Someone laughed when I put “parking wars” in a headline the other day. They thought that was an exaggeration.
Well, Tony would disagree with you.
The North Burnaby resident says it feels like a war based on how his neighbours act in relation to the issue of street parking.
Tony, who rents a basement suite in the Heights area, says he’s had neighbours shake their fist at him when he says no to their request to move his vehicle from out front of their houses. (His rental unit doesn’t come with a parking spot out back.)
But it’s the notes that really get to him. Nasty notes from one neighbour in particular.
“This crazed Burnaby dude really thinks he is entitled to the parking spot outside his house,” Tony said. “His notes are unhinged. He goes on about how I need to park somewhere else so he and his family and friends don’t have to park too far away. He says he ‘pays taxes’ and what I’m doing is unfair. It’s a public street. I can park where I want. I rent. They own. They have parking at the back of their homes, but that’s not f***ing enough for them.”
Look, I know some people want me to stop writing about this topic, but it's incredible the stories people are telling me about orange cones, garbage bins and other ways people try and claim street parking as their own.
I mean I've left a note on someone's windshield before about parking, but only after they parked in my spot in the underground parking garage. And even then I was exceedingly polite.
There is another side of this, of course. One reader wrote in about the situation and defended writing notes and leaving them on someone’s windshield.
“There’s at least 6-8 adults and 4-6 cars per house but there’s only enough room for 2 cars in the driveways,” said Fed Up. “I can handle the neighbours parking once in a while in front of our house, but I’m sick and tired of them taking all the parking on the street and blocking driveways every single day. Especially when we’re the ones maintaining the lawns and sidewalks and them leaving garbage and cigarette butts all over the place.
“One day I left a note on one of the cars that always parked in front of our house to please not park there for a couple hours on a certain morning as I was bringing an elderly parent home from the hospital after having surgery … and it would be easier to bring her inside from the front as the front only has a few steps as opposed to an entire flight of stairs in the back. I watched him as he crumpled up the note and threw it out his window along with an empty Starbucks coffee cup right in front of my house. That’s it. I’ve had it. I’m tired of cleaning up their trash in front of my house. I went and bought some pylons to put out in front of the house for the one time. After that, I started leaving them notes that if they were to park in front past the allotted time allowed by the city, they would be ticketed. I don’t think I am entitled. I think I have the right to be angry with these homes filled with tenants that park in front of other people’s houses for days at a time and don’t respect other people’s property by leaving trash everywhere. I also think that if you’re in a house filled to the rim with tenants taking up all the street parking, then it’s pretty foreseeable that the neighbours are going to be upset.”
So, whose side are you on?
Are notes a good way to get your message across? Should you have a right to demand someone vacate a space on a public street?
I say no, but you might disagree.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.