What can I do if someone takes the parking space that I shoveled?

December 15, 2017

For a question we’ve gotten a lot: what can you do if someone takes the parking space that you shoveled out?  Pittsburgh, for instance, is famous for its tradition of parking chairs, but it also happens elsewhere. As much as it might be good manners to not take parking spaces that someone else shoveled, there’s not much that you can do about it if someone takes a space you’ve reserved.

Let’s start with the law: public streets, with a few exceptions, are public property, and anyone can use them as they wish, subject to the restrictions put on them by the local government.  (These include things like parking meters, parking permit restrictions, and no-stopping zones.)

Some cities, like Boston or York, PA, frown on the use of “parking chairs,” and officials warn against their use.  In many neighborhoods, parking is scarce even when the weather isn’t bad, and this kind of parking reservations just makes it harder for everyone to find a spot.

But if someone’s blocking your driveway, or they’re on private property, that’s a whole different ballgame.  You generally do have a right to access your property, and can exercise your rights, for instance, to keep your driveway clear.  In New York City, for instance, the New York Police Department can ticket someone’s car who blocks your driveway, and you can have it towed.   Likewise, if someone’s car is parked illegally on your property, you can have it towed or removed, snow or no snow.  How you go about this will depend on the city that you live in, so check with your local authorities.

No Parking After Snowfall Sign

As always, use caution in the snow.  And if you need to mark parking guidelines for snowy weather, SmartSign carries a full line of snow parking signs, at the lowest prices, guaranteed!

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