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Upset Neighbor parked his truck in my driveway.


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Well, Today was an interesting day. This afternoon once I had turned the display on, I went across the street to ask the neighbor if I could video the display from their front yard. The wife answered the door and just looked at me. I introduced myself as the neighbor across the street. She knows who I am. These neighbors are kind of to themselves and don't really care to mingle with the neighbors.

At the beginning of our conversation I asked her how she liked the lights. She said the lights were fine, but she did not like the traffic and it was only going to get worse. She said "people block our driveways and give us dirty looks when we try and pull in." She also said "we have just lost our neighborhood." I said I have the voiceovers that play in-between the songs asking people to be considerate of those around you and don't block driveways. I was explaining that to her and she interrupted me and said

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We thought about that, but we don't want to cause more problems. I will probably go talk to him tomorrow and ask him what he is upset about. Ask him if I place the VO more often to try and reduce the blocking. I can place signs, etc.... I don't want him to be upset, but I am not going to just let him run the show and have me doing all kinds of stuff. I am willing to work with him.

This is only night 3. We still have a month to go and traffic is only going to get worse.

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I'm sorry to hear of your troubles.

Your neighbors behavior is a bit childish, but I've seen worse. The main problem is that these non-social reclusive types are probably never going to be fully pleased that your in the neighborhood running a light show. That type tends to be the opposite of the giving type ... so he can't possibly understand why you give so much to others with the show.

I would say that you could consider shortening the show to get cars moving and hopefully reducing the traffic. You could make more different shows, but have each one be shorter.

My plan has been to limit my show hours, run shorter versions of most songs and to break up the show into smaller shows ... to keep folks moving. I think 30 minutes is great, but if they are backed up, you may want to consider shortening the show and then letting your neighbor know that your doing these things to help reduce the impact to them.

Scott

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It's too bad you don't have access to one of those boots you could slap on his wheel! I would have been tempted to wrap his rig with lights and add it in to the display.

Seriously, I feel for you in your situation. I am lucky and have neighbors that are very understanding. My next door neighbor whom only usually throws up a few lights every year went all out this year.

It might be worth it, since it so early to possibly put some signs directly in front of their driveway to help direct traffic away from their space. Might be a good gesture???

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I think the best thing to do is to try and please your neighbor. Put up the signs, add more voice overs, even go out and direct traffic if needs be. But the most important thing would be getting to know your neighbors throughout the year so when it comes time for your show next year they aren't so upset about it. IMO, worst thing you can do is retaliate.

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Watch the traffic and when yousee it is getting heavy, go out and direct traffic. I have you noticed that they are creatures of habbit, come home and leave at the same time? Then just make sure that it clear.

Put on the big red suit and go out in the traffic and move them along away from the drive way,

go above the problem don't lower your standards.

Shorten the shows that should help also.

I am lucky in that all the neighbors love the show and the lights and put up with the traffic.

That is about all you can do.

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I think the best thing to do is to try and please your neighbor. Put up the signs, add more voice overs, even go out and direct traffic if needs be. But the most important thing would be getting to know your neighbors throughout the year so when it comes time for your show next year they aren't so upset about it. IMO, worst thing you can do is retaliate.

I agree 100% to what you said. It's stupid to get into arguments about this sort of thing. If anything, you are asking a lot of all your neighbors by bringing all this unwanted traffic into their neighborhood.

Yes, Christmas lights are great, but not everyone thinks so and I can completely respect people who don't want the hassle of a big display. (no matter how absolutely beautiful it is...)

I would not only run the ads, but show them that you are willing to go above and beyond for them. Get some cones and/or caution tape, and make sure people do not park in their driveway. If you see someone doing so, be neighborly and go ask the people to kindly move off your neighbors property.

If they see you actually trying to help them out, they may try to help you out(by not being a PIA). ;)

-Jeff

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The main problem is that the guy can not get into his driveway. What is worse is that he probably has to wait in traffic to approach his driveway to find out he can not get into it.

Here is what I would do: Go out and buy the guy some orange cones so that he can put them at the foot of his driveway. Let them stay there all the time so that the worst he has to do is get out of his car so that he can move them to get into his driveway.

Make sure you get enough that he can go all the way across the driveway.

Other methods: Orange ribbon that will reach across, a small sign saying do not block driveway or your car will be towed.

