If you’re one of those people who’ve been using the Newtonville Shaw’s as your long-term parking lot, it’s time to stop.
Starting this week, the far side of the lot has been yellow-taped off, and Shaw’s associates from other locations have been on hand to explain, and a sign is posted at the entrance to remind people the lot is for customers only. The cars in the far end of the lot right now are employees’.
This arrangement is temporary. I spoke to a very nice manager there named Marianne. She explained that they’ve had complaints from customers for a long time that they were having trouble finding parking spots. She confirmed that there are people — more daring than I would ever be, apparently — who’ve been parking in the far end of the lot all day while taking the commuter rail. They’ve tried leaving warning fliers on people’s cars and that hasn’t worked. So Shaw’s has hired a security company which, starting tomorrow, will monitor the lot for long-term parkers. Marianne said they understand there are people, a lot of them regular customers, who will go to the bank or go get a cup of coffee and then do their grocery shopping. They’re not after those people, and it sounds like if you explain that to the attendants, you’ll be okay. She specifically said they don’t want people to get towed.
But if you’re one of the long-term non-customer parkers, I think you should assume the free lunch is over.