Philly Police: No Saving Parking Spots With Your Lawn Chair

Or your orange cone. Or your trash can.

With any snowstorm in Philadelphia comes people trying to save the parking spots they’ve dug out on the street. They use lawn chairs. They use orange cones. They use trash cans.

This spot-saving practice has always been a little sketchy from a legal perspective. After all, you don’t own the street. It’s not like it’s your driveway.

But should your neighbor be allowed to pull his Honda into the spot you spent an hour digging out at 6 a.m.? Street justice would say no. But the Philadelphia Police Department says yes, in what may be their first invocation of the term “savsies”:


But what do you think?

Should Spot-Saving Be Allowed?

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  • m
  • A. Rosa

    If I shovel a spot in front of my house I should be able to save it. I would not save a spot in front of someone else’s house….BUT if I shovel out in front of someone else’s house they better not save it either. This wouldn’t be an issue if people weren’t so damn lazy and worked together to shovel everyone out.
    With that being said…. We thought ahead and made sure to buy a house with two car off street parking. …lol. I always have a spot.

    • Weezer

      Excellent point! It would be a non-issue if people were good neighbors and helped each other. Unfortunately we no longer look out for each other and are more concerned about “our rights” instead of doing what is right.

  • Tmichaelrobinson

    Then get your lazy behind up and do some shoveling. I don’t live on Philly anymore, but I have shoveled out many days for a lazy neighbor their friend to drve into the space. These same people do not even shovel thier pavement. Quite a few of them have healthy appearing children that could clean the front. That’s why the society is so messed up.

    • Nick

      Wouldnt they have had to shovel out some space somewhere in order for them to be driving before they park in your spot?

      • Obamatards

        Actually no, a lot of these people will just do a bare minimum around the wheels and plow their way out fish tailing all over to leave or to flat out drive over and park right into your spot

        • Mr. Snyder

          agreed, look around at the empty unshovelled spaces and see how they just bulldoze into the street and go looking for bare pavement spaces !! It’s a shame ! !

    • MystiKasT

      We call them black people.

  • bernie

    no saving spots…that’s a total white trash maneuver

  • Jane Yavis

    Local Show Host says holding parking spaces with a lawn chair or something else is the sign of a “Good Neighborhood” — In a Safe Neighborhood, locals would just leave the space open. Finally figured out the basic difference between a good and a safe neighborhood.

    • Ben Franklin’s Common Sense

      the day that people start being fined for not shoveling their sidewalks is the day that you start this no savsies policy. until then why should someone else take the spot that i dug out in the street, especially when the person who takes it is the homeowner who didnt shovel their sidewalk, their own property. fine the lazy homeowners if your not letting people save their spots.

      • NIck

        Wouldnt the other people have to have dug out a spot in order for them to move their car to your spot though?

  • Brad

    If you want a reserved parking spot, feel free to move to a house with a garage or a driveway.

  • Chopper

    I moved to a home with a driveway lol

  • phillysportsfan

    the mayor/chief of police/head of streets dept. should send garbage trucks to every neighborhood to collect every single nonvehicle item littering the streets.

    also, i love the dopes who ominously threaten people’s cars who park in “their” spot. like no one’s going to figure out who did it. and guess what, i can move my car, your house isn’t going anywhere. just saying.

    • James

      Oh my god!!!! “Ominously”?????? Seriously???? Hahahahaha….I guess spell check didn’t catch this since it’s actually a word, but come on!!!

      • Jofort60

        Ominously is correct! It means someone is threatening you !

    • Joan

      Smacking my head in disbelief…”OMINOUSLY”?????

      • Audrey Lamping


  • Warmenuf

    I have one word for you all, having lived in Philly for two years, including the blizzard of ’96: Septa.

    • MystiKasT

      I have one word for you: blacks. Stay away from Septa.

    • carbon

      Except for the fact that like 90% of the bus routes are suspended “until further notice,” and plenty of places in the city aren’t accessible to the subway/trains/el.

  • Lisa

    Which is one of the many reasons I moved from Philly. I have my driveway. I ave neighbors who help each other out. That comraderie no longer exist in most neighborhoods in Philly.

    • Donthateonphilly

      I live in Philly. I shoveled all 3 of my neighbors houses. Our whole row. I own a store. When I got there, it was shoveled by my neighbor there. 17 year old kid does the strip including my store. Don’t hate on Philly. There are a-holes I’m every city and suburb.

