Parking-space rage


#1

I was disappointed by the stupid and misleading piece of reporting by a “staff writer” in today’s Taipei Times, covering the story of the bushiban owner who was sentenced to 7 months in prison for wilfully causing damage to a car and a scooter that were parked in a public parking space outside the building where her school was located on the second floor (a sentence I wholeheartedly applaud).

The TT report stated that “… this is the heaviest sentence ever issued for over-occupying public parking space…”, and more in a similar vein. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. The sentence was not imposed for occupying a public parking space. It was imposed for the crime of maliciously causing damage to someone else’s property. The crime stemmed from an argument over the occupation of a parking space, in which she was also completely in the wrong, but she was not prosecuted or punished for that.

However, judging from yesterday evening’s TV news and this morning’s radio news, the case has given rise to much discussion about the rights and wrongs of people who try to block others from using the public parking spaces in front of their businesses and homes. This is an unlawful activity, but the police don’t seem to be able to do much to prevent it. And it often leads to disputes which flare up into violence and crimes like that committed by the cram-school laobanniang.

Have any of you experienced conflict with anyone because you’ve parked in a place where you’ve every right to park but which they want to reserve for their own use? Have you got into altercations with people telling you to move your vehicle somewhere else. Or have you found your car, scooter or bike has been deliberately damaged in such a situation? Any other comments on this issue?


#2

I pulled my bike up outisde a shop that has been empty for 6 months beside my aprtment to park my bike… as I am parking some guy walks past me…

“Don’t park there that is my space…”
“And where is your vehicle then?”
“My wife has it”
“But it’s public area”
“No its my parking space”

I nodded and smiled and he walked off… I left the bike there… came back two hours later… the front light was smashed…

Now what are you supposed to do in these siutations… maybe key his car… give it a nice long scratch

All the time now I pass and there is something planted there like a chair or a bag so people won’t park there

Better than that … I pulled my bike up outside a tea shop one day… I parked the bike right there on the public footpath… talk about the dirty look from the owner of the shop … to top it off… I locked the wheels to make it difficult to move… again came back a couple of hours later and there was bing long stains all over it…

The guy in the shop was giving this retarded smile with the binglong teeth like he was saying… that is what you get for parking in front of my tea shop…
maybe he was afraid I was scaring all the customers away… maybe i was… at least that would explain the fact of the cob wenbs on everything and not a customer in the shop


#3

If it weren’t near your apartment or any place where you’re known and likely to return, then some quick and well executed work with the key would seem highly fitting. But as it was in your own backyard, and given your visibility as a laowai (I presume), it wouldn’t be a very wise move – the conflict would escalate out of control, your bike would get much more than a broken light the next time you parked it anywhere near, and probably even greater damage would be inflicted on your person (as soon as he could collect together enough thuggish mates with weapons). So really, what can one do? Report it to the police? Oh dear, no, excuse me while I roll about laughing on the floor.


#4

Put a tent in the parking space with lots of flowers and food and other stuff, everyone should stay well clear of the parking space.


#5

Maybe. Maybe not. That’s exactly what my wife did a few years back when we got our first car. First it was key scratches (on a 15-year-old Sanyang, so who cared?) Then it was the old oil cans full of concrete in “the neighbour’s space” trick.

But the cops came, took pics, warned the guy, told him they’d know who was responsible if our car got scratched again, told him they would fine him 30 grand or something every time they found the oil cans there, etc. One plod even stopped me in the street several months later to ask if I’d had any more bother from the guy! :shock:

It worked, too, never had another peep out of the guy. We moved away long ago, but I drove past the old place just the other week and he had his flower pots out there again, as well as a metal barrier thing chained and padlocked to an iron ring in the ground.


#6

All the time.

If I’m planning on stopping for a while, I just find a space that’s not blocking someone’s business. Yes, I know that’s not always easy, and it’s not ‘right’ either, but it’s easier than dealing with the consequences. Of course that’s what these assholes are banking on.
If it’s a short stop, a friendly wave and a promise to move on in 5 minutes is usually all it takes to get ‘permission’ to use the spot.

Of course I’d like to have all these selfish dorks jailed or tortured, but what can you do? It’s like so many things in this ‘country’. You let someone get break the law with impunity for any length of time and take that as a God-give right.


