Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 22, 2014

Whatever happened to being neighborly?

It is Jan. 21, and it’s snowing like crazy! My employer let us leave early due to the weather.

I get home to South Cumberland, only to find that the small parking spot in front of my house is taken, yet again.

I understand that it is a public street, but please understand that the spots on either side of me are handicap parking places.

Yes, I have two parking places in back, but getting down the alley with five inches of unplowed snow on the ground is impossible for my Honda Civic.

Our houses are very close together in South Cumberland, so I have to take another neighbor’s parking spot. My neighbor, who has one of the two handicap parking spots boxing me in, has no problem allowing her visitors to park in front of my house whenever, and for however long she and/or they deem necessary. This happens frequently and it happened again today. I asked them to please move, but to no avail.

There is a church parking lot a short distance up the street from our houses, but her visitors can’t park there and walk to her house. They get to camp out in front of my house until they feel like leaving.

In the meantime, I’m without a parking place until her guests decide to leave. Is this legal? You bet it is! Is it neighborly? Not one bit!

I have lived in my home, for which I pay taxes that continue to increase yearly, for over 22 years. I remember when I first moved here, neighbors were kind and considerate towards each other.

We looked out for one another and each other’s property. It was an unwritten rule in bad weather that each home was “entitled” to the one parking place in front of their home. Those rules don’t apply anymore. It has become “every man for himself.”

My neighbor doesn’t seem to care if I find a place to park or if I have to get out early in the morning to go to work. She only cares that her visitors can have a spot close to her house where they don’t have to walk and leave the vehicle sit regardless of who it may inconvenience.

I have bought a smaller car to get into the little spot in front of my house because they haven’t been able to stay within their handicap spots (where they could park a Cadillac).

I needed a can opener to park my car at times. You see it is “legal” for them to park outside their blue line, but God forbid my bumper should hang over that blue line. I would get a ticket.

In the past, I have parked out back and had to hire a Bobcat to dig me out so that I could get to work in bad weather. The other eight households I dug out didn’t give me a cent. In the 22 years in my home, I have shoveled that alley by myself with no help, or even a thank you, at least seven times.

I’m not asking what is legal here, because I know that it’s a public street. However what has happened to being neighborly? I know I chose to live here, but it certainly wasn’t like this 22 years ago!

Kim Lattimer

Cumberland

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