WASHINGTON - The rules are simple: after a snowstorm, if you clear the snow from your parking spot, that spot is yours until things get back to normal. Right? WRONG!
It might make sense to you-- especially if you spent a couple of hours digging out your spot. But there's no actual rule anywhere in the DC area that gives you a rightful claim to the space you cleared.
That being said, lots of drivers stake their claim anyway. By now, you've seen it. As soon as the snow stopped, out came the lawn chairs, trash cans, cones, end tables-- and even a baby bassinet? People will use anything they can to save their spots, it seems. And it's not just a DC thing.
DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier came out earlier this week and reminded District residents that parking space saving is not allowed. DC police say you can be slapped with a $75 fine for placing objects in a parking spot. The fines increase for repeat offenders within 60 days.
But the place holders still line the streets.
Oh, are we Boston now? pic.twitter.com/p5QkWQaY4v— Lucy Flawless (@everythingsjake) January 24, 2016
Free chairs at 4th & M, NE! pic.twitter.com/tRoqlaj265— H St Weather Geek (@hstreetweather) January 25, 2016
So I guess this is the Capitol Hill version of the lawn chair. pic.twitter.com/EG3fI3206S— Andrea Noble (@anobleDC) January 26, 2016
But should people really respect each other's spaces-- or is parking free game? We asked social media, and they had plenty to say. Many who responded said space saving is just common courtesy, and those who violate it should be ready to pay:
"You take my parking spot after I spent hours clearing it and we will have a problem. We are all neighbors and we know who parked where so don't play. You will have my car right behind yours so when you wanna go somewhere you will have to come knock on my door to get your car and we will be having a little chat."
"Who cares it's the law of the streets. There's no law against you sleeping with your best friend's wife but that's obviously frowned upon."
"My daughters apartment building lacked snow shovels. People using laundry baskets, trash cans, dustpans to remove 4 feet of plowed snow.
i bought her a bunch extra, added her address. We placed them downstairs to use and please bring back. So far it is working.
be nice to your neighbors and they may be nice to you. Nobody has taken her spot so far."
"There aren't any laws about this, but there is something many have forgotten, being considerate and using common sense. " Do unto others as you would have done to you". I don't believe in revenge but there is another saying 'what goes around comes around'"
"Just place a polite message saying that whoever takes this spot will come back to their car with busted out windows"
"A law or not it's a common courtesy thing, if you didn't dig the spot don't take it ...someone worked really hard to get their car out!! I personally think you should be able to reserve your spot!!"
But still others disagreed, saying if you expect a reserved parking space, you'd better pay for one.
"Not unless it's already a reserved spot!! First come, first served... One perk to owning your home with a driveway is... it's always your spot no matter what!"
Cheryl SometimesDenise Manley
"If you want personal parking, go buy a house with a driveway!!! We all had to dig out! It's a part of apartment living! #haveseveralseats"
"Sidewalk and street = public property. You yard driveway are what you pay property taxes on. So I can move your cones and other obstructions and park. I'll try not to be too long"
Twitter falls in line. Just check out the results of our poll: