Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Parking Wisdom for Happy Neighbors

When I walked home from work last night, I found a flyer with this message, which I saw had been tucked under the windshield wipers of all the cars on my street:

Parking wisdom for happy neighbors

After a big snow, please consider shoveling at least one street parking space in its entirety for each car you hope to park when you return.

It may take a few extra minutes, but shoveling in front, behind, and yes, under your car will help ensure we all have places to park. Making sure the snow ends up off the street and away from sidewalks is also appreciated. Even better, shovel a little extra. It will make you neighbors happy.

Posted 1/30/2011
The problem is there's no reciprocity in this for me.

I have a vehicle with four wheel drive so I usually don't need to shovel out. I like to leave it parked for a few days after a big snow storm. I can't shovel under my vehicle unless I move it and I'm not going to move it until I have to. So already I can see I'm not going to make my neighbors happy.

When I do drive it, it's usually just across town and back, such as going to the grocery store. When I get back, I can just pull back in even though I didn't shovel. If someone has taken the space I was in, and the only other space on the street has not been dug out, that is not a problem for me.

And there's more to this than having clean parking spaces. We are running out of places in the neighborhood to pile the snow. Leaving some snow on the street to melt naturally actually helps. And scooping up the salt-infused snow on the street and throwing it in someone's yard is not exactluy green. Will my grass, flowers, and bushes grow come spring or will they salt kill?

The wisdom of putting this flyer under my driver's side windshield wiper? We are expecting snow followed by freezing rain later in the week. If the flyer gets wet, sticks to my windshield, and freezes, I have a very annoying problem. Fortunately, I happened to see this flyer before the storm but it could just as easily have been afterwards.

I'd be happy to explain this all to the person who wrote this note. But did they observe the simple courtesy of including an email address or phone number? No.

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