Some people laughed at my recent headline about “parking wars” going on in Burnaby.
Well, to some people it’s become a war – a war of attrition, a war of words and a war of shaking fists.
There’s even been borderline violence based on some of the stories I’ve been told in recent weeks after my initial column about people fighting over parking spaces on public streets in Burnaby.
Some people try all sorts of gimmicks to block off the spaces out front of their houses, from orange cones to garbage bins.
Some even use their bodies.
A reader named Vince said they tried that once because it was a special occasion and they really needed a space to be open on his residential street.
“We were hosting an event at our house and my parents have severe mobility issues,” Vince said. “So I wanted them to be able to park as close to our front door as possible because our back yard is tricky for them. So it came to the night of our big event and, as usual, the spaces on our street started filling up fast. I watched as the spaces got filled one by one until there was really only one left – next door at our neighbour’s place. So I went out and decided to stand in the space with a little sign saying I needed the spot. Right before my parents showed up, my neighbour arrived and tried to pull into the space. I smiled and showed the sign and my neighbour suddenly accelerated towards me. I jumped out of the way and he parked front first. When he got out he shrugged and said it was an ‘accident’. I asked him if he could move, explaining my situation. He said he couldn’t, that the spot was ‘his’ and raced into his house. I really believe he tried to run me over, no matter what he says. I know I shouldn’t have stood in the space, but really, it’s sad that people can’t be good neighbours even for a few hours.”
Well, that’s just chilling, isn’t it?
I get that people shouldn’t stand in parking spots. I’ve seen people do this in mall parking lots at Christmas and it’s a bad idea. You can’t just reserve a spot because you’re standing there.
But Vince’s case feels different. The neighbour, of course, got there first, but trying to run someone down seems like a terrible response.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.