We’ve been in our house for nine years now. Wow. Nine years. It hardly seems possible.
When we first moved in, we quickly met our neighbors. On our left was a lovely single mother and her charming child (no, I really mean that). And on our right was a fun couple about our age that went CRAZY for Halloween (like I’m talking gravestones, coffins and a smoke machine) who very nicely tolerated our crazy dogs.
About four years ago, the couple moved to buy their own home (they were renting) and our other neighbor got a job out of the area and temporarily rented her home out. Long story short, during those years, we lucked out in terms of having renters on either side. We were always surrounded by couples who were friendly and quiet, which was a big relief during E’s infancy. We weren’t hanging out with any of them, but we exchanged hellos whenever we saw each other and chit-chatted about things like the weather if we crossed paths.
Last winter, our neighbor to our left moved back into her house (hooray!). All was right on our street. But then, in the spring, the nice couple renting on our right had to move just a couple months into their lease because the guy got transferred to London (lucky bastard).
The house remained vacant for a couple months while the owner made some minor renovations and improvements. We were really optimistic that another couple would be moving in, especially after she put so much work into the house.
We were wrong.
At first it wasn’t so bad. A single woman moved in who had some connection to the landlord’s sister, cousin or something. We waved hello to her several times but haven’t gotten much in return. Oh well.
Then, just a couple weeks later, moving vans came and then we saw no one for several days. Did she move out? Was that her stuff just arriving?
One day, she was suddenly back and there was someone with her. OK. Roommates? A couple? Who cares, I was just glad to not have the house vacant (I feel vacant houses make our house more of a target for burglars). But a few days later, that second person was gone. OK, maybe she was just visiting for a few days.
I’ll save you all the back and forth but this went on for a couple months (the friend was here; the friend wasn’t here. One person was here; two people were here; no one was here). Then one day, another moving van showed up, as well as yet another car and this time it stayed.
Yeah, I was beginning to feel a bit like this guy.
For those of you keeping score at home, from our estimates, that was one person there full-time, one person there most of the time and one person who occasionally visited for several days at a time.
Within the past two months or so, though, it appears that all three are living there full-time. It’s three women, probably in their late 20s, who all appear to have full-time day jobs. The newest roommate seems to be the friendliest. But maybe that’s just because E. is obsessed with her Boxer and she lets E. pet her. The dog is friendly but is starting to drive us a bit crazy because she makes a beeline for our fence and starts barking every time she’s let out of the house. Maybe she’s looking for E? Trust me, dog, E is not going to be out there at 6:45 every morning. Move on.
But there is something that they keep doing over and over again that is about to make me lose my shit.
We live in a great neighborhood. Every street has sidewalks and you constantly see runners, walkers, kids on bikes and parents pushing strollers.
At least you USED to see that until my crappy neighbors moved in. For some inexplicable reason, they park their car across the sidewalk EVERY DAMN DAY. Like seriously, it’s always there.
And it’s not like parking is a problem on our street; there is amble parking available.
But from the time they get home until the time they leave for work in the morning, they have two cars in a one-car driveway so that the second car is parked right across the sidewalk. That leaves pedestrians with two options — wedging themselves into the narrow space between the two cars or going out into the street to get around. And if your, oh, let’s say 4 year old is on her bike trying to learn how to use her training wheels, you have to make her get off the bike because neither of those is a good option.
And, well, you can guess how happy that makes me.
With every day that passes, my rage grows. This is how things like the Hatfields and McCoys got started.
So what do I do? I’ve floated a variety of ideas to DadJovi — I could leave an anonymous note; call the police to report a habitual parking violator (I mean, it’s got to be illegal, right? It’s a city sidewalk); egg their car. You know, the mature options.
For reasons that escape me, he’s shot down every one of my ideas.
At first I thought, “Well, once they’re here for a couple weeks and realize just how many pedestrians there are, surely they’ll be smart enough to realize what a big nuisance they are.”
I thought wrong.
And if we’d developed enough of a rapport, I might feel more comfortable saying, “Hey, in case you haven’t noticed, a lot of people use this sidewalk. Your car is interfering with the walkability of our street.” (or something less bitchy)
The thing that kills me is that the new roommate walks her dog all the time. Doesn’t she find it annoying too?
