Bushy Bushes

by admin on March 16, 2017

I have a seemingly simple question and would like advice as to how to go about handling it.

I am fortunate to have a very short commute to work, less than fifteen minutes, the majority of which involves mostly back-country roads over/through some mountainous area. At the ‘T” intersection of one of the smaller roads and a larger, two-lane road is where I’m having the issue. To the left of the intersection is a drainage ditch with barrier and the road slightly curves in such a way that the barrier partially blocks the sight line of oncoming traffic. It’s possible to creep out _just_ far enough to see oncoming traffic without risking getting clipped on the front bumper by another car. To the right is a very curvy road that is also coming down hill towards the intersection. At the corner of this intersection sits a private residence. They have a row of bushes that runs along their property to the right of the intersection. I turn left to go to work. The bushes have several branches that obscure the field of vision to the right. In order to see oncoming, downhill traffic from the right, I have to creep far enough out into the road that I run a real and serious risk of getting broadsided from traffic coming from the left.

I know the street name and the house number, but I don’t personally know the people who live there. I don’t know if I want to go to the township first about the obstructed view. Would it be an egregious overstepping of bounds if I send a note via snail-mail (I’m too awkward to get out and march up to their door) and politely ask them to trim back the bushes? They wouldn’t need to be completely removed and they’d only need some of the more errant branches to be trimmed back. Should I offer to help them do it? Also, can I sign my initials or must I leave my full name (and corresponding contact information for the offer to help trim). I’m skittish about doing that because, worst case scenario, they turn out to be stark raving lunatics. Am I overthinking the whole darned thing? 0922-16

In the US, most county and state governments either have the rights to or outright own the easement from the road back into the landowner’s property for the purposes of possible road widening in the future, maintenance of drains and sidewalks, trimming tree branches from power and telephone lines that parallel the road and to keep vegetation that obstructs drivers’ views trimmed.     I would contact the local government’s highway/transportation department and bring those branches to someone’s attention as a driving hazard.   They would then contact the property owner to advise them of the need to trim the bushes and inform them that a crew will be out on a specific date to do that.

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Mojo March 16, 2017 at 2:57 am

Same problem when we lived in Birmingham; the overgrown hedge of a office building blocked the sight lines on the corner of our street.

I asked the company renting the place, but they said it was the landlord’s problem. They wouldn’t give me his number and said they’d contact him, but also said he was a lazy ass landlord and probably wouldn’t do anything.

Nothing happened so I contacted the city council about the hazard. They contacted the landlord and he was forced to sort it out. Go through your local council (or US equivalent). You remain anonymous and the owner has to comply.

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Marie March 16, 2017 at 3:34 am

Admin is completely right. Take it through the official channels, don’t go send letters yourself.

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TakohamoOlsen2 March 16, 2017 at 3:39 am

We had the same problem here in Perth. Waiting at a bus stop, it was difficult to see past the growth of trees. In my case, the trees grew on the Council owned verge. I contacted them, they came to trim the trees, problem solved. Same with OP, contact the local council to speak to the landowner.

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Mustard March 16, 2017 at 6:24 am

I think your first port of call should be to the local department responsible for road safety; you can’t be the only person who has an obstructed view at this junction. I think it would be way over the top to contact the owners of the bushes.

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klb4n6 March 16, 2017 at 6:32 am

I agree, definitely contact the township first. They should be paying attention to what areas need to be trimmed.

I understand your frustration though – my grandmother had a huge bush at the corner of her lot and it definitely obstructed the view. We all hated it (my family lived up the street so we drove by her house daily) but for some reason she refused to trim it back. One day a man came to her door and was very upset because he had nearly been hit because he couldn’t see because of the bush. She still didn’t trim it, and not long after the bush started dying. She was convinced that the man was throwing poison in the bush. She may have been right, she may have been crazy (well she definitely was, about a lot of other things) but either way that stupid bush died and was finally removed.

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KASS March 16, 2017 at 7:07 am

If the bushes were on the land owner’s property, then that would actually be a code enforcement issue. It would fall under a visibility triangle violation. I would suggest sending the owners a letter yourself kindly asking to have the trees trimmed back. If that doesn’t work, then call code enforcement and have them rectify the situation. The local municipality will send the owners a violation notice and that can cause trouble for them. If they’re reasonable people, I’d say give them a chance to rectify the issue without government getting involved. If not, then let the government have at it.

