Hi, my name is Peter. AndI am not a traffic engineer, city planner, or published researcher. I am just an average joe (peter) who loves good design, hates bad parking, and lives in the world of suck that is owning a car in Los Angeles.
Do Your Park was first started as a way to spread our delightfully-distasteful magnets for bad parking jobs. Crafting insults while fighting selfish parking? We were living the dream. But a single, awful parking job is simply the most glaring piece of a larger puzzle. Follow along as I discover the parking problems of today and tomorrow, and what we all can do to make the world a better place to park.
For trips under just 1 mile, the U.S. population takes a car 70% of the time.1
Being able to identify what is and isn’t a spot from afar (as well as sizing up whether your car will fit) is the foundation of good parking. Keep the flow of traffic moving by scanning ahead, and not slowing to an inchworm-like crawl for every space in between cars.
2. Be aware of both your car AND your surroundings
Getting to know your car and your surroundings is just as essential when it comes to efficient parking. If you haven’t already, it may a good idea to lightly tap a bush or shopping cart to truly know where your front and rear bumpers actually are, from the perspective of the driver’s seat.
Green curb parking is for limited time parking, generally between 15 and 30 minutes. Details will normally be posted on a nearby sign or on the curb itself. Similar to yellow curb parking, most people don’t realize that green curb zones are only enforced until 6pm! Research your city’s colored curb enforced parking hours to confirm.
What can you do if someone parks in your driveway? We’re here to help. First, can you squeeze your way out? Because you may simply want to give them a piece of your mind by slapping on one of our more aggressive Do Your Park magnets. But if you are blocked in and need to get somewhere ASAP, you need to call the police using the non-emergency line (do not call a tow company directly!). Blocking a driveway is an immediate-tow offense, and because tow companies love money, they should arrive relatively soon. If you’re in a rush, before you ram through the barricade with your own car, you might consider taking a Lyft for the day.
You wake up, ready to seize the day, when an unexpected breakfast is served your way – a classic shit sandwich. Someone has decided to park their rust-bucket in your driveway, blocking you in. Is it illegal to park in front of a driveway? Yes, absolutely. But some folks love to “stick it to the man”. And now, you can stick it to them. We here at Do Your Park have a general disgust toward tow trucks, their drivers, and the industry as a whole. However, we realize it’s a necessary evil, and in certain applications, completely justified. This is one of those times. Savor it!
There are many ways to go about having someones car towed. You can watch stealthily from your window. Or you can stand partially nude in your yard, proudly on display as a warning sign to your idiot neighbors. But remember this: if you want to have someones car towed, call the police and have them handle it.
Why call the police first? Because in the event that the owner loses his/her shit and tries to sue for damages or lost wages, you’re removed of the situation and free of any liability. If you call a tow company directly, they may give the owner your information. And building a backyard Thunderdome to settle your differences “the old-fashioned way” can be costly.
The best offense is a strong defense, so if some yahoo is consistently blocking your driveway or you live in a congested area like San Francisco, you might consider posting a sign like this one on a nearby post or tree. This gives potential offenders fair warning, and keeps your conscious clear when the tow truck makes off with their ride!
Can you park in front of your own driveway?
Ooo boy, really trying to test the waters, huh? Unfortunately, parking in front of your own driveway is still technically illegal. The sidewalk and curb in front of your house is still city property, and determining who exactly is parking in front of the driveway is next to impossible for parking enforcement. There are reports of many neighborhoods only receiving a ticket for parking in a driveway if someone calls to report it, so it depends how risky you’re feeling. Here in L.A., I see a handful of cars on my block consistently block (what I assume is) their own driveway. I have rarely seen them ticketed/towed, but if it were me, I’d keep searching for a real spot.
Most city fire hydrant parking laws state that you must be parked at least 15 feet away from a fire hydrant (about a full standard sedan car length). The color of both the curb, and the hydrant itself is irrelevant.
You’re cruising around in the mid-summer heat, and think you just stumbled onto the perfect parking spot. Instead, you pull up a little closer and see that smug little R2D2-looking bastard smiling right at you. 15 feet is the minimum distance you can park away from a fire hydrant in most municipal codes – which may seem excessively far, especially when every inch of curb in a dense city is so valuable. But there’s a good reason for this fire hydrant parking law. Safety.