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Three Reasons Not to Block Someone’s Gate

MsDora, former teacher and Certified Christian Counselor shares tips for smooth relationships with friends and encounters with strangers.

Most mornings when I draw my blackout curtains, my first view of the outdoors consists of purple, pink and yellow flowers along my side fence, the wild bushes in various shades of green on an empty lot across the street, the sky blue above and the ocean blue in the distance.

One morning, that beautiful scenery was interrupted by one of the major features I dislike in my neighborhood. No, the colors were still there, but my sense of sight was momentarily diminished by the thoughtlessness of two drivers. What did these drivers do? They blocked my gates.

No Legal Satisfaction

Suddenly, the action of blocking gates became a matter for attention. My research online and in consultation with a local authority informed me that:

  • Putting cones or any other obstacles in the street (without permission from the local authority) to prevent parking in front of one's gate can result in prosecution for causing obstruction.
  • Everyone has the same right to park anywhere on the street as long as there is no obstruction to the street; one can report to the local authority about obstruction to private property, but such issues do not make the priority list.
  • No one has permission to ram or tow the transgressor’s car.

These facts seem to say that the issue of not blocking (or blocking) someone’s gate or driveway is left to the discretion of the would-be offender whether he or she possesses (or lacks) consideration, cooperation, and good conscience. These three virtues provide good reason for not blocking someone's gate.

1. Consideration

"Intensely selfish people ... do not waste their energies in considering the good of others." ― Ouida

Consideration is the process of thinking carefully about something to be done. The considerate person looking for parking on a street will question, "Will parking here inconvenience anyone? How much will it hurt me to find a space where I do not block the gate and walk a few extra steps to my destination?" Such consideration would have spared me two major inconveniences in the past.

(a) No Parking for the Ambulance

My mother’s illness was worsening and I called the hospital emergency room for consultation. The doctor’s recommendation was for her to come in, and he arranged for transportation by ambulance. When I realized that there was no parking space in front of the house, I turned into a madwoman running out in the street and screaming for somebody to move and allow the ambulance to get close to the gate. Perhaps I overreacted, but who has time to reason when the only options seem to be life or death?

(b) Late for Church

Being late for church may not be a big deal, but it saps mental and spiritual energy when an individual is dressed up in their Sabbath best and forced to sit on the porch waiting helplessly for an irresponsible driver. It would not have helped for me to repeat my mad performance because the driver was too far away to hear me. After almost 30 minutes, he walked up to his car with a broad smile and a gentle sorry.

So, consider the Golden Rule: "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you." (Matthew 7:12)

2. Cooperation

"Nothing truly valuable can be achieved except by the unselfish cooperation of many individuals."― Albert Einstein

Cooperation, like charity, begins at home—in the resident neighborhood. Good neighbors cooperate to achieve a welcoming neighborhood in which they practice mutual respect and trust. Although none can lay claim to the portion of the street outside the gate, they consider that it is neighborly kindness to leave that space for those who live inside the gate. Folks who adopt this practice within their neighborhoods are more likely to practice it when they visit their relatives and associates across town.

Lack of cooperation can result in vexations, quarrels, and revenge tactics. Who needs emotional setbacks like isolation and hostility in the community when it has been proven that good neighbors are good for one’s health?"

"When you're thinking of strategies to manage stress,” counsels Elizabeth Scott, MS, “consider investing in your relationships with your neighbors.” Cooperate.

Cooperation Won This Challenge


3. Conscience

It is neither right nor safe to go against my conscience.”
― Martin Luther

A good conscience dictates that an individual does what is right even when no one is looking. No witness is necessary for the offender to hear the voice inside his head drumming “This is wrong” or “You know better.” The kind, unselfish person may not be able to hear much else for the entire time his car is blocking someone’s gate. He may return and move his vehicle even before he originally planned to; or when he moves it, he may plan not to do it again.

Residents who shared their blocked-gate experience online have referred to the transgressors as knuckle brain, selfish retard, complete jackass and worse. But more important than what other people call them is what their consciences say they are.

Circumspect? Compassionate? Conscientious? These virtuous names are reserved for people who do not block other people's gates.

Blocked Gates Poll

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2018 Dora Weithers


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2018:

Natalie, thanks for sharing your difficulties with blocked gates. Sorry about having to spend so much money and losing so much opportunity because of other people's thoughtlessness. If we could just put away our selfishness, and look out for each other instead of indulging in actions which are "arrogant and just plain wrong."

Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on September 12, 2018:

I know how vexing this problem is as it happens where I live as well. Chicago is known for lack of parking so people routinely block driveways and on occasion even side streets. Reporting it to my landlord results in asking for the license plate number so he can keep a record of it but nothing else as he has no recourse to tow the car. I usually leave a note under the wipers and try to wait for the owner to move. I have missed classes, services and had to pay almost over $500 so far in Uber and Lyft fares to go to things like job interviews or get to the airport. Your issues with the Ambulance is just terrible. If it was life or death they would have to just park in the street, which is common place here, and then block everyone until they had the patient stabilized and inside. Being unable to have cars towed when they do this sort of thing is odd to me. If you live in a city with limited transportation options this can really be a problem causing loss of income, financial hardship not to mention the aggravation factor. I. too have been known to run up and down the street like a mad woman trying to find a driver when I had signed up for an expensive class and if you missed the first one you couldn't take the series. The closest Uber was 20 minutes away and by the time I would have called them, I would have missed 45 minutes to an hour for a shared ride or likely close over 30 minutes for a solo ride which would have cost a fortune due to it being peak. I missed the class and thus the whole series and only got a partial refund. I never was able to take the class after that and still regret not having the opportunity. If people would stop and realize that they need to do the right thing and what the consequences of blocking people in as opposed to thinking, "I'll just be here for a minute," when they know they won't, or "What's the chance that the owner of that one car will need to get out while I'm here?" when it they do, it just isn't fair. Wrongly putting our own needs over those of others is more than just irresponsible, it is arrogant and just plain wrong. Thanks for pointing out what may seem like a simple issue but one that needs to be paid attention to as to what it says about us when we do such things.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 10, 2018:

Shauna, I can relate. Thanks for sharing. It boils down to selfishness. True, there is no law that tells people where you park, but you think that they would consider that the person inside the gate may need to come out; and then there's the Golden Rule.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 10, 2018:

Dora, I don't know why people block driveways. I live on a narrow street. The other day two cars were parked across from my driveway. It's a good thing I didn't have anywhere to go, because I wouldn't have been able to back out without driving on my lawn.

Another time, the young couple next door to me were having a party. Their guests parked on both sides of the road despite the fact that there are No Parking signs all along my side of the street. We also live a block up from a fire station. On this party day, the fire truck was trying to get through to make it to a call and there was no room for the truck to maneuver without literally running over one of the parked cars. They actually had to call the cops who interrupted the party next door to have the violators move their vehicles.

Some people are just inconsiderate. Or clueless.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 26, 2018:

Thanks Laura. It really was a good vent. I appreciate your comment.

Laura Smith from Pittsburgh, PA on June 25, 2018:

It's not asking much to expect people to show respect for your property. I think that people have difficult neighbors everywhere. It can be really frustrating. This article was a really good way to blow off some steam.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 25, 2018:

Manatita, thank you for sharing. True, selfishness is more prevalent that we may choose to admit; we have to confront it sometimes, like you did; sometimes we just recognize it and move on. God grant us the wisdom to know when to do what.

manatita44 from london on March 24, 2018:

All great pointers, but the consideration one got me. Perhaps because empathy is such a beautiful thing if it's not lacking. Alas, happens to often.

Let me digress briefly. I was getting a phone call every Wednesday after Poetry Café performances. It was a particular poet who kept asking me about his work and giving me work to correct. I did this many times. But the time came when I noticed that he only talked about himself and his work and never once asked how I felt.

Recently I was correcting one of his books. I had the flu and text to say that I'll be a bit late with the final product. No response. He called two days later, only to ask if the work was done.

Nothing about 'are you better?' 'how do you feel now ...' It dawned on me that he was only interested in himself and this time I told him that I found him selfish and would not do work for him anymore.

I saw him next day and for the first time, he remained silent. There are so many stories of selfish people. Doesn't help, of course and so if your Hub can serve in any way, then kudos to it here. Higher blessings.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 20, 2018:

Thanks, Dianna. You know they say that common sense is not that common. So we probably have to keep on teaching.

Dianna Mendez on March 19, 2018:

Occasionally we have people park on our grass or block the mail box. Don't know what I would do if someone blocked my drive way. Seems like people would have sense enough to know not to!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 11, 2018:

Thanks, Bill. Perhaps they see it, but they are too selfish or too busy to consider doing the right thing. Too bad, we they have the right to choose the wrong.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on March 11, 2018:

Hi, Dora. To me, it looks like common sense. But then again, that's just my opinion. I'm sure others don't see it that way. Good thoughts to ponder! Thanks.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 09, 2018:

Thank you, Chris. I appreciate your encouragement.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on March 08, 2018:

Dora, you are such a reasonable person with a beautiful spirit. These are very powerful points you have made. Thanks for the reminders.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 06, 2018:

Thanks, Frank. Good for you. The people in your neighborhood are obviously more considerate, or you have much more space. You're lucky!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on March 06, 2018:

MsDora it has never happened to me but I get the frustration... and I'm glad you hubbed about it and gave us three reasons not to block...thank you for sharing

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 06, 2018:

Chitrangada, even without laws people should be more thoughtful and sensible. Thanks for your input.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 06, 2018:

Devika, thanks for sharing. People are inconsiderate, yes. Seems they come to try our patience.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 05, 2018:

You raise an important issue in this article.

It’s not at all right to block someone’s entrance gate. I don’t know, if there are any laws, or not to prevent this, but people should be thoughtful and considerate.

Thanks for drawing attention, through your article.

DDE on March 05, 2018:

Interesting title! I do have the problem of other people parking in front of our drive-way..at the entrance, most annoying. I often say it is inconsiderate of them to do so.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 05, 2018:

Thanks for sharing Peg. I can imagine that many times you started your day with an emotional setback due to someone's disrespect and irresponsibility. How much better life would be if everyone considered the interest of the other person!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 05, 2018:

Thanks, Linda. I see the danger but perhaps venting is all that I can do for now. Individuals have to take responsibility for doing the right thing.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on March 05, 2018:

It seems incredibly thoughtless for people to block the entrance to one's property. Like you said, the ambulance access was restricted and your ability to leave was also blocked.

When I owned a small shop in an historic downtown square, parking was severely limited. I often found the neighboring business merchants parked in front of my door. Usually when I arrived, I had a load of furniture to unload or load for delivery to customers. It was a constant source of aggravation.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 04, 2018:

Parking in front of someone's gate is certainly rude. What concerns me even more is that it's potentially dangerous, as it was when your mother needed to go to the hospital. I hope you find a solution for the problem.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 04, 2018:

Thanks Demas, for reading and commenting with good advice. Doable!

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on March 04, 2018:

I could identify with "Park your own car there." It happens here regularly. If it gets to be someone's habit, I put a note under the windshield wiper asking that more respect be shown for my Exit/Entrance.

Caught this one: "...does what is right even no one is looking. "

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 04, 2018:

Thanks, Jackie. Selfishness seems to blind those who possess. They see no one but themselves. I appreciate your input.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 04, 2018:

Thanks, Don. Blocking a driveway is considered an obstruction (that is, if you're on the individual's property) but not parking on the street, which is the case for me.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 04, 2018:

Tim, thanks for your valuable input, including your apologies on behalf of others. "Thoughtless" is a good word to describe these people.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 04, 2018:

Denise, you raise a good point. It can happen without wilful evil intent; still it could cause a problem. Glad that the resident only raved.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 04, 2018:

Thanks Ioannis. You may have a point there. We give what we have. Have no respect; give no respect.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 04, 2018:

Thanks, Glen. Good idea, but I'll have to get permission and don't think the authorities will let me have it permanently. I guess that I can ask.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 04, 2018:

Thanks, Nikki. It seems that the sign wins the popular vote. I'll look into it.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 04, 2018:

Thanks, Mary. I understand your suggestion but I just hate for other people to dictate what I do. Will consider it, though.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 04, 2018:

Thanks, Flourish. I may try that sign after all and hope that it helps.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 04, 2018:

Thanks, Bill. It seems to me that one alternative to patience will be worry. So I try to stay calm.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 04, 2018:

Thanks, Louise. I'v thought about that sign, but I have doubts that it will change anything. Still, perhaps I ought to try it.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on March 04, 2018:

Oh it is so rude of people to do this, like the world was made for them and no one else matters. That is where it is very hard to be that good Christian, isn't it? And it does not even seem wrong! I sometimes hope for the bugger man to get them! Maybe not forever but just enough to teach them a lesson!

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on March 04, 2018:

I thought it was illegal to block access to driveways and such. At a church I used to go to, we got constant remindeers that we should not block access to driveways across from the church.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on March 04, 2018:

It's incredibly rude and thoughtless to be inconsiderate of another human being that way. I like the idea of putting up a "no parking" sign presented by your other readers.

Let me offer my apologies for what you had to endure, Ms. Dora. I will pray for those thoughtless souls that didn't care enough about what you were going through to be kind.

I try to practice the inverted Golden Rule: Do not do to others what you would not want done to you.

It makes you consider more the consequences of your actions. Would parking here be a problem for my neighbor?

Thank you for this reminder to be kind and care for your neighbors.



Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on March 04, 2018:

I had an experience where I was the one who inadvertently blocked another's path to the street, and although I had planned to be in the house only for a moment, it was long enough to hear the raving person who came out letting me know I needed to move my vehicle. Since then, I have been much more careful and made sure that where I parked could not be construed to be in front of someone else's path to the street. When we block someone else's path by choice, we need to be prepared for the consequences of doing so!

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on March 04, 2018:

If you can't respect your neighbor or any other human, if you can't respect the rights and needs of other beings, you will never respect yourself.

Glen Rix from UK on March 04, 2018:

Some people are infuriatingly inconsiderate. In your situation, I would try to source a parking cone.

Nikki Khan from London on March 04, 2018:

There shouldn’t be any patience for such people who don’t care for others.I am with FlourishAnyway and Bill and yes, ‘A Sign’ to tell ‘Do not park here.’

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 04, 2018:

I will find that annoying as well. When people see it is a gate for a car, the usual thing to do is not park in front of it. I will be furious if I can't get out. Maybe, the best is to park your own car there. I feel bad for you.

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 04, 2018:

I’d put up a sign on the gate that says, “Do not block gate.” I’m with Bill. You have a lot of patience.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 04, 2018:

Some people are simply thoughtless. Others simply do not care if they inconvenience others...You have much more patience than I have in a situation like that.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on March 04, 2018:

Well I think it's rude blocking someone's gate for one thing. There's a lot of notices I see where people say not to block access. Some people are very inconsiderate though.

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