With snow piled high on the sides of streets, parking is a big problem in many Philadelphia neighborhoods. And tempers flare over the old question – if you’ve shoveled out a spot, is it yours to keep?
With snow piled high on the sides of streets, parking is a big problem in many Philadelphia neighborhoods. And tempers flare over the old question – if you’ve shoveled out a spot, is it yours to keep?[audio:100215msspotsave.mp3]
Since the storm, neighborhood blogs have been abuzz with the debate over lawnchairs and cones planted by residents to save a parking spot. Opponents argue that it’s illegal and downright immoral. Spot savers say they’ve earned sweat equity. Mayor Nutter sees no problem with the code of the street:
Nutter: Look. If you spent two hours, digging your car out, I mean that is some serious effort there, and ultimately, it’s gotta be respected.
In Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood, there’s been serious grumbling over spot saving says resident Annsley Klehr:
Klehr: There seems to be a lot of parking debacle around here, but I’m personally, you know if you clear out a space, I believe that somebody else is going to clear out a space, and you’ll actually get another space.
And despite having just spent an hour shoveling out his car, James Magor maintained a zen attitude about potentially losing his spot:
Magor: I think it’s first come first serve, hey, what can you do?
A few blocks down, Lula Jones says spot saving is okay, depending on the situation.
Jones: For instance, my mother in law has cancer, and she can’t walk that far, so it’s great to be able to put something out there to save her spot.
Villanova ethicist Brett Wilmot says the issue is contentious because we don’t have a lot of practice dealing with it:
Wilmot: The more common a situation is, the more likely it is that a kind of consensus will build up in terms of what is an appropriate response to it.
The Philadelphia Parking Authority is offering free parking at metered spots until Tuesday – but, you might have to dig it out first.