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Darby Township To Issue Fines Over ‘Saved Spots’

DARBY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — Big snow storms and limited parking is a combination that can lead to a whole lot of neighborhood feuds.

Now, in Darby Township, if you feel you have the right to reserve your parking spot, you could face a fine for hundreds of dollars.

You can’t lay claim to a parking spot on a public street in Darby Township. If you do, you could hear from police.

“The law prohibits doing that,” said Darby Township Police Chief Robert Thompson.

Putting in the work to dig out your car after a snow storm and then reserving that spot is a long standing tradition throughout the Philadelphia area.

That’s how single mom Tiffany Ellison feels.

Watch the video…

She is frustrated and wants to fight the decision made by Darby Township commissioners Wednesday night to fine people like her $300 for saving their spot.

“It is going to be ugly. I was out between 12 and 1 a.m. digging,” said Ellison, who marked her ‘territory.’ “Yes, my trash can is out now so when I get home, I can park in front of my door.”

But for others, the new ordinance simply makes a whole lot of sense.

“A lady on Park had a rocking chair a week ago, still sitting there. I wouldn’t mind if she was handicapped or had a broken leg you know, but it’s ridiculous holding a parking space,” said resident Anthony Chiaverini. “You are going to get a lot of arguments over this.”

Thanks to two winters in a row where we’ve seen significant snow storms, arguments and frustrations over parking spots have been on the rise, according to Thompson.

“At some point, this can get serious or even tragic. I just felt we need to try and do things differently,” Thompson said.

The township also passed an ordinance to fine people $300 if they shovel snow back out on to the street.

Reported By Todd Quinones, CBS 3

More from Todd Quinones
  • Tracy

    you must be a democrat

  • Robert Brown

    It seems like letting someone reserve a spot for a day or two shouldn’t be a problem. Also, I’m surprised no one moved the rocking chair that had been there for a week. Obviously, if you save your spot, you have to hope someone doesn’t come along and steal it anyway (moving a trash can is easier than shoveling snow).

    $300 fine (?), sounds like the government taking people’s money again. I don’t think a good case (protecting people / good of everyone) can be made for a $300 fine. I’m not sure if I should argue on principle or just the extreme size of the fine.

  • wyrdless

    Darby can do this, but there will be unintended consequences. People won’t put as much effort in clearing a spot out. They will do half the job, pull out, and say to themselves “why should I do the rest? Someone else will take my work” and leave. For example the lady who claimed to be shoveling from 11pm-1am, she isn’t going to do anymore than what is absolutely required.

    So they may get a few $300 fines but they will have to spend more than that cleaning up snow which citizens would have removed on their own.

  • MIkeyB

    That’s silly. People are constructively forced to dig out to get to work for any number of reasons; otherwise, e.g., the city would shut down (city workers couldn’t get to work), the hospitals would be understaffed, children couldn’t get to school, etc…..

    I’d agree with you if no one had to move his car; sure, everyone would just leave his car where it is until the thaw. No one is forced to obey the cones that people place to reserve their spot.

  • Superpower

    More jackball city official ignorance…whoever came up with this little money grab scheme should be arrested for inciting a riot.

  • Mike M

    Simple. Shovel out your car, get it out of the spot, then pile the snow back onto the spot. Presto – the spot will likely be there for you when you come back!

  • John

    It’s not public work that removed the snow you get overit.

  • Royd

    Here’s a money making solution, for the city….Lease the parking spot to the homeowner, for say, $200 a year, and then, if someone else parks in the space, the city can tow the car, and charge a fine and storage…Sounds like win win.

  • Dahlia

    People who live in the city shouldn’t have cars. They should be supporting public transportation, shouldn’t they? They love living in the city because of the convenience, so why the need for a car? All of these zip car services are available when one needs to leave the city, so again, no excuse. All of that pollution in such tight living conditions. Shame on them. Think of how liberating it would be not to worry about shoveling and “saving” a parking space. Problem solved.

    • Angelo

      what about the people who live in the city and work in the suburbs? how about you suburbanites not work in the city, so that us city folk don’t have to travel 50 miles to earn a check?

  • John

    They don’t own the space they own the work they put into removing the snow but peoplelike you always look to find ways to live off other peoples hard work. Who is really the pathetic one? If I could I would wait till you shovel out a space (when hell freezes over most likely) and then move right in and takle that space. After all you don’t “own” it right? Try a little thinking.

  • Happy Young Man

    Here is an excellent example why this law is needed!

  • JJinCO

    Put in meters on residential streets. Residents park for free, all others have to pay. Residents can take out their frustration being duly deputized meter maids.

  • Mike

    They should tear down some of the buildings and make parking lots.

  • Jared

    Where are they supposed to move them? They have no driveways.

    • john

      That’s there problem, they decided to live there. Now deal with it. Bunch of cry babies.

  • Jared

    If there are no driveways, then the spots in front of a house should be solely for the residents of that house.

  • butta

    its just not right, its shady!

  • Terry

    Block the spot if you dig it out but remember that you have no right to the street itself. Someone else can move the chairs and park. These people getting into physical altercations over a spot are idiots. Case is point the idiot in Bensalem who put a gun to a snow removers head. Can you say multiple felony charges with a five year mandatory minumium. Yep, snow is so worth going to jail.

    • ra44

      OH no i think those that park in other peoples cleared off spots can simply bury the car and pour water over it so that its frozen shut. They can keep that spot till the spring thaw.

  • Gray Ghost

    These people need to be compensated for cleaning the streets I am sure union wages would be fair. Each person who clears the street in front of their homes must be paid at union wage.

    • Kurtiss

      I agree. And start paying me union wages for mowing my own lawn. I mean you personally, Gray Ghost, send me the check today.

  • Adam

    Whoa! People are doing a whole lot of work here without the Feds getting their fair share! TAX THE PEOPLE DIGGING OUT THE SPOTS! FINE THEM EVEN IF THEY DON’T SAVE THEIR SPOT!

    • Kurtiss

      That’s right, Adam. Otherwise, how is the government going to get the money that it so rightfully deserves?!

  • Mark Matis

    Hey, enjoy your city life! You’re only getting what you elected. The stench is overwhelming.

    • luvFlorida

      I agree!

  • mike

    by all means lets reward the unproductive at the expense of the productive. if someone worked their butt off to clear a spot to pake their car then they should have the right to save that spot.

  • RR

    wasnt it just last year, that Mayor Nutter said “I don’t have a problem with it” when asked about this very issue? So I guess this means Darby police would rather deal with violent disputes between neighbors, than dealing with a lawn chair in the road. . . What do they expect us to do? Are we to come home from work to dig out another spot before we can park our cars? What if we have kids? I’m quite sure the people who voted this in have driveways. . .

  • sharyn

    i’m in phila and have the same problem. neither my husband nor myself are able
    to dig out due to physical problems. we pay someone to dig us out. why should
    i put out my money to have someone else take my spot? i’m for keeping what i
    take care of. i wouldn’t think of parking in a spot i did not dig out but then again
    philadelphians are not known for their courtesy.

  • tyler

    Clean the streets and this wouldn’t be a problem.


    “you face a fine for hundreds of dollars”. Well did anyone get a fine yet? Or is it one of those laws that are not enforced? If you got fined, how much was the summons?

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