Boston officials say snowstorm was not bad enough to merit the use of parking space savers
A tradition born of snow -- parking space savers -- emerged Sunday after Boston drivers chiseled through several inches of ice-covered, heavy snow to get to their cars.
Various household items -- chairs, buckets, and trash cans -- dotted some city streets, saving newly-shoveled, parking spots.
But city officials warned that, because no parking ban or snow emergency was declared during the weekend storm, objects left on the street will be considered trash and hauled away.
“This is not a snow event that rises to the level of space savers,” said John Guilfoil, a spokesman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “We’ve seen much worse than this in Boston.”
He added, “the mayor supports space savers, but when they’re needed.”
On Sunday and even as early as Saturday night, photos of space savers appeared on the social media websites Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. There were the classics: orange traffic cones, folding chairs, buckets, and trash cans.
Others were more unique. A beer keg was reportedly left curbside in Allston. In South Boston, one shoveler’s little helper – a miniature Christmas tree decorated with a face, a hat, shoes, and red gloves – stood patiently and smiled, unfazed by the frosty weather.
Boston Police said they were not aware of any major disputes over parking or space savers.
Typically, space savers are only supposed to be used during and after parking bans or snow emergencies are ordered, Guilfoil said.
“If there’s not a snow emergency [or any parking bans] space savers are considered trash and picked up by public works crews,” whenever the crews come by for their scheduled trash pickup, he said.
But, Guilfoil said, the city technically has no official regulations around space savers and instead relies on “unwritten rules in different neighborhoods.”
For instance, in South Boston, space savers are common and have been for years. In the South End, the use of space savers has gained some popularity only in recent years, prompting some residents to publicly denounce the practice, which can sometimes lead to shouting, fights, mean messages, and vandalism.Matt Rocheleau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele.