working all day? Oh and yes i am a lifelong townie and being nice didnt help, arguing wouldnt solve anything, so YES I pick and choose my battles and just hope what goes around comes around. Theres certainly more than one way to skin a cat. I know some of you would have done things VERY differently, and trust me the thought has crossed my mind many many times, BUT lifes too short and Karma is a very very funny thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
oneofseven February 18, 2013 at 09:33 PM
BTW, now just relax ur slacks, BUT, my opinion is this.................you shovel it you own it for 48 hrs, providing #1 you have a Res Prk Sticker and #2, that you ACTUALLY shoveled out that spot....................

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