“Interestingly enough the area generally has abundant parking”

by Prince Of Petworth October 27, 2016 at 3:35 pm 84 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

I’ve seen cars with these “notes (don’t block this space”) and suspect it’s likely the homeowner who expects the spot in front of their house to be reserved just for them. Interestingly enough the area generally has abundant parking so even if you were in “this space” there’s likely one just a few feet ahead or behind. Seems like someone got fed up with it! (Also there were several signs placed in the area. All have been ripped down expect this one. Apparently “this space” letter-writer doesn’t appreciate getting notes about acceptable behaviors.)”

  • Irving Streete

    Leaving notes on cars or leaving notes threatening the writer with arrest; which is more juvenile?

    • lordofhumidity

      Why not both gif

    • Bryan

      I assume the one stating falsehoods.

  • wdc

    Judging from the number of staples, someone has some aggression issues.

    • TinkerTaylor

      Exactly my thought. Wouldn’t want to be a defenseless tree in that neighborhood!

    • Ally

      +1. This is the kind of person whose Christmas gift would take you 10+ minutes to unwrap.

  • Mark

    It’s illegal to staple anything to a tree.

    • Marty

      someone should make a poster about that and tape it to this sign.

      • INWDC

        LOL! Yes!

      • DCbyDay


      • Ally

        +1. Needed this thread on a Friday. Thank you!

      • Bloomy


  • That Man A

    Will somebody think about the trees!!!
    so many staples

  • TJ

    I’m madder about the staples than the parking spot hoarder!

  • anonacostia

    Why take it out on the tree?

    • TBD

      Whoever stapled this sign should avoid parking their car under any overhanging limbs. Tree-karma is a thing…

  • rtg

    Yeah I’m sure the day he “catches” him, the MPD will be there in minutes to deal with this very pressing issues.

  • Jamgon

    Sad, but what can you do about the sense of entitlement drivers have regarding using public space to store their private vehicles?!

    • anon

      Stop catering to them and allow the building of high-rises everywhere. They can move or learn to go without.

      • Bryan

        How about…..no. I like my car. I need my car for work and for play. Living in a city should not mean I have to sacrifice my job or livelihood.

        • Colin

          That’s fine, but then you should pay for it instead of getting subsidized parking from the public at artificially cheap prices. Land is a valuable resource, and if people want to park on it they should pay for the cost instead of having it rented out to them on the cheap through parking passes.

          • Bryan

            I pay a property tax on my car, can only park it in specific locations, still need to pay hourly for most spots, and deal getting my car hit, bumped, sat on by strangers, and broken into. I also pay for registration each year (or every other) and a litany of other DC things. Now if you want to put your outrage to good use, I think you should put your muscle behind getting the DMV to make drivers more cognizant of bike laws and pedestrian laws. Or strengthen laws in place. But whining about residential portions of DC skewing heavily towards drivers is not the right place to look.

          • dcd

            DC has personal property tax on cars? Really? I didn’t know that (and never paid it – oops).
            As for the rest of it, nothing on the list of your own personal outrages has anything to do with subsidized parking. Colin’s point is that the DC RPP costs a fraction of the fair market value of car storage. He (and many others ) think that drivers could give back some of that subsidy, if you want to continue to use public space as the primary storage space for your vehicle. And not only do you want cheap space, but you want priority access over non-residents and residents of different RPP zones. Seems reasonable to me.

          • Caleb

            Sure, once you pay to store your bike taking up valuable sidewalk space.

          • Colin

            Bryan — little of what you posted is relevant to this discussion. That your car has parking restrictions and may get bumped into doesn’t change the fact that it takes up valuable real estate that is provided to you at an artificially cheap rate.
            Caleb — I don’t own a bike. Also, not sure how many people use public sidewalks for anything more than temporary parking while they run errands. If anyone does use public sidewalks for long-term parking of their bikes then that sounds like a problem that should be addressed, just as with cars.

    • anon

      Replace all street parking with dedicated bus lanes and/or bike lanes.

      • Steve

        Interesting fantasy. But since the your fantasies would first have to get past ANC’s, and the folks who participate in ANC activities are usually long-time residents who are more likely to own cars, this really isn’t going to happen.


