Why get upset if someone parks in front of your house?

When I was a kid in the suburbs in northern Viginia, my parents would get upset if one of the neighbors parked on the street in front of our house. I’ve also seen it mentioned on these boards that some people get upset when a neighbor legally parks on the street in front of their house. One time in Virginia, my car broke down on a Friday and I was able to park it in front of a house until it could be towed on a Monday. When I came to get it, the homeowner was upset and said he was going to call the police, but I wasn’t parked illegally and the car was properly tagged and registered, so I’m not sure what the police would have done.

I’m just wondering if there is a reason to get upset about this situation that I’m just not seeing.

Suburbanites are so adorable.

I think it depends on the street. I live on a very narrow street and our driveway can only fit one car in it (we have two). Apparently, it’s legal to park travel trailers on my street and the neighbor across from us has not just one but TWO RVs parked on their side which takes up any extra spots that are near my house. I don’t mind walking a little but sometimes I have groceries or something and I get a little annoyed when someone takes the one spot that is directly in front of my driveway. I recognize they have a right to park there and in most cases it’s temporary but I probably would leave a polite note if the car was there every day and I never got to use the spot.

Some people feel that the road near their curb is an extension of their property and take a proprietary interest.

Temporarily? I don’t see a problem with it. I think people in the suburbs can get skittish about dumb things, like a strange car parked on the street for a couple days must surely belong to a child molester or something.

Long term it can get annoying. I have a 1 car garage, so 1 of my cars is almost always parked on the street in front of my house. It’s my eyesore to deal with essentially, and if I were to move it down the street in front of someone else’s house that’d be considered a dick thing.

My next-door neighbors regularly park in front of my house instead of in front of theirs. I have no idea why parking in front of my house is more attractive to them. It vaguely bothers me, not enough to say anything, mostly because they’ve worn out the grass in that spot. We don’t have curbs in the neighborhood, so they are actually parking on my property, well two wheels are on my property.

Related to this - I have seen neighborhoods near sports or entertainment venues post paper signs stating it is illegal to park on their streets. These streets do not have regular signs stating any restrictions on parking. A police officer explained to me that it is not in fact illegal to park on those streets. The residents are simply trying to prevent people from parking there. I can understand their motivation, however I believe they are misguided in their actions.

Fundamentally, like it or not, public streets are just that - public.

I assume this is where no driveway is blocked?

Two of my neighbours almost came to blows last month over just this issue (this is in the UK). I have called the police in the past to move cars which were blocking my driveway and preventing me driving my car in or out, but they would not do anything if the car was parked legally outside someone else’s house.

There is a certain social pressure to park only outside your own house, but the reason I paid slightly over-the-odds for my house is that I wanted off-road parking without the hassle of finding a space nearby.

Mostly because it’s considered rude. It prevents the house occupants from using the area and inconveniences people who live in the home or wish to visit. Plus there is a certain chance that the neighbors will associate person parked out front with the house occupant when they are in fact total strangers.

It also seems like an intrusion to many. A strange car so near one’s property can be unsettling to some, especially if it’s there for any considerable length of time.

Depending on local laws, police can tow abandoned cars after suprisingly short amounts of time. Usually they will drop a citation on it and come back in 72 hours. If it hasn’t been moved after that, it gets impounded.

I don’t mind, but it does creep me out ever so slightly. Why, out of all of the houses, my house? And I actually have a fairly long stretch of shoulder, so if people park at one end, I really don’t care…but sometimes they park right behind my car. Why? It’s weird.

But I don’t make a fuss about it or anything. It’s not like things don’t happen to cars, but I’m sure the parkers aren’t the ones doing it. For example, I’m sure the people who egged my car a month or so ago were just driving through.

My family had four cars and one single car garage. Sometimes when my brothers moved back in temporarily there would be five cars. Plus, it really was a theoretical garage - in practice, it was a storage shed for my dad’s tools.

My dad would get absolutely furious at this one guy. He owned a shop down the street, but wanted his customers to park there, so he parked right in front of our house when we had all gone to school/work. When we made it back home, his big blue van was right there, and we all had to shuffle around or park in the municipal parking lot. That may not have been so bad, but it was right behind several dive bars and our cars had been damaged or broken into on numerous occasions, so we tried to avoid it.

My dad had words with him on numerous occasions, but of course it was a public parking area, so he did have the right to park there. It was just a dick move. The municipal parking lot was closer to his store, but he knew the dangers of parking there, so he would make us park there instead.

Mom and dad now have an empty nest and a two car garage-cum-storage-shed and are much more relaxed these days.

