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Snow storm leads to heated parking war as drivers try to reserve dug-out spots

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    PASSAIC, New Jersey (WCBS) — After the snow storm, parking wars are heating up in one New Jersey city.

Looking around for a parking spot in Passaic, you’ll find many of the available spots aren’t actually available.

Many are saved, using cones, trash cans or just about anything.

“I’ve seen old dryers put out there, kids’ toys, bicycles with no wheels,” Mayor Hector C. Lora said.

After the snow storm, many drivers who dug their cars out now feel a sense of ownership over the parking spot, so they leave something there as a way to reserve that space.

Lifelong Passaic resident Juan Bravo thinks it’s a system that works.

“Most people respect that because they know the hard work the prior person went through, and they’ll leave it there, man,” Bravo told CBS2’s Nick Caloway.

So what happens if someone takes your spot?

“No, not OK, man. You do that, you’re probably going to get your tires slashed, bro,” Bravo said.

That’s exactly what happened to Gladys Sanabria’s daughter’s car Thursday night or Friday morning.

“There was a parking [spot] here with the white chair over here. She took it out, and she parked her car there,” Sanabria said. “This morning when she went to go to work, the tire was slashed and there was spit on top of the truck.”

The mayor said cops are investigating, adding that people are not allowed to save spaces on a public street.

“And if you think you’re going to save a space, call dibs, go to work for eight hours and come back and that’s going to remain empty, that’s not a reasonable expectation. And it’s not a good look for our city,” Lora said.

Passaic city crews have been going around, removing the objects people are using to illegally reserve parking spots.

But many of those items removed by city crews have already been replaced, the spots effectively saved again.

Officials in Passaic say if the city takes any items you leave on the street, you can contact the city and go get those items back.

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