It is what I think needs to be done to defuse the situation - if you do not, then you will have a "war" on your hands.

best of luck

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Thanks for all the suggestions. The visitors are not parking in his driveway, they are parking on the street in front of his driveway. When I woke up this morning his truck is still in the driveway. Man, if I were not trying to be the bigger person in this situation I could do so many things. LOL

I will go over and talk with him when I get home from church and ask him if he would like me to place cones in front of his driveway? I will let him know I am also playing the VO more often. I understand the display could be a bit inconvenient for him, but I am willing to work with him. I think if they know I willing to help, they will be more understanding.

Thanks again for your suggestions. I will keep you posted. Have a good one.

P.S. Just in case you were wondering, this family does not put up a single Christmas decoration.

Matt

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Here is what I would do: Go out and buy the guy some orange cones so that he can put them at the foot of his driveway. Let them stay there all the time so that the worst he has to do is get out of his car so that he can move them to get into his driveway.

I had the same thought. However, in an effort to 'make nice' (whether I needed to or not), I think I would take responsibility for setting out the cones. You could likely set them in the street in a manner that would prohibit someone from parking in front of the entry, but would still allow for him to drive into his driveway without having to move the cones. If I had to stop my car and move cones before I could park, I'd likely still be pissed. While I would hope most neighbors would be understanding, I think we should do everything possible to make sure our display does not have a negative impact on their lives.

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I had the same thought. However, in an effort to 'make nice' (whether I needed to or not), I think I would take responsibility for setting out the cones. You could likely set them in the street in a manner that would prohibit someone from parking in front of the entry, but would still allow for him to drive into his driveway without having to move the cones. If I had to stop my car and move cones before I could park, I'd likely still be pissed. While I would hope most neighbors would be understanding, I think we should do everything possible to make sure our display does not have a negative impact on their lives.

That is what I was planning on doing. I could go outside and place the cones before the lights come on. I would place one or two at each end of the driveway so people would get the hint and he would still be able to pull in. The only thing is he has three driveways and he has 7 cars for his family of 4. I will let you know what happens this afternoon.

I could call the police and tell him "I think our neighbor was drunk when he came home last night and parked in my driveway instead of his." Just kidding.....

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Don't do the if else thing. That is just as childish as they are being, (car towed if you park here).

Whats wrong with him parking in your driveway, maybe he needed to go to the potty real bad ... and needed to huff it in real quick? Maybe he has a bladder control problem ...

I say let him park in your drive, make a deal with one of the good neighbors to park your car in their driveway, I do that. My red truck is seen in most of the neighbors drives and is most welcome, we all share our drives when others need it ... it is no big deal.

I have a neighbor one of 30 on the street, The rest would just as soon have you park in their driveway and watch the show so more people can get in. In fact they tell people to.

but the one right across the street from us is always shall we say private. I just go out and move the traffic from their driveway and tell the people there is a better spot up at the other neighbors place.

The police come by and do their paper work in front of the display and I let them park in the private neighbors place, there is always an open spot for local law enforcement right in front of their place. SMILE ... they don't complain about that. So I just make sure local law enforcement has a seat right in front of their place. Maybe you could get your Police friend to loan you one of their signs for the holidays. Explain the reason and I am sure they will be more then happy to help out.

The cones in front of their place would also be good, just leave enough room so he can get in and out, and people do get the idea soon enough. Cars liter the rest of the neighborhood except in front of the grinch's place

and yes traffic gets thick around here often, the neighbors come out and I get out and make sure it doesn't get impassable.

The rest of the neighbors just watch the show as they get closer to their house and enjoy the extra few minutes it takes to get to their house. but Grincho thunders up and everybody else makes sure they are not rewarded for being jerks.

My suggestion is work with the other good neighbors, the grinchs will get coal for Christmas.

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The police come by and do their paper work in front of the display and I let them park in the private neighbors place, there is always an open spot for local law enforcement right in front of their place. SMILE ... they don't complain about that. So I just make sure local law enforcement has a seat right in front of their place. Maybe you could get your Police friend to loan you one of their signs for the holidays. Explain the reason and I am sure they will be more then happy to help out.

The cones in front of their place would also be good, just leave enough room so he can get in and out, and people do get the idea soon enough. Cars liter the rest of the neighborhood except in front of the grinch's place

.

YOu know thats a pretty nifty idea.. take 2 orange cones, and place a sign at the top of each one " emergency vehicles only between signs".