Listen, I know this really isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. As far as I know, our neighbors aren’t making meth, running a sweatshop or throwing keggers.
But it still doesn’t stop me from wanting to kick their car every time I have to walk around it.
Any suggestions for a tactful way to address this? Or do I just have to wait them out until they move? This is MY street. Shouldn’t I have some seniority rights?? And please make me feel better and share your REAL neighbor horror stories.
I have no suggestion other than calling code enforcement. Not sure how quickly they would respond in Orlando but in small town Polk County, they usually are pretty responsive.
I live in a new community where the roads are relatively narrow. Everyone has a short driveway and a garage. There is one house on the main road, that I have to drive on to get to my house, that always has four cars parked in front of it. Two cars are on one side of the road and two are on the other side directly across from the first two. They are also on a curve. As you can imagine, everyday I have to drive in the middle of the road between these cars and if there are two cars coming at once, one has to wait. This happens everyday. It is unsafe and annoying. My husband noticed the other day that the reason they are unable to park at least one of the cars in their garage is because they have a weight lifting set-up in there.
We talk about doing something all the time but have yet to jump the gun.
It’s so hard to know what to do in those situations. On one hand, it’s obnoxious, annoying and potentially unsafe, so you feel like it’s your duty, in a way, to say something about it to them. On the other hand, you have to wonder how people can so dense as to not think, “Hey, you know what? This might not be such a great idea.”
Good luck with your street issue!
Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups says
I can see how that’d annoy you. We were on a walk the other evening and commented on how it should be illegal to block the sidewalk with your car. We had a neighbor who was constantly parking their car on the street on the opposite side of the road but right in front of our driveway, so when we would back out, it’d be car acrobatics to try to avoid hitting their car. The weird thing was that the whole street was pretty much empty, so I don’t know why they had to park right there every time. But since I hate confrontation, I never said anything. I hope you see another moving van out there soon!
Ugh, people! And of course there is no way to time it ever so that they have to witness you going through such hoops just to get your car out of the driveway. Hopefully they’ve moved on from your spot. Maybe mine will too.
And if it’s not illegal, it should be! I know when I lived in both DC and Syracuse, they were ALWAYS ticketing for things like that. Perhaps it’s not illegal in Orlando? Guess I’ve got something to investigate.
In Chicago, you get a ticket for blocking the sidewalk… so my guess would be yes, illegal. 🙂
In our old neighborhood, we had a neighbor who kept stealing our Sunday newspaper. Not really sure why, maybe for the coupons? So one Sunday, we took the newspaper early, put one of K’s poop diapers in the middle of it, placed the newspaper back in the plastic bag and in our driveway. A few hours later, it was gone! We never saw who took the paper, but that was the last paper they took 🙂 So I’m not sure if they are the neighbors that suck, or if we are haha! 🙂
Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run says
THAT is the best thing I have EVER heard!
Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run says
If that is your only problem with your neighbors, you should count yourself lucky.
At our last house, I can’t tell you how many times we had to call the cops on our neighbors because of knife fights (not kidding) or extremely loud, shouting arguments on the driveway. They were college kids and they were awful.
One night, they had the cops called on them. It was the same night we were having a birthday party for Fabian. The cops came to our door because a ton of cars were parked near our house and I was like, we think you need the people 2 houses down. (You couldn’t even hear our music with the door closed)
Of course, before he left, he made our guests move their cars off our driveway that were blocking the sidewalk. I asked him if he was going to go to the 3 houses I could see in view that also had cars blocking the sidewalks. He said no. I said, my guests are only here for another hour or two. The cop was like, well, someone might be walking their baby. Really? At midnight?
Then I told him he should go to all the other houses in the neighborhood for the potential baby walkers. He said no again.
So, this long-winded point is that the cops really don’t give a shit about that unless they feel like pulling a power trip. At least, that was my experience.
At least you have no knife fights. Except for the ones you host, of course.
Knife fights? That sounds equal parts terrifying and AWESOME! Were they betting on them? Was it like a dog-fighting ring with humans? Did you ever get in on that action?
