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Parked cars in front of our house

Original post made by paresident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2011

Does anyone know the law on parking cars on the street -- how long? We've got a neighbor who has renters parking in front of our house sometimes for a whole week before moving it -- and then parking right in the same spot again for long periods at a time. Who do you complain to?

Comments (73)

Posted by svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:28 am

I think that there is a law that cars cannot be parked longer than 48 hours in one spot.
However not sure what they have in the way of enforcement these days. But I assume you realize that the street in front of your house is public property and available to anyone.

Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

Yeah, that sucks. Renters just don't care enough because they have not bought into the neighborhood and just use the house for temporary lodging.

Dog owners allowing their dogs to trespass and crap on our lawn suck too.

Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by renter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm

"so much time to annoy, insult, irritate and demonstrate their overall lack of literary value to the public when they could doing something productive..."


"I think every once in a while the Police "innocently" misrepresent or misinterpret the law to lessen their bother, which this kind of thing probably is."

Dang. That IS productivity! What in the world are you trying to say? sm

Posted by Otis
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm

72 hours is the time allowed. After that you can call the Police Department's abandoned vehicle voice mail. They come out and put a white warning slip under the windshield wiper telling them they can only park for 72 hours after which the car is subjet to towing. Bottom line is that as a practical matter they can probably park there for up to a week before their car is in danger of being towed.

Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm

72 hours is correct, but all they need to do is move their car. The vehicle is technically considered "abandoned" From the police dept. Abandoned Vehicles Residents may call (650) 329-2258, 24 hours a day to report vehicles abandoned or stored on public roadways. Vehicles are checked within three business days.

Our neighbor rented a room to a landscaper who would park his truck in front our our house for weeks at a time, usually full of garbage or landscape debris. He owned several trucks and would rotate them (a few with papered over windows which made my kids really nervous) but because his car was registered to a local address, it wasn't considered abandoned.

That said, our streets are public (unless you live in College Terrace and then you are special) and anyone has a right to park there.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Provided the cars are not falling apart, what difference does it make to you? The only reason it may matter is that the street sweeper can't sweep, otherwise any car can park there and whether it is the same one or not doesn't make any difference to you.

If it is abandoned, you can call the PAPD abandoned car telephone number and report it. The number is on the website.

Posted by Ken
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by renter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Here's a novel approach, hundreds of years old, from an ancient, mystical land far, far away:

Talk to them.

Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:15 pm


Your solution would only work in an ancient, mystical land far, far away.

This is Palo Alto, and the [portion removed] renters can't grasp the concept that there are others living nearby [portion removed.]

Posted by Harvey
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Yeah, it's always the fault of the yuppie renters who don't invest in the neighborhoods. The problem is never with the pristine homeowners who *rent* the places to these yuppies scofflaws.

Posted by paresident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2011 at 8:32 am

Thank you Otis and PA Mom, your tips are very helpful. Now I know what to do. This is not an owners/vs renters issue--it's about common courtesy. This house has too many cars and not enough parking spots for all of them.

Posted by 6 days
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 20, 2011 at 8:39 am

You can leave the car in one place for 3 days.

However, when you report it, the police wait 3 days to arrive and see if the car is still there. They then put a note on the car saying it will be towed if not moved within 3 days. So, even if you report a car immediately, it will take 6 days before the car gets removed.

Unless a car is really abandoned there is no use in reporting the car. They will just see the note and move it and then return it. Since they are allowed to park on the street, you really have no cause for having it towed.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:19 am

Many homes have more cars than parking spots, even if they are owner occupied rather than rented. A family with teen drivers, a live in grandparent, or even a hobby car, can easily take up more than the average 2 car space and need to park on the road. I think you are more concerned about having any car parked outside your home and that is something you can do nothing about. Learn to get on with your neighbors - one day you may need each other.

Posted by Duveneck resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:19 am

"talk to them"
What if you never see the vehicle owner/driver? - this is sometimes the case.
What if it is nearby neighbors who openly and egregiously abuse on-street parking (with vehicles sometimes blocking pedestrians or view down the street)?
You think talking to them will make any difference? I seriously doubt it, when those vehicle owners/drivers have no consideration whatsoever for others, and the particular neighborhood.
It is clear most of us are resigned to what 6 days posted, that the rules are a joke that are easily gotten around.

