Opinions on my stupid little problem wanted

We live on a cul-de-sac kind of arrangement in front of the houses, so we nose-in park instead of paralleling. The parking is very tight in this corner. My problem is my neighbour to the north. She has a two-car garage in the back of her house, and she takes three spots in front of her house as well (everyone else gets two, maximum). The problem comes in when she frequently has company (you all know where this is going). Yes, of course, she lets them park in front of our house, so with our two vehicles, one of them often has to be parked almost a block away or in front of someone else’s house, in their parking spot.

My question is, what would you advise we do about this? The street is free, of course; she can park wherever she wants. Common courtesy says not to let guests park in the spaces that she knows are used by us every day, though. I am trying to figure out whether to talk to the owner of the house we’re renting and ask him to have a chat with her, or leave notes on the cars parked in “our” spaces, or talk to her myself, or just leave it the heck alone.

(Yes, I know in the grand scheme of things, this is pretty petty. But it pisses me off, because there is no reason other than not thinking about other people for this behaviour.)

If I were you, I’d leave it alone. public streets are, well, public streets. I used to date a guy that lived on a narrow street and the parking used to be pretty tight around there, and occasionally I’d have to park more than a block away. But what can you do? You don’t own the street.

I understand your frustration, but I don’t think you can really do anything. Except for maybe talk to the lady yourself, and explain that even though you have no right to the space, you’d like her to know what an inconvenience it is for you when she has guests park in front of your house.

My dad used to get absolutely, positively incensed when anyone parked in front of the house. I am serious. He was a great guy, and a great dad, but we all cringed when we saw that someone had parked in front of the house. We had one car and a driveway, but he liked to park in front of the house, and that was that.

He called anyone who parked in “his” space a “Parking Hog”, and there was nothing, I repeat, NOTHING as bad as a Parking Hog. I remember one time a person parked their car in “his” space for over a day. I thought he’d spontaniously combust.

Yeah, I had to go down memory lane there. Sorry. I guess my point is, while you are (on one hand) entitled to be annoyed and put out, I don’t know what you can really do about it. Certainly, had there been anything my dad could have done about his Parking Hogs, he would have done it. All he could do was fume, and threaten to piss on the offending car in the middle of the night. (He never did that, of course. It just made him feel good to talk about doing it.)

Even if it is a public street, I think your neighbor should at least have the common courtesy and brains to know that it’s quite rude to allow others to park in front of your house making you park a block away when you live there. Perhaps a friendly conversation will help? Present your problems to her and come up with a peaceful solution.

If a mutual agreement can’t be achieved, I guess it would be best to let her have her way. That way, you can be the gracious neighbor and hope it rubs off on her. It sure beats the heck out of having a neighbor that hates you. You can always plot and scheme against her later… ::cackle::

I know it sucks, but if you live in a house that doesn’t have a private parking space (driveway, garage, etc) then you don’t really have a legitimate complaint. Perhaps I’m a little touchy about this since I’ve been on the opposite side of the debate. I once lived in a duplex that had 3 parallel parking spots and 1 spot right in front of the house that was obviously the ‘best’ spot. It was easy to maneuver into, and the only spot that was close to the front door, making it nice for when you came home with groceries or other heavy stuff. Although there was no assigned parking, the person who lived in the other side of the duplex had decided that the best spot was hers. She had no problems coming to wake us up and tell us to move our car at midnight if that’s when she happened to come home. And no, I didn’t move my car - there was no reason I couldn’t park in the nice spot.

Anyways, not quite the same situation as yours, but it did teach me that if I wanted my own parking spot, get a house that had assigned parking. Voila, no problems.

In light of this, I don’t think you really have a right to say anything to the neighbor or put notes on guest’s cars. However, such devious techniques as always parking in your neighbor’s spot would definitely be in order, as well as inviting guests over and telling them to park in the neighbor’s spots.


We had a TV program here in England which showed cases like:

  • two stubborn neighbours who both spent over £20,000 ($30,000) on legal fees. The point at issue was a strip of land less than a foot wide, and about 5 feet long.

  • one man got into an argument with his neighbour, whose land bordered the original garden on 3 sides. The neighbour planted rows of ‘leylandi’ type trees. After 3 years there was a 30 foot high hedge blocking out all the sunlight.
    So if you want to speak to your heighbour, do it tactfully. Offer compromises. Smile and be polite.
    (Perhaps you could be invited to the party. Perhaps they could notify you.)

I have a paved driveway and park off the street. Nevertheless people occasionally park right across my driveway, which is illegal (causing an obstruction). When they are asked to move (politely) I get stuff like this:

‘I won’t be long’ (he meant all day)
‘It’s not illegal’ (at this point a traffic warden joined in stating it was. The driver said, when she took her driving test 10 years ago, she was told it wasn’t. :confused:
‘I didn’t see the driveway.’ :rolleyes: It’s 20 feet long, 8 feet wide, fully paved and opens out into enough parking for 3 cars.

One more person who says there’s little you should do.

It’s not really a matter of your neighbor “letting” them park in front of your house. She probably doesn’t provide parking instructions; people come to the neighborhood and park on the street wherever they can. While it would be considerate if she thought to tell her guests ahead of time “By the way, don’t park in the cul-de-sac” that’s not her obligation.

I sympathise with you. I dislike visiting people who live on cul-de-sacs because I always worry over where to park and hate to park in front of a house other than the one I am visiting, but the street is the street and no one owns any stretch of it.

Yeah, that’s kind of what I figured. I’m thinking about asking our landlord to go have a talk with her (he’s my fiancé’s best friend), telling her that he told us we would have the two spots in front of our house to park in when we rented from him, and ask her very politely if she couldn’t be just a little more considerate about leaving them for us. (He’s actually volunteered to go talk to her already; he lived beside her for 6 years, so he knows her fairly well.) All in all, this is just one more example of how life is simple and easy for people who aren’t bothered by considerations of other people. I wish I could be one of them, but unfortunately, I was raised differently, and it’s too late to become inconsiderate now.

Depending on how much you really want these spaces, you can go to your town meetings and start agitating for your street to be resident-parking-only.

Be forewarned though, that you should probably garner support for your proposition beforehand, in the form of a petition, signed by lots of others in your neighborhood/on your street.

And, if your municipality doesn’t have any infrastructure in place for issuing parking permits, monitoring them, etc, it may be a lost cause.

Residents of my neighborhood have been agitating to change our streets from open parking to 2-hour parking, to keep commuters from parking in our neighborhood to take the subway to work.
I am against changing it, since everyone in our neighborhood has a driveway, and overnight parking on the street is prohibited. Because they have to have all cars off the street by midnight, theroretically everyone has adequate driveway space for their own cars.

So no one in our neighborhood actually NEEDS those street spaces, they just don’t want the interloper commuters to use them. :rolleyes:

In your case, though, it sounds like the residents may have a genuine need for the street spaces.