#7

I don’t think it’s a very good idea to retaliate. You would then be destroying property and could be convicted of the same crime that the unfortunate Ms. Qiu was. Keep in mind that there are cameras in almost every alley in Taipei now.

Also, outside of Taipei, I have seen a number of vicious fights over parking spaces. I think someone was beaten to death over one in Hsinchuang last month. Don’t risk it.

The Taipei City Police Traffic Squad has established a web site to handle complaints over the illegal occupation of roads and sidewalks. The evening paper reported that the police had fined 4700 people last year and have brought over 100 prosecutions for illegal occupation (llu4ba4). If you’re serious about your complaint, take digital photos of the violation try posting your complaint to the web site and follow up with a personal visit to police headquarters on Yanping S. Road. Make it clear that you are going complain to Mayor Ma at the next AmCham meeting about this issue. You might also bring your complaint to the attention of the Foreign Services Center of the Shilin District Administration 2882-6200 #8705 0r #8003.

If you are patient, persistent, and polite and go through the rights channels, I’m sure your complaint will get the attention it deserves.


#8

[quote=“sandman”]
It worked, too, never had another peep out of the guy. We moved away long ago, but I drove past the old place just the other week and he had his flower pots out there again, as well as a metal barrier thing chained and padlocked to an iron ring in the ground.[/quote]

Hope you called the police to check it out again; the guy would deserve it, and his new neighbors would surely appreciate it.


#9

[quote=“Feiren”]I don’t think it’s a very good idea to retaliate. You would then be destroying property and could be convicted of the same crime that the unfortunate Ms. Qiu was. Keep in mind that there are cameras in almost every alley in Taipei now.

Also, outside of Taipei, I have seen a number of vicious fights over parking spaces. I think someone was beaten to death over one in Hsinchuang last month. Don’t risk it.

The Taipei City Police Traffic Squad has established a web site to handle complaints over the illegal occupation of roads and sidewalks. The evening paper reported that the police had fined 4700 people last year and have brought over 100 prosecutions for illegal occupation (llu4ba4). If you’re serious about your complaint, take digital photos of the violation try posting your complaint to the web site and follow up with a personal visit to police headquarters on Yanping S. Road. Make it clear that you are going complain to Mayor Ma at the next AmCham meeting about this issue. You might also bring your complaint to the attention of the Foreign Services Center of the Shilin District Administration 2882-6200 #8705 0r #8003.

If you are patient, persistent, and polite and go through the rights channels, I’m sure your complaint will get the attention it deserves.[/quote]

Excellent recommendations. Much as I’d love to beat some sense into people like this, it just isn’t worth it. The media, though horribly biased and often laughable (“Miss, can you cry a little louder for the cameras?”), is king in Taiwan. Make friends with a reporter. They are always looking for stories that will outrage the public.

I have a friend who reported for a national paper for 20 years. He made it a personal crusade to expose the activities of those who occupied roads. He worked in the NanTou area for a few years. A guy who felt he owned the street in front of his place and objected to farmers using it to get to their fields, dug a huge whole in the middle of the road and placed guard dogs to prevent people from passing. My friend snuck out at night, snapped a few photos, and published the story. A few days later, the guy was forced by a local judge, with police enforcement, to fill in the road and let people pass. The judge took the further step of annexing the property covered by the road, for public use.

T.


#10

Very few local people here care about others personal property, I am also very glad to hear that someone was finally prosecuted for property damage. Unfortunately this will probably be an isolated case.

Recently I have felt that many locals are becoming intolerant of things like this and rage is the answer.

We all know there is a huge parking problem especially in the north. As far as I know Mayor Ma has not proposed any solution to the problem either. If there were more places to park issues such as these wouldn’t happen so often.

TNT, whenever there is any kind of conflict like you mentioned at the top I would not even leave my bike there. It’s just not worth it. Move it somewhere after the person disappears and you are sure they don’t know where you parked. Otherwise the result will be as stated by several people who have already posted. Damage, getting even, etc. If there is a camera where you park that may be a plus, you can always contact the police in the area to see the tape (that is if there is a tape :unamused: ).

Retaliate only if you are sure you can win, and you don’t need to destroy property to get even. You can protest outside a store for example, telling people not to go in, may or may not be effective. Be creative and you can find a non destructive way of getting even, or just simply forget about the whole thing, go have a beer and relax, this may be better.


