Shaker Parking Exposed

An Instagram account aims to make a joke out of bad parkers around the oval

Instagram user @sam.robie sent this photo to @shakerparking who posted it on June 8. (@sam.robie / Instagram)

Leaving a gap between cars not even large enough to slide a credit card through needed to pay for vehicle body damages, this featured parker, as well as 151 others, have been featured on the SHHS Parking Jobs Instagram page in the past three years. 

While parking around the oval is a problem students and teachers alike have to battle every day, the issue is further escalated from an prevalence of “horrible” parking jobs, making it difficult for others trying to park too. 

Since Jan. 31, 2020, the SHHS Parking Jobs Instagram account has attempted to solve this problem at the high school, with its comedic posts showcasing bad parking around the oval and across Shaker.

The page is updated frequently and with the start of the 2022-2023 school year, more posts by the account owner are expected to be published. The account owner, who asked to remain anonymous, accepts submissions for the page through Instagram Direct Messages, and people are welcome to submit posts if they have a current example of bad parking that they would like to share, according to the owner.

The account owner has featured senior Evan Barragate’s parking nine times. “I used to think it was funny when I got posted because I didn’t know I parked so poorly. I wouldn’t look after I parked, so I had no idea until I saw the photo,” Barragate said. 

Most posts feature parking from the oval around the high school, with occasional posts showing cars parked elsewhere, such as the Van Aken District and Horseshoe Lake. Students have also submitted pictures of bad parking jobs they saw in other countries while on school trips or family vacations.

On Sept. 14, 2022, the account owner posted a photo of Spanish teacher Kimberly Ponce de Leon’s parking effort, showing her car parked far away from the nearby curb, and sticking out into the street. “I thought it was funny,” Ponce de Leon said. “It did happen to change how I think about my parking, so I’m going to be a little bit more careful about my parking in the future.”

Barragate’s “bad” parking, posted on Mar. 7 (@catherine.s.p / Instagram)

Posts include photos of cars touching other cars, people parking on the grass, cars that are parked outside of legal parking zones and anything else that is deemed to be “bad” by the account owner. 

“It was made to provide examples of how not to park, and also just a good laugh,” the account owner wrote in an Instagram message. Each post includes a photo or video with a short description, as well as a link to the profile of whomever submitted the content. 

The content helps draw attention to bad parking around the school. “I think it is a necessary concept,” Ponce de Leon said. “There’s nothing more annoying than trying to find parking when parking is tight, and somebody is using a ton of space or not doing a good parking job, or not being considerate of others.”

The account began in 2020, and has been passed down from the original owner, a Shaker graduate, to the current owner. “I intend on keeping the account the same so it can keep its local feel,” the account owner wrote. The goal for the profile is to hit 750 followers, according to the account’s bio.

While the SHHS parking jobs page covers parking around Shaker Heights, tags such as  #badparking, #badparkingjobs, and #parkingfail have been used worldwide to make hundreds of thousands of posts on Instagram.

Although Barragate thinks the posts are funny, he now tries to avoid being posted anymore. “I try to park well now because I don’t want to look like an attention-seeker – and my mom gets mad at me when they post me,” he said.

“Most people don’t complain,” the account owner wrote. “They know that if they park badly they may end up on the page.”

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