Mayor Nutter took a second Thursday to opine on the very eastern-seaboard tradition of claiming a parking spot once you've dug out your car. Snow-going Inquirer reporter Troy Graham caught Nutter during a snow-shoveling photo ops in West Philly.
One reporter asked Nutter about the tradition of marking parking spaces with furniture and other items; the lawn chair is a favorite placeholder, followed by milk crate, traffic cone, garbage can. Nutter laughed and said that was something that had been going on in the city since before he was born.
"Look, if you spent two hours digging your car out … ultimately that has to be something respected by the community," he said.
We would have expected the old Nutter to note that the practice is illegal, then announce a six-month study of the lawn-chair phenomenon, and how it affects traffic patterns, the economy and delivery of services to determine whether a change of the law was in order.
The new scofflaw Mayor is probably in line with a majority of Philadelphians, though certainly at odds with the Police Department's official policy.
"Officially, you cannot put a chair, milk crate, your grandmother…Officially, it's not your spot, and you can't save it officially," said Philadelphia police spokesman Ray Evers, whose fondness for the word "officially" translates to: We're not enforcing it unless a fight breaks out. Or until the retaliatory brick lands in your front seat.