November 16, 2010 6:26 pm at 6:26 pm #710547
Finally. The time has come for us to discuss this form of Gezel on YWN. This phenomenon has been going on ever since and to my dismay has been largely ignored. I am deeply hurt about a story I had with one making claims about an “illegal driveway.”
It was about two years ago when I wanted to unload something from my car into my garage when I saw a car parked in front of my driveway. The heavy piece of furniture was to be stored in the garage at the very end of my driveway. I had planned to back my car into the driveway and easily hoist it from my car into the garage. Obviously, the luxury my driveway presented to the fellow with no ethics, got me to change my plans. I had to park at a pump down the block (as, it was the closest I could find) and carry the heavy piece down to my house and down the entire driveway. As me and my sons completed the task, that fellow (visitor) came out of a neighboring house with a luxury he afforded himself by ‘stealing’ my driveway. When one of my sons mentioned to him that he had parked in front of a private driveway, he flared up and threatened my son that he will call 311 and complain about the driveway, which he claimed was illegal. After my teenager came to repeat his ‘threat’, I went out to the fellow and told him that we can settle for a deal. You call 311 and I call 911. My home was built more than a century ago on a block that has a driveway near almost every home, I wasn’t concerned of any Mesira. What bothered me was the way people can justify their evil acts (yes, it is one) by maintaining presumptions. Claiming an “illegal driveway” is offending to one that maintains the law, only if you know for a fact that the curb was made without a permit can you charge that charge.
The OP mentioned Misaskim. Let’s put the Gezel of parking in front of a private garage aside. I’m appalled at those people who freely park in front of a garage that explicitly state that it has Life-saving equipment stored therein. Can you imagine if something would happen to your loved one but his life would be lost because someone is blocking Misaskim’s driveway? Would any of those people running into the Cafe to have a coffee or work/daven nearby decide to park a block down, in front of Hatzolah, at their convenience? Every time I pass that garage, I cringe.November 16, 2010 6:35 pm at 6:35 pm #710548
So, are we to understand that your driveway is in fact contrary to city law?
Hilarious. What makes you think you can reserve a spot by making a cut in your curb?
I would block an illegal driveway without a moments thought. Even if the car was inside and there were other places to park. You damage my car, I’ll break the windows of your house.November 16, 2010 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm #710549
The following is all taken from NYC.gov:
Curb cuts require both a DOT and a Department of Buildings permit.
Curb cuts must not be located in bus stop zones or too near fire hydrants, trees, utility poles or parking signs.
Installing a curb cut without a permit may result in court appearances and the imposition of fines. Initial fines can be as high as $2,500.
Proposed curb cuts must comply with regulations from the Department of Buildings, Department of Transportation and the Department of City Planning.
In most zoning districts, [private property] parking spaces must be at least 8.5 feet wide and 18.5 feet deep, and must be fully within the property lines.
In most zoning districts, [private property] parking spaces are allowed only in the side or rear yards.
Curb cuts must be at least 10 feet wide, including the splays (slopes).
The following minimum distances are required between the edge of the driveway splay (slope) and the items listed below:
— Five feet from NYC right-of-way lines and utility easements in residential zones
— Seven feet from trees, light poles and street signs
— Ten feet from fire hydrants, telephone booths and utility poles
— Sixteen feet from the edge of an adjacent driveway.November 16, 2010 6:49 pm at 6:49 pm #710550
he said his neighborNovember 16, 2010 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #710551
oops. sorry homeowner.November 16, 2010 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #710552
I have seen people park 3 feet or more into a driveway space, blocking the homeowner from moving his car. Their reasoning, ” I thought you had enough room to get out.” Are these people just dumb or just plain rude?
My neighbor called the police when his driveway was blocked. The police told him he could now have the car towed away.November 16, 2010 7:39 pm at 7:39 pm #710553
Sigh. From the comments here, I see a whole lotta people that could stand to move (and stay) out of town.