If you know anyone in the local fire dept, police, or medic squad, have them come by and park there occasionally then he will see you are doing everything at the best of your abilty to solve the issue...

Hmmm you could have them come by during the day to "measure" the cones for one of their trucks/cars ( the bigger the firetruck the more grin factor you get to have for a few minutes) for the cones so your neighbor can see, just make sure your fireman/police/medic friend goes knocks on his door to let him know that you are being asked to set up an "emegency vehicle area"...then he will feel special and providing a service and safety factor to the community..

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I appreciate the fact that you are trying to work with your neighbor and not acting out. I would shorten the show or have more breaks in between.

Talk to the neighbor. Let him vent if he does, then express you understand his frustrations. Suggest what measures you plan on doing to ease the pain of the traffic. Ask him if he has any positive suggestions. Tell him that your neighbors are important to you and you are willing to work with him to make things better.

Being a good neighbor is more important then the show. I would still do the show even if he is mad. I would make corrections anyway.

Thanks for being a great citizen. Let the lights shine!

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Okay, I went and talked to the neighbor I don't think we got much accomplished. I figured out quickly no matter what, he is not going to be happy. The first thing he said was that I have a commercial display. I have a website and a radio station and I am advertising. So I have a commercial display. I am not sure what I am advertising, I guess my website.

He said his house is his refuge and his sanctuary and he does not want to have to deal with the public at his house. I said I had a few ideas. I explained the cones and the VO etc... and he said he did not want to have cones because it is going to make him look like the bad guy. He said no matter what we are going to de-face him to the community. I told him we were not talking to anyone about him and we wanted to work with him.

He didn't want to do the cones, he didn't think the VO would help, and he didn't want the signs. His wife was a little more understanding. She thought the cones were a good idea, but he didn't want to go for it. He said he works long house and does not have the time off I have and when he gets home, he does not want to have to deal with the traffic.

They both said the display was amazing and the best display they had ever seen. They said if they lived in town and heard about the display, they would be coming to check it out as well. They would want to sit out front and watch it as well.

He said he knew it was going to be like this in Sept. when I started putting the lights up. He said I never asked them before doing this. Where did I think people were going to sit and watch the lights? "In front of my house" he said. He also stopped and said wait just a second. He went inside his house and brought me a belt off of a jacket. He said it was left in his yard because of the display and I could have it.

When it was all said and done I decided to cut down the show and not play all 9 songs. I will cut it down to maybe 3 or 4 and then repeat. I am also having a new VO made that states: On behalf of the Hallum family, we would like to welcome you to our Christmas light display. As common courtesy to our neighbors, please take a quick look to make sure you are not blocking any driveways. If you are, please move your vehicle immediately as not to cause any inconvenience to our neighbors. Thank you for your cooperation and have a Merry Christmas.

When we left, my wife and I both felt nothing is really going to make him happy. Any suggestion I offered was not good enough. I did give him my cell phone number if he has an problems. He just does not want to look like the bad guy. He did said that he didn't want me to turn the lights off. So I am still not really sure what he wants.

The funny thing was. When I was walking back across the street by neighbor that lives beside me said: "Don't back down Matt, stand your guns. Don't let him bother you and don't back down." They both work together.

So that is my situation. I will cut it down and if I see people parking in front of their driveways, I will ask them to move.

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good luck. Sounds like a real bummer to have to go through. Just when you're flying high, something pulls you back down. It will work out. Just thought of something else. Could put coners in all the driveways around. He must be complaining to the other neighbor also.

think of it this way... couple of weeks it will all be over!

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No matter what you do sounds like he won't be happy

As far as someone parking in my driveway the car would be towed after a call/request to move it. 2nd time it would be towed without a call.

Last house neighbor used to have friends over at nite, some could barely walk let alone drive. I warned him once I'd have cars towed & the police would show up. Only had to warn him once, he didn't want the police showing up at his "parties".

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If he doesn't like your suggestions then I'd would NOT cut back and I would indeed have his truck towed if he parked in your driveway again. If he doesn't like his driveway blocked he can call the cops and have the person blocking his drive ticketed. Play your show and just ignore this guy, sounds like he doesn't want to compromise so why should you! Just my opinion. Or of course you can make him look like that bad guy that he is! I bet that would shut him up in a heart beat! :)

I know you want to try and work things out, At least you can say you tried and nothing was good enough.

Above all don't back down! You have the VO not to block others driveways you've done your part!

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