The words “parallel parking” have made many Western New York drivers break out into a cold sweat since they were a teenager. We’ve all been there…you're driving down a busy street, you’re late, and there’s no parking in sight. The cars are bumper-to-bumper along the side of the road. Then, suddenly, you spot it: that perfect spot right in front of the restaurant where you’re going for dinner! The only problem? It’s between two other parked cars, and the space is tight. 

I got this,” you say to yourself, and decide to go for it, knowing that this prime spot is too good to pass up. As you push down your right-turn signal, you glance in the rearview mirror and quickly realize that your worst nightmare is about to happen - there is a line of cars behind you, and they’re getting closer, and closer, and closer

Suddenly, you’re sixteen years old again - heart racing, palms sweating, and filled with fear. The cars behind you whip around the side of you, some blasting their horns in case you don’t see them. Eventually, the inevitable happens - you switch the turn signal over to the left, slowly pull back out into traffic, and just keep looking. Sigh.

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One local driver and Reddit User had enough of this parallel parking anxiety and decided to his vent his frustrations on the Buffalo Subreddit.

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The question is, is he right? If a driver in front of you is signaling that they’re about to parallel park, are you supposed to wait for them to finish parking, or can you drive around them?

We asked Western New Yorkers on Facebook what they would do, and their answers were all over the place (and some were downright hilarious). Before we find out a definitive answer of what to do when someone is parallel parking in front of you, check out what these local drivers had to say.

Lots of downtown-driving Buffalonians agree with Wee-Bit-Sketchy’s plight and choose to wait for the car in front of them to finish parking.

Like this Buffalonian, who waits because she feels their pain…

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Or this Buffalonian, who knows the kids are always watching…

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The bird isn’t an option for this patient Buffalonian…

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In fact, all of these upstanding Buffalonians choose to wait…

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And so does this Buffalonian, but for, uh, a different reason…

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So sweet, right?

Now, as for these Buffalonians who choose to drive around the parking car…

Some Buffalonians are indecisive about the issue…

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This Buffalonian has places to be and people to see…

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And this Bufalonian says you can’t win either way…

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Other Buffalo drivers shared some more, er, creative solutions.

Like this Buffalonian who says to herself, “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”

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Or this Buffalonian who knows a good TikTok when he sees one…

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This Buffalonian likes to play bumper cars on his commute…

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And these Buffalonians show what friends are for…

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But what are you really supposed to do, Buffalo drivers? Are you supposed to wait for the parallel parker to get in their spot before you drive past, or are you supposed to drive around them to keep traffic moving?

These Buffalonians found out their answer the hard way…

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But is that really true? Let’s start with the bad news:

There is no written rule or law that determines who's right - the parallel parkers or the passers.

Great.

However, after polling several driving instructors - both friends and on social media, I’ve come to my own conclusion…

Sorry, impatient passers. You’re in the wrong.

When asked the question, nearly every instructor expressed that in most cases, whichever vehicle is in the lane has the right of way - which would be the car that is trying to parallel park. Technically, if it’s legal to do so, a driver stuck behind a parallel-parking car could pass them -but on a busy two-lane road,  getting around that car by going in the opposite lane is downright dangerous. The safest option is to be patient, breathe (or curse under your breath), and wait for the driver ahead of you to finish parking. 

Safety first, Buffalo!

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