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SamiHami March 16, 2017 at 1:25 pm

The problem with that is there is no way of knowing that they are reasonable people. The OP could potentially open a can of worms if she approaches the homeowners directly. And then, if the local municipality forces them to trim them, they will know that OP is the “troublemaker” that caused them to have to do so. I think it’s wiser to go through channels and remain anonymous.

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KASS March 17, 2017 at 7:24 am

I should have been clearer. Since she doesn’t live around there, she could just send an anonymous letter to the neighbors and ask if they could please trim the trees back. That way there’s no interaction and no one knows who she is. If they haven’t done it in a reasonable time frame then, by all means, she should contact the local enforcement. But sometimes people just don’t realize the problem their property might be causing and might just need a friendly push in the right direction. Opening up a case on a property might cause some serious issues for the owners and, if they’re reasonable, they might really appreciate the opportunity to correct the issue before local government gets involved so they don’t face any fines 🙂 I would never encourage someone to try and handle it themselves if there was a chance the offenders could find out who they are. It just seems like a kind gesture and safe way to give the owners notice so they don’t get into trouble.

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Aleko March 16, 2017 at 8:13 am

Totally take the problem to the highways department and leave it with them. You shouldn’t even think about contacting the property owners yourself, because it is not *your* problem – it is a problem of public road safety.

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Outdoor Girl March 16, 2017 at 9:02 am

I would absolutely go to the local government agency in charge of roads in your area. You aren’t the only one being affected, here. I would also mention the drainage ditch barrier as being an issue; they may be able to modify that, too, to make it easier to see that direction.

If this was your neighbour and their bushes were affecting you being able to see to get out of your driveway? Then I would approach them first, because it would only be affecting you and your household and guests, not the public at large.

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JD March 16, 2017 at 9:12 am

The bushes are probably on the easement owned by the city/county anyway. You could send a note, asking them to trim them, and if you aren’t too sure about your own safety in doing so, leave it unsigned, but keep it friendly. That would give them a chance to trim before the city/county has to come do it. At least in our county, if road crews have to trim, they do it with all the finesse of a chain-saw massacre, leaving butchered trees and shrubs in their wake, so although my first inclination was just tell the road department and let them do it, my second was to give the owners a chance to trim the bushes nicely before the road department hacks them up. Around here, the owners won’t get a notice to do it themselves, from the county or city — the road crew will just show up one day, saws in hand, and start hacking away.

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Devin March 16, 2017 at 10:53 am

I was thinking this same thing. Having grown up in the county in the midwest about once a year the state road crews would come through and trim all the easements and even do controlled burns to clear out the ditches. Afterwards the road would looks like a post-apocalyptic scene untill the new growth started to turn greeen in late spring. I understand they do this because they only have the funds to clear each highway once a year (my state is in the top 5 for miles of highway and in the bottom 5 for state road funding). It is really sad when you see very nice fence lines and trees cut back to the stumps, but the state owns the land and it is cleared for safety.

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NostalgicGal March 16, 2017 at 9:43 pm

The county made sure the ditches were mowed at least once a year because of deer and the like hiding in the ditches. A cousin worked for the next county, and one year it was a terrible hay year-not much and often the only swipe with any yield was right at the road crown, and that is the one stripe they would mow with the huge rotary chain mower making it into chopped up mess. That summer we mowed the entire next county and baled it. Cousin would find out when what was supposed to be mowed and we showed up and baled it. Saved the county a fortune and we managed to get enough hay for the winter.

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Anon March 16, 2017 at 9:33 am

Absolutely do it.

My mom was in an accident where her car got totaled because the guy “couldn’t see the stop sign” because of branches covering the sign. Granted, there were a lot of branches and the stop sign may not have been that visible, but considering that she was on the main road and that he was on a side road and should have stopped anyway!…

Yes, please do it before someone gets hurt. My mom was fine because she managed to angle her car so that it was hit in the front and in the left-side passenger door, but it could have been much worse.

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Ashley March 16, 2017 at 11:06 am

There are several corners in my town where stuff like that happens.

The worst one is on a steep hill where the cross traffic has to stop for anyone going up or down the hill. For a while, one of the homes on the corner just didn’t seem to care about what their bushes were doing.

Then there was an accident.

Then the bushes FINALLY got trimmed.

That accident could have been avoided if someone had just said something.

I’d go through whoever is in charge of roads first. The idea of sending a letter just seems weird and stalkerish to me, AND is somehow less likely to actually get things done.

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Lynn March 16, 2017 at 11:24 am

Truthfully, the letter probably won’t do any good. As these bushes are on their property, they would likely drive by them and make that turn on a regular basis, and they have not seen the bushes as a problem that requires corrective action. An anonymous letter that they can write off as being from some “crank” isn’t going to change their perception on the issue.

So, like many others, I would not bother with the letter. Not because it would be rude, but because it would most likely be ineffective and would waste time. I would instead find out what local government agency handles issues like these and report it that direction. Or at least find out what the local requirements are.

Keep in mind that it is possible that they are within the letter of the law and nothing will be done. We had an intersection in the small town I grew up in that had huge bushes that obstructed the view of the oncoming traffic. They were reported by multiple people, but the owner was within the letter of teh law on the clearances (and the sheriff was the owner’s cousin, so he had no desire to push on the issue).

If nothing is done, I would avoid that intersection as much as is practicable and, at that point, might send the letter in hopes that it would spur some action.

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EllenS March 16, 2017 at 11:29 am

I’d even take it a step further – contacting them personally would not be more polite. It would be intrusive and a bit creepy. Personal notes are for personal relationships, and these folks are complete strangers to you.

You don’t get a personal opinion on how they keep their shrubbery, and to assert one would sound entitled and special-snowflakey. If it is a driving hazard, then it’s a matter for the road crews. That’s not only the correct, but the most polite way to handle it.

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Dee March 16, 2017 at 11:57 am

Definitely a safety issue, not an etiquette one. Where I live it could be a municipal, provincial or federal road, and so any correspondence should be sent on to all three parties to make sure the issue is seen by those responsible.

I would think it would be nearly impossible for a plant growing on private property to interfere with sight lines; a lot of property frontage/side yard, however, is often not private property but part of the roadway. The proper authorities will determine property lines and if the bushes are outside of the private property then there need be no debate and the plants will be clipped. If the plants are within property lines but somehow have grown way out of line and are interfering with sight lines then the authorities will advise the homeowner and so on. Either way, it is not a private matter between OP and the homeowner it’s a public matter, and those who are charged with its governance should be the ones handling it.

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kingsrings March 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Do not contact the owners! This is a serious safety concern and therefore the proper authorities should be contacted. You don’t want to take the chance that the owners could make a fuss about this or not take it seriously. “The bush has rights to not be trimmed back!” “Just don’t drive!” Lol.

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Julia March 16, 2017 at 12:15 pm

OK, I am going to state now and forever that the answer to the question is never, ever going to be a note left in a person’s mailbox.

I call these “bitchy neighbor notes,” and they’re irritating, intrusive, and craven. If you don’t like that my friend parked her car so close to your driveway last night, tell me to my face or leave me alone. If you think I’m breaking a city ordinance, call the local government. If you have a problem with me, knock on my door and we’ll discuss it. I’m not going to come after you with an ax or egg your car. Talk to me like a person, not like a fellow fourth grader who leaves a note in my desk reading, “U R A STINKY-POO.”

Several years ago, I was having horrible troubles with money and with my house. My backyard began to look bad. (In my town plants grow two feet every time you turn your back.) Was I happy with my yard? No. Did I have the ability to take care of my yard or the money to fix it up? No. Was it fenced in? Yes. Was anyone put in danger by my yard? No. Did I intend to take care of it as soon as my money issues balanced out (in a month or two)? Yes.

One day I came home to a bitchy neighbor note, “CLEAN YOUR YARD,” in my mailbox. Now, I knew who it was from because there was only one neighbor who had a second story and thus could see into my yard. I had never met him, but I’d seen him. If he had knocked on my door, we could have talked. I could have explained, and he could have told me (I had no way of knowing this at the time) that he was trying to sell his condo (there wasn’t a sign up or anything), and my yard made the neighborhood look bad. If we had talked, we could have worked something out, I’m sure. But no, he left me a note. So I rolled my eyes, thought about what a jerk he was, and threw it away.

