Dear Annie: I read with great interest the letter from "At My Wits End," whose rude neighbors take up too many parking spots on her street.
We had a similar situation a few years back. After several attempts to resolve the problem, I waited until the street was empty of cars due to street cleaning. I then called all of my friends and had them bring as many cars as they could and park them all over our street. I belong to three car clubs, and it was easy to fill every spot. I then printed up a letter that I circulated to our other neighbors explaining the reason for the cars and who was causing all the problems.
One week of this, and the rude neighbor changed his ways. I even got thank-you notes from some of the other neighbors. I know you would never recommend this as a solution, but it worked for us. -- California
Dear California: Not everyone has a cadre of friends who will bring extra cars over to take up space on the street (and a good thing), but at least you solved your problem. Read on for more suggestions:
From Vancouver: In my city, it is an offense to park for more than three hours in front of a property you don't own or work at.
Dear Annie: I had the same exact thing happen to me. I kept asking for them to move and they wouldn't, even though there was no one parking in front of their house. So, I started parking in front of their house, partly blocking their driveway. When they confronted me, I informed them that if I had a spot in front of my own house, I would park there. They called the police on me, and I told the police the same thing. After that, they started parking in front of their own house.
Practical Mom: "At Wits End" should be thankful her neighbors park in front of her house. A car in front looks like you are home and probably have company, making you less of a target for thieves. Her neighbors are forfeiting their own security to preserve hers. I love it when my neighbors park in front of my house.
Pittsburgh: These neighbors are not only guilty of being thoughtless, but also of not recognizing her right to have a parking space in front of her own home. Here in western Pennsylvania, we would reserve the spot on the street by putting a couple of wooden sawhorses on her parking place after she pulls out. That way, no one will be able to pull into that spot in front of her home without a major inconvenience to them. After a little while of this, the neighbors will get the point and no sawhorses will be necessary.
Thousand Oaks: We have found that the most effective way to deal with this issue (and other neighbor issues) is with "Bundt Cake Diplomacy." We take a Bundt cake to the neighbor's house, engage in some light conversation, and tell them how much we appreciate it when they make the effort not to park in front of our house. This works amazingly well. Repeat once a year, or as needed.
Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar's column, "Classic Annie's Mailbox," is available at creators.com.