Survey Time!

So, okay, we live in a student-dense (and sometimes a dense student) neighborhood.
Parking is always tight here, though the past week hasn’t been particularly bad, and there have been a lot of empty spaces on the block.
A fairly new, really BIG Nissan SUV blocked part of our driveway Monday night.
The back of his car was about two feet into the actual driveway, leaving maybe six feet of open space.
If Berkeley ever bothered to red-paint the driveway entrances on our block, I’d guess the SUV would have been parked about a third of it in the red.
As it was, when I came home I could get into the driveway, but it was a bit nerve-wracking fitting between the end of his car and the perfectly-legally parked car on the other side.

This morning the jerk was back, this time parked a good three feet into the driveway, so that I actually had to back out over the curb on the other side.
If a car had been parked on that side I’d have been trapped in the driveway, and when I came back I parked in the street so I could be sure I could leave later.
Since I was bringing home heavy groceries parking on the street did make me crabby.
I admit to crabbiness.

Tom and I have differing views on the subject.

Tom thinks that at this point the appropriate reaction is that I should leave a note on the car asking that teh driver not block our driveway again.
He worries that there could be retribution if the driver is ticketed and/or towed, or at, the least, bad feelings.
And, basically, he is a nicer guy than I am, and feels bad about causing the unknown driver to have to pay a ticket.

Me, I think the driver can perfectly easily see that the SUV is blocking the driveway.
Furthermore, he’s been blocking it all day today, and he did so all day Monday and on through to Tuesday afternoon, and so clearly there isn’t much concern for other people at work here.
Now, between the two of us, we have been to the emergency room easily half a dozen times in the past year, three times in what the doctors termed “potentially lethal” situations, so I do not take kindly to anything that interferes with me getting my car out when I need it.
(Or, in one of those cases, an ambulance into the driveway!)
Today, I parked on the street because Tom cannot physically walk the half-mile from campus, and I can’t gamble that no one will park on the other side of my driveway, trapping my car when I need to go pick him.
I think I’m being perfectly nice – indeed beyond the call of normal niceness! – parking my car out on the street and only having the idiot driver of the SUV ticketed.
The city would tow the SUV at this point, if I requested it, and in that case I could use my driveway.
Which I can’t now.

Note: our street is regularly patrolled for parking, since we have non-resident two-hour limits on parking, and ticketing the unwary is a city money-cow.
The usual meter person here will also occasionally ticket blocked driveways, if she decides to, but mostly she won’t unless someone calls.
I mean, the neighborhood idiot who got himself into a screaming fit with her did find himself being ticketed for blocking his own driveway after that, but he’s a special case.

Me, I think rich college kid idiots are not necessarily really well-informed on how tickets happen in residential areas in Berkeley.
I doubt that he will assume that the owner of the driveway caused law enforcement to catch him in his illegal parking.
I think he will just figure he got caught pushing the limits this time, and maybe he should be more careful in the future since he will have learned that they actually do ticket around here if you park badly.
I think putting a note on the car, though, would call his attention to our actual existence, making any future need to have him ticketed more fraught with possibilities of retribution.

Sooooooo…
Am I a meanie for having him ticketed? (Remember, I didn’t have the vehicle towed. At least not this time.)
Does it seem that he would necessarily blame the driveway residents for having been ticketed?
Remember, he is an undergraduate in possession of a pricy vehicle; i.e., this isn’t a question of wether you yourself understand the system, but whether you think that the idiot SUV driver does.

Advertisements

27 responses to this post.

  1. I think the ticket will solve the problem better than a note, and you need it to be expeditiously understood, no two ways about it, as you say, in case of an urgent matter. Not being a driver, I can’t really weigh in on the second part.

    Reply

  2. I would have had it towed. I agree, with not leaving a note, it makes you connected to the ticket/towing. I think you were actually kind to just have it ticketed. I really really would just have had the car towed out of the way. But deep down, I’m not a super nice person. I do not think the driver would blame the residents of a driveway (well the residents of the house with a driveway). My initial reaction would be that I was parked illegally, not that a resident had the power to have me towed. So hopefully it all works out.

    Reply

  3. Always have the authorities do it; that’s what we pay them for.

    Reply

  4. And have it towed if it happens again — he’ll just think the cops are onto them.

    Reply

  5. My experience with notes is that they just draw the jerk’s attention to you instead of their own behavior. A polite note I wrote to a noisy apartment neighbor only made the neighbor noisier, likely out of spite. Under the circumstances—Tom is ill and you are still on the mend—you need that driveway open, and the owner of the SUV (where do these kids get the money to buy an SUV? I drove a tiny 1976 Corolla when I was going to school!) has potentially placed your health in peril. So don’t feel bad about calling the parking police. If this person can afford a newish SUV she or he can afford a parking ticket, or a towing fee.

    Reply

    • My thoughts exactly. This looks like a person who can’t be reasoned with (else why have an SUV in college, in a place with no parking?). Probably been helicopter parented. Which means you definitely don’t want to come to the attention of him and his parents and their lawyers.

