My home is located next to a small park that includes a children’s play area, a sand box, a small pond, and a large empty field. The main entrance to the park is via a sidewalk that is situated on the lot between my house and the neighbors to the left of me on the cul-de-sac (if you are standing inside my house), and there is no designated parking lot. Which means my cul-de-sac IS the default parking place for park activities. As our cul-de-sac is on a main road in to our subdivision (and that is immediately off of a very busy thoroughfare) there is no street parking available unless you travel about 3 blocks, or park across the street in the library or elementary school parking lots.
Living next to the park comes with perks. Mainly that I have unobstructed views on the south side of my home and I don’t have neighbors that are 5 feet from my lot line. We can walk over to the pond and go fishing with relative ease. And my kids can play at the playground with the friends without me having to drive anywhere.
Then there is the downside. The garbage that makes its way in to my yard. The bored teens in the summer who sneak down to the picnic area after dark, shoot off fireworks, etc. The foot traffic through my yard that I have tried to quell with extended my fence and planting more shrubbery. But what I can’t seem to resolve is people parking like jackasses.
You know what I’m talking about. Those that cannot park their vehicle – regardless of size because it’s not just the minivan moms – on a curved curb without ending up with tires in the grass of whatever house they are attempting to park in front of.
Then you have those that will block half of your driveway and then get indignant with you when you ask them to move.
But this is my favorite :
The person that parks IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CUL-DE-SAC. When there is no parking left in the closest possible space to the park, they just decide to stop in the middle of the cul-de-sac and leave their car there!
There’s no round-about. There is no where legally for these people to park. They just create their own parking space – residents who need to get in and out of their driveways be dammed!
For a decade, I have called the park police and the regular police department. Sometimes they will show up and ask the offender to move their car and that’s the end of it. I’ve begged the city to put No Parking signs up in certain places to ease the traffic congestion. No dice. Despite being assured from both the local school district and park district that no sanctioned sporting events would be happening in this park because of the parking limitations, every year there is soccer or football practice in the park for 4-6 weeks in the spring and the fall. I’ve walked over to the park and spoken to the various football or soccer coaches, asking if they would speak to their team parents about proper parking. They don’t care.
This year, there has been pee-wee football every Tuesday night for the last several weeks. And I’m not talking about a practice. I’m talking about full on games. With parents running up and down the “sidelines” and little kids peeing in my bushes (I’m not kidding – I’ve watched it happen) because there is no bathroom facilities.
Tonight, I took matters in to my own hands and wrote this note:
And yes, I left it on their windshield.
As you can see from my note, there is a very good reason that I complain about the parking situation as much as I do – and it’s not just about my lawn or blocking my driveway. I’ve been in the position of needing emergency services at my home in a life or death situation. I was fortunate enough that there were no cars blocking the cul-de-sac the day my father had a heart attack. The fire department, ambulance services and the police department were able to get to my home in under 5 minutes. Had they needed to stop at the entrance of the cul-de-sac and carry their equipment to my home (which would have been about a block), it would have delayed the treatment that my father received that day.
So you can think I’m the one that’s being the jackass and potentially over-reacting about this parking situation. What if your child was injured in the park? What if your home caught on fire? What if you or a member of your family needed emergency medical services? Think about that for a moment and decide if you are okay with help being delayed or access to your situation being blocked by someone who was too lazy to park legally. And don’t be a jackass yourself.
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