But yeah, that’s mostly terrifying.
Why wouldn’t that cop go to their house if he was telling you to do it? So annoying? I wouldn’t object if they were only doing it when having people over (like at night. You’re right — no one’s walking a baby then) or when there’s a lot of traffic in the neighborhood for a special event. But ours do it every damn day when there’s ALWAYS street parking available.
OK, fine, so it’s not knife fighting, but I wonder if I should challenge them to one to settle the Great Parking Debate of 2012?
Thankfully we don’t have any knife fights, but I have already had issues with my neighbor’s music/tv being too loud a couple of times. Given, before it was a smart term rental before and now these people are here until who knows when (everyone else around us owns and lives in the homes). But man these people are just…ugh.
The kid was up apparently playing video games until 3AM during the summer, so I politely told the father about it and his response was, “Oh he starts school on a week at least. But don’t worry I just bought him a new tv.” Umm… what?! I think he missed my point, he should have bought him a pair of headphones instead. Grrr!
Oh and now, on top of the family that lives there, there are two extra cars parked in the grass/street all the time and he keeps slightly parking in our yard. So annoyed!
Kashi @ Cape Island Runners says
Oh boy, I know what you mean. It’s not a huge deal but since you have to deal with it everyday it gets super annoying. We are having a similar “not a real problem, but a pain all the same” problem with our neighbors across the street neighbors. We live in a resort area, so they are only here half time, and now really just during the weekends. While they are away, they leave the lights on in their house (on a timer). These lights are on steroids, they are so bright! And of course our bedroom windows are lined up with their house and we have no curtains cause we love morning light to wake us up. The town is crazy safe – we never lock our doors, there is virtually no crime. And the lights are on all night, not just til 10-11. They shut off at sunrise 🙁 I am thinking of leaving a friendly note. Good luck to you!
But the worse we had was when I lived in an old beach house in college with lots of roomies. The house next door was an old hotel that had become low income living. Most of the people there were really nice, just trying to get by. But through one period there was a couple who fought violently all the time. We called the cops many a night because we were really fearful for her life. They eventually moved out and I find myself wondering what happened to her.
I would call the cops. I would complain that it’s part of your running path and the cars parked illegally force you to go into the street and that they need to be moved. I would call once a week until the city does something about it. Its a sidewalk for pedestrians, not for cars.
Courtney @ Illuminate says
It appears that I’m in the minority, but I think you should just go talk to them about it. Some people are just oblivious to those kinds of things. Talk to the nice one and be very friendly about it. You might be surprised.
You may want to leave out the ‘you suck’ part, though. Just a suggestion 🙂
But the “you suck” is the best part! I know you’re probably right, but I HATE any kind of confrontation like that, especially in person. If I knew their number, I could do it. I just don’t do well with face-to-face confrontations, no matter how nice. I suppose this is why I was never good at having interns working for me!
And what should my opening line be? “So, I know you’re kind of new here, but when you park across the sidewalk, it’s not only unsafe but annoying?” I’m serious! Is that what you’d say?
You don’t want me to get started on neighbor stories, you really don’t. Also, I live in a community with a HOA and the security cart patrols a few times a day. If you are parked on the sidewalk or swell they glue a nice warning sticker on your side window… those suckers do not come off easily!!! Hey, maybe you can make a fake one! ‘_
Jen Cook says
We have the same problem in our neighborhood.
For us, it’s against our Homeowners Association. But they don’t really enforce it. It is also against Orange County Code – so you could go that route. They aren’t going to tell the person who filed the complaint – just that they can’t park that way.
We like to go on nightly family bike rides – and these cars in the driveways makes it really unsafe. I like to point that out to people if they are outside while we are biking. It really helped one time when my youngest rode his bike straight into a car parked over the sidewalk. He was fine – the car had a small scratch – and the owner doesn’t park that way any more.
I had to get a little crazy on some other people in our subdivision. I drafted a letter from a “homeowners association” threatening action if they didn’t move their car. It seemed to work – for awhile. But then they were back at it again.
Perhaps it’s time for me to find that letter again….