Parking Notes Vol. 17 – “You are preventing people who live here from having a pleasant parking experience.”


“Dear PoPville,

Some sign shaming happening on Biltmore Street, NW in Adams Morgan. Apparently, the gripe is they parked too far from the sign to allow for another car to park. I live a few houses down and this car has been here for a while but I do remember a motorcycle parked at the sign so when this car parked it was probably doing the right thing and not parking up against a motorcycle. I guess I’m just chuckling because of the part of the sign that is hard to read in the photo. It reads: “You are preventing people who live here from having a pleasant parking experience.” This author assumes a lot and I can only imagine the author is new to the neighborhood because it is never “a pleasant parking experience.”

41 Comment

  • Whoever leaves these notes is terrible. Most people park completely reasonably, there’s probably a good reason why the car is there.
    Also, why does it have a ticket?

  • There is a guy who does this on the 900 block of W St too. He parks one car three feet from the end of the parking zone and then parks his second car/his girlfriend’s car 5.5 feet in front of that car. All told, his Nissan convertible and SUV take up about 40 feet of street parking.

    • Not the case here, but why do ppl do that? There was a post about maybe 7 cars doing the same. Did that smart car party ever happen?

      • A few reasons:
        1. They are saving spots in case friends/family come to visit and need to quickly find parking
        2. They are paranoid that others will ding their car, so they try to prevent anyone from parking nearby.
        A lot of the this bad parking behavior stems from the fact that DC used to be a place where parking was free and abundant, and there was very little traffic in the residential areas. You could double-park because there was no one else you’d be blocking. Your street would have plenty of free parking, so you didn’t have to worry about someone taking “your spot” in front of your house. Some individuals are having a hard time accepting that times have changed, the city is a lot more dense, and a lot of the people buying up real estate can also afford a nice car.

        • You’re right, it is definitely a case of parking entitlement and fear of someone hitting his cars. He does this orchestrated parking dance at least a few times a week. On Tuesday, when there are only 6 available spots on the block because of sweeping and curb-cuts, it effectively limits the available parking to 2-3 spots on the block.

          • It’s always the person with the lamest car who is paranoid about this stuff. No, your Acura circa 2001 is not a priceless gem that should be rubbed constantly with a soft diaper.

      • I often get the same parking spot near a corner and will park a few feet back from the sign post. I started doing this when the garbage truck driver left note for me to avoid crowding the corner. The note was super polite, reasonable, and left his number to contact. Seems the garbage and recycling trucks have to make a super tight corner a few times a week. If I park at that spot I always leave a bit of room. @Anon Spock, My point is sometimes it’s an actual – we live in a complex city where not every rule fits every single situation, but sometimes people are just self centered jerks.

  • Isn’t it wonderful that we live in such a perfect world that people no longer have worse things than this to get upset about?

  • The answer to our problem of too many cars and not enough public street parking clearly is passive-aggressive windshield notes.

  • Happens all the time. Little Smart Car/Car To Go leaves the spot and the cars around the empty space look like selfish parking jobs.

  • I was just over there last night, and there was a motorcycle parked at the sign. Every time I’ve driven over there, there is a motorcycle parked. Why doesn’t the note writer see it?

  • Trying to imagine the type of person who would take the time to do this. George Canstanza?

    • “Believe it or not, George is not home” LMAO

    • One year for Christmas I gave my brother an envelope with a note inside that said “A donation has been made in your name to the Human Fund.” It was great, but nobody else besides he and I got it.

  • I can’t speak to this situation, but stuff like this happens all the time on my street. The worst is the guy with two cars with those rubber bumper guards on front and back of both cars, that does everything in his power to prevent other people from parking around him.

    There is a section of street parking that is bordered by an alley entrance on one side, and the no parking zone next to the stop sign on the other side that easily accommodates 4 normal mid size sedans…when parked appropriately.

