Too Close For Comfort

When I went to the LA Fitness in Marina Del Rey on Wednesday night, I took lots of care while parking because the spots are really small in the parking garage. I made sure that I was centered in the spot and even re-adjusted my car accordingly. Unfortunately, the person who parked next to me while I was in the gym didn’t take such care. They parked so close to my driver’s side that I couldn’t get in my car. I stood there baffled for a minute and had to crawl through my passenger seat to get in. After I managed to pull out, barely missing scraping their car, I decided to leave a note to berate them for their stupidity. Believe me, I am NOT a hostile person. I hate confrontation and will generally take a little too much crap before I throw any of it back. However, they put me over the edge and I had to take action. All I ask for is a little consideration. A plea to my fellow So. Cal parkers – just take a second to look before you get out of your car.

Discussing this with my co-workers today, turns out I’m not the only victim of bad parkers. (Not that I assumed I was, mind you.) And I’m also not the only one to leave notes. How many of you have ever had to do this? Is this a widespread trend?

15 Replies to “Too Close For Comfort”

  1. Suffering people who suck at parking is such a pain-in-the-ass way of life here, there, and everywhere. I try to take it in stride. Try to.

    With street parking at such a premium on my block, of late it’s become somewhat of a regular occurence for people to leave a foot or two or more of their vehicle’s ass blocking our driveway. Now, anyone with a shred of conscience or half a brain would get out and look and readily realize what they’ve done and move their car. But for those several selfish dimwits who couldn’t care less about inconveniencing everyone else but themselves, first I contemplate a rash act, before settling down and picking up the phone and calling parking enforcement, who is more than happy to come out and write them a big fat ticket.

    Here’s to the small victories.

  2. I have to add my San Francisco perspective to this Los Angeles paradigm. In San Francisco, parking is so tight – as the city has more cars per square mile than anywhere else in the country – everyone is very careful about parking along the lines of you wouldn’t want someone to do that to you. As well, the activist nature of many of the residents could get you into a confrontation, your car keyed or worse. I was shocked when I moved to LA and started to deal with this on a regular basis. What causes this? Are these people so busy that they can’t take an extra moment to adjust their car in the space or do they simply not care?

  3. My favorite is the people who have to return their PORN in a hurry at CIRCUS OF BOOKS and block our driveway cause parking is scarce and we can’t use our own driveway.

  4. Wellllll…

    The repeat-offending street parking scofflaws are best dealt with via Will’s method, methinks.

    However, for the random solipsistic parker one encounters in a parking lot, parking structure or city street, two ideas spring to mind:

    1. Printing up nicely-worded notes (arousing less defensiveness = better chance complaint will land)–say, 4 to a page–from one’s computer and keeping the notes in one’s glove compartment to use as needed (I may do this today) and…

    2. Snapping a photo of the offending vehicle and uploading it to a (free?) public shame blog. Maybe SolipsistDesist.com would be a good URL. I’ll buy it if someone wants to help set up the blog. I’m serious. Maybe it’s time to get all activist on their asses.

  5. (rant)
    How many times have you seen a SUV parked in a space labled “COMPACT”! If you buy an SUV, deal with the fact that you are driving a TRUCK, or sell it!
    (/rant)

    Also, here’s the phone number of LA Parking Enforcement if your driveway’s blocked: 213-485-4184 The city will tow it away, even in the middle of the night!

  6. let’s talk about the always popular “take two spaces at the grocery store” parking method. as the owner of a composite material body paneled car i am torn between taking two spaces to avoid the SCAL “door ding idiots” and the SCAL “key your car” idiots for taking up two spots. so far i just park way far away from everyone else or park next to the fanciest car i can find.
    what do ya think? is it OK to take two spots to protect ones auto.

  7. Regarding Mike’s assertion above that the city’s parking enforcement will tow a vehicle away if your driveway is blocked, it’s important to note that they will only tow if the offending vehicle is blocking 50 percent or more of the driveway…. at least that’s what the officer told me when he ticketed one of the sumbeaches whose carass was three feet inside our driveway.

  8. Hey Michael….I’m with ya…I have a small car….but I hate getting door dings from idiots who aren’t concious of how close they are to me. And compact parking spaces are stupidly small these days….and I have a compact sports car….I swear taking up two spaces ….which equal 11/2 normal spaces… is the way to go.
    But then I always feel guilty and selfish. And worry about getting keyed. So then I drive around looking for a ‘normal’ size spot that is supposed to be for the fricking SUV’s. You can’t win.
    The problem is that owners of lots make the spaces so damn narrow and small to sardine more in.
    the real problem is that we don’t have a good mass transit system in a city this large and cosmopolitan!

  9. someone left a horrible mark on my car from their rear view mirror scraping against the side of my car… i even parked completely in the lines of my spot!! it’s so frustrating when so many awful drivers are out on the streets.

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