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Downtown ban on space savers pushed

Space savers are banned in the South End.Sean Proctor/Globe Staff/Sean Proctor

Neighborhood leaders around downtown Boston want to do away with parking space savers once and for all, following a severe winter marked by feuds and vandalism as shovelers reserved spots well beyond the city’s traditional two-day grace period.

Members of the Alliance of Downtown Civic Organizations, which represents nine communities, want to follow the lead of the South End, which this winter prohibited the use of cones, barrels, chairs, and other objects to reserve cleared spaces after snowstorms.

“We are going to join together and write a single letter to the mayor, requesting the city refuse to recognize space savers of any kind for any reason in the downtown area going forward, and ask that if people leave stuff out it be treated as abandoned property,” said Ford Cavallari, president of the North End Waterfront Residents’ Association.


Because of the historic snowfall this winter, Mayor Martin J. Walsh allowed space savers to remain in place longer than the unwritten 48-hour rule.

Even weeks after Walsh ordered space savers removed amid warming temperatures, they still dot the streets in some neighborhoods.

The group wants an all-encompassing ban in the area bordered by the Charles River to the north; Boston Harbor to the east; Fort Point Channel to the south; and Massachusetts Avenue to the west, according to a proposed resolution.

It would also include the Fenway neighborhood

The neighborhood leaders of the downtown coalition agree on the proposal, but will take it back to their individual neighborhood groups for review before sending it to the mayor.

Two groups — the North End association and the Fenway Civic Association — have already individually voted in favor of the ban.

The Bay Village Neighborhood Association will discuss it in two weeks, and groups in Chinatown, Back Bay, and the West End are slated to vote soon.


Cavallari said he expects all votes to be tallied by the end of April, at which point if there is considerable support the resolution will be sent to Walsh’s administration.

With the city’s support, the South End became the first neighborhood to put an end to the reservation of public spots this year. Trash collectors were directed to pick up any space savers they saw.

Cavallari and others want to replicate that program elsewhere. Walsh’s office had no comment on the latest proposal.

“We think objects left in the street should be removed and people should treat parking as we always do,” Cavallari said. “We don’t think they should happen at all.”

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.