Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.
I need help with parking etiquette in DC. A neighbor reprimanded me and called me a “bad neighbor” for parking in front of the house he lives in on an unzoned public street after I couldn’t find parking on my zoned parking street that is adjacent to the one he lives on. Parking is an issue on my street because some residents have multiple cars and park them on the street. Today I couldn’t find a spot on my street so I parked on the adjacent street that is unzoned. When I stepped out of the car, a man who had pulled up and parked across the street grabbed my attention and explained that he rents the place that I parked in front of and he doesn’t like it when “you people” park in front of our house when you don’t live there.
I was taken aback and I said that I don’t know who the “you people” are that he’s referring to because I’m a homeowner of 3 years in this neighborhood and since this is a public street with unzoned parking, I thought that it was fine for me to park there. He then explained that since he can’t park in the zoned street that I shouldn’t park on the unzoned street out of common courtesy for my neighbors. At this point I was annoyed that this man would try to tell me where to park on a public street, so I told him (in an admittedly snippy tone) that if I come home and there’s no spots on my zoned street, then I’m going to park where I can because what other choice do I have. I guess that sent him over the edge and he accused me of being a “bad neighbor.” That name calling really got under my skin. Am I in the wrong here? What are the parking etiquette rules?”