Snowy Boston Starts Removing Parking-Space Savers

BOSTON (AP) -
A cone with a threatening note saves a parking space on a residential street in South Boston.  (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
A cone with a threatening note saves a parking space on a residential street in South Boston.
(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Bostonians have another reason to be steamed about this winter of epic snow: The city is starting to remove the lawn chairs, milk crates, orange cones and other stuff that people set out in the street to reserve the parking spaces they’ve dug out.

Garbage haulers and recycling crews began collecting the “space savers” Monday after Mayor Marty Walsh declared an end to the longstanding practice — at least until the next major storm.

In South Boston, a neighborhood where the wintertime battles over parking spots are legendary, some complained the ban is coming too soon. The region saw about three more inches of snow Sunday night, and more is on the way later this week.

Southie residents fear the parking struggles that have pitted neighbor against neighbor will only get worse.

In tightly packed Boston neighborhoods — and, for that matter, in other snowy cities where parking on the street is a problem even in the best of circumstances — homeowners use space savers to enforce the unwritten rule of the urban jungle: If you shoveled it out, it’s yours.

Drivers who violate space-saver etiquette risk returning to find hostile notes on their windshields, fresh snow piled on their cars, or, in some of the worst instances, smashed windows, keyed doors and flattened tires.

In general, space savers are allowed on Boston streets up to 48 hours after a storm. But many of the objects have been out at the curb for more than a month, because city officials largely turned a blind eye to the practice as storm after storm unloaded more than eight feet of snow.