I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

For street cleaning, every side of every block in most of Brooklyn becomes a no-parking zone for about two hours each week. (This is one of the reasons why having a car in Brooklyn sucks: you need to leave your parking spot and find a new one, which is nearly impossible, at least twice a week. Or pay $340/month for a garage, which doesn’t reduce the $250/month insurance.)

Park Slope uniformly performs this crazy maneuver during street cleaning: nearly every car double-parks against the other side of the street, forming a solid, perfect second row of cars.

Nobody gets ticketed. There’s some sort of understanding between the residents and the police that apparently exempts this double-parking from being a ticketed offense.

Street cleaning is usually done from 9:something to 10:something in the morning, after which everyone gets back into their double-parked cars and switches back to the freshly cleaned side of the street.

I’m curious how the system works:

  1. How did this start?
  2. Is there any formal organization of it?
  3. Are there rules? Do people get the same spot and just switch sides, or do they take whatever they can get? Is it a huge offense to drive up and park in the cleaned zone before the corresponding double-parked car has a chance to move back?
  4. Don’t most of these people have jobs? Who’s moving all of these cars back at 10:30 AM on a weekday?
  5. Can you hire someone to perform this shuffle every week while you’re at work for less than the cost of using a parking garage or getting a lot of parking tickets? If it’s a paid service, what happens if the driver can’t get your spot back?

Nobody told us these things when we moved here. They just gave us a refrigerator magnet about recycling.