“John the Renter in Burnaby” would love to one day go to his car in the morning and not find an angry note on his windshield.
You see, John has committed the sin of parking on a public street.
OK, it’s not actually a sin. John rents a basement suite in the city and the landlord has not provided space for him to park on the property and so he must park on the street at night.
“It’s a pretty crowded parking situation,” John said. “I’m lucky because I finish work earlier than many people and so there are usually at least a couple of spots available.”
One is in front of an old house that is still worth $1.6 million and if the space is empty, John will park there.
The problem is that the homeowner doesn’t want anyone to park there. The homeowner wants to park there or leave it open for friends or family who visit.
“This guy doesn’t have his own parking out back because he’s parked his boat in his own driveway,” John said. “He gets angry at anyone who parks in front of his house. He’s yelled at people. I’ve seen that. He’s yelled at me. But now this maniac leaves these bizarre notes on people’s windshield demanding that they move their vehicles. ‘This is my space!’ he writes. He’s left a bunch on my car. He claims the spot is his because it’s his house. That’s not how it works.”
No, that isn’t how it works.
Imagine owning a house that has parking out back and then also claiming the public street as your own.
I’ve heard from others who say homeowners hog up public street parking because they have filled their own properties with other vehicles. Byron is fed up with a neighbourhood mechanic who parks his customers’ vehicle on the street for long periods, including “parking a broken down pickup in front of my garage.”
“My neighbour has an illegal car repair business that he runs from his garage,” Byron said. “It has caused endless issues. He continually parks his customers’ vehicles in front of my house. Once it was for more than three weeks over Christmas, as the owner didn't want to drive in the snow. It was lots of fun carrying presents back and forth further away from my house. On one occasion a friend of this neighbour’s vehicle had been parked in front of my house for an entire long weekend and I had the city give it a warning ticket as I didn't recognize the car and I knew that they didn't live in the neighbourhood. When they returned from holiday, they asked if I had called the city. I said ‘yes’ as this car had been parked in front of my house for a number of days. They then with their friends proceeded to yell and swear at me for quite a few minutes. I asked why they always park cars in front of my house and never bother to ask if it is OK. They asked why I didn't just park in front of their house - I said out of respect to you that is your parking and the only vehicles that can park in front of your house are with your permission.”
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.