Parking Wars

Parking Wars

Let’s set the stage: my immediate neighbourhood. I have a double driveway, meaning two vehicles can park side by side on my property. I have no garage for additional parking and one of those parking spots is for my tenant who rents my downstairs suite. Next to my driveway – to the right is a fire hydrant, which restricts any parking in front of it and for several meters on either side. My driveway is to the left so obviously no parking there but there is enough space to the right to park two vehicles before getting to my next neighbour but given the fact that the fire hydrant is there that cuts it down to only the one parking spot.

My neighbour to my right who is in his late 80’s has a home on the corner lot. He built this home over forty years ago and has complained about his neighbourhood ever since. He has a four-car driveway that has a large double garage at the end of it. Around the corner on the adjoining street he has another double garage. However, he is a hoarder.

Across the street is a duplex owned by a community housing authority. One the right side is a single mom who parks her car in her driveway only big enough for one vehicle. Her special friend parks his car on the street whenever he spends the night. On the left side of the duplex is a young family with twin boys under the age of five. They have two vehicles and if they work the parking well they can have both vehicles in their driveway, however they rarely do so one of the vehicles is always parked on the street in front of their home. In addition the wife does hair out of her home and consequently there are always vehicles coming and going from her place, each of them looking for a place to park. They also seem to be pretty involved with a local church, frequently receiving visitors from said church – all of which competing for parking on our street.

Next to this duplex is another single family home also owned by a community housing authority. The woman who lives there is also single although her male partner seems to pop back into her life from time to time. This is important to note because when it is just her there is room in her double driveway to park her pick-up. There is very rarely enough room for her daughter to park beside her pick-up in the same driveway because of the way the woman parks her pick-up in that same driveway. Consequently the daughter has to also find a place on the street to park. When the woman’s ex-partner comes back into the picture for a few days the amount of vehicle activity increases substantially with people coming and going all the time. When he finally leaves we see several more of the woman’s family come around for frequent visits, all of them looking for parking spots on the street.

To my immediate left are the newest neighbours to this street. Their driveway is long enough to park two vehicles in a row, however it does make it a bit of a pain when the one vehicle has to be used, which would require the other vehicle to be moved first. One of those vehicles belongs to the older parents and the other to their adult daughter who lives with them. Consequently they would prefer to park the daughter’s car on the street with the logical place being in-between their driveway and mine.

The catalyst? My youngest daughter just purchased her first car. Consequently there are no parking spots for her to park. Well, of course there are parking spots and the street is a public place so anyone is allowed to park there but not really.

A couple of weeks ago it was 11pm. Upon request from my daughter I took her car to pick her up from work in order to allow her some driving practice as she drove us home. Work is close so I was gone for perhaps ten minutes. In those ten minutes my neighbours to the left had come out of their darkened home, backed both vehicles out of their driveway and moved their daughter’s vehicle into the parking spot where my daughter’s car was. And they have furiously defended that parking spot since – staking it out and even parking their other vehicle in that spot when the other car is gone – leaving their driveway empty.

So my daughter moved her car to the right of us, parking in-between our home and my 80 year old’s place – further along the street so as to not be blocking the fire hydrant. This was going well until my wife had just gotten back with my daughter from driving practice and pulled up into the same parking spot just as the neighbour’s son was parking one of their many vehicles along the same side of the street. The 80 year old’s wife came out of the house getting angry with my wife and daughter insisting that they back the car up to allow their vehicle space to park on the street without blocking their own driveway. As my wife described the scene she used the word ‘bullied’. So they moved my daughter’s car to across the street.

Currently it is parked in front of the home of the single woman whose ex-partner pops into the picture from time to time. We are currently in the cycle of him not being around, which means we can probably get away with parking there for awhile. But once he shows up again the war will continue.


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