When you’re running behind schedule for the day, there’s nothing more infuriating than trying to back out of your parking spot only to find someone has blocked the entrance to your driveway. Almost as bad is coming home from a long day at work to find your usual parking space occupied. Since lockdown and working remotely, many drivers have been making use of their parking spaces more regularly during the day, leading to increased encounters with potentially problematic parking neighbors…
Gunther Volvo Cars Coconut Creek surveyed 3,128 drivers across the country and found that overall, almost 1 in 3 (31%) drivers in Maryland say they’ve fallen out with neighbors over parking disputes in their neighborhood. This figure was highest in West Virginia, where 46% of drivers admit they’ve had a falling out with neighbors over parking disputes. Those in Mississippi were relatively more considerate when it came to neighborhood parking battles, with just 9% of drivers saying they’ve had these issues with neighbors.
View these results illustrated by state in the following accompanying infographic.
And it appears many are now taking preventative measures to keep other vehicles from parking in their preferred spot – almost 1 in 5 (18%) drivers admit to doing this, and more than 1 in 10 (13%) say this includes putting up their own protective parking sign to guard the space!
If you have neighbors who tend to have guests over often, you may have experienced these visitors’ vehicles parking on your curb; in front of your driveway or even worse, in your personal parking space… In fact, a majority (87%) of drivers believe residents of their neighborhood should have primary access to parking spaces, above visitors and drivers who don’t reside in the local area.
Lastly, a surprisingly high 1 in 10 (13%) said they wouldn’t admit it if they accidentally scratched their neighbor’s car while trying to maneuver a parking space – so much for community spirit!
If you’re dealing with a parking issue in your neighborhood, Gunther Volvo Cars Coconut Creek has provided the following tips on how to resolve it amicably, before going through the effort of filing a formal complaint:
- Speak to your neighbor
This may sound obvious but sometimes, your neighbor might not even realize they’re causing you an inconvenience by parking in the space concerned. In fact, they might even be willing to move their car without further discussion, alleviating the issue completely! It’s important that when bringing up the issue, lay out your concerns in an organized manner instead of using an accusatory tone. If this civil discussion doesn’t work, you might want to take steps to…
- Document occurrences of the parking issue at hand
If you choose to file a formal complaint, it’s important to gather evidence of the issue. The easiest way to do this is to take photos or videos, dating them and making notes of when they happen. It may also be of help to research your local neighborhood parking bylaws and see if the issue violates any of these. If you have community members who live nearby, asking if they wouldn’t mind bearing witness might be a good idea as well, especially if they’ve experienced similar issues.
- Compile a clearly written, polite, formal letter
This might include evidence of the issues, along with any notes, as well as offering any potential solutions to the problem.
- Send the formal letter to your neighbor first
By laying out your concerns in a formally addressed letter, your neighbor will realize the seriousness of the matter. This may prompt changed behavior, however, if not, you may want to file this complaint to a city or county official if your neighbor’s inconsiderate parking violates any official bylaws. This will also bring in a third-party mediator to the situation, helping reduce your own responsibility regarding the issue.
‘Although parking issues may sound fairly innocuous to some, such as those who have privately allocated parking garages, these kinds of disputes can result in many bitter arguments and resentment between neighbors if they remain unresolved,’ says Joseph Gunther IV from Gunther Volvo Cars Coconut Creek. ‘If you feel speaking to them in person may inflame the situation, try leaving a note, written in a friendly but firm tone.’