Gosh, people. Get a grip. What are we talking about… 5-10 minutes? A whopping 20 minutes? And for this, we’re gonna take it to the streets like gangstas?
I’ve had my driveway blocked more than once and been blocked in by a double parked car when I returned from shopping. And yes, it is maddening. But to become gaas mentchen? PLeaseNovember 16, 2010 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #710554
Squeak. In your reply to Helpful you say that “it’s out and out Mesirah”. But if the homeowner has an emergency. should he go ask the Ruv a Shailah. the ruv will look up the answer in Shulchan Aruch and SHu”t and after 20 minutes (average.) will give him permission to call a tow truck. Homeowner goes home, looks in the Yellow Pages for tow company. Calls tow company, who tell him that all trucks are out. Call back in 20 Minutes. Finally, company tells homeowner, truck is on the way. As the truck pulls in front of the house, driver comes back and pulls off without saying a word, after having a pizza & coffee and a good schmooz.November 16, 2010 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #710555
Sigh. From the comments here, I see a whole lotta people that could stand to move (and stay) out of town.
Grass, trees, space between homes….
Doesn’t sound so bad. 🙂
Now if we could only open up a KD…..I would get really fat 🙁November 16, 2010 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #710556
No way, GAW. You need to stay right where you are, as your neighborhood cannot afford to lose you.
I’m willing to bet you’ve been blocked before, and have circled and circled looking for a spot (as have most of us)
But take it to the street? Na, that’s not your style.November 16, 2010 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm #710557
I know this thread is specifically about blocking driveways, I just wanted to add something about blocking parked cars.
On days of alternate side parking one side of the street has to be completely cleared for approx 2 hours. Officially its illegal to double park on the other side. However, for those 2 hours its overlooked and u will not be ticketed.
Very often I see people who want to drive off, but they CANT because they are parked next to the curb, and they are blocked by a double parked car.
Please practice some mentchlechkeit. If u will temporarily double park your car due to alternate side parking, and your blocking in another car, leave a telephone number on your car where u can be reached so that u can move your car if necessary.November 16, 2010 8:31 pm at 8:31 pm #710558
Jam – true. But you should only double park those times in a manner that you are not completely blocking someone from leaving. Otherwise what if you are in shul with your tefilin davening when he calls?November 16, 2010 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #710559
thats because the 66th precinct is the lazy mans NYPD, come in from the Verrezano talk to Tony, Mario and Carmine give your ticket quota for standing by a dubious no standing sign and wait to get your $60,000 pension and move to Sarasota.November 16, 2010 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #710560
“But you should only double park those times in a manner that you are not completely blocking someone from leaving”
Helpful – That would be another form of mentchlechkeit.November 16, 2010 8:58 pm at 8:58 pm #710561
Once a neighbor parked in my driveway.
Then he had to leave his car.
It was a mistake, he apologized, Vaiter.
Was I annoyed? yes. But know what, he is 99.9% of the time a great neighbor and a good friend (and I’m happy to have a frum neighbor as well).
P.S. I like my grass and trees; why should I move?November 16, 2010 9:25 pm at 9:25 pm #710562
Helpful, I don’t understand why you are directing that comment to me. My point was that when someone is driving in the street, he has no way of knowing if a given driveway is legal or not. Are you suggesting something else?
Squeak, calling a private tow company is not mesirah since the company is not the government. I sincerely hope that you are not suggesting that when someone violates the law, as well as Halacha, by blocking another’s driveway, AND the property owner has no possibility of bringing a din Torah since he has no way of knowing the identity of the illegal parker, that the property owner is wrong in calling the police.
Better yet, please ask your rav if someone who deliberately blocks driveways under the cloak of anonymity is allowed to shout “Mesirah!” when the property owner uses the only remedy left to him which is calling the police.
