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Opinion: Sneaky Burnaby homeowners illegally block street parking with garbage bins

People going to extraordinary lengths to block the space out front of their homes
Some residents just leave their bins out front on the street to block parking. Glacier Media file photo

Forget orange cones being used to block parking spots outside of Burnaby houses – someone has come up with a different tactic that is more subtle.

Garbage bins.

Lots of residents put out garbage and recycling bins each week to be emptied by city crews, but some people are leaving them on the street so people can’t park in front of their houses.

That’s far less obvious than orange cones, which I wrote about last week - an article which sparked a tsunami of responses both for and against.

Jim wrote about his experience with neighbours who think they deserve the street space in front of their homes.

“I too have received a note on my windshield stating, ‘This is my parking spot in front of my house. Please do not park here,’ but one resident stands out: they leave their three types of curbside waste disposal bins out on the road, in pickup position, 7 days a week! So, the large black, blue, and green bins for the robotic arm on the collection truck to grab. Magically, the bins only moved off the road when that resident returned from work each day to park their truck in that spot.  

“Elsewhere on the same street: while nobody could prove it, there used to be suspicion of vandalism by keying to parked vehicles whose owners ignored the angry notes left on their windshield. Kind of makes one want to install surveillance cameras in their car.”

Yikes. Double yikes. My friend lives in the Capitol Hill area and he said he’s seen his neighbours try this trick with the garbage and recycling bins. Oh, and they have a two-car garage out back, but own four vehicles.

For the record, this is what the city’s traffic and street bylaw says: “No person shall excavate in, do or construct any works upon, cause a nuisance upon, encumber, obstruct, injure, foul, or damage any portion of a highway or other public place without written permission so to do from Council and except under such terms and conditions as may be imposed by the Council in such permission.”

Other readers have sounded on the issue.

“It isn't that hard to follow the rules while being considerate to the people around you,” wrote Kelly. “Don't put fake plastic pylons on the road - it's not your private driveway. Don't park on the residential road for over the designated 3 hours. The entire Lower Mainland is congested due to the amount of people who live here. It isn't a few small towns where you can park everywhere for free.”

“I really do hope more people put up cones, illegally I might add in the public streets. I plan to collect them and resell them on Facebook marketplace,” wrote Mik. “I checked with the city of Burnaby last winter and no, you cannot block off public street parking and they asked to please call them and let them know when someone is doing it and they will be happy to drop by and offer up a fine.”

So there.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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