The time is nigh my friends. The snow is coming. There's no way around it. Which begs the question: Should space savers be allowed or banned in Jamaica Plain? The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council's Public Service Committee was scheduled to discuss space savers during its Dec.
Boston Police said they're sending extra patrols around the Seaverns Avenue area, were there has been a cluster of reports of vandalism likely arising from disputes over parking. That's one of the takeaways from Thursday's monthly police-community meeting. Police this week issued a community alert about car vandalism. Officers fleshed out those concerns at Thursday's meeting, held at Curtis Hall Community Center. In February, police have seen a rise in incidents like windshield wipers being snapped, rear view mirrors being broken off and cars being scraped.
JP real estate agent Mary Wallace gave voice to one line of argument as the city starts picking up space savers on trash days this week. She made a sign reading, "(Snow Pile) Take Me, I'm a Space Saver" on snow-choked Asticou Road. On one hand, the city has faced some backlash to removing space savers, given that so many spots on neighborhood streets are filled by snow. On the other hand, some residents are celebrating the formal end of space savers. Adios!
Starting Monday, if there's trash pickup on your street, city crews are also chucking space savers. Mayor Marty Walsh last week earned cheers from space saver supporters by temporarily lifting the "Menino" rule. That's the decree that space savers not be used longer than 48 hours after the end of a snow emergency. But that was last week. Starting Monday, any space savers still in use are subject to being put in the trash.
Mayor Marty Walsh says go ahead and use space savers past the "Menino rule" of 48 hours from the end of a snow emergency, according to an interview with the Herald and a slight wording change on the city's Website. “There’s no parking out there in the city,” he told the Herald. “There are snowbanks in the city that just haven’t melted at all.”
The city's Web site, which used to advise to use space savers for no more than 48 hours after the end of a snow emergency, as of Monday instead says, "Space savers are meant to be used on a short term basis, with 48 hours as a guideline." Space savers have become flash points on some of Jamaica Plain's crowded streets, with tires reportedly being slashed and passive-aggressive sign wars erupting.
Space saver in #jamaicaplain "Be decent... Try not being an asshole (for once)" @universalhub pic.twitter.com/HWBAmXcbY6
— Bobbie (@girlinjp) February 19, 2015
The message on this space saver, found at the corner of Myrtle and Pond, starts out politely enough. But read to the end. "Please do not move this space saver. It is valid for 48 hours following the end of the snow emergency — so until 6 p.m. on Friday.
The latest cycle in a series of declaring and ending parking bans comes to a close at 6 p.m. Wednesday. After that, it will be legal to park again on major arteries in Jamaica Plain. Parking ban will remain in effect until 6pm TOMORROW (2/18). For garages with discounted rates, visit http://t.co/PisJGBGezV #BOSnow— City of Boston (@NotifyBoston) February 17, 2015
Here at Jamaica Plain News, we're reinstating the space-saver countdown clock (visible to the right or by scrolling down, depending on what device you're using.) The city gives up to 48 hours for people to keep using space savers after the end of a snow emergency. The neighborhood (and city as a whole) has been on edge about the endless snow, sparking conflicts over space savers.
A resident sent us this photo report on an escalating word-battle over space savers on Dalrymple Street in Egleston. It begins:
The sign above gives the URL for the city's policy on space savers: They should be removed no later than 48 hours after the end of snow emergency. At left is a pile of space savers the sign writer removed from shoveled spaces on the street, according to a neighbor:
That prompted this response:
And this rebuttal. In case you can't read the right-most sign, it says:
It does, however, reflect the view of many others. Look, shoveling sucks but everyone has to do it.
The parking nightmare appears to have driven at least one resident to take the air out of his or her neighbor's tires (or possibly slash them.) And, according to social media chatter, at least three cars in the vicinity have gotten the same treatment. A thread on Reddit Boston titled "JP Residents Beware — Tire Slasher on the Loose!" outlines one resident's experience with having her tires slashed twice in a week. Vehicle seen slashing multiple cars on Creighton St in JP. My car was one of them this morning, all 4 tires.
The rule for space savers, established by former Mayor Tom Menino, is they can be used for up to 48 hours after the end of a snow emergency. Since the most recent snow emergency lifted at 6 p.m. Tuesday, that means space savers need to be gone from your street by 6 p.m. Thursday. We've installed a nifty little countdown clock on the right sidebar of this website as a reminder. Of course, there are streets in JP where space savers seem to stay in use year round (my old street, Weld Hill, was among them.)
Some neighborhoods have banned the Boston tradition. For instance, a civic group in the South End is trying to kibosh this piece of local culture.