Common sense laws and parking laws in Seattle

Last Friday while parking my car on a street in Ballard, a small suburb of Seattle, I was confronted with a parking situation, which most of us know all too well. Who hasn’t experienced that someone takes your parking spot, though you’ve been first in line. Since the person, who took my parking spot, acted in such a rude and reckless way, I confronted her as soon as she had done it.

I waited on the street for a car to leave the parking spot on my left. I left enough space on my right side so that other cars could pass without having to wait for me getting into that parking spot. The car was parked in an angle on the left side of the street. When I waited for a couple minutes for a parking spot, no other car had been behind or next to me. When the person in the parked car drove backwards to get out of the parking spot, another car came up behind me, and the driver stopped on my right and waited next to me, parallel to my car.

I thought that she had stopped her car so that the driver of the parked car could drive safely backwards onto the street. But as soon the driver of the parked car was on the street and drove forward, she sped into the parking spot. As soon she had done that, I got out of my car, knocked on her window, before she could leave her car, to get her attention. But she already knew that I was there.

The conversation in general went something like this. She opened the door and asked me not to knock vigorously on her window. I asked her to move her car because she had taken my parking spot. Her reply was that she had made an “honest mistake,” but since I had knocked vigorously on her window, she wouldn’t move her car. Additionally, she said that she would have moved her car if I had asked her without knocking vigorously on the window, and that this would teach me a lesson. I think you know by now how I felt.

She left her car with a book in her hand and went into a store or restaurant across the parking spot. Afterwards I got into my car and parked my car behind her car. I asked several people on the street whether there is a parking law that states that there is also a ‘right of way’ for parking incidents. The few people I asked told me that there is no ‘right of way’ law, and they suggested that I park my car elsewhere.

I wasn’t satisfied with their answer. Common sense told me that this woman had taken my parking spot and on top of everything had acted rudely and recklessly. Actually, she could have caused an accident. If I had begun to drive my car at the same time, when she sped her car into my parking spot, our cars would have collided. Due to her reckless and dangerous behavior I took notes of her car and the cars parked next to it. I thought that someone else must have seen her in her actions. Suddenly she appeared on the street again, and she asked me whether I wanted her to move her car. I asked her again to move her car out of the parking spot. Thereafter she parked her car elsewhere.

Later that day when I saw a parking enforcement car, I took the opportunity and inquired about the parking laws in Seattle. The officer not only told me that their is a ‘right of way’ parking law, he showed me the rule in his booklet. But he made it clear that this law applies only to parking on the streets of Seattle. I personally think that this is a common sense law. If you see a car waiting for a parking spot, you don’t recklessly seize that parking spot neither on a street nor private parking lot at a mall.

So, now you know that there is a ‘right of way’ parking law on the streets of Seattle, but if no officer is around, who will help you to enforce this law, you might be out of luck.

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