December 30, 2004

It Snows, You Shovel, You Mark [7:57 am]

After our big snow, our mayor starts his fight over the public commons: On parking markers, Southie, city dig in [pdf]

In a battle that shows no signs of waning soon, Mayor Thomas M. Menino dispatched crews to South Boston yesterday to clear away anything and everything that residents placed in the streets to stake claims to parking spaces they had cleared of snow.

But just as quickly as the jaws of city garbage trucks crushed the myriad shopping carts, traffic cones, and furniture used as markers, many residents replaced them with new parking-space holders.

“I’ve got more barrels than he’s got trucks,” said James M. Kelly, the neighborhood’s city councilor, who used a trash barrel yesterday to reserve his pristinely shoveled spot near N Street. City crews moved his barrel to the sidewalk yesterday, but a neighbor moved it back.

It’s an unwritten law almost as old as the automobile in densely populated Boston neighborhoods: You shovel it, you own it. But Menino decided last December that the vigilante justice sometimes meted out for violating the law of the streets — slashed tires, broken windows, or keyed car doors — was getting out of hand. So he began ordering city crews to pick up parking space markers 48 hours after a major snowfall.

Relevance? See DRM Is A Folding Chair — moreover, Cory has followed up his earlier posting on this Wired article with an even more pointed discussion: Cory responds to Wired Editor on DRM. And another

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