      • Lisa

        I was born and raised in Philly. Your reply to me doesn’t phase me the least. Will love and wily always rep my city. That is my opinion, I have the right to air it, as you have yours. Don’t hate on me cause I made a statement. It is how I feel after living there over 40 years. The comraderie is gone where I was born and raised. That won’t change. That was a small factor as to why I left.

    • Ronald Bruce Moskovitz

      That is because most of the people who felt that way, moved out. Or shall we say chased ouit by the policies of the last 3 Mayors FATASS, ONEWAY AND BALDY .. A lot of the cars on our street are not even registered in Pa, or belong to folks who live on other streets . The attitude around here used to be oh what a beautiful morning, can I help my neighbor. Now it is a section 8 drug dealing “FUCK THIS SHIT ASSHOLES.” The snow thing was unwritten. If I could afford to move out of this 2nd and Somerset like shithole, I would. The prevailing attitude is a bad one. The lowlife slime are ruining a formerly great city.

      • Lisa

        Thank you. I cared about my neighbors. We shoveled, we didn’t even had to block spaces. But we had new people move in. Everything changed. Philadelphia is an awesome city gone wrong. I return to visit family from time to time, and it saddens me to see the state of our schools, streets, the violence. No one cares. A mini New York City. Violence in the schools drove me out. Snow storm parking spaces are the least of their worries.

    • MystiKasT

      Blacks ruined philly

      • Lisa

        Well, considering the fact that I am African-American, I do disagree, for I know persons of all ethnic backgrounds that have pulled down the neighborhoods within Philly either by attitudes, or lack of home training.

  • Space Savers
  • dig it

    bullshit if i spend all the time and energy to dig my car out and some ass parks in it there is going to be problems

  • EW

    I don’t understand the rationale here for people who are pro-savsies. You aren’t digging yourself out of that spot so that you can later park there, you are digging yourself out because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to leave.

    Some thoughts for the pro-savsie-ers:
    – It is illegal.
    – If I shovel the walkway in front of my house, should I also be able to put up chairs/cones to prevent others from using it? How about if I shovel an alleyway behind my house – does the alley become mine until the snow melts?

    • Jack

      First of all that alleyway behind your house belongs to everyone whose house is on that alleyway. This is an escape route in case of a fire or other emergency. They can be gated and locked, but everyone on that alleyway must be given a key to unlock that lock. Secondly, I’d like to see the law on the books that says it’s illegal to save a parking space with a cone, chair, etc. Just because the Mayor (Squidward) says it’s illegal doesn’t make it so. People have been doing this for well over 60 years that I know of, and all of a sudden it’s against the law??? BULLSHIT!!

  • Logan McNeil

    Is this a uniquely Philadelphia thing? I never hear about people in Chicago or Minneapolis or Boston getting punched or shot or stabbed for stealing someone’s “hard earned” spot…Like we do here…

    • Guest

      The general idea elsewhere is that you shovel a space to get your car out, and when you drive your car away, you park it in some other spot that’s been shoveled because someone else had the same idea. Everybody chips in. It’s civic duty.

      Philadelphians have a hard time with this concept. There’s a prevalent belief here that no action is worth your time unless you’re personally compensated for more than the effort you put in. It’s not just snow; look at all the litter.

      • saintjoan

        this is actually really common in boston and chicago too. no idea about minneapolis cause who cares.

  • Danthrax

    They need to prosecute the assholes who try this crap when there is no snow.
    If I dig out the spot in front of my house, I’m going to cover your car in snow, then dump water over the snow so that your car is encased in ice when you get back.

  • Mary Shall

    I feel like the people on here saying they agree with not being able to save your spot are the exact lazy asses who don’t get out and shovel their own. Oh and maybe of the city did a better job of plowing, these issues wouldn’t really be an issue.

  • Bob

    Simple decision between communism and capitalism. Is the worked on space simply a part of the common good, or does the work constitute a benefit? The government should move along. The people should just respect each other’s space. I know, laughable right?

  • andrew

    I wouldn’t have a problem with it when it snows if it weren’t for jerks who do it when there isn’t snow. But if shoveling in vain is the price of keeping people from spot-saving in nice weather, so be it.

