Savesies lead to mugging in D.C.

| February 4, 2014

In cities such as Chicago and Boston, it’s commonplace (if illegal) to mark your parking spot with orange cones and other detritus—two-gallon buckets and boxes have been seen, even a container of antifreeze—especially during snowy weather. In fact, the Philadelphia police department recently had to tweet a message that asked residents to keep their parking spots clear after digging them out of the snow: “Just say no to lawn chair, orange cone, and trash can.” The tweet was followed by the hashtag #nosavesies.

The practice recently migrated to Washington, D.C., but came to a bad end when two teachers were mugged after the cones forced them to park farther from their workplace.

Cones mark parking in Manhattan

From Theeerin.

The cones had been placed in both parking lots and side streets near Capital City Charter School, where the instructors work. Neighbors living nearby had begun setting the cones out, and the school reports that many elderly residents wanted one side of 2nd Place NW, which is about one block west of campus, reserved for their personal use.

The neighbors’ actions with the orange cones forced the instructors to park close to Oglethorpe and 2nd Place NW about two blocks southwest of campus. The two were walking back to their cars around 6 p.m. when a man carrying a gun approached and robbed them. “Even though it’s just one incident, it’s incredibly unsettling,” said Karen Dresden, who heads the school.

Capital City Charter School is located in Manor Park, a largely residential, middle-class neighborhood in northwestern D.C. It’s considered safe, but some teachers say that the area, which borders Ft. Slocum Park, can get very dark. Dresden says she’s working on improving lighting in the area, and the school has added extra security during the afternoons and evenings.

While the school’s moves are bound to improve safety, parking remains a contentious issue in the nation’s capital, with many still upset about the changes the city made to its Visitor Parking Pass (VPP) program last August. Residents contended that the pass, which is provided to some neighbors annually and which allows visitors to park longer than the two hours allotted to participating Residential Permit Parking blocks, were being abused by commuters. Either they were buying them off residents or neighbors were providing the passes, critics said.

No one has accused the teachers of abusing the VPP program, however.

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Category: Education, Parking

About the Author ()

Cielo Lutino is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn, NY. She has written for such publications as the L Magazine and Portland Monthly, and her literary nonfiction has appeared in journals such as the Los Angeles Review and Cold Mountain Review.

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