I have seen this in my travels. Entrepreneurs use concrete blocks, furniture, or whatever to ‘reserve’ on street spaces for their clients. They then rent out the spaces and extort a few bucks from the drivers, or maybe you car won’t be in the same form when you return. Here’s what it looks like:
The Mexican Capital has found that installing parking meters rather quickly cleans up this problem, reduces crowding, makes parking more available and they even plow the money back into the sidewalks and streets, and increase police patrols with the extra income. Don Shoup call your office. You can read about it here.
Many are vehemently opposed, hanging banners from balconies to attack meters, saying the streets are public and no one should profit from them. But others hope the plan will cut down on cars from elsewhere. Parking has become so critical that some Condesa residents have seized their own pieces of the street by erecting removable metal bars that jut from curbs in front of their homes.
Often the only option is to pay the ad hoc attendants, known as “franeleros” for the rags — “franelas” — they use to signal cars in and out of parking spaces they have commandeered. Not paying could mean returning to a broken windshield wiper, a long key scratch along a door or, in extreme cases, a smashed window.
I suggest that those who oppose charging for parking take a lesson from our friends south of the border. In the end, the only real complaints came from the ‘franeleros.’ They had to find another job.