Posted by 6 days
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

Duveneck resident, if the car is illegally parked (ie: across your driveway) then you can get it towed immediately. Palo Alto Police respond within 20 mins to these sorts of issues.
If it isn't illegally parked then they aren't abusing on-street parking and you need to learn to live with it.
The only other alternative is to canvass support for a resident parking permit program. Though even this will just mean that it costs your neighbor (and your guests) to park in the street.

Posted by narnia
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:34 am

The municipal ordinance says that anyone car park CONTINUOUSLY for 72 hours. If someone takes the car out and re parks it IN THE SAME SPOT then they are not parking continuously for the 72 hours.
What if someone is on vacation and has to leave the car? It's not that there are parking garages in Palo Alto where your car can stay for a long period? A car bothers you? Please consult a mental health professional. Ken seems to be quite the hooligan and the law breaker. So, you take air out of tires? and if that car goes on the freeway unaware that the tires are low and kills someone?
Ken feels entitled to kill because the vision of cars on the street where they belong anyhow bothers him? with neighbors like this.....

Posted by Eric
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:43 am

I can't believe the number of Palo Alto residents who believe the roadway in front of their house belongs to them. The roadway is a public street and so are the sidewalks - anyone can park their it doesn't belong to you or your neighbor.

Posted by abandoned cars
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:10 am

The abandoned car laws are to help the police recover stolen cars. If you know the person who owns the car, then work out your problem with them. Calling the police is an abuse of the law.

Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:33 am

Just to clarify my above post, our neighbors tenant would leave his trucks, sometimes more than one, filled with garbage parked for 2 or 3 weeks at a time. The problem was not the trucks, although they were very ugly, rusted and falling apart, windows that wouldn't close, etc. The problem was a vehicle filled with garbage parked in front of our house for weeks at a time.

Posted by Jogger
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I have seen little signs that people have made up that say "Do not park here. Reserved for resident". These houses are near a school so they probably have cars trying to park in front of their house all the time. They seem to work because I have never seen cars parked there when I ran by.

Posted by abandoned cars
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 20, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Are "reserved for resident" signs legal? Selfish?

I think disabled people can ask the city to put a disabled permit space in front of their house. Others have few rights to block public streets.

Posted by Ken
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Real cause
a resident of Meadow Park
on Apr 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm

We should look for the real cause of the overparking. Over development.
This town has more people and more cars and more houses than it can comfortably accommodate. I will get worse.
Where will you be when the next housing development comes up for approval?

Posted by 6 days
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Since it's always brought up when this topic arises; follow the Menlo Park solution. "No overnight parking on the streets"

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm

6 days

The Menlo Park solution sounds great in theory. Anyone who parks past midnight on a residential street is likely to get a ticket. The police randomly comb the streets and do ticket those cars left on a street.

Generally speaking, if you have a guest to your home who wants to stay later than midnight, you must provide off street parking for them. Whether they are there all night, or just hanging around watching a late movie at your home, they need to be off the street.

This causes many people in Menlo Park to put concrete all over their front yards. Not sure about you, but I like the greenery in my neighbors' yards and would hate to see concrete or gravel instead.

Be careful what you wish for, you might not like what you get.

Posted by Jogger
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I am not sure the "reserved for resident" signs are legal. I don't use them myself. Thankfully I have considerate neighbors. Who is being more selfish, the ones who put the signs or the ones who hog the street with their cars (and probably use their garages as storage or rec rooms)?

Maybe the signs could read "Please reserve for resident" and just act as a gentle reminder to not hog spaces in front of others houses. We all make exceptions for occasional visitors or when our neighbors throw a party. Hogging the same space day after day, month after month is really obnoxious! I would be miffed if my guests could not park outside my house when they visit.

Posted by Mark
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Menlo Park prohibits on street parking in most neighborhoods from 2am-5am. Wouldn't do much to change this person's complaint. Many houses have multiple vehicles. At night they move them to their driveway and then by 6am have moved them onto the street.

Posted by Mark
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm

I meant to add that mostly it's a pain for residents when you park on the street planning on going somewhere later and don't and forget to move your car to the drivway. Fine is about $40.