    • Caleb

      I can’t wait for all you “no more cars” people to live in your homes for a few decades and then your job relocates to Laurel, while your partner’s job stays put, and you realize that everyone can’t live work and play a bike ride away.

      • I Rex

        I’ll wait with baited breath for the day Laurel takes the jobs away from DC…

        • Ally

          I don’t know, man… there is a kick-arse thrift shop and a cowboy gear outlet store. Probably something else in Laurel but that’s what comes to mind…

          • marigold

            Laurel’s Dutch Country Farmer’s Market = <3

          • Mike

            Pasta Plus is great as well!

        • Caleb

          Pick a random suburb you think it’s more likely to happen–more jobs are in the suburbs than in Washington DC.

          I hope you all aren’t this annoying in real life.

          • Anon

            That’s certainly been my experience. When I browse job openings there might be one DC listing for every 100 in the suburbs.

      • Anon

        I’m so glad I kept my car when we bought our house in DC. My partner and I have had several job changes since then, all of which had us commuting to parts of VA and MD that don’t have good public transit.

      • T.

        I park my car on my own private property, but the day that my job moves to Laurel is the day I get a new job, where I can still either use public transport or bike to get there.

    • tacopuss

      Agreed! That’s why whenever I see a bike chained to a PUBLIC sign or a PUBLIC fence or a PUBLIC bike rack on a PUBLIC sidewalk, I throw it in the trash. How dare someone leave their private property in a PUBLIC space, just because it’s legal for them to do so!?!?

  • Chief Operating Officer, Staples North America

    Message is clear and concise, just needs more staples.

    • CatieCat


  • Planner

    Fine Print:
    “This message brought to you by the Staple Corporation of America.”

  • Tom

    Rectifying this malparkage ought to be commended as a staple of good neighborship.

  • bruno

    Do not put staples, tacks, mails, or yarn bombs on trees!

    • Anon

      How does mail harm trees? I’ve been feeding my Elm junk mail for years now.

      • bruno

        Typo. Nails, darling.

      • dcd

        Isn’t that cannibalism?

  • Ross

    A new reality show should be set in this town, called Passive Aggressive Wars. “Carol is a 51-year-old retired government employee and grandmother of 12 who likes to have a parking space immediately in front of her home. Fern is a 25-year-old Bryn Mawr graduate who works for a nonprofit organization and just moved to the neighborhood. She really wants to teach Carol a lesson about right and wrong. Who will win??? Find out tonight, on Passive Aggressive Wars!”

    • Irving Streete


    • Kate

      I would watch this. Very loudly. With the windows open so my stupid loud neighbors can hear.

    • +2

    • This whole exchange isn’t passive aggressive, FYI. Just because they haven’t seen each other in person doesn’t make it passive aggressive.

      • Kate

        Bless your heart.

        • Now that’s passive aggressive.

          • Kate


      • hmm

        That’s the definition of passive aggressive, as it’s avoiding any sort of actual confrontation. If they held the sign in front of the offender that would be aggressive

      • Agamemmnon

        Too meta. It’s like watching Inception all over again.

    • JHC_DC


    • Liz

      Applause. Applause. I just laughed so hard at your comment that I couldn’t breathe. Nailed it. Thank you for that laugh. I needed that.

      • Liz

        I meant the comment by Ross. Couldn’t type for the laughing.

  • wreckfish

    When I lived in Columbia Heights, I used to laugh at friends who lived in quiet residential areas and became indignant if they didn’t get the perfect spot right in front of their house. Now that I have moved to a quiet residential neighborhood, I have have become my friends, although I don’t leave nasty notes on people’s cars.

  • One moment… need to pull this down and affix it to my sign complaining about whomever is stapling signs to trees. Just need to figure out where my hammer is and track down a few dozen nails.

  • C_petworth

    I don’t get it- they are not vandalizing your car, just take the note off and throw it away

    • TJ

      It is anonymous harassment over the use of public space, and might lead to vandalism.

