There’s an alley across from where I work that is free street parking… if you can find a spot.
I drive to work early enough every day that I nearly always find a spot. But sometimes it’s difficult because people aren’t always thinking about other cars when they choose how to place their car within the legal areas.
The other morning, I arrived in the alley and saw what was very close to a spot for my tiny car. There was a woman parked on the end of the legal area, and she had 5 feet of free space ahead of her.
(That’s unpainted legal curb there in the photo of where she was parked.)
I pulled up next to her to parallel park, and stopped to get her attention. Both of our windows were closed, but I smiled and waved at her to see if she could pull ahead a few feet. Obviously, I was trying to park and was seeking a few extra feet. She looked at me and then turned and looked forward. She didn’t move.
So I took a shot at the spot and failed. Lining up to try again, I attempted to get her attention again. She wouldn’t look at me, at first. Then happened to glance. Again, I waved at her to move forward a few feet. She then turned forward again, ignoring me.
As a matter of principle, I lined it up and after a few more attempts was able to fit my car in with inches to spare.
It’s one thing to find a car poorly placed in a parallel parking situation. But it’s a rare gift when you actually get to interact with the person who did it and ask them to correct. This has happened to me one other time in this alley, and the guy understood and was happy to oblige.
It’s fairly common to see examples of how people don’t think of others when they’re walking, parking and generally doing spatial relations based activities. But a rare gift when you get to interact with them.
After I parked, I got out and asked this woman why she wouldn’t move. I had to speak through her window, but I was careful to keep my distance and smile to let her know I wasn’t mad.
She ignored me. So, figuring I wasn’t going to get anywhere, I decided to take some photos for this blog post. That’s when she got out of her car.
She was very angry I was taking a picture of her car. Since she was now speaking to me, I asked her why she wouldn’t move forward into the open area. She yelled at me saying if she pulled forward any more, she’d be towed for sure (a ridiculous concern, to be sure).
Then she got back into her car and went back to ignoring me. So I walked away to work, but not before I noticed a motorcycle drive up and park in the open space between her car and the police parking area…
… a sort of justice that I’m pretty sure was lost on her.