Of snow, shovels, and property rights

Imagine that you brave the cold to complete the laborious task of carving out a parking space on some snow encrusted street. How pissed off would you be if you come home from work to discover that some other motorist decided to take advantage of your effort and park their car in the space you created?

Does the labor you put into “creating” the space in the snow give you a right to that stretch of public parking? In some cities like Boston, MA you have a legal right to reserve cleared parking spots with lawn chairs or cones, but in DC it isn’t so. And according to this Mercatus Center article and the Washington Post over 75% of people polled favor a right to reserve a public parking space if s/he cleared the space of snow.

Perhaps this snowpocalypse, snowmageddon, or unusually large snow storm (whatever clever name you’d like to assign to the recent weather events) affords those of us who champion the classical labor theory of property rights a chance to tap into the apparently intrinsic idea of property rights with our neighbors.

Image via Ben’s Breakfast Blog