Parking Fight!

Today near Dupont Circle I caught a great argument. A woman was standing in a vacant parking space. A man pulled up and tried backing in. The woman stood her ground, trying to wave the man away.

The guy was polite enough not to mow her down and instead shouted from his car, “Lady, just because you’re standing there doesn’t mean the space is reserved!”

The woman explained that it was for her friend and gave a convoluted story about how they were moving their car from a nearby lot. The man said he needed to park too. He made a big point of it that he lived in that neighborhood, though that part seemed irrelevant to me.

The debate went back and forth. I got bored and walked away before I saw who won.

What do you think? Is reserving a space by standing in it ever valid? I’m thinking no way. Either your car is ready to park or it isn’t. If we accept that standing in a space equates possession, then we’ll end up with passengers jumping out of cars and sprinting against each other every time they spot someone pull out.

While I felt the guy was in the right (and there might even be a law that agrees with him), I also felt he had a dilemma. If he won the argument and got to park there, he’d then have to leave his car unattended right where the pissed-off space-stander would know where to find it.

2 Comments so far

  1. Mik (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 11:16 am

    Personally, I would’ve given up and found a spot elsewhere.


  2. Brian (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 12:12 pm

    No way does just standing in a space give you dibs, I agree you’re ready to park or tough luck. That said, I’m not going to risk damage to my car by “winning” an argument over who has the right to park there. Legally though I don’t think she had a leg to stand on, no pun intended.

    When I first moved here a friend’s apartment building kept two orange cones in their lobby for residents to go out and try to reserve a nearby space through social engineering. It usually worked!



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