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Is it wrong to stand in a Seattle parking spot and save it for a friend?


Holding a parking spot for a friend by standing in it is a much more stressful version of saving a seat in a movie theater.

Sometimes doing so can lead to more than mild irritation, like last year in Georgia when a driver struck a man who was saving the spot for his friend. Recently up north in British Columbia, a woman pulled out a machete in an argument over a parking spot. Obviously, the woman with the machete ended up with the spot.

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Would you ever stand in a spot to save it for a friend, and if you saw someone else doing this, how would you react?

One Candy, Mike and Todd Show listener says “I make my kid do it,” and another says, “You are talking about my mother. I have tried for 40 years to get this woman to stop hopping out to save a space when we are in a crowded lot.”

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“Look, you guys are amateurs,” KIRO Radio’s Todd Herman joked. “Why don’t you go get the ‘Under Construction’ block signs and put those in your trunk like some people I know used to do?”

“There were two friends I had who would take these signs around for concert parking so that they could go have dinner, and then they could come back and their spots would be there, and people wouldn’t move the signs because it would say ‘Reserved for Construction.’ I think it’s obnoxious to stand in the spots.”

Multiple listeners told the show that they have “nudged people” out of the parking space if they were physically standing there.

Standing in a parking spot on a public street is technically illegal

According to Seattle Detective Patrick Michaud, saving a spot may not just be annoying, it could be actually be illegal and considered blocking traffic.

“Yes that would be considered blocking traffic or playing in the street, depending on what you’re doing,” he said. “It would be illegal to stand in the street, even if it is considered a parking spot for vehicle traffic. We could cite you for that.”

So since it’s technically blocking traffic, standing in a parking spot on a public street could land you a $136 citation. But this doesn’t apply to parking spots on private lots.

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But KIRO Radio’s Mike Lewis doesn’t see what all the fuss is about in fighting over parking.

“I don’t know why the option isn’t just parking farther away,” he said. “I just drive to the farthest reaches of the parking lot and park out there, and I spend an additional two minutes walking. It’s not terribly complicated.”

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