  • bruno

    See, yarn bombing just gives people like this license to abuse trees. :^)

  • Anonymous neighbor

    There are a lot of elderly folks in that area and many neighbors try to be courteous and not use the parking spots in front their neighbor houses. If I can’t park in front of my place, I don’t use the spots in front of the three next houses to park because the people living in these houses are retired and have mobility issues.

    • Joysbrother

      At least someone gets it.

      • Anonamom

        This is also the norm in my old neighborhood. Everyone very much respected the unsaid “park in front of your own house” rule, but on the off chance I came home and some one was parked in “my” spot, I would find parking elsewhere. I would also tell visitors “don’t park there – that Mr so-and-so’s spot” and often made people move their cars. There were never any notes left on cars when I was there, there was just respect for one another.

        • Anon

          I guess that would work in certain neighborhoods. On my block, many of the residents either don’t own cars or have garages. The rest of us have to battle it out with an assortment of out-of-state visitors and construction equipment that’s semi-permanently parked there. We have a lot of elderly neighbors too, but I’m taking a spot wherever I can find it!

    • ah

      Do people park in front of someone else’s house if a space is available in front of their own house? Self-interest suggests people will look for the space available that’s closest to their own house. IF they park in front of someone else’s house it’s because someone else couldn’t find space elsewhere.

      • Joysbrother

        Thankfully, self-interest does not drive everyone’s decision-making. Self-absorption and self-importance are the real problems at play in this situation. Courtesy and neighborliness are easy fixes.

    • navyard

      That would never in a million years occur to me. Unless someone on crutches specifically asked me to not park directly in front of their house, I would do it without remorse.

    • TJ

      Individuals presenting a genuine need may be able to get a handicapped space in front of their house.

      • textdoc

        This is true… although about two years ago, I heard someone complaining at a community meeting (about the use of the former Hebrew Home) that it was difficult to obtain a handicapped street space.
        I didn’t have enough information to know whether to be sympathetic to the person. I think he was complaining that the city wouldn’t give his wife a handicapped street space because they said that there was space behind the house that she could use as off-street parking. But it wasn’t clear from his account whether that space was already “ready to go” as off-street parking or if it needed to be converted.

    • textdoc

      “There are a lot of elderly folks in that area and many neighbors try to be courteous and not use the parking spots in front their neighbor houses.”
      This is a good point; I hadn’t thought of it before reading the post.
      I used to think that — depending on which direction I was coming from — a parking space across the street from my house was just as good as one in front of my house, and it hadn’t occurred to me that people might feel territorial about the space immediately in front of their house. But more recently I’ve been trying to park in front of my house whenever possible, even if it means having to turn around in the alley entrance to do so.

  • DRC

    It sure was nice having a condo garage with assigned parking while in the city. And it’s even nicer now to live in a townhouse in Alexandria with garage parking for 2 cars. Don’t have to worry about getting my wheels stolen at night either.

  • alex

    Why doesn’t staple boy.girl go confront their neighbor in person. Likely it’s the house in front of the space. It certainly wouldn’t require more than 3 door knocks and would save at least one tree

    • navyard

      Really? Why doesn’t the person leaving the notes on cars go and confront the person parking.

      Although staple-boy clearly has his own problems!

      • ah

        Because he didn’t see him park there perhaps? The note is confronting him, just anonymously.

        What would be better of course would be a note saying “Hi I’m X. I would ask you not to park in front of my house as a courtesy. Thank you” But apparently X is a douche, so deserves the response and the coverage here, and to have someone parking in front of his house 24/7

        • textdoc

          If the person just said “as a courtesy,” rather than “because I’m elderly and my mobility is impaired,” I don’t think the sign-stapler’s post would be any different.

  • anoone

    Staple terrorist where is the Lorax

    • bruno

      It really is important to speak for the trees. (How would you like it if someone picked apples off of you, to quote the orchard in the Wizard of Oz). Or let us paraphrase: How would you like it if you were mute and people put tacks or nails, or both, in you? Or cuddled you in ugly yarn sweaters nature did not give you? Deep thoughts.

  • jsauri

    I love the “we will call the authorities” threat for something that is “likely” illegal. (BTW leaving notes on cars is not illegal.)

    I’m surprised it doesn’t include something along the lines of, “Repost this notice to trees in front of your apartment or someone else can claim your spot!”


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