Last Sunday, I drove to my local Farmer’s Market with my two girls as I do almost every Sunday. It’s usually pretty crowded and parking is hard to find. I approached the parking area in front and waited for a space to open up. I sat patiently in my car with my girls hounding me, “Can’t we get out of the car mommy?” “I have a headache, I want to get out of the car!” I noticed there was a car behind me and felt relieved that at least I was first in line and the wait would soon be over.

After what felt like an eternity, a man and woman holding bags of flowers and veggies came walking down the street towards their car in the open lot. They were parked on the left and I was waiting on the right. As they began loading the bags into their car, I saw the car behind me race up in front and turn towards their space. Being a girl from NYC, I was not about to let that happen! I’m used to people double parking and getting out of their car to do an errand, but stealing another person’s space that they have been waiting patiently for is absolutely out of the question!

I tried to reason with the driver and was ignored. (See “To Dodge or Not to Dodge.”) He proceeded ahead until he was halted by another defensive driver who told him that they would not move until I was able to park. Thankfully, the thief relented and we pulled into my primo parking space. After informing the security guard of the tense situation , we entered the Farmer’s Market a bit tainted from the whole experience. What happened to my relaxing Sunday?

Long story short – My manners are in check most of the time…but when it comes to parking spaces and meter maids, everything seems to fly out the window. I always look for the absolute closest parking space to wherever I’m going and will usually wait until I get one. Admittedly, I am not a patient person and so waiting for anything is a painful exercise in restraint. So here are a few etiquette rules I wish I could instigate when it comes to parking and meter maids.

  • Don’t steal other people’s parking spaces in parking lots, (especially when they have waited for patiently with screaming, hungry kids inside the car). This is true for metered parking as well. If you see someone double-parked and waiting for an open space, you should not steal the space from them.
  • FAIL parking meters are fair game. I can’t stand parking garages so if I can find a meter or 2-hour free street parking even better and unlike most people who wouldn’t dare to park in a space with a FAIL parking meter, when I find one I consider it my lucky day!!
  • Running a quick errand? Save yourself the quarters and take advantage of the timed parking zones (3 min., 10 min, etc.). Don’t take up an hourly parking spot when there are short-term ones available for your quick errands.
  • Prepare your spare change ahead of time. If you visit the bank to deposit checks, next time ask your teller for a roll of quarters. It’ll save you time to be prepared!
  • Don’t abuse the system. I see people taking advantage of disabled parking spots all of the time! Those spots have been set aside for people who need them most. This is a terrible practice, not too mention really bad karma.
  • Parking attendants should be more reasonable when it comes to writing tickets. They should stop when someone approaching their car while the ticket is still being written. Why can’t they give us the benefit of the doubt? If they see us running towards our cars and risking our lives to save ourselves from having to pay a ticket then that should account for something!


Do you agree with us? Share your thoughts about parking spots and parking attendance and add a point to our list of etiquette rules. PARKING ATTENDANTS: this is an opportunity to tell your side of the story. Let your voice be heard! Post your comments and/or experiences below.

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