Posted by Train Neighbor
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm

PA Muni Code 10.36.030, a)
"a vehicle shall be considered to have been parked or left standing for seventy-two or more consecutive hours if it has remained inoperable or has not been moved at least five tenths of a mile or more during said seventy two hour period."

The police used to reply on reading the old odometers to verify the car moves at least 5/10ths of a mile, but now most cars' odometers are not visible when parked. Therefore they can NOT enforce the law.

Our neighborhood had an old inoperable red VW microbus, covered with gang graffiti. Every few months the neighbors would get mad, and call the police who would place a notice on the windshield. The owner would push it in the middle of the night a few feet down the road.

This went on for 15 YEARS before it was finally towed!!!

Over the years I learned to be at peace with this eyesore since the City wouldn't do anything about it. My Zen practice is improving :)

Posted by Another PA resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 20, 2011 at 7:56 pm

@Ken: Please review PA Town Square TERMS OF USE:

"You agree not to use any profanity, nor post any information that is hateful, libelous or obscene, or that is threatening, abusive or offensive to any individual, group or class of person."

You may not submit any material that breaks the law or could be seen to be encouraging others to break the law or could be construed as condoning any unlawful activity or could encourage others to take part in dangerous activities.

Posted by narnia
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Hog spaces? I thought that spaces are paid by all of us residents of california in different proportions. Who wants to hog? Those who want the spaces in front of their house for themselves and themselves only. The parking ordinance in Menlo Park, where I live now is indeed making a lot of people to cement their driveways and parts of their front yards. Palo Alto is a city that's much more developed than MP and I doubt that a similar ordinance would work. Ken should respect the law and others. If he indeed does what he says he does he a criminal and if he is ever caught (and I hope he is ) he will find out that what he does is both a criminal activity and a liability. Ken, Don't.

Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 21, 2011 at 7:34 am

A friend of mine had an old, decrepit, oil leaking car suddenly parked in front of his house, and there it stayed, week after week, after week. He would leave a note asking the owner to remove the car and find a responding note saying:'The street doesn't belong to you'. He could never figure out who owned the car. He would call the police, they would leave a warning notice on the car. Someone would move it for a few hours and then it would be back, at the same spot on the sidewalk that was now dark from leaking oil. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:59 am

Why all the hate? If you live on a suburban block of course you don't want strangers storing their cars in front of your house. It's a quality of life issue and it's not consistent with the R1 zoning purposes of "strong presence of nature," "maximum privacy," and "children's play."

Storing a car in front of someone else's house is just rude. Driving to work and parking in someone's neighborhood to save a few bucks is rude. Buying or renting a house with no parking and leaving your car around the corner is rude. Leaving a large truck or trailer on the street overnight is rude (and illegal). Gaming the system by moving your stored car every 71 hours is rude. And for the record, slashing people's tires is rude!

Posted by Duveneck resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 21, 2011 at 9:45 am

anonymous, you are right!
Some people feel it is ok to take blatant advantage of others without any reasonable consideration.
Nobody is claiming they "own" the spot right in front of their home. That's quite an overstatement.
What we are talking about are egregious cases of overparking, sometimes of unslightly vehicles, by unknown persons -- or arrogant KNOWN entitled persons with 4 vehicles.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 9:59 am

I recently parked in a residential area (not Palo Alto) for a few hours. I carefully parked my SUV between the 2 driveways of someone's house, taking care not to block either driveway and giving them plenty of turning space. I arrived back a few hours later with a note on my windshield "You took 2 parking spaces and if you do it again I will get you towed". There were no parking places just an empty curb. I knew I was in the right, but I felt as if I had been treated like something that was cursed. I put a polite message of apology but mentioned that I was obeying all the rules and left it on one of the driveways under a stone.

Not a pleasant way to deal with people parking outside your house.

Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:04 am

anonymous brings up a good point - I think people have much more of an issue with cars being "stored" on the street as opposed to people parking for the day, afternoon, etc. But I don't agree that driving to work and parking in a neighborhood is rude. Nor is parking around the corner from your house if you don't have a driveway or garage.

If we designated one side of the street for residents and one for regular parking, everyone could get a spot near their home.

Posted by Maria
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:58 am

Re: parking on a residential street for long periods of time.
As far as I know, in Palo Alto any car parked in front of a private residence on a public street is ok as long as it is moved within 72 hours. After that you may call the City and request its removal. Now "moving" may be as much as a block, the other side of the street, or just one house over. You may try talking to the car's owner, or leave a note on his windshield. We had a similar problem, and talking to the "offender" solved it very nicely.

Posted by Barron Park resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 21, 2011 at 11:08 am

Almost every week there is one car or a truck who stops or parks
in front of my main driveway on Matadero (blocking my car in the driveway)
or parks in front of my back entrance, even when there is space
to park by moving the car a few feet...How considerate is that?
"oh will be there only for 5 minutes..."
They forgot to write in the driving code booklet that you shall not block driveways even for 5 minutes...and even in barron Park.

Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 21, 2011 at 11:18 am

The house across the street from our home is a rental. Previous renters would always park in front of our house...leaving the spaces (and even the driveway on some days) in front of their house unoccupied! Which then forced us to park in front other people's homes.

All it took was a simple and polite conversation/request and the problem was solved. Try it!

Posted by Anne
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 21, 2011 at 11:53 am

Crescent Park Dad- why are you parking on the street if it bothers you when other people do it? But your civilized way of dealing with the situation was simple and direct.

Posted by narnia
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm

somebody please explain to me why, oh why you don't want to see cars parked in front of your houses? You see them on the streets and don't complain about aesthetics.... Why is it offensive to your eyes to see a car parked in front of your place? Is the view of the asphalt any better? I think the matter of this thread is a non-issue. I think the issue is the mind set of the people who really feel they own the view (of the asphalt) that actually belongs to all, as well as thinking less of those who do not have parking spaces ni their dwellings. I can understand that you might feel queasy about a windows covered vehicle that stays long without attendance, but why sticking it up to people who park ? I had a neighbor who even make up stories about a vehicle "overparking " when his owner took the car out every morning and parked it back in the afternoon in the same place because it was available....

Obviously some people spend their time looking out of the window and "checking" others..
They are called noisy parkers.

Posted by 6 days
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Narnia, they just don't want anyone parking in front of their house. They really do believe the area is reserved for them and their guests by virtue of owning the house.

Yes, it is a mindset issue but is all too common.

Try parking around Old Palo Alto sometime. Come back after 30 mins and you'll have a note on your window.

Posted by narnia
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Sorry, for the typo . I meant "nosy parkers, not noisy parkers

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I generally love Crescent Park Dad's comments - reasonable & rational. But really - you have to park in front of your own place? It's what, bad & wrong to park in front of a gasp! neighbors house? Maybe the people who parked in front of your place wanted to due to shade, the direction they were driving, because they liked the flowers planted or the scent of the orange blossoms or what have you. I am glad it was resolved easily, but what's the mindset? What's the problem?

I detect an anti-renters stance behind some of these posts. Go after the LANDLORDS, not the renters, sheesh.

Posted by Emma
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm

If you don't want to have an unwanted car parked long-term in front of you, try to live in a community with homeowner's association, and private streets, like the new homes recently built.

Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm

It doesn't bother me that people park on the street - we do it all the time. That's not my point.

We park in front of our own home. We don't park in front other people's homes out of *courtesy* to our neighbors. Much easier to unload groceries or load up kids, dogs, etc. If I bring my 86 year old mother over to the house, it's nice to be able to park in front and make it easy for her to walk inside. That kind of stuff...

Everybody else parks in front of their house in our neighborhood. The renters just weren't aware of the concept.

It's just that simple. Please don't imply, assume or assert any more than what I've written.

Posted by Duveneck resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

To clarify again, I do not mind people parking in front of my home. That is a routine thing we all experience very often.
What I do not like are the specific, repeated abuses detailed in above posts. Sometimes they go on for years! Sometimes they block the view down the street, creating a constant stress when one backs out for one's routine car travel.
There ARE specific vehicles that are never used, or are only moved to (barely) remain in compliance, or are extreme eyesores, and why don't those vehicles go where they will be associated with their owners isntead of deliberating choosing to impact others constantly?
I also have had people park hanging over our driveway, making it difficult or impossible to back out. This is owing to slopping parking and lack of care for others.
If everyone shows some consideration for others, it all works out.
It has nothing to do with having a "virtual" reserved parking spot in front of one's home!

Posted by Jogger
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Narnia: it is not the aesthetic (unless the car is doing something hazardous like leaking oil) but the convenience. Do I mind people parking in front of my house for a few hours or even a day or two? No! That happens in a neighborhood. But it is an entirely different story if someone "stores" an extra vehicle in front of my house while they play ping pong in their garage! Or store a boat on a trailer in front of my house (have had that happen at my last residence). I have friends that visit, some of them elderly with limited walking ability, who really need easy access to my front door. And yes, call me selfish but I would like to use that space once in awhile too. I just can't believe I have to spell this all out. Sure the law gives the right to park on public streets but there is something above the law that makes a community live together in peace and that is common courtesy.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck School
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Duveneck resident

I assume you don't have a driveway?

Posted by Car-dodging Pedestrian
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm

On a similar note, what about drivers who park their cars on sidewalks? We live where the curb gently slopes from the sidewalk onto the street and it is not at all uncommon for cars to park so that the obstruct half or even two-thirds of the sidewalk.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm

This is getting so silly.

People are entitled to play pingpong in their garage (far better than playing video games). People are entitled to park in the street as long as it is not street sweeping day.

I know of homes that put orange cones in the street so that the kids can safely play on the driveway - that is another aspect of this.

If you are expecting elderly visitors, you can ask your neighbors nicely to park somewhere else that day. You could also occasionally put a polite sign asking to keep that spot free today because you expect elderly visitors. I have even seen a couple of lawn chairs with signs on to that effect when someone was expecting a delivery.

This is not rocket science. It is called communicating.

Posted by Jogger
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Lol this is getting silly. Like a kids game of telephone silly. From the way this thread is going, I believe communication is our biggest problem. (though I now understand why houses in Los Altos Hills can sell for $100million..)

Posted by Ken
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm

"This is not rocket science. It is called communicating"


When your neighbors or outsiders break the law, and plant their car in front of your house for more than three days, they are then lawbreakers. Since PA police rarely enforce this law, it is up to private individuals to make sure that the law is enforced. My methods have proven quite effective over the is a form of civil disobedience...and it works!

Carpe diem!

Posted by Otis
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I never used to pay much attention to who parked on the street as I always parked in my driveway. At some point the elementary school nearby generated alot of parking for drop offs on my street. These folks were generally in a hurry and didn't pay attention that they were blocking my driveway and that I couldn't get out to get to work. So I started parking on the street so I could leave in the morning. Then,at some point, when I came home there would be no place to park on the street because someone from Stanford was storing their car for days or weeks. And many times I could not pull into my driveway because it was blocked. I tried to talk to the folks that were storing their cars and the general response was that Stanford was charging too much to park their extra car on campus or that as an employee they were not paid enough to incur the expense of parking on campus. So talking did not work. I certainly do not believe that I "own" the street. But, there should be an element of common courtesy involved and not the sentiment that since it is a public street anything goes. I also do not believe that I amd "special" because I live in College Terrace. If anything I would love to move somewhere else where I can walk my dog and not worry about being run over by a driver on a cell phone running a 4 way stop sign. Any of you College Terrace haters willing to trade houses? I am thankful for the parking permit program though it comes at a cost.

Posted by narnia
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm

As it has been repeated You DON't OWN the street in front of your house. We ALL pay for it and we are entitled to stay put continuously for 72 hours.
Sure if someone parks on your right of way, such as the access to your driveway they are breaking the law, not because they are parking but because they are cutting access. You can in fact call the police and those cars will be towed immediately. But let us not confuse things.
You can cut property access and you don't need to be parking to do it. Those are two separate issues which can be intertwined but not necessarily.

Ken, destroying property belonging to others is hooliganism, not civil disobedience. And you are confused- parking on your street is not a cause worthy of a civil rights or human rights standard.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:33 pm

It sounds like Crescent Park Dad handled things the respectful, old-fashioned way - vis a vis communication - wonderful that it worked out well.

We have a lot of parking scofflaws - a neighbor with 12 vehicles - yes, 12 - incl an RV, motorcycles & numerous boats. Not all are parked on the street of course, but they aren't moved often enough and traffic enforcement has a hard time dealing w/it because they just rearrange the vehicles.

I understand when people are lame w/large vehicles & it makes it a hazard to pull out of one's driveway because one can't see.

I'm in the middle of trying to get some enforcement on street sweeping day so people have to move their cars. What a waste of money to have a street sweeper not be able to do their job properly!

It's typical in that rational people who aren't exploiters follow the law and the exploiters push it and count on city red tape to ensure they keep breaking the law. It's one thing to not know the law or somesuch, it's another to not care or to exploit it.

Years ago, some moron blocked my car in in a private parking lot. I couldn't get out, no matter what I did. I was running late for a meeting & couldn't wait for a tow, I so I just pushed their car out of the way w/my car, at the time, it was a wonderful tank-like vehicle. Yeah, it did damage on their car, but so what? I took pix w/an instant camera (remember those?!) & the owner of the business there said since it wasn't a client of theirs go ahead & do what I needed to do. So I did. I left a note w/my home number for that scofflaw whose car I pushed. Surprise, surprise, never heard from them...

But for people who live near a school or downtown area, or other high use area, it's to be expected. I just wonder at the lack of alacrity on the part of the police because they can generate revenue from cracking down. Not interesting work, but one that makes money.

Posted by Mike O
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Aren't homes required to have two parking spots on their property, at least one covered? So why doesn't paresident park in their his or her driveway and leave the people who park on the street alone? [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 21, 2011 at 9:27 pm

The real root of the problem of the Parking nightmare in Palo Alto is the high density housing/apartments that does not have enough parking for its residents. Honestly I don't know why we keep letting our city council keep burning us homeowners by approving these mega condo projects. They sell the idea to us by saying it'll be low cost housing for all. But lets be real nothing is low cost in Palo Alto anymore.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:40 am

72 hours. My curb has metal strips which rips holes in the sidewalls of tires. After this happened to me, I no longer park in front of my own house. Maybe you can ask the city to install "curb protectors" for you as well.

Posted by Sue
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2012 at 12:18 am

Renters hate parking in front of their own house. I always think if someone hates parking in front of their own house they owe money. If they owned the house outright and paid for their car they would not park outside other peoples homes. I always think someone who does that has something to hide. A lot of the times I think they hope their car is stolen.

Posted by Kathryn
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

This post is hilarious. I own a house I'm NOT a tenant and I love my house and respect the neighbourhood. But guess what if you live in a subdivision (residential area) with other humans living there too, they MIGHT park their cars in front of your house on the PUBLIC street... Their kids might park their cars there for a few days at a time right in front of your house. It's not your street it's EVERYBODY'S street. Wow... If it bothers u THAT bad then maybe you shouldn't be living around so many other humans lol go live rural where nobody can park on the streets and shaddup.

Posted by Does it matter?
a resident of Gunn High School
on Feb 19, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Look folks,

If you live in a house--whether you own or rent--park your cars in your driveways or at the curb in front of it.

Why make other houses your personal parking spot? It makes no sense. Would you want others doing likewise? What if the neighbor across the street parked all their cars outside your house all the time. How nice would that be?

Temporary parking- no problem. Park anywhere that's legal. But overnights or extended parking should be at - or in front of - your own house.

If you have too many cars, that shouldn't be your neighbors' nightmare. Deal with your own stuff, and keep your own stuff at your own house. Simple. Respectful. Kind.

It's a matter of common courtesy (which apparently isn't very common).

Posted by Memories
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2015 at 3:20 pm

"Should be"? Sure, in *your* personal scenario of common courtesy. Clearly, others have different ideas - and the law is on their side.

Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2015 at 3:45 pm

If you require a parking spot on the street because you're using your garage or driveway for storage, aren't you to blame? Or is this Palo Alto, where its always somebody elses' fault?

Posted by Neighborly
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2015 at 4:38 pm

All this speculation, and the OP doesn't seem to even know the neighbor.

It really is the best thing to talk to the neighbor first. The neighbor may be a jerk, maybe not. The great thing is, opening a dialog means he might find out the neighbor is ok and make a friend. If the neighbor is a jerk, then nothing is lost by it. Everything to be gained, though.

We had one of those pods out for a wee bit too long because I had surgery and it just made finishing up hard. One of the neighbors reported us and it was horrible having to move everything under those circumstances -- two more weeks to recover and it would have been taken care of anyway. Had the neighbor just talked to us, it could have resolved everything.

On the other hand, we had a neighbor who had a gardening team but never had them cut the things growing over and under our fence from their side, some that was getting dangerous to the kids. We once spent a weekend cutting so much stuff, our entire backyard was filled chest high and it took us weeks to get it all removed our compost barrel. We figured they were elderly, we weren't perfect either, and we were being neighborly -- so we just nicely asked them to have their gardener keep up on things after we cut them back and they wouldn't. It turned out, the neighbor was a bully and abusive about it, taking advantage instead of just saying thanks, so I simply copied a page out of a law book showing that they were responsible and what our recourse was (the neighbor's husband was a lawyer) and that solved it from then on.

Even if the law is on your side, it never hurts to be kind to your fellow man. Know your rights just in case, but take the chance that you might be doing the right thing by cutting them a break. Someone might do the same for you one day.

Posted by Hahahaha!
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2015 at 10:20 pm

I don't think there is any city where a property owner owns the curbside in front of their house. Streets are PUBLIC space where anyone can park, first come, first served. Deal with it.

Posted by Geez
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 20, 2015 at 11:12 am

This thread is so ridiculous. So many Palo Altans this....So many Palo Altans that..... what I see is that So many Palo Altans are not understanding the original posters question. It's simply a question of how long can a car be parked in the same spot on a street? and the answer is 3 days.

Posted by carol
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:18 pm

this guy parks his cars all the time in my car port .front of my came home from work he has one in my so tired ofit .he has a pit bull pooping all in my peeing on my tires.the dog killed my cat two days ago.i feel like he thinks its so tired of him .i live alone an dont no what to do.(HELP)please.

Posted by Joe
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 20, 2015 at 11:38 pm

When I was a young man and learning to drive, my father taught me that to always park the car in front of our home and not in front of a neighbor's house because that was the proper thing to do. Also, the same rule applied when visiting a friend to park the car in front of the home that you are visiting, if available. Fast forward to 2015, these general rules of common courtesy and proper manners seem to no longer apply. It is to the point that I sometimes wonder if my neighbors tell their visitors, workmen, housekeepers, etc to park in front on my house preferably in front on the walkway to the front door. All I can say is common sense and class often no longer exists, even in Palo Alto.

Posted by Etiquette
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 21, 2015 at 12:00 am

Etiquette has been abandoned. I guess one positive about living in the South is proper manners. Our kitchen window looks out to the street so I often look out when I use the sink. Occasionally, a neighbor's guest will park in front of our house, but only for a couple of hours so it's no big deal. Yes, I would be fuming if someone parked in front of my house all the time. No, I don't own the street, but I'm guessing people who think it's okay to park for extended periods in front of someone's house have never dealt with the issue themselves, such as those who claim it's fine to have car dwelling in Palo Alto, although the car dwellers aren't in front of their house. Sure, everyone else is overreacting until it affects them.

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 21, 2015 at 2:49 am

On street cleaning day it makes sense to park in front of someone else's home.

Abandon all etiquette, ye who enter here.

Posted by Talk, talk, then talk again until they leave
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2015 at 1:03 pm

Communication... It would be nice if it worked. Alas...
We had the problem twice: neighbor house rented to groups of 6 to 8 adults. Cars overflowing their house of course, so parking everywhere. Our guests had to come in front of other houses. This comes with many other problems: noisy parties at night, smoke...
Communication, as suggested, doesn't work: they feel they have their freedom, the freedom to have fun.
The adage says: your freedom ends where somebody else's freedom starts.
I went to see them every time I had guests coming who couldn't park, every time they had a party after midnight, every time their pot smoke filled my kids bedroom. The first times I went to talk with them they just told me they had their freedom. The third time, and after, they just ignored me and didn't even open their door.
After six month they left. And were replaced by a family. So much better.
So... this is my suggestion: go talk with them all the time, make them understand that they are not alone, that there are other people around them, and that to live together in the same neighborhood, we need to be respectful of our neighbors.
If they don't get it, they will be annoyed and will leave. Good riddance.

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