They Don’t Want You To Save: How the Philadelphia Police Won Jonas

February 2, 2016

Winter Storm Jonas has finally come and gone.

In its wake it left a debate full of lawn chairs, traffic cones, angry signs and memes that is likely not to end until we thaw in April. The push and pull between the legality of saving a street parking spot and the unspoken rule of doing it anyway has always been a problem in Philadelphia, but Jonas marks the first notable time the debate took to social media.

It all began Monday, January 18th, almost a week before Jonas was set to hit. In what was surely a prophetic tweet, the Philadelphia Police published this gem:

What really started the social media firestorm, however, was when the Philadelphia Police decided to enlist human meme Drake as a spokesperson for their #NoSavesies crusade.

#NoSavesies truly awoken. With roughly 1,500 tweets and retweets over the course of the weekend, #NoSavesies quickly became Philadelphia’s hottest trending topic. Some of the fan favorites going around exhibited some rather colorful language, including a handwritten sign that is now gaining nationwide recognition after being compared to a parallel found in Washington D.C. Despite the fact that D.C. got more snow than Philly, people down there seem to be a little more understanding.

My personal favorite, however, comes from Instagram user coliver_twist, who posted this image of their dad acting as a human traffic cone. Classic. Though, I do wonder how long he actually stood out there.

My father: the human cone.

A photo posted by Christine Oliver (@coliver_twist) on

And here are some runner-ups, including the Philadelphia Police using (or even abusing, perhaps) the good name of Rocky Balboa to make their point.

And this post from Instagram that does raise a very good question. What about the baby?!

So, I’m learning all about “#NoSavesies” today at work, and then I start seeing it everywhere: chairs, trash cans, recycling bins or whatever would “save” the spot. I get it. But when I spotted the car seat off Frankford, I was blown away! What about the baby?

A photo posted by Lauren Dawn Johnson (@laurendawnfox29) on

By far one of the best things to happen on Twitter throughout this whole debate was the resurgence of AwarenessCone; a brilliant and, some would say, sublime Twitter account based in Philly that only posts images of dejected and forlorn-looking traffic cones. There was certainly a surplus of sad traffic cones over the course of Jonas and AwarenessCone wasted no time springing into action.

It wasn’t long before local celebrities were pitching their two cents in, including Action News meteorologist Cecily Tynan. In a bold move, Tynan sided with the people, saying she “would be irate” if someone took her spot after she’d cleared it out. Though normally I always suggest steering clear of comment sections to avoid rants and trolls, some of the comments on this thread are hysterical.

If there is anything Jonas has taught us, it’s that:

  1. Whoever manages the Philadelphia Police’s social media is in serious need of a pay raise, and
  2. When people are cooped up indoors, social media wars seem like a great use of time.

Though it looks like we won’t see another major snowstorm this season (fingers crossed), #NoSavesies is sure to rear its controversial head for many winters to come. In the meantime though, with snow drifts still reaching three or four feet and some back roads still needing to be plowed, there is plenty of time to get in on the #NoSavesies craze.