    • Ed

      Well you live in the shit hole city ran by democrats! What else do you expect?

      • MystiKasT

        Blacks have destroyed the city

        • Karen

          And so has white trash!

  • Louis Miller

    Per natural law as articulated by John Locke in his Two Treatises on Civil Government, the act of digging the space out is mixing your labor with land that was previously held in the commons, and thereby, in the act of homesteading that parking spot, it becomes your legitimate property until such a time as you abandon it. In the erecting of a lawn chair, or a trashcan, or an orange cone, you are signaling to others “This property belongs to me, and is in active use, and is not abandoned.” You are staking your claim of legitimate property.

    But, cops don’t understand philosophy, or private property, or ownership, so in what has become common parlance: GLWT.

    • Guest

      “This property belongs to me, and is in active use, and is not abandoned.”

      Except it patently is not in active use.

      • J

        And also does not belong to you.

  • Lady

    Then the city need to shovel All the Streets and parking spot since its their street !! Don’t just do selective area because we All Pay Taxes be fair !! And I wonder if the tables were turn would they do it ??

  • Lady

    The city should be worried about more important things then saving a parking spot !

    • Theresa Rooney

      they should be worried;too many assholes killing each other over a parking spot!

      • MystiKasT

        We call them blacks

  • Beth

    If they enforce it only the residents in the Northeast would be fined… Since we are teh ones that get your lawn is too long fines and you out a plastic bottle in your trash bag fines!

  • Hobbes

    You want a participation trophy for shoveling some snow? Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you do what it takes to get to work in the morning and don’t have anything to show for it. You want a parking spot? Stop whining about having to walk in the snow from a faraway spot, work hard at work and get promoted…or get a better job. Manage your finances better. Buy a house in the ‘burbs with a garage and make your kid shovel the driveway. A space marked with a cone is the loser’s driveway! It is the coward’s garage!

  • Gerud

    The people who complain about the space saving at the same people who don’t even shovel their sidewalks. Park in the spot I shoveled out. See what happens and I’ll let you know it was me

  • Miss B

    Wow. Some people should learn how to spell and use proper grammar before complaining about anything, first and foremost…and I’m sorry, but if there’s a foot or more of snow outside, you better believe that I’m saving the spot that I just spent 45 minutes shoveling my car out of. I’ve lived in Philly my whole life and this has been the norm for years during a snow storm. I really don’t care if people think that it’s a “white trash” move or not. I live on a block of row homes, and if people knew how to park to begin with, there would be enough room on the street for one spot per household. Some of us can’t afford the luxury of having a home with a two or three car garage, so why would you ignorantly park in a spot where someone else just worked so hard to shovel their car out of?? Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

  • Scott

    Should have moved to Florida!

  • bk

    when the weather is bad, some neighbors come together & shovel snow for the elderly & dig out each others cars. today, my honey was out there with a concussion, broken ribs & a severly damaged shoulder due to a recent assault. we live in a row home where those that dig out, put something in the spot where they have cleared. have never had a problem as most work together & respect the hard work of the few that do the shovelling

  • Kerri

    I live in south philly and a couple years back I spent over an hour shoveling my car out on Oregon ave bc I was plowed in. I then made a crucial decision, which was NOT to save my spot bc I was going to be gone for over 5 hours. When I finally returned home later that day I drove past the spot I had shoveled to find that someone put their own lawn chair and tire there to save the spot for themselves. The very spot I spent over an hour digging out. Well I took that stuff tossed onto the sidewalk and parked my car there.

  • Audrey Lamping

    The problem is a lot of ppl, like myself, have inconsiderate neighbors who have no clue what common courtesy means. If it wasn’t for these ignorant people, this problem would have never been created

  • Mr. Snyder

    just look at the poll and you can tell what percentage of people SHOVEL snow and what percentage DON’T shovel.

  • Oliver

    When it snows, there is less space to park anyway, can we all agree on that? (Probably not.) OK, so, think about the practicality of that chair sitting in that space all day while you’re at work when other people, whether they shoveled a space or not, are driving around looking for somewhere to park. Doesn’t logic just sort of tell you if everyone saved spaces when there are already fewer spaces, someone is gonna get screwed even if they shoveled a space? So there you go. Cones, chairs, milk crates, shopping carts, mothers-in-law sitting in those spaces all day don’t solve our collective problem. People, try to be decent to each other. And we all KNOW what that means. Do unto others…and remember that some people might not be able to shovel as much snow as you. DO UNTO OTHERS. GOLDEN RULE. Can’t we all just get along?