[Replies to others, following]November 16, 2010 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #710563
homeowner is right; calling a tow truck is dina l’nafshei, not mesira. still complicated, especially in light of dubious property right.November 16, 2010 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #710564
Click below for information on filing a complaint:November 16, 2010 9:48 pm at 9:48 pm #710565
Homeowner, from your post it seems that you are claiming to be a Rav. A piece of friendly advice to you, don’t claim to be something you are not. You could get into trouble for it. Are you really a homeowner? I sure hope so….
PBA- I was kidding with myfriend Helpful about mesirah. I had no idea that the tow truck company has nothing to do with the city. Obviously, if it is not the government then “moiser” doesn’t apply in that sense.November 16, 2010 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #710566
Dave Hirsch, Bravo!
PBA, No problem. To reiterate, I live in an old house, the driveway is absolutely legal. I have actually had the DOB here to confirm it.
so right, That’s not the entire story. Originally driveways had to be only eight feed wide according to the engineer I hired. When the Buildings Code was changed, as is often the case, existing properties were “grandfathered in.” Those of us who have old, narrow, but nevertheless legal driveways that cannot be widened are at the mercy of the illegal parkers.
BP Totty, Excuse me, but you don’t know the particulars of every single situation so it’s really not for you to say what is and what is not important to someone you don’t even know. I submit that this is the precise attitude that got us into this situation. (Not saying that you engage in these parctices, just talking about those who say, “I was only there for one minute.”)
Here are some examples:
1. You go out to buy dinner. They prepare you a hot meal to go for which, of course, you pay good money. When you get home, your driveway is blocked and it takes you an hour to get in with your cold, ruined meal.
2. You’re on the way home, you haven’t been feeling so great and would really like to use the bathroom. How’s that 15 minute wait feel now?
3. You need to leave for work. You need to back out of the driveway but some chazzer has taken a few feet of your driveway figuring (as they always do) “he has enough space.” Of course, judging distances on the side while backing, is very difficult so it takes you quite a while, enough for you to be late for work. To add insult to injury, you have to back your car over the curb and this causes you to damage the undercarriage to the tune of $3,000. Yes, it happened to me.
4. You have a sick relative. The doctor says, “bring her in to see me right away.” (Note, he didn’t say “go to the emergency room,” but “come to the office.”) You can’t leave the driveway because it’s blocked. How do you feel? How does your relative feel? Can anyone justify this?
I could go on, but how on earth can you say “Get a grip”?November 16, 2010 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #710567
squeak I have never, ever claimed to be a rav. If you can show any post in which I did, take it to the moderators. If you can’t, then apologize now. If you read my other posts as well as the profile I posted on YWN, I say multiple times that I am a lawyer.November 16, 2010 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm #710568
“It was a mistake, he apologized, Vaiter.”
My point exactly, GAW
All the senarios you list are true. But is it possible that SOME OF THOSE exact things happened to the person who parked in your spot for the 5-10 minutes? Not saying that it did, but what if the person had to run upstairs with his 5 year old, to reach the bathroom in time, and comes back to slashed tires? Or a sticker on the windsheild?
All I’m saying is, we need to back off a bit, that’s all.November 16, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm #710569
people block my driveway all the time. i always call 311 and my local precinct right away, because to tow it, the car has to first be ticketed. since the cops really dont care, and its low on their priority list I can be stuck without my driveway for hours, so I keep a gluestick and signs saying DONT BLOCK MY DRIVEWAY waiting by the front door :-)why shouldnt i have some fun with it?
Wolf, when i glue signs on the cars, i place them only on windows, and with a gluestick not crazy glue. this is similar and a lot easier to remove then those annoying yellow department of sanitation stickers. it is a nuisance to remove, but not as much of a nuisance as being stuck without my – legal – drivewayNovember 16, 2010 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm #710570
Wolf, when i glue signs on the cars, i place them only on windows, and with a gluestick not crazy glue. this is similar and a lot easier to remove then those annoying yellow department of sanitation stickers. it is a nuisance to remove, but not as much of a nuisance as being stuck without my – legal – driveway
But is it right to create a nuisance for someone else just because they did for you? I’m not convinced that it is.
Trust me, I understand your plight… and inwardly I can appreciate what you’re trying to do and can understand the sense of satisfaction from doing it. But nonetheless, I’m not at all convinced that it’s the right thing to do.
The WolfNovember 16, 2010 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm #710571
Can you not agree with the simple proposition that one who is inconsiderate towards others would possibly learn from being on the receiving end, and thus might possibly change their behavior? I am not asking you to agree that he “deserved it”, rather that sometimes you have to be obnoxious to obnoxious people to get them to see the effects of their actions.November 16, 2010 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm #710572
Can you not agree with the simple proposition that one who is inconsiderate towards others would possibly learn from being on the receiving end, and thus might possibly change their behavior?
Yes, he would. He would also learn if the homeowner slapped him in the face or did any of half-a-dozen other things to him too. That doesn’t necessarily make it right.
Look, I really understand his position… and in his shoes, I’d probably be *highly* tempted to do the same. And furthermore, I agree there is some form of “justice” to it. But in the end, as my mother always taught me, two wrongs don’t make a right.
The WolfNovember 16, 2010 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm #710573
Do you then disagree with the Department of Sanitation’s program of yellow stickers on the windows of alternate side violators? I am not asking if you like having to scrap it off your window, but do you disagree with their program?November 17, 2010 12:17 am at 12:17 am #710574
Do you then disagree with the Department of Sanitation’s program of yellow stickers on the windows of alternate side violators?
As a matter of fact, I do. But don’t expect me to fight City Hall on this. 🙂
The WolfNovember 17, 2010 12:49 am at 12:49 am #710575
Sanitation is government and when they do it, it’s legal; like a fine.November 17, 2010 12:51 am at 12:51 am #710576
Regarding the issue of mesirah:
Does it make a difference in determining whether it is mesirah, if all factors being the same, the only difference is in once case the homeowner calls a private tower to tow, or in another case the homeowner calls a government tower to tow?
Is it mesirah to call the local precinct to have the vehicle ticketed (for blocking your driveway)?
Is it mesirah to report that a curb-cut (in front of the homeowners driveway) is illegal?
If a homeowner is responsible for fixing cracks (wear and tear) on the public sidewalk in front of his house, is it mesirah to report it to the city, if the city’s only action would be to enforce the homeowners obligations, with no other penalty (assuming the homeowner complied upon demand)?November 17, 2010 1:24 am at 1:24 am #710577
“so I keep a gluestick and signs saying DONT BLOCK MY DRIVEWAY waiting by the front door”
Probably just putting the note under his windshield wiper with a statement that his license has been recorded would serve the same effect.November 17, 2010 1:34 am at 1:34 am #710578
Thank you for your message. You have neatly summed up exactly what’s wrong with the attitude of most driveway blockers. Here it is:
You say, “. . .what if the person had to run upstairs with his 5 year old, to reach the bathroom in time. . .” but you’re missing something very important–that person has no right to use my driveway without my permission. I often ask people who do this the following question, “If you decided that your situation justifies illegal parking, then why not park at the fire hydrant?”
The reason they don’t is plainly and simply because they take advantage of their fellow Jew. They know that the police will ticket hydrant blockers on their own without a complaint but require a complaint to ticket driveway blockers.
Tell me, BPT do you agree with hydrant blocking under the circumstances you describe? I’m assuming you’re not a lawyer, so take a guess: what do you think the odds are of success in using that as a defense to illegal parking at a hydrant? Let me answer my own question: nicht gut.
By the way, you endorse GAW’s statement “It was a mistake, he apologized, Vaiter.” That’s nice. You know how often I receive an apology, or something coming close to an apology? Rarely. So rare in fact that I often have to say to offenders, “Aren’t you forgetting something?” When they look puzzled, I add, “How about saying ‘I’m sorry?'”
