Parking Chairs

I live by the code of the parking chair. Someone (the writer didn't even know that the magnificent parking chair had a name, let alone all that it stands for) fired off a letter to my local paper today vilifying the practice, and it had me outraged. I've since submitted a rebuttal. In the course of research for the letter, I found the following recent story from The Morning Call in Allentown, PA detailing what can happen when you don't respect the parking chair. The police may have assured the man he did nothing wrong by moving the chair, but I bet he doesn't do it again. And if you believe in the chair like I do, you can always show it!
     Posted By: qualityleashdog - Thu Mar 18, 2010
     Category: Crime | Riots, Protests and Civil Disobedience | Urban Life | More Things To Worry About

i honestly never heard of this practice till i read your post qld. everyone on the street would have to agree for it to work or you'd have issues like the one with the gun involved in the post.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/18/10 at 06:23 AM
Well after all arbitrarily claiming precedence over some piece of previously common space is the American way. Pretty much the whole of the US was acquired that way.

So what happens if I set up my own "parking chairs" overlapping the space of someone else's? If I am not supposed to remove their markers, they presumably should not remove mine?

Actually we had the same thing happen with bins on my road one time, but it didn't work. First time the people put the bins too close together and people just parked right up to them leaving insufficient space for their car. So the next time they put them further apart, but someone just parked between them. Finally they put three markers out, two wheely-bins and a plastic crate. However someone ( 😊 ) must have quietly rolled the bins away down the road and round the corner out of sight, leaving them without bins or a parking space. They pretty much gave up after that.
Posted by Dumbfounded on 03/18/10 at 07:14 AM
They pull that crap over here too. Usually it's some store owner who thinks his/her business extends through sidewalk to the other side of the street. If there's somewhere else handy, ill bypass that spot but if parking is at a premium I'll gladly move (run over) whatever is in the way.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 03/18/10 at 10:28 AM
Pitts/ods, it's not your piece of road and once you move your car you have no more right over it. If you want to "reserve your hard work" for your car, leave it in the space and walk. Or try learning to deal with the fact that the whole world isn't just run for your benefit.

Pitts, you claim have no sympathy for someone claiming a space merely for convenience but that's exactly what you are doing, while ods is asserting some sort of "moral right" to park there because he chose to do something for his own benefit to a public space - ergo only he should benefit.

Just two more examples of why this kind of behaviour is just selfish and serf-serving.
Posted by Dumbfounded on 03/18/10 at 10:48 AM
cranky today love? thanks for shoveling the sh!t for us and thanks for leaving the chair for me to sit in. 😉
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/18/10 at 01:26 PM
I actually found reference to several papers concerning the parking chair written by socioloigists. Most were in Pittsburgh magazines or newspapers, with the links to the original papers no longer functioning. As one of the referenced stated, it works as long as the neighborhood agrees, and since it has been such a longstanding practice, there isn't much argument concerning chairs anymore.
When you have someone like you did in the story move the chair, the neighborhood is quick to dole out vigilante justice. There were further citations to violators having their cars doused with the garden hose to leave it completely iced over (including the tires), buried in snow (one guy said, if I had to shovel, so will he), keyed, notes being left, tires slashed, etc.
I don't compete with other residents in my town for parking, unless there is a snowstorm and my space is shoveled and another isn't, the parking chair solves that problem. My town is festival happy, and it's the out-of-towners that we really have to defend our parking from.
I've progressed, I use a series of orange traffic cones to carefully mark my territory. It also minimizes the possibility of someone moving them, afterall, it's hard to distinguish a city-owned cone from a private one.
Posted by qualityleashdog on 03/18/10 at 02:17 PM
To the anti-parking chair people: When there are ten available spots on my block, and only four are taken when all the regulars are home, why should it matter if I put my chairs out, signifying I would prefer it if the out-of-towner parked elsewhere? I know there's available parking for them, I'm just asking that they don't take the spot closest to my house so that I may use it when I return from the grocery and have to make fifteen trips back and forth. I see nothing wrong with that.
I understand it's a different story where the population density is higher (such as it is in Pittsburgh, but they seem to hold to the system even more, although I'm sure there's rarely a free spot, despite the lack of festivals or snow).
Posted by qualityleashdog on 03/18/10 at 02:33 PM
Finally found it: Mayor Richard Daley said last winter (in 2000), "If someone spends all their time digging their car out, do not drive into that spot. This is Chicago. Fair warning."
Posted by qualityleashdog on 03/18/10 at 02:37 PM
Posted by Caffeinated Katie in Atlanta, GA on 03/18/10 at 03:00 PM
those are great katie! :lol:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/18/10 at 03:09 PM
i live on the corner of 2 alleys on the side of the house that has the driveway. in order to park i would have to shovel the driveway and atleast one alley. (the city WILL NOT plow the alleys even though many people live on alleys here) thank goodness a business owner close by who has his parking lot privately plowed allowed us to park there, in the back, till we could get in at home. so a little kindness goes a long way in these situations. it seems to me that a friendly neighborhood would work together to clear the street for everyone. just a thought.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/18/10 at 03:45 PM
It's my take that a friendly neighborhood does work together to get through the storm. It's the outsiders that interfere with tradition and values. They would also know year round who parks where, and respect that.
I have one house and a little deadend sidestreet between mine and a genuine flophouse. $500 a month efficiencies, rented out to non-local construction workers, drug dealers, deadbeats and the like. The flophouse sits on a hill. During a snowstorm, some of them cannot make it to their parking lot, so they take my spot. I can't use their spot, since I can't make it up the hill either. What happens? My parking chairs make them think to utilize the deadend street where no one usually parks, and it is closer for them.I had a new neighbor move in, and they started parking in my spot. I took a gamble and guessed that they could pick up my wi-fi, so I changed its name to: stopparkinginfrontofmyhouse About two days later, they never parked there again. I think they got the message.

