7:25 PM 07/28/2012
To the chagrin of many of his neighbors, a resident of our street (hereafter referred to as the "Parking Bandit") purposefully parks his conversion van several feet away from the front of the parking sign so that no one can park in front of him, effectively taking an entire spot away from what should be a strip of six parking spots. Of course this saddens others in the neighborhood, as parking spots are quite valuable in these parts. It doesn't make anyone happier that the alarm on said van beeps and bleeps and goes off at all hours of the day and night, whether it is because of a passing metrobus or his own amusement (we've seen him do that several times).
He's been politely approached about the parking (and alarm) issues and while he claims he parks this way so his van doesn't "get hit" by people turning into the little-used alley next to these spots, his neighbors have on multiple occasions seen him both move the "placeholder" van so that his family members can also park there, or park a couple of the family's cars in such a way that they occupy at least 3 cars' worth of space. Therefore in this manner they usually have the monopoly on 3/6 of this prime parking real estate.
Still, in spite of the beeping and the annoyance of losing a spot, the neighborhood tolerated this, only grumbling about the situation at neighborhood get-togethers and/or deciding it's just one of those quirky things about the ‘hood. Until today.
The Parking Bandit placed orange traffic cones and a long 2x4 in "his" spot. Being as this is just an escalation of aforementioned parking spot piracy--in addition to being illegal--one of us (hereafter referred to as "Stands With A Ford") moved the parking cones off the street and parked a car there after coming home from an errand. This severely angered the Parking Bandit, who came out and defended his territory, ending with the threat that he would thereafter "make things difficult" for his neighbor (who had the forethought to take a picture of the illegally placed cones before moving them).
Later in the day, the Parking Bandit's wife pulled up in front of Stands With A Ford's house. She launched into a tirade about the earlier incident, amidst obscenities laying the heavy claim that they've "lived here for 27 years" and "the rest of ya'll are just renters." Amongst other things, she threatened to have a handicapped spot put in (?!) and claimed her family is the only reason the neighborhood even has zoned parking. Finally she screamed to "leave them alone" and sped off in a huff. Clearly this one incident has invalidated years of tolerance.
The question is, now that the line has been crossed from what was previously a friendly saying-hi-to-each-other kind of neighborly relationship (parking annoyances aside) into threats and unpleasantness (which will be awkward because the Parking Bandit sits outside all day blocking the sidewalk with friends and their scooters), is there recourse other than getting the police involved? The Parking Bandit was wearing an ankle bracelet only a year or two ago, so we don't particularly want to get him in more trouble, but it seems like the situation can no longer be ignored. Could the city maybe come out and add lines around the parking spaces, to make boundaries more clear? Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.
First of all, you wouldn't be getting the neighbor "in trouble." He and his wife are the ones getting themselves into trouble. I would definitely want the police to be involved, not only because your neighbor's actions are illegal, but also they've also shown themselves to be irrational and willing to resort to harrassement to get their own way.
11:47 AM 07/29/2012 | 3 Votes
Start renting from Car-2-go and park the smart car in that 6 foot space.
1:14 PM 07/30/2012 | 1 Votes
Hahaha I know this guy, he's a good dude.
2:36 PM 07/30/2012 | -2 Votes
oops! my key was in my hand when it accidentially scraped against your car!
2:37 PM 07/30/2012 | -1 Votes
It's illegal to purposefully set off one's own car alarm, and to not turn it off after it has been set off.
3:12 PM 07/30/2012 | 1 Votes
Wow. I actually saw this on Saturday, and was trying to figure out if the city was starting to do some work, and then forgot about it. But I do always notice that van in the same spot.
5:58 PM 07/30/2012 | 1 Votes
Zers -- Just to add, this morning I saw trash cans blocking the on-street parking on either side of that van. Good luck!
9:43 AM 07/31/2012 | 1 Votes
Thanks very much for the feedback. After further discussion with others in the neighborhood, including those who will be moving on and those who own in the 'hood, it was decided to leave the police out of it for now but that it would be wise to continue documenting the double parking and such that affects everyone. Therefore the adventure continues here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjB2ZsJf from the the perspective of various cameras and phones (with descriptions added). It seems the way to go is the filing of a request with the city to have lines added to this to discourage this "we own the block" behavior (which has been purposefully escalated since the weekend, oddly in tandem with an attempted PR campaign)/any conflicts they might start over it and go from there. If anyone has any additional advice in the meantime we'll be checking in on this thread. Thanks again!
4:33 PM 08/01/2012 | -1 Votes