There was an instance today that forced me to verify that I was correct in my thoughts on parking lot etiquette. Here is what Alicia Myers says on the topic in her article Driving Etiquette.
First come, first serve. If someone is waiting for a space, they have nonverbally claimed it if their turn signal is on before yours.
Patience takes precedence over roaming. If someone is patiently waiting in a row for a space, and has been there for some time, the roamers who aimlessly drive around do not have the upper hand if a space should happen to open.
Half and half. If two people are parked on opposite ends of a row, the row is equally divided into half. If the person leaving is on your half, the space is yours – and vice versa.
No stopping and chatting. Plain and simple, don’t stop and chat to your friends – it only congests the parking area more.
Never cut someone off. Don’t drive like a maniac cutting someone off when you see a space open up – admit the fact that you were too slow to notice it and be courteous to crossing pedestrians.
All rules are off if you know the person who is leaving the space. It’s sad but true – it’s not what you know but whom you know. If you know the person leaving, make some sort of gesture showing the other drivers you and the “leaver” are friends, and the space is yours.
No sitting in a running car if you have no intention of leaving. It’s a nasty trick, and others end up losing valuable spaces waiting on your butt to move. Go hang out in the Union or the Library – not in your car. Plus, you look like a loser with no friends.
Give enough room for the car backing out to do so. It’s just rude to cramp them. If everyone is following the rules, there will be no question that you have claimed the space.
No pulling through. In the event, such as in the Union Lot, that there are two adjoining spaces – don’t pull through to the opposite space. Someone else could think the space is open, and could potentially cause a wreck , ruining everyone’s day.
Last but not least:
If you are a victim of someone violating one of the rules, you have the right to get out of your car and tell them exactly what you think of them!!!
Those are really great rules and if I had copies of them with me I would have left one on an offending driver’s car this morning. I work in a hospital with limited parking. Because of this I make it a point to leave the house an hour before my shift starts so that I am able to find a parking spot in pleanty of time. My commute is about twenty minutes so that leaves a lovely forty minutes to locate a parking spot. Because of the location of the hospital in the metro I like to make sure that I find a spot in one of the back parking lots so that I can walk out with the rest of the pharmacy for safety. I was sitting in the drive waiting for three nurses to finish their conversation, get in their cars, and leave. I was out of the way but still patiently and obviously waiting. A car passed me stops as the group breaks up and flags down on of the nurses. I proceed forward a bit with my turn signal on now that one of the nurses has gotten into her car. I barely have time to put my car into park before that idiot ahead of me zipped in and took it! It’s been a long time since I’ve been that angry. I wasn’t sure what to do. I couldn’t let the offender get by with thinking that was appropriate parking lot procedure!
I wrote a note on an envelope that I had on hand and placed it under her wiper blade. It read:
Dear Ms Idiot,
I do not appreciate your parking lot behavior. Parking spaces are fist come first serve. Wait patiently and remember WAIT YOUR TURN!
Next time I think she’s going to get a copy of the rules!