      I say have it towed each and every time. They’d probably ignore tickets. Shock treatment and deprivation of the precious vehicle will be the only way to get the idea across. Plus, the city obviously needs the money more than they do.

      Reply

    • If I hadn’t been able to get out past it, it would have been towed.
      And if I see it again, it will be.
      As is, the volvo is on the street, so we’re okay for the medical appointment tomorrow.
      And I’m assuming it will move soon.

      Reply

    • That was why I really wasn’t willing to go the note route.
      I want to just be invisible.
      SUVs are the least of it.
      Berkeley is packed with rich brats.
      Not exclusively, of course, but much more of a monied presence than there used to be, and so far as I can tell it is primarily noticeable for being loud.
      Sigh.

      Reply

  6. 1st time, if I could get in and out okay – I’d probably have done nothing.

    2nd time – the cops would have towed the car at my insistence. And if I even suspected retribution of any kind … well, I have to remember I live in Oklahoma not California so – never mind.

    Reply

  7. Posted by tom on December 4, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I’m with the contingent who says to have the cops ticket the crap out of the bastard. Strike three is having the cops tow him. If he comes back after towing, “accidentally” pour a nice sized pile of granulated pool chlorine under his fuel line, then “accidentally” pour a bunch of brake fluid on it, and then “accidentally” run like hell. I guarantee you, he wouldn’t park there again, once they hauled his SUV’s charred carcass off of your street.

    Seriously: ticket, ticket, towing. Exploding the sonofabitch is an option if towing doesn’t work. Same with puncturing all four of his tires, or keying, “I’m a rule-ignorant dickwad” on his driver’s side door. I got blocked in by a Fed-EX truck at a 7-Eleven. I just backed up anyway, scraping my truck against his bumper. It was white on white, so no damage report. He was a little angry. I was very angry. “Well, don’t fucking block me in, you effin’ twatwaffle!” (n.b.: the scraping quarter panel was already seriously dented, so what’s one more scrape?)

    Reply

  8. Yes, let the authorities handle it, for goodness sakes, and call them to ticket him. You are unable to enjoy the driveway that YOU pay property taxes on. The note will just be ignored or, worse, lead to retribution.

    Reply

  9. I would have had the jerk ticketed in a heartbeat. The other solution I suppose is to put up a sign, as our neighbors have done. They have family with medical issues too so they posted not to block the way. You could then see if SUV jerk is a true sociopath or just clueless if he blocks it again. But you shouldn’t have to take this extra step, you have enough to worry about.

    Reply

  10. joining the choir, with a slight difference: forget the tickets, have them towed every. single. time. that’d learn’em.
    (we also live in a student ‘hood (more like a ghetto these days) and sre painfully familiar with the blocked/partially blocked driveway. our policy is: no mercy

    Reply

  11. Posted by SingingTuna on December 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Ticketing, towing…I’m for getting rid of the SOB in the most effective and most anonymous (and safest!) way possible.

    Reply

  12. Well, this is gratifying.
    I had been feeling mean, which I don’t like to feel.
    Tom was also upset because I had characterized a guy speaking on tv as stupid because he was, you know?
    He was misspeaking about every five minutes in one of those the-word-doesn’t-mean-that sort of way, but, more importantly, he was constructing a totally bogus argument and misrepresenting pieces of information when he hit areas I actually knew about.
    So I guess the second part would be better described as crooked or dishonest, but I settled for stupid.
    I guess if you are the Heritage Foundation you have to take what you can get.
    (Tom is more willing to listen to some things than I am.)

    Reply

  13. I’m a note kinda person, but then I do not fear confrontation. However, a note is only really applicable the first time a thing like that happens. Now that it’s happened multiple times, it’s a pattern. Call the cops, have it towed. You and Tom need to have clear, easy access to your driveway. This is not a minor inconvenience anymore.

    Reply

  14. I think we seem to have come to an average idea/consensus of towing. The useless option of a note has been thrown out, and so has the possible felony of rendering it a charred husk.

    However, if for some reason people start torching cars on the street, it would make excellent cover.

    I say tow him, it’s the only thing that will work, and will serve as an encouragement pour les autres.

    Reply

  15. The car finally left.
    Late this afternoon.
    So I’ll be watching for it – probably in January because it is almost the end of term.
    And parking spaces are opening up as the children leave town.
    (There are lots of spaces, but classes only end Friday, and there are still finals….)

    Reply

  16. If he shows again, ticket and tow – it’s your driveway! /my 2cents

    Reply

  17. Ticket, ticket, towing also from me, after deciding not to go with my first response, dynamite.

    Reply

  18. Agreeing with the ticketing. Towing needs to come if he doesn’t stop doing it! What a jerk to park like that

    Reply

  19. You’ve probably already resolved this, but I agree with everyone else. Let the authorities deal with it. A note from a grumpy resident would probably just be ignored, and there’s no reason to draw attention to yourself, especially if it’s someone as obviously jerky as this clown.

    Reply

  20. I’d have the car towed in a heartbeat!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: