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Friday, January 20, 2012

Park It!

I've come to the conclusion that parking in Drexel Hill and the surrounding areas is always going to be at a premium. Live near the trolley? Leave home to drop your child off at St. Andrew's on a rainy morning and if you WERE parked in a nice spot in front of your house suddenly you come home to find a commuter has snatched your parking spot! And you have to park a block and a half away in front of yet someone else's house.

Worse yet, live near one of the many bars in Drexel Hill and you will be lucky to find street parking on any weekend night or on a night there's a Phillies game, Eagles game or during March Madness (especially if any of the local schools are in contention.) And forget the Erin Express! I don't know where those people go but some of them don't come back for their cars for days! It seems these are the ones who park across the exit for my driveway, or just enough across the driveway that I have to drive on my lawn to get out. Yes, don't even get me started on the pleasures of living near a bar in D.H.!

Now I know, in reality I DO NOT own the street in front of my house.  Or next to my house. (I live on a corner). But it seems to me that a business that is going to import fifty to a hundred people in cars to a neighborhood ought to have to provide them with some off street parking.  And streets near the trolleys and bus stops and bars should have restricted parking so that homeowners can have at least one parking space in front of their house. My property has between 5-6 parking spaces on the street.  Is it too much to ask if I go out to dinner on a Friday night I come home to find 1 parking spot left for me to park in?  No, usually what happens is I come home to find no parking spaces unless I wait for the bars to close before I try to park (and it's not my neighbors who are parking there).

Not only that, some of these winners seem to have found a way to routinely drive up on the curbs, breaking them up so I have to pay to replace them. If the township wants to have free for all parking then let them pay for repairing curbs. If it's not my parking spaces why am I paying to replace curbage? (OK I doubt that's a real word but you know what I mean.) These itinerant parkers also destroy the grass along the curb, which again, I have to replace. At times I have gone out to get my newspaper on the weekend or do early morning grocery shopping and I find someone SLEEPING in their car. They've obviously had too much to drink and couldn't make it any farther than their cars. Or I find them passed out on my lawn, brown bag in hand. Nice. Really nice. The next time I buy a house I'm going to be sure I'm nowhere near a bar or restaurant.

Now I know when homes were built in Drexel Hill and other areas in Upper Darby township there were far fewer cars per household. Often no cars at all. I've seen some of the old movies of my street in the 30s. There were maybe three cars on the whole street. Things sure have changed.And as anyone who lives in the area knows, as more homes were built, the homes were built very close together, with only a few having their own driveways. Today many homes with four people have three, sometimes four cars each. All of which explains the dearth of available parking spaces in our town.

So my solution? Like many city dwellers, have parking stickers that allow homeowners to park in the area near their homes. No barflies. No commuters. No truckers grabbing lunch parking their semi along the side of my house.

Yes, I know I can call the police on the offenders. We have. On occasion. When it's REALLY REALLY bad. But how often do you want someone distracting the police, who have more important things to do in your town, responding to PARKING complaints? I know it's not high on my list of ways to solve this problem.  The police have better things to do.

So provide for restricted parking by permit only in certain areas. SELL me the darn permit. Write tickets and collect revenue from the offenders. So I have one parking space. Just one. Yes, I know I can get a handicapped parking sign (for an obscene price) that is designated just for my home. But restricted parking stickers would be a much easier (and less unsightly) way to go. For all of us.


  1. I'm probably guilty of the St Andrew parking...sorry! We have that problem on my end. I dread the snow because that means chairs (ugh!) and other foolishness. I would still call the police, that's their job.

  2. Hi Mrs. RKFJ, It's not me that worries about St. Andrews, I live farther away but observe the people who park so they can take the trolley, but if you're the person who parks across my driveway all the time to hang out at the bars .... just kidding. We have hoards of bar parkers where I live... we call the police when necessary for fights etc. but hate to feel like we have them on speed dial every night for small infractions! Thanks for reading and commenting--and btw, don't touch my chairs/trash cans or whatever else I have to put out after shoveling out after it snows a lot! LOL Yes, I know we're not supposed to do it, everyone else, once you spend hours hacking out a space, finding it suddenly parked in by a 'former friend' or worse yet, total stranger bent on a bender... Face it, that's when it can get very nasty quickly! I think I'll just pray for no snow... or at least very little. Or stay home for the duration to thwart the space stealers!