On the already-narrow and packed streets of South Boston, residents were struggling Wednesday morning with how to carve out their cars from the approximately two and a half feet of snow that fell from this week'a powerful winter storm.
"Look at it. Where do we put it?" asked a South Boston resident named Lenny, who declined to give his last name. "It's ping pong. He throws it there, I throw it there, everybody throws it back to the spot. You know what I mean, ping pong?"
Southie stayed up late or got up early to clean up, with many promising to observe a tradition of territory-marking in this neighborhood. Lawn chairs, traffic cones, laundry baskets and other everyday objects declare, "I cleared the snow from this space, so don't even think about parking here."
"I've had mine taken, for sure," South Boston resident Ann Dempsey said of her cleared parking spaces. "I'm not the sort of person to retaliate-- but it happens. It happened last year with some tires getting slashed."
John Restaino claimed his spot with beach furniture. "It's just a level of respect; I hope people respect the spot-saver for at least a day or two," he told New England Cable News. "You do the work, put the time in; it's yours."
High mounds of cleared snow and still-buried cars have the potential to create hazards to some drivers' vision. Piles in some places could be so high, drivers may not be able to easily see around them as they round corners or back out of driveways.
"If the sidewalks aren't clear and people are walking in the streets, that's a huge danger," warned incoming Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack.
Pollack urged businesses, residents, and institutions to pitch in and make sure sidewalks are clear. Shoveling out hydrants is another way people can help, as Boston's current "big dig," the snow kind, stretches on.