A comedian once quipped: “When Solomon said there was a time and a place for everything he had not encountered the problem of parking his automobile.” Funny when a comedian says it, but not so funny when it is a subject with which you deal on a daily basis. Neighborhood parking? Good? Bad? Ugly?
The streets in West University prove a challenge to many of its residences from the width of the street, to short driveways in the older homes, to multiple cars at each residence. Parking is literally at a premium and is one of the most frequently heard complaints. Just what can make the situation better? The Golden Rule of Parking --- do unto your neighbor as you would want done to you.
Have a garage that is full of stuff? How about cleaning it out, donating the donatable stuff and throwing away that which is not. Then park your car in your garage. You know it will be safer there and less likely to be burglarized or vandalized.
That not possible? Then how about parking in your driveway, making sure not to park across the sidewalk which is inconsiderate to those walking along the sidewalks as they are forced to enter the roadways.
More cars than driveways? We do love our cars and are hesitant to get rid of any. So what do we do with the ones we need to park if we have filled the garage or only have one parking spot in the driveway? Many people then move to the street; many others think they “own” the street in front of their homes and that they have rights to park. True? The city owns the streets, not the individual homeowner. So your right is that you can legally park on the street anywhere that is not limited by law, even if in front of someone else’s house. But is that the best option? Not often!
So what do we do? West U is a bedroom community, a neighborhood of families, all wanting to enjoy their lives in the manner in which they choose to do so. But here is where the Golden Rule of Parking comes in. How do you want your neighbors to park? Do you want them to use their garage? Their driveway? Park right in front of their house? What about when they have company? Is it really bad to park in front of your house if there is open space? Is there anything that can make this better?
Yes … it is called “conversation.” The art of speaking to your neighbors in an effort to make what may be a bad situation better. If you’re having company, let your neighbors know that they might see more cars in the vicinity. Ask if they, too, are planning on company to best plan the parking. Check side streets that don’t impact your neighbors, even if it might require guests to walk a few feet. Consider using a parking lot and shuttle your guests to your home. Invite the neighbors and utilize space in front of all homes. Make a conscientious effort to park as you would want them to park… don’t block their drives, don’t wedge them in and you might find that they suddenly exhibit the same consideration.
It’s been said that “fences make good neighbors,” but that could also apply to parking friendly.