Why Do We Park On A Driveway And Drive On A Parkway?

So the Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted tonight to defer a vote on an ordinance that would ban parking in your yard. Understandably, people were upset. I live in a part of Lake Forest where there are LOTS of people who are parking in their yards, because there simply isn’t enough parking in the (tiny) driveways and garages for all their 90 cars. I must admit, I am slightly torn on the issue myself. I fully support banning parking in yards. It just looks, lol, unsightly and hurts people’s property values.

Alderman Broeker said something* tonight about it that I fully agree with. If we go ahead and ban parking in yards, but continue to disallow parking in the streets, we are setting people in neighborhoods like mine up to either cause the codes department to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to ticket everyone who parks in their yards (I swear, there would be AT LEAST 20 violations on my street alone) or else it would be an ordinance without any teeth, it would be outlawed and people would park in their yards anyway.

I say there is a simple solution to this, and if you go back far enough in the archives on this site, you’ll see that I have been asking for this for years. Allow parking on the streets, but on one side of the street only and only where there are signs allowing it. Go to any big city and see how they handle it. No, La Vergne is not a big city but in many of its neighborhoods it definitely faces a big city problem and that is one of parking. Additionally, if the city allows parking with a parking sticker which is bought yearly and costs, say, $30 a year, then I’d think the city would be able to hire someone full time to enforce that specific code.

To me, that solves a lot of problems. The reason they outlawed parking on the streets to begin with is because former boards allowed the developers to build tiny little streets that make it impossible for emergency services vehicles to get through if people are parked on the street. I get that. But honestly, people parking in their yards looks BAD. And whether we approve of other people having eleventy cars at their house or not, the truth is that people have got to have somewhere to park, especially when they are having visitors or if they’re like me and have more adults with vehicles living in their house than they have parking spaces.

A lot of the people at the Citizens’ Comments tonight at the meeting, spoke to people with junk cars in their yards, but in my neighborhood, junk cars are a miniscule part of the problem. These people drive their cars home at night and park them in the yards, and then during the day, they go to work so during the day many of the yards on my street look like mud wrestler pits. And while I completely support mud wrestling, I absolutely do not support people bringing my property value down.

This is a very real problem in our city and if we want to move forward and clean the place up, I urge the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to consider taking this step before they outlaw parking in yards. Otherwise, as Alderman Broeker said*, we are setting our citizens up to fail.


*With apologies to Alderman Broeker for my rough paraphrasing of what he said. He said it much more eloquently during the meeting than I can say it here.

13 comments for “Why Do We Park On A Driveway And Drive On A Parkway?

  1. Chip Henderson
    March 9, 2012 at 1:16 am

    What if you have a whole family, I’m talking 15 – 18 people living in one house and they have 12 cars. And only room for 6 cars in the driveway. I’m curious to how many of them have a license. Is there a code about how many people can live at one residence when obviously there are only 4 – 5 bedrooms?

    • Ben
      April 2, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      I believe it is illegal to have that many people living in a house that small.

  2. Cricket123
    March 9, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Thank you x infinity, Tom Broeker!!!! I was having such a hard time with this that I actually broke down in tears last night…and for those of you that know me, that says a LOT!!!

    My driveway is and has always been a problem, but even more so, after my children grew up and were driving their own cars. There simply is not space enough for us all to park without having to play musical cars every couple of hours.

    We stopped hosting Thanksgiving here and re-located that, but my girls can always come home and I truly appreciate the fact that I don’t have to tell them to park at a hotel and I’ll come get them!

    If the city doesn’t want us to park in the street, or the yards, then we need to come up with some viable alternative…because my family, like all the others, simply can not come up with alternatives overnight!

    • Kitti
      March 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      I would hope that on Thanksgiving, this law would be…rested?

  3. tony
    March 9, 2012 at 6:08 am

    even if i put up a 12ft. fence you could still see things in my back yard from the street.i live in the biggest sink hole in lavergne lol i guess i need to be thankful i can put 30 cars in my driveway if need to be,,lol

  4. Amy
    March 9, 2012 at 7:11 am

    The parking on the street is not enforced in all neighborhoods, if it was the revenue would help Lavergne and increase safety for the children who play in the street. Why would the Board of Mayor and Alderman even consider passing another ordinance when we as a city can’t enforce the ones that we have?

    • Bill Shapard
      March 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      You are right Amy. I live on Forest Ridge at the top of a hill, around from the LPD Lake Forest station. There is sign that says…NO PARKING ON ROADWAY. On the weekends, & holidays… several large SUVs are parked next to the sign for hours, if not all day, and take up half the road. I cannot tell you how many times, I have heard people slam on their brakes. It is a traffic hazard!!! It is on top of a hill, with a slight curve…I have even called LPD. And in my 16 years of living here… I have NEVER seen a ticket issued. Buy a sticker for what? They don’t enforce the parking lwas they have now.

      • Ivy
        March 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm

        If the city sold stickers, it could use those revenues (plus the revenues from fines collected) to pay for an enforcement officer, which would be important in keeping people from parking in a way that blocks the road and also if they block hydrants.

  5. Liberty
    March 9, 2012 at 7:19 am

    There is about 4-5 lots that do not have houses on my street, the city should turn them into a big parking lot or something, cause lets face it, there are never gonna be any house’s built there. Sad to see that the builder of this neighborhood was more worried about making money, than what this neighborhood really needed, less house’s, more parking. Thankfully, when my kids are old enough to drive, we will be living in a house, in La Vergne mind you, with a big enough drive way for my 3 monsters. Lol…

  6. Kitti
    March 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    More bicycles!

  7. Ben
    April 2, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    I hear all these people complaining, but isn’t that something you should consider when buying a house? If you knew the driveway was small and you couldn’t park in the street, you knew the strains it would cause. If you don’t like it, it’s your own fault.

    • Ivy
      April 3, 2012 at 12:01 am

      When I bought my house my oldest kid was 9. This house wasn’t meant to be one we lived in more than 5 years, we wanted to move up in the world. Alas, the economy and the housing market crashed and we owe more than our house is worth and my kid is 17 now. I have heard a whole lot of stories like mine.

      • Ben
        April 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm

        I hear you. I meant no disrespect. I’d still rather people park in the street than in the grass.

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