  • rachel

    Every day I drive down Moyemensing Avenue between 5th and 7th Streets. Every day from January to December there are about 7 people who save the spots in front of their homes with a bucket and two pieces of wood, chairs cones milk crates…I know the police pass by there everyday too….why don’t they ever do anything!!!

  • jmb1

    God forbid everyone wait on their city and its use of high property taxes fund/clear the streets….when you accept less from your city officials and tax money allocation, you get less in services. Just part of city scene…..

  • Angie Lovitt

    That’s bull crap if I shovel it’s mines until there is other available parking on the street ..yea I will put my orange cone there and DARE someone to move it!! And u mm pills police no worries I have a ton of orange cones in the basement u can throw them out I’ll replace em :) it’s a level of respect that comes with the game..I know we don’t own the street but if I’m digging my car out I be dawned if someone else is gonna pull in and stay there!! Try it I’m waiting …..

  • dvon

    Its called courtesy and respect. It takes time and effort to shovel all that snow. And everyone cannot live with a driveway or garage you pompous ass. move some ish i have in front of my house after an hour of shoveling, you will have a problem.

  • pvbella

    In Chicago, I do not own the city sidewalk, yet by law I am supposed to shovel. I do not.

  • mrivera

    Residents should if its in front of thier own house. My street is a busy one way street with one-sided parking and business at one end of the block with 24 hr. shifts who park on our street (even though they have their own parking lot around the corner), then a business that opens 6 am. at the other end. In fact, the cross street at my corner is also one-sided parking. then you have the people that come park their cars to get on the Frankford El. My husband & daughter work evening and night shift so when they get home they could drive around the blocks a couple times then wind up parking and getting a ticket. We save the spot for my daughter so she’s not walking around by herself at night. One winter my husband & I shoveled our car out of the same spot because the plows came up our street. You’re damn right we are going to save that spot. We may not own the street but repairs need to be made on not our water pipes we sure do get told the street is our responsibility. Sorry, City of Philadelphia! You cant have it both ways! Its no wonder everybody want to get out of Philadelphia!

    • mrivera

      We shoveled the plowed spot 3 times that weekend.

  • Theresa Rooney

    if everyone shovels out! what is the problem same spots open to anyone!

    • Val Patterson

      I have said for many years if people would just shovel 1 1/2 spaces instead of doing the minimum, the entire block would be in much better shape as far as more parking open.

  • BilliyBob369

    IIt’s about time.

  • disqus_YFKtChIT3t

    I live in Northeast Philly and what I’m about to say is all my fault,I was putting salt down after shoveling at my apt bldg when a policeman pulled up and moved the cans that I put out after salting and he looked very pissed with me,He told me this was his 3rd time moving these cans and if he has to move them again the owner will get fined,I looked at him and said Nothing,I didn’t know about the save a parking spot law,I also didn’t know it was a policeman who moved the cans,had I known these things I would of never put them back,I don’t get in trouble with the law and at the age of 46 I’d rather keep my distance,I didn’t explain myself or anything it happened so quick I just wanted the officer gone,I didn’t mean any harm at all…….

  • Alex

    The police of Philly have time to ticket our asses over chairs in parking spots, but can’t catch any criminals with the same description on newspaper every week. Awesome job officers.

  • yam

    hey do you have a driveway if so your opinion is means nothing and if don’t your a blank

  • tee

    I have a garage and still had to dig out my car. If you have a car you should dig your own spot out. it’s lazy people who feel they can take a spot dug by others. park in my spot, if you want it that bad 4 flats say please stay a little longer.

  • Jofort60

    Move to Jersey where they have private driveways!

  • love to drive

    Please tell the idiot homeowners on Limekiln Pike (west oak lane) that the snow storm is over. Stop holding parking spots. Please Philly Cops or Parking Authority give them a ticket.

  • karen

    Therea no snow on the ground and ppl have chairs out there is that legal??!! A huge snow storm is coming

  • Rose

    I feel like you should be able to have your spot especially if you dug yourself out and if you live on the block with people who own more than 2 cars and/or don’t shovel in front of there own. I have kids I want them to be able to walk to and from the care safely.