#11

I thought it was a great story, all 3 Englishy papers covered it, but all were translations from the Chinese-language media. Basically, I guess, they all translated the same story.

Good for the judge, good for the country. That uppity woman (and there are many here like that) deserves her time in jail and I hope her appeal fails. When people read stories like this in their papers and on TV, maybe the manners in Taiwan will improve as people “get the message.”

This kind of woman gives Taiwan a bad image. She needs to be publicly taken down a notch, and let the populace see her squirm. What does one call this kind of woman, in a polite way?

A dragon lady? (is that PC?)
A schrew?
A bitch?
An uppity lady?

There is a tribe of this kind of woman here in Taiwan, I swear. Damn them! Didn’t anyone ever teach them right from wrong?

Or is this what the locals call a TIGER WOMAN? Hu something…

Rot in jail, honey! You done gotten yr comeuppance!

And thank the gods for judges like this! Smart dude!


#12

A true story from Kaohsiung…
I had parked my car on the street - public space and all. Mind you, this was about 5 1/2 years ago before the dreaded tow trucks patrolled the streets. At anyrate, I was in an “okay place”. I finished my errand, returned to my car and pulled away. Everything seemed right with the world, until about 10 minutes into my drive - and at a busy intersection. A police car came up behind me with lights flashing and horns honking. I pulled over. In very unkind terms, the policeman pulled me to the back of my car and told me to clean my license plate. It had been spray painted white while I was parked. Plate numbers and letters were illegible; evidently some folks do this purposefully to avoid capture by traffic cameras. I explained I didn’t do this, which angered him even more. He had me kneeling on the street, scrapping away at my license plate with cars careening all around me. Of course the paint couldn’t come off - it had dried hard. He followed me to my home, where my car was under house arrest until I could find paint solvent. How do you say that in Chinese? It took awhile, but a patient friend helped me locate paint thinner and finally I was allowed to remove my car from the garage.


#13

I agree with your post, but more to the point is that very few local people here care about the rights the public has to public property. The parking space issue aside, by far the fastest-growing business category in Taipei has to be street hawking. These dickheads will block the underpasses, sidewalks, even peddle (probably stolen) stolen shite out of the back of their trucks while blocking the flow of traffic on a main road … and all with apparent impunity.


#14

Monkey,

I would also agree with your statement about no one caring for public rights. And your wording is excellent, dickheads covers it alright. Not to mention the scooters that block all locations you just listed.


#15

One of the first things I noticed when I came to Taiwan was how the car horn was used as either a ‘get out of my f@#$ing way’ or ‘get into my f@#$ing taxi’. Yet in Australia, it’s used pretty much in the same way as turning your empty pot upside down in a bar full of bikies. We have cases of people driving an hour out of their way, just to swing a couple of cutties into the guy who cut him off 27 suburbs away. A crowbar is commonplace, wedged in your boot between the spare tyre and the dirty footy gear from last weekends game. I’m surprised there’s just no road rage to speak of here. The Taiwanese live in a pressure cooker environment, and there’s no easy buck these days. There’s taxi drivers everywhere with not a hell of a lot of business to share around. Don’t read about this much at all.


#16

I am also quite surprised at the short fuse of people driving round in the UK and Ireland. I always try to imagine how long they’d last in Taipei. I am also amazed at the wide variety of lighting arrangements on cars here and the various times at which these lights are switched on. It varies from no lights at all in the dark, to four bright headlights on full beam in the middle of the day. I think the dealers here fit a Headlight Randomiser button to new cars for the farmers to play with. (I passed a Massey Ferguson the other day with six headlights. This is an agricultural tractor we’re talking about here…! :unamused:)


#17

Ahhh the Massy is classy but the Zetor is better! :mrgreen:


#18

Ahhh the Massy is classy but the Zetor is better! :mrgreen:[/quote]

Aye, but the Massey’ll do 40 mph ! :imp:


#19

Ahhh the Massy is classy but the Zetor is better! :mrgreen:[/quote]

Yeah, but nothing runs like a Deere!


#20

Massey Ferguson! Ah, what wonderful memories that conjures up for a laddie raised in rural Suffolk (come on the Tractor Boys!).

But it’s lucky we don’t have much in the way of agricultural machinery on the roads here. Imagine the mayhem that a combine harvester could wreak in Taipei!