If you shovel out a parking space, is it yours, or does the time-honored rule of "no savesies" apply?
As the D.C. area continues to dig out from under record snowfall, some drivers are clearing street parking spaces and then setting out chairs, tables and other objects in an effort to ward off other drivers.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier urged drivers to not try to reserve public parking spaces.
"When people try to start saving that space, we start to see little tensions flare up between neighbors," she said. "Nobody does have the legal right to save their own space on public streets."
Fights over "saved" parking spaces have led to violence. A man in Boston was shot Monday after witnesses say he moved a parking space saver and parked his car.
D.C. driver John Gerrety said he wanted to protect his hard work. He placed a chair in a spot he cleared.
"I think anybody who sees something here will know I spent time and energy digging myself out," he said.
What's he going to do about it if someone does take the space?
"If I'm here, I might do something about it. But if I'm not, what am I gonna do?" he said.
Driver Marena Wood said she wouldn't put out an object to try to save the space she cleared, but said she was still possessive over it.
"If anyone takes it, you better watch out," she said with a laugh.
Other drivers said they were counting on karma to get a spot.
"It's gonna be a free-for-all," Kayla Johnson said as she shoveled out her car. "If someone else takes it, hopefully there will be another spot I can take."
Like the police chief, the director of the District's emergency management agency also told drivers they cannot reserve public parking spots.
"People need to get their cars out, they're gonna dig 'em out, it's a lot of work, it's heavy work, but you don't own your space," Chris Geldart said.
"This is a debate that's going to rage on as long as there are cars and snow," News4 reporter Mark Segraves said Tuesday as he sat in a plastic chair in a parking spot.
"D.C. law is clear -- no savesies," he said.