Mike Madison said in his blog "A lot of Pittsburghers would choose to dig a giant hole and sit in it over clearing a path of parking spaces that helps other people get moving again."
Posted by qualityleashdog on 03/18/10 at 04:05 PM
In the Allentown story, the fact that there was a cheering crowd rallying around the man who used the parking chair proves that the majority wants the parking chair system, supports the system and makes the system work! I say its time to change the law to reflect the wishes of the majority. Boston allows you to reserve spots for 48 hours, if that was the law in Allentown, Vera could've called the cops and had his rights enforced instead of breaking the chair over the truck.
Instead, Vera's facing charges, the man is still intimidated and will remember that the next time he moves a chair, the mob might be a little smarter and be more discrete in meting out their revenge: quiet keying, tire slashing, etc. Or the de facto system that is not supported by city ordinances may just cause someone to get shot. Who knows?
Posted by qualityleashdog on 03/18/10 at 04:29 PM

hilarious dude! :lol:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/18/10 at 09:31 PM
When I lived in Detroit, parking was always a problem. Especially in inclement weather... no one wants to park a block or more away from their home when carrying groceries, or dodging rain puddles or slogging through snow. And having done my share of snow shoveling, I certainly understand why people would want to hold onto a parking space that they took the time to clear. However, I consider it extremely selfish to block the space when it is not being used. I never once used a parking chair and I frowned whenever I saw one.

Clear your space. Leave it clear for others to use, and be happy that you're doing a kindness for someone else. 😊
Posted by Nethie on 03/18/10 at 11:13 PM
it's all about having a big heart and being kind. qld you sure opened a can of worms with this one sweetie! great post! 😊
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/18/10 at 11:19 PM
I agree respect the parking chair. If someone shovels the snow then you shovel out the parking space next to it. If all the spaces are taken however, well then the chair is BS. The point being that everyone clears a parking spot then everyone theoretically has a place to park.
Posted by EmperorUnknown on 03/20/10 at 11:32 PM
I liked a letter that appeared in my local paper in response to the complainer's letter. I think it sums up my town's attitude and protectiveness concerning their parking chairs, so I think the practice will be safe here.

Just park somewhere else
To the editor:

If [Original Letter Writer] does not like Third Street, there are plenty of other streets in downtown Madison for her to enjoy. She could even stay in Commiskey if she wanted. There is a huge auto salvage yard there for her to gaze at.

[signed X]

Posted by qualityleashdog on 03/22/10 at 06:45 PM
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