Parking disputes are nothing new. Social media sites are full of video clips of drivers battling over parking spots from around the country.
In New York City, for example, actor Alec Baldwin pleaded guilty to harassing a man over a parking space last month.
But it isn’t only celebrities who get angry about losing a spot. There are video clips on Facebook and YouTube of motorists battling over parking spaces at big box stores. Some fights are just hand gestures and yelling, while others show people physically brawling or threatening other drivers with weapons.
The Herald published a story last week about an ongoing parking issue in the city’s Little Poland neighborhood. While this dispute is tame by comparison to the others described here, the situation is causing some angst among business owners, residents and those who enjoy shopping in the historic district.
Raymond Szajkowski, president of the Pulaski Democratic Club told The Herald that the lot on the club’s property on Grove Street is posted informing drivers that its 90 spaces are for club patrons and not public parking for nearby businesses. Yet, according to Szajkowski, people have been ignoring the warnings that their cars could be towed if they park on the club’s property. “Little Poland has an issue with parking,” Szajkowski said. “People just assume that this is a city owned parking lot and they are allowed to park here,” he said. But in the last few months, he said he has had enough of people ignoring the signs and he began towing vehicles.
“I’m tired of being bullied and this is how I’m taking it,” he said.
But the issue goes deeper than just this one lot. As Szajkowski noted, there is a lack of public parking in Little Poland.
We believe the city should take a fresh look at the possibility of providing more public parking in the area. Whether it is by leasing space for public parking from property owners, or identifying property that could become city lots, attention to the issue from city officials is warranted.
Little Poland is an asset that should be appreciated and supported. We want visitors to walk the neighborhood and spend money in the shops. But if limited parking is discouraging people from visiting Little Poland, the situation must be addressed.