A week later, some people from the city government came, looked at my yard, and told me I had to fix it ASAP or be in violation of some city code I knew nothing about. I said I would, and then I swallowed my pride, borrowed money from a good friend, and got some guys in to basically raze everything in my yard to the ground. The city guys came back in a couple weeks, congratulated me for dealing with the problem, and that was that.

Now, here’s the thing. I MUCH LESS MINDED the city guys than the note, though there’s no doubt the same guy contacted the city government. His first “contact” with me was this nasty little missive. His second approach went through the proper channels, and I learned that I was, in fact, breaking a city ordinance. I acknowledged my problems as an adult because I was treated as an adult.

Later, I did find out that the neighbor was trying to sell his place, which explained his need for my yard to be cleaned as a legitimate concern, not just someone’s being nosy or intrusive. If he had told me this like a human being, I would have realized that the “month or two” I was putting it off had a real impact on him.

So I ask everyone who’s read this far: if your neighbor is violating a city code, contact the city government. If your neighbor is just doing something you don’t like, talk to them like a person! If you’re actually worried about your safety knocking on a neighbor’s door (because we’re all so paranoid these days), bring a friend with you.

Just don’t do the note thing. It’s tacky.

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Dee March 17, 2017 at 12:43 am

If there was a problem (a real problem, not just a minor annoyance) with a neighbour I would only consider discussing it with them if I was well-acquainted with them and I knew they would be receptive to the concerns. Even then I might not discuss it first before contacting the authorities, because if I’ve noticed the problem then the neighbour obviously knows about it, and chooses to do nothing. There is no point trying to have a reasonable conversation with people who are comfortable with inconveniencing others.

In your case, Julie, if I was your neighbour, I would not be speaking with you first, as it would seem silly and redundant to tell you what you already know. That leaves the options of contacting the authorities or leaving a note, and I can’t fault someone if they chose to do the latter before doing the former.

At any rate, you proved that you did have the option of resolving the issue before the authorities were called, you just chose not to, and that might be a clue as to why your neighbour left a note instead of talking to you. That he was trying to sell his condo is irrelevant, the problem existed regardless, and there was no need, on his part, to reason with you. He’s not required to manage your behaviour, even though you made him do just that in the end. He clearly felt it was much more than a minor inconvenience and the authorities agreed; in light of this his note does not seem out of line at all but your response to it is.

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Julia March 18, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Hmm. If he is not required to manage my behavior, why did he leave me a note instructing me how to behave? What is the purpose of leaving a terse directive about something obvious other than trying to manage my behavior? I’m not following your logic here. Note that it’s not just the note I objected to, it was the content of the note, namely, that it was bitchy and little. CLEAN YOUR YARD. What good is that? What was the value of such a thing to me? How was I supposed to respond to it? “Oh! I didn’t realize my yard looks bad?”
I was not aware that I was at fault. My eight-foot-high fence covered the sight from the neighborhood (minus one person), and I was going to get to it as soon as I could. Borrowing money from a friend was galling to me, especially as I couldn’t pay it back for two months. However, upon learning through the proper channels that I was, indeed, at fault, I did what I had to do.

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Dee March 19, 2017 at 11:46 am

He was not required to manage your behaviour but since you didn’t manage it someone else had to, and thus you forced the role on him. That would make anyone bitchy. If you are not at fault for the condition of your property then who do you propose is? It sounds as if you are not a proactive person at all, just someone who reacts when they are pushed, and even then does not react well at all.

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Amanda H. March 19, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Did you miss the part where Julia mentioned that she didn’t KNOW her yard was in violation of a city code or a problem for others? It was just an overgrown yard on the inside of a fence that blocked the view. So no, just because the neighbor who left the note saw a problem doesn’t mean Julia also knew it was an actual problem, and likewise there’s a chance the owners of the bushes in OP’s submission don’t realize their bushes are an actual problem. Unless they’re making the same turn as OP, they might not be in a position to see that their bushes are blocking the view.

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Dee March 20, 2017 at 10:58 am

“My backyard began to look bad. Was I happy with my yard? No.