The Strip by the Curb AKA settle a debate

Are you familiar with that strip between the sidewalk and the curb that you find in many places? Ours has rocks; sometimes there’s grass, sometimes it’s pavement.

Here’s the debate: my husband says that it’s rude to walk over that. He will either make me let him out of the car before I park, or make me move the car before he gets in so that he doesn’t step on it. I say that in most places the city or neighborhood owns that strip and the home owner maintains it. Regardless, one is supposed to exit your car over that strip to get to the sidewalk.

Note that I am talking about urban or suburban settings, not the country, although even then I’ve got a big ol’ :rolleyes:.

Please settle this heated marital dispute*. :smiley:
*Disclaimer: Not heated. I’ve just never heard of this before, and have been merrily using that strip my entire life.

That strip is called the parkway. It is owned by the village/county/state and maintained by the adjacent property owner, in general. Trees in that zone are maintained by the village/county/state. I have never heard of not walking on it to access your vehicle parked on the street. The width of parkways varies based on the width of the right of way, it some locations there can be a considerable distance between the curb and the sidewalk; how is a passenger supposed to get in and out without stepping on the parkway?

Funny… most threads about “the strip by the curb” are about what people call that strip, not how to respect it! :smiley:

People in Akron call it “the devil strip” and it’s a thing.

Anyhoo…just step on it.

Where I grew up, that was called the parking strip, and it was owned by the homeowner, or at least we treated it that way.

Where I live now, San Francisco, there aren’t many of those kinds of strips, it’s mostly concrete. But when we put in sidewalk gardens in what would have been that strip, in an attempt to reduce rain runoff and allow the water back into the water table, we always have to leave spaces for people to walk from their car to the sidewalk.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but how does your husband think he’s supposed to get from the sidewalk into a car? Only via driveways? Pardon me, but that’s just kinda wack.

I agree with this this to a small degree. The owner does spend time and money to maintain it and it’s proper to respect that…to a point. I wouldn’t go to great step to avoid walking on that strip of grass but some consideration is appropriate. If your partner wants you to let him out early so that he can exit onto the pavement, what’s the harm?

When I first saw the thread title, I read “strip” as a verb; I wondered if some stripclub was trying out a risky but innovative marketing technique.

Yet, oddly enough you aren’t supposed to drive on it.

In our area, it’s “owned” by the city in that the city has an easement for the curb, parkway, sidewalk, and a utility area behind the sidewalk. It’s still on the owner’s deed, which is why the owner gets to maintain it. Technically, if the sidewalk is damaged, the owner is on the hook for repairing it. That usually doesn’t come up unless the owner wants to expand or renovate their building. Also, the commonest cause for sidewalk damage is heaving caused by trees that the city planted in the parkway, and the city’s on the hook for that. (We know which trees are ours, too.)

I can’t speak for all cities, but Stockton considers the parkway to be part of their sidewalk, which makes it pedestrian access provided by the city. Now, if the owner has planted the parkway full of pansies, I’d try not to step on them. But if I planted up my parkway (and I’ve considered it), I’d include paving stones or strips, placed so that anyone parking there could exit their vehicle without stepping on the plants. Currently mine is grass, so step away. That’s what grass is for.

The idea that it’s rude to cross the strip seems ridiculous to me. This suburban lawn worship really annoys me.

Grass is fine with occasional foot traffic. So IMHO it’s not rude, unless the caretaker has landscaped it with something other than grass. If setting foot in that area would have you trampling decorative plants and/or crushing delicate landscaping material (like shredded bark or wood chips), try to stand/walk somewhere else.

I wouldn’t walk over one personally because that should really be called the doggie poop/piss strip.

I’d agree with “if someone has obviously put great effort into beautifying it, it would be better to try not to mess it up”. Otherwise, I’m with “doesn’t matter, who cares”.

Your husband’s opinion on this matter seems out of the norm. I’d say you win. But is he really going to respect the opinions of a bunch of strangers on a message board that “you” belong to?

In Australia that would be called the Nature Strip, and yes you’re totally meant to walk over it to get out of that side of the car. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a person who has tried to cut back to the driveway to avoid doing so.

If someone has gone to a lot of trouble with it and planted flowers, I’ll try not to damage them. But if the homeowner has made absolutely no effort to include a clear path through the beautification then I would count that as annoying and rude on the homeowner’s part … that strip is supposed to be how you get from car to house, so don’t let your beautifications get in front of other people’s actual functional use.

Members of my family have also been known to walk on nature strips in preference to the footpath when walking down the street, just because grass is nicer than concrete. I think nothing of it

I live in a city where such strips of grass are common, but I never heard of any customs or “break-your-mother’s-back” superstitions about them.

Here in northeast Ohio the strip always called a “tree lawn”. I have never even heard of the other names and would have trouble guessing what they meant.


Getting out of a car, no problem. Loitering, dumping trash, leaving dog shit…those are all rude.

I’ve never heard a name for that strip here in Canada. I agree that it is owned by the municipality, but maintained by the property owner.

No one gives a damn if you walk on it.

There is a wiki article on it, and I suppose I may have heard it referred to as the boulevard.

What does he do if you don’t leave him off early, sit in the car and pout? Or if you just sit in the car instead of moving to pick him up?

It would not be easily walked on in high heels. Presumably your partner is not wearing those. So yeah, I say you win the debate. Doesn’t matter.