You have no right to block my driveway. Period. Disrespect in Borough Park is outrageous. As the owner of a house, I can be subject to tickets for having garbage on the sidewalk. Who is leaving empty bags of potato chips with brand names like Machmirim on the ground? It’s not the day laborers. I’ve stopped yeshiva kids who are littering and asked them where they learned this. They too do not apologize.
By the way, BPT, do you also think someone is allowed to throw a used diaper in my recycled bottles garbage can? I could be subject to a fine up to $1,500 for that. Is that okay with you?November 17, 2010 3:40 am at 3:40 am #710579
My friends and I accidentally parked on somebody’s “airstrip” in the middle of Alaska, 250 miles from the nearest town. The guy said if we do it again, he’ll cut a trench around the car.November 17, 2010 2:06 pm at 2:06 pm #710580
A couple of months ago, I was in Boro Park for a function at Ateres Chyna. We parked six blocks away. My friend was careful to park his SUV midway between two driveways so that neither party would be inconvenienced. We saw a lot of cars on this and other streets parked so that it would have been possible but a bit tricky for the homeowner to enter or leave via the driveway.
To me, the illegal driveways don’t matter. They take one or two cars off the street, and so improve the parking situation somewhat. I also don’t think that I have a right to park carelessly because I am in a hurry or I don’t know the Yid whose house I have my car in front of.November 17, 2010 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #710581
Homeowner, have you tried parking your car blocking in the offender? If you’ve been inconvenienced for 20 minutes, leave your car there for 20 minutes so he understands. Its not about revenge, its about understanding.
The only time I would block a driveway is if I was staying in the car and needed a place to pull over. Then I could move if the homeowner came back.November 17, 2010 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #710582
The other night someone parked in my driveway (one that I pay to use, and I have seen the permit that states it is 100% legal) with a placard in the front window that claimed the car was on official police business. I called the local precinct and asked if they were aware of any official police business on my block that required someone to block my driveway. They were unaware of any. I was prepared to go into the simcha hall across the street (which this person was likely at) and was going to ask the musician to announce that Grey Oddesey license plate number xxx is about to be towed, but my wife decided the best course of action would be to make it impossible for him/her to pull out. So with the help of a neighbor I parked up on the bumper in the front and he the same in the back and we waited for this person to come back. I told him I already reported his license plate to the local precinct (I didnt) and how he is abusing/misusing this placard which he probably has illegally to begin with, of course he is free to call them back and explain the official police business at the bar mitzvah. He didnt look very happy. Let him sweat a little.November 17, 2010 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #710583
I’ll say this much Homeowner; If I ever get into legal trouble, you are the esq I want leading my dream team (assuming you handle criminal law).
But as a neighbor or mechutin? Uh, maybe not.November 17, 2010 8:41 pm at 8:41 pm #710584
We lived next door to a dentist. My father a”h was a baker and worked evenings. He was a very menthliche man and gave rides to everyone. Even went out in storms with only an hour or two sleep in the morning to pick up kids from bus stops and drive them to school and drive people to work. Then went back to sleep. My neighbor didn’t let his tenant put their big carriage in his garage so my father let them use ours. He would come home early mornings like 4:00am pull the carriage out drive his car in and put the carriage back in all seasons, all types of weather. Just so you know he was a mentch.
Anyway, people often blocked the driveway and he was a stickler for being on time. So he would go out and honk the horn for the person to move their car. In most cases the person would come running out full of apologies and my father waved him/her off no problem. One time that I remember, he kept honking and honking and no one came out. He went next door to the dentist and no one claimed to be the owner of the car. Neighbors started to gather and he got very upset. It was getting late and he had to get to work. He let the air out of the car’s tires and called the police to ticket the car, then a neighbor gave him a ride to work. I don’t know how he got home that morning.November 17, 2010 8:58 pm at 8:58 pm #710585
Homeowner, you have valid reasons for being upset. As a former BPer I understand completely. It is overcrowded and people do not have the respect for others that was once part and parcel of the neighborhood a generation and two ago.
