People get very possessive about their parking spaces. People have actually been killed over parking spots, and parking can be a big problem in the winter.
- Snow or ice may cover the stripes that mark parking spaces.
- People want to leave more space between cars to avoid fender benders.
- Snowplows push all the snow to the edges of the lot, or to the middle, covering up some of the parking spaces.
Apartment parking lots can be very difficult to clear, because there are almost always some cars there. It’s easy to clear snow when it’s just a matter of plowing up and down the parking lot, but a snowplow or skid-steer has a hard time clearing around each vehicle. This might mean that the cars already parked there have banks of snow around them, and if the owners shovel them out, they may throw the snow into the center of the lot or, worse, into other parking spaces.
So what am I supposed to do?
First, remember to be respectful of others – the worst disputes are caused by people who ignore the needs of their neighbors. It seems like some people think that their time is more important than other people’s time – that can be very aggravating.
If you can’t get out of your parking space without dumping on someone else, consider taking public transportation that day. If there is none available, maybe you can get a ride with someone in exchange for giving them a ride another time. If you belong to a carpool, ask to switch days with another member. Maybe it would even be good to take a day off.
If none of these is an option, try to put “your” snow where it will cause the least difficulty. Some people use toboggans and take their snow to the side of the lot or onto their lawns. Yes, it takes longer, so if you hear that there is snow coming, plan for that delay.
If you can’t get into your own assigned parking space, try parking on the street nearby (keep snow clothes in your car so you don’t freeze while walking home).
Finally, if you get into a conflict with a neighbor, and talking calmly doesn’t fix things, consider trying mediation.
JCMS offers FREE mediation to Jefferson County citizens and businesses. Mediation is a good way to discuss a dispute reasonably, with a neutral third party (a mediator) to facilitate the conversation. The mediators won’t tell you what to do, give legal advice, or say who is right or wrong, but they are trained to help people with disagreements to work together to find a resolution, instead of having a shouting match. For more information on mediation, go to our website at www.JeffcoMediation.com, or call us at 303.271.5060. Para Espanol, 720-577-5826.