There’s a street near the hospital my wife works at with a “no hospital parking” sign, but I have no idea whether it’s a legal sign or not. It’s not backed up with any permit restrictions or other parking control, and I sometimes wonder whether the residents just put it up themselves.

In high school, circa 1975, a classmate got rude notes on his windshield when he parked in front of a woman’s house. But, she had no car and it was usually the only open spot. And the notes were hilarious.

One day four of us skipped class and went to where his car was parked (in front of angry woman’s house). We picked up the VW Bug and moved it from the curb onto the woman’s lawn. Dead center.

Later in the day, a town cop appeared during Pre-Calculus to speak with the owner of the car, who took forever to put together 2+2.

I can offer a possible explanation for this one; since I moved to the city years ago, I kind of automatically park directly behind the other car on the block with room for that car to still be able to get out. I don’t really think about it, but it’s so that the block can most efficiently fill up with cars and you don’t have any needless gaps. It could be the person parking behind you lives in a neighborhood where parking is more of a premium and is parking that way to be more efficient.

I live in Northern VA. It is perfectly legal to park on most streets but it is not always polite. I live on a cul-de-sac and my neighbors and I long ago worked out the parking arrangements so that none of us has to park down the street. I expect the space in front of my house to be open when I get home. If my neighbor’s friends park there, I expect him to tell them to park down the street. I extend him the same courtesy.

When I lived in DC, my house was the 17 feet wide so the road frontage just over one car length, unless the preacher a few doors down parked his huge Caddy there. It was very common to find my space open when I arrived home because the neighborhood tried to be courteous to each other. Sometimes during big events we would have strangers parking all over the place which was very inconvenient for all the residents. Yes, those people were parking legally, and they were jerks too.

I think it’s the same psychology that goes into the feelings of ownership of a particular desk in a classroom or a chair in a boardroom. When someone sits at YOUR desk or YOUR chair, you get crabby.

I find it baffling too, I have to say.

People who feel so entitled, always say, ‘It’s rude!’ No it’s not. It’s public space. Period.

What you read into it being used, is on you. And if it’s that important to you, then buy where there is no street parking and let people who understand the meaning of ‘public’ and sharing, live in peace.

If you’re adult enough to purchase a home, you’re adult enough to understand you have say only over that which lies inside your property lines. Because you can see it out the window, or it abuts your property line, give you no special entitlement.

You should be adult enough to accept that if there is a public parking spot available in front of your property, you could be looking at parked cars. Sometimes or all the time. Your neighbours, friends of your neighbours, even strangers! Accept it.

If you think it’s rude, that’s on you and your sense of entitlement, in my opinion.

A couple anecdotes about this. I currently live on such a street - I’m relatively close to a major college stadium, and on football saturdays, my street will fill up with cars. It’s a standard residential street, such that if cars are parked on both sides, it ends up being a de facto single lane 10mph street on game days. It never bothered me, but I’m young and generally don’t freak out driving in tight spaces, but there’s a lot of old folks in the neighborhood and I guess some of them complained. Last year they started restricting parking to one side of the street via the temporary signs you’re talking about. I have no problem with this – like it or not, I pay property taxes for a police department that has every right to shut down streets to make the taxpayers happy. It’s not like anyone parking here actually lives in the neighborhood, after all.

The second one is from when I lived on Bolling AFB in DC, home of the DIA headquarters. Parking for DIA is terrible; there’s a couple of small 2-story garages, but mostly people have to park far away and hoof it. My neighborhood (gov’t quarters) was actually closer than some of the parking lots, and it didn’t take long for people to realize this and start filling up all of the street parking. Bad idea with all the busy-body stay at home moms who considered it a safety hazard. Up went the signs, and the problem mostly went away, but every once in a while you’d see some schmuck try his luck. Bored moms + bored cops = tickets galore. I found the whole thing mildly amusing.

Like I said, just creepy. :slight_smile: Although sometimes I have people park in front of my house, and…just sit there. And they can see inside my living room from that angle, and that really creeps me out!

ETA: Oh yes, i forgot the real reason. There’s no reason to park in front of anyone’s house in my neighborhood. There’s lots of open street parking and lots of room…not crowded at all. So why don’t they park in front of the house where they are going? NO ONE KNOWS.

Oh I have two possible explainations for this!

  1. I’m kind of anal about being on time. When traffic is light that means I can be pretty early. If it’s a friends house I’m going to, np but if it’s someone I’m less familiar with I will stop a couple of blocks away, park and read until it’s time for me to arrive.
  2. I sometimes pull over and park to take phone calls depending on how much attention I need to give them and how much background noise driving is creating.