NYC drivers have all had the exasperating experience of driving around in search of that elusive parking spot, seeing a space, and then discovering that the space is a fraction too small for a car to fit in. In some instances the creation of that wasted "phantom" space was unintentional and random. Other times it could have been easily avoided.
Nearly every day, four to six legal parking spaces are wasted by questionable parking on our block by drivers who take up more than one space - or two (or more) spaces. This careless misuse of space is especially noticeable on alternate side of the street parking days -- when one side is empty for a few hours before cars move back to the alternate side. That "blank slate" often becomes a haven for parking abuse.
The drivers that park in the middle of large spaces usually do so to avoid getting their bumpers scratched. If you live, work or drive in NYC your bumper will get some scratches. Get over it, or don't park your car on NYC streets. And if you do take up more than one parking space you may be defeating your own purpose and running the risk of having an almost-too-small space created by other departing cars, which will surely cause your bumper to really get scratched by someone trying to cram their almost-too-large car into that almost-too-small space. And if you park a motorcycle on the street, do not park it in the middle of a large car-sized space. Use a smaller space.
Phantom parking spaces are less common in Manhattan than Brooklyn. In the "city," where parking spots have always been very scarce, one does not see many wasted parking spaces. In addition cars are parked much closer together than our suggested less-than-3-feet car-to-car distance.
Why ParkSmart? In some neighborhoods in Brooklyn (like this one) street parking used to be more available. But now, due to increased density, rezoning and new development, street parking here is at a premium. But some of this scarcity can be easily alleviated.
If all drivers worked together and considered themselves part of a larger community (and not just out for themselves) we could free up parking spaces for other residents. Always try to follow the simple 3-foot rule: park your car less than 3 feet from either the car in front or the car behind.* Also, make sure to pull your car right up to the edge of crosswalks (not the stop line) and fire hydrant spaces (15' on either side).
Don't be a "space hog." We will all benefit by having more street parking spaces.
Think "we, not me."