Many years ago, I was in BP Erev Shabbos. A car in front of me just stopped blocking traffic to empty out his carload of passengers and items. There was a space, be it a driveway, hydrant or whatever a car space or two ahead but he did not pull over. The cars were lining up behind me all the way to the corner of the block but he did not seem to be bothered. I put my car in park and got out to tell him to pull over. He looked at me like I was nuts and yelled at me “NU, its Erev Shabbos!” I yelled back “Nahr, just for you???? Its Erev Shabbos for me and the other 15 people behind me as well!! Are you deaf and blind as well as dumb?”
Then he looked passed me to see the line up of cars behind me, turned purple, closed his doors and pulled over. Haoloam nivra bishvili! The world is created for me! The problem is they forget there are millions of “me’s” out there that Hashem created the world for.November 18, 2010 1:57 am at 1:57 am #710587
“Is it mesirah to call the local precinct to have the vehicle ticketed (for blocking your driveway)?”
Yes its mesirah. Its mesirah to call the police for anything involving another yid unless there is real sakanas nefashos like if hes attacking you right now.November 18, 2010 3:36 am at 3:36 am #710588
aries2756, Thank you for your message. Your father A”H sounds like a real inspiration.
BPT, apparently rather than respond to anything I write, you just can’t resist a zinger. Okay, I’ll tell you what. Please send me a DO NOT BLOCK THE DRIVEWAY sign for my house and in return, I will have delivered to you one for your driveway that reads HEFKER.
🙂November 18, 2010 1:16 pm at 1:16 pm #710589
Homeowner, do you think it is mesirah to call the cops on a HEFKER car? Can a car be a yid or a goy? Would it then be male or female? Would it matter then if it had a Hebrew name or a Yiddish name? In that sense would 4 flat tires be considered four broken legs c”v? At least they weren’t slashed, they might have bled to death!! B”H, a little CPR and techias hamesim!!!
Homeowner, I like your attitude, if you can’t get through just sing their song.November 18, 2010 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #710590
Thank you for your kind words.
I only pasken for myself. 🙂 However, regarding your question about the religion of the motor vehicle, I think if in doubt, cut the tailpipe.November 18, 2010 6:33 pm at 6:33 pm #710591
Homeowner, thanx, I needed a good laugh!November 18, 2010 6:51 pm at 6:51 pm #710592
I agree with the above posters that calling the cops to ticket a car is mesira.
It is also mesira to report the homeowner has an illegal driveway.November 18, 2010 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #710593
Its mesirah to call the police for anything involving another yid unless there is real sakanas nefashos like if hes attacking you right now.
I actually once called a cop to quickly adjudicate a case where someone* stole something from me. I was able to pretty quickly prove that it was mine, but he wouldn’t surrender it until the cops forced him to.
While I didn’t press charges, I guess I am a moser according to the definitions above. I called the cops and I wasn’t in any physical danger.
So, for all those who feel its a mitzvah to kill a moser, come and get me.
* Yes, it was a Jew.November 18, 2010 7:01 pm at 7:01 pm #710594
…and what’s with Dina Dimalchusa and Chilul Shem?November 18, 2010 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #710595
Theres something very wrong here. One would think from the title of the thread “Driveway Blocking In Borough Park” that this only goes on in Boro Park which is absolute baloney. It goes on in all neighborhoods so dont pick on BP!November 18, 2010 7:23 pm at 7:23 pm #710596
When you say all neighborhoods, you mean also Flatbush and the rest of Brooklyn. It does not go on in Queens, and certainly not out of town.November 18, 2010 7:31 pm at 7:31 pm #710597
It does go on in Queens and elsewhere.
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