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A story about a parking space

So at 5:50pm I pulled past a green parking space to prepare to reverse into it. It is COMMON for people to reverse into a parallel parking space. There is a red space just in front of it with a fire hydrant, which it is NOT ok to park, but a green space is OK. A green space in San Francisco basically means it is 10 minute parking between 9am and 6pm or something very similar. Sometimes the hours or duration are different, but generally a green space means you can park there for free for a very limited amount of time during business hours. Businesses usually buy the rights to these spaces during business hours from the city so their customers can use them DURING BUSINESS HOURS. The hours are also CLEARLY labeled on the sidewalk. What this also means is on hours NOT between 9am and 6pm, parking is unlimited. This is common knowledge to anyone who has driven in San Francisco. As I’m preparing to reverse, a white BMW pulls up behind me and poorly parks and blocks half the space (while my reverse lights are on, trying to back into the space).

After the car pulls halfway into the space, they decide to wait in their car for around a minute, almost as if they are waiting for me to move, despite my REVERSE lights being on. I guess it never crossed their mind that I might be trying to park in that space, but whatever. They then LEISURELY get out of their car and walk in to get their dry cleaning. Fine. Its raining pretty hard at this point and I figure its pretty rude to go in to ask them just to move their car 5 feet back when they might be back out in 2 minutes. It is also true that I’m not a customer of the business and they are, so I figure this is reasonable that I yield until 6pm (not necessary, but a nice thing to do considering the circumstances).

Keep in mind I have every right to park in said green space at 5:50pm and leave it until 9am the next day due to the 10 minute duration making it OK until 6pm, and the rules not applying after 6pm. Also, despite the business owner buying the rights to the space, there is no rule that non customers are not allowed to park in these spaces; yielding is a COURTESY, not an obligatory. Despite gas being around $4.30 a gallon, I also decided to leave my engine on. My car is an old car and every other time I start the car I need to open the front bonnet of the car to wiggle the battery, only right now its raining…HARD.

They ended up taking 10 minutes until they leisurely walk back to their car with their dry cleaning, then proceed to stay half in the space talking on the phone. So, I decided to pull up a bit, turn on my REVERSE LIGHTS and slowly back into the space and stopped short of hitting their car, hopefully hinting them to back up a bit. They clearly had no interest in the space and were merely there to pick up their dry cleaning. Getting no reaction, I finally decided to hand signal them to move back a couple feet (instead of honking) so I can park. They decided instead of moving to open their window (in the rain) to exclaim in an annoyed tone:

Driver in BMW: “What are you doing!?!?”

Me: I want to park here! (only shouting so they can hear me).

Driver in BMW: “Thats not a proper space! Its red!

Me: Its GREEN, you’re in half the space so I can’t park! (This time I was shouting in annoyance).

They didn’t say anything, but a minute later they drove off.

People are not stupid just because you don’t understand what they are doing.

P.S. Before I turned the engine off, I looked in my side mirror and saw a much better space free down the block. I made a quick U and parked there instead, right outside my house :). No hard feelings to BMW driver.

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