Ever notice how some Yukoners often have a, shall we say, special way of parking?
It seems a little more haphazard than most. Curbs and handicapped signs be damned – some seem to consider parking stalls to just be polite suggestions.
Well, a group of shadowy parking sleuths have noticed, and they’re putting the territory’s inconsiderate parkers on notice.
Shit Parkers of Yukon (SPY for short) started a Facebook page a little over two weeks ago and already its popularity has exploded, with more than 2,000 followers.
The page features photos of particularly egregious parking violations around the territory, collected by the page’s creators and submitted by the watchful public.
In one post, the photo shows vehicles parked like someone dumped a box of Hot Wheels on the F.H. Collins parking lot for graduation night. Another features a tiny sub-compact trying bravely and failing to cross a rock garden in Riverdale.
Some of the most common scofflaws seem to be piloting preposterously large pick-up trucks, as if owning a F-350 earned the right to take up four stalls at Walmart. And anyone who’s ever tried to park at a sporting event in Whitehorse will notice that the concept of space efficiency escapes many motorists.
“The inspiration for SPY came from Shit Parkers Of Victoria, a very popular site in the Garden City,” reads an email from the SPY creators, who declined a face-to-face interview and preferred to keep their identities a mystery.
“Why we chose to create a local version is quite simple… there is an over abundance of awful and inconsiderate parking in Whitehorse,” they said.
The page went live on May 28, and almost immediately people started uploading embarrassing photos of poor parking from as far back as last fall.
“There was obviously widespread frustration at shit parkers (even if they weren’t known as such then) that individuals acting alone decided to document it for themselves. SPY has simply given these people a ‘vehicle’ to express said frustration,” the creators said.
Still, they didn’t expect the site to grow so quickly.
“We just cleared 2,000 likes. Just to put that into perspective, our MP Ryan Leef currently has less than 1,100,” the creators said.
The creators said the motivation for the site is two-fold. First, they simply wanted to have a chuckle at the sheer ignorance of parking protocol by some Yukoners.
“Secondly, to put it as one SPY member did: ‘Shame and blame, baby!’ It would be a very satisfying result if even a small percentage of drivers profiled on SPY changed their ways,” they said.
“The page isn’t meant to be malicious or demeaning to anyone, let’s face it – we’ve all pulled a shit park in the past and most reasonable people would see their vehicle on our pages, and say, ‘Yup, that was a pretty awful parking job. My bad,’ and endeavour to refrain from such pathetic parking in the future,” they said.
While the page’s creators don’t seem to have much sympathy for people challenged by parallel parking or confused by the cross-marks on the mall lot, they’ve also identified a more serious problem: people improperly parking in handicapped stalls and blocking fire lanes and hydrants around town.
“It does seem that city bylaw services are more interested in plucking the low hanging fruit that is expired meters in the downtown core than policing illegal parking elsewhere in the city,” the creators said. “These people are willfully choosing to inconvenience and obstruct respectful parkers. One suggestion would be to take one day a week, a random one, and pull the meter maid patrols into enforcing those violations,” they said.
In the meantime, the SPY creators have created their own “courtesy cards.” They can be downloaded from the SPY Facebook page, as a polite reminder that, “thanks to your shitty parking skills, hundreds (or thousands) of Yukoners will have a good laugh at your expense.”
As the creators put it, “If you don’t want your vehicle to appear on SPY pages, don’t park like an idiot. Simple as that.”
Contact Jesse Winter at