    He will park one car ~7 feet away from the “no parking area” sign on one end, too little room for people to then park behind him and still be legal, then he will leave 8-10 feet in between the front of that car, and the bumper of his other car (too little room for anyone else to park between them), which then leaves another 5-7 feet in front of that car and the no parking sign. He is of course, the guy who tells you to mind your own business when you politely ask him not to take up so much street parking.

    Which is why I have been so happy that car2go is in DC, because now just for the laughs I’ve been known to go get 2 or 3 of them from around the neighborhood and park one behind his rear car, in the middle of the two and in front of his 2nd car. They are the only cars that will fit and still be legal. It infuriates him to no end as I’ve seen him go out, throw his hands in the air and start yelling at the cars.

    Its the small things that keep me entertained.

  • With the way carsharing, Uber, bike infrastructure, and new bus routes have come on in the past ten years, there’s really very few reasons left for people to own a car in Adams Morgsn anymore. Some need them to get to work in far flung locales but that’s not too many folks.

  • Is that a large nugget of weed just below the windshield wiper?

  • I live on this street. The thing “preventing people who live here from having a pleasant parking experience” is not this driver – it’s the ongoing construction along Biltmore and Calvert that has rendered at least four blocks unparkable. It’s awful.

    • Let’s be honest though: parking in Adams Morgan has always been a nightmare.

      • It’s really not, though. I live in the area and every evening when I walk the dog there are quite a few open spots on the street, even with all the construction going on right now. Trying to find a spot for dinner/clubbing can be tough on Friday or Saturday nights, and Sunday evenings can be busy. But our friends and family have always managed to find a spot within a reasonable amount of time.

        • What time are you walking the dog? My experience of street parking when I lived in Adams Morgan (and was on a waiting list for off-street parking) more than 10 years ago was that it wasn’t impossible… but it was somewhat constraining.
          I drove to work, and I didn’t have much difficulty finding a spot if I came home right after work… but if I wanted to run a weeknight errand, I might have to circle longer/farther before finding a spot.
          Friday and Saturday evenings I didn’t even attempt to drive anywhere unless I wasn’t planning on coming back until 2 a.m. or later.

  • Anyone who feels compelled to print notes like this and leave them on other people’s cars is annoying–and more than a little crazy.

  • Rude / inefficient street parking definitely does seem correlated with years of residence.

    Here’s my rant- my neighbors in Columbia heights have THREE cars. They’ve permanently locked up the ~16 feet of curb actually in front of their rowhouse with a (very dubious) handicap permit. On nights when parking is tightest, they move the car with the handicap permit to other spots on the block (taking up as much space as possible) to hold those spots for when the other car(s) get home, then move the ‘handicapped’ one back to its place.

    • My neighbor does this too! I really just want to say, hey was the extra 50 feet across the street too far that you had to move your car?

  • I’d say the solution to this problem is find private parking or learn to deal with it. I hate parking on the street because of the number of people in the city (my wife included) who think it’s perfectly ok to bump other cars while parking. I stood and watched someone the other day parallel park in a huge spot, and still bump the car in front and behind her. And they were quite forceful hits, not just a tap. Learn to park, or find a bigger spot.

  • Just want to comment, as I try to every time there is a post about these notes, that these notes are the worst. As mentioned, there are countless reasons why it might seem that someone who is parked inconsiderately actually did the perfect, or at least an acceptable parking job. And, even if not, it is street parking – there is no right to it, so just get over it!

  • Not that you should probably ever leave a note, but if you feel so compelled, then only do so if you actually saw the person park. There are all sorts of reasons why the parking job could look bad, but at the time the car was parked it was fine.

    • If they don’t leave contact information I don’t really sweat it. Really, at least leave a throw away gmail account if you don’t have the guts to leave a real number or address. I’ve actually been the crazy nutter who leaves a note (mind you NEVER this crazy), but I add my info so it’s an education moment. I’m talking about blocking part of my drive or something that actually has a direct connection to me.

  • I think all the people complaint about notes should be glad they didnt live here 5-10 years ago. Then you would just get a brick thrown through your windshield or your car keyed. At least gentrification has made people more polite than that.

  • People have the crazy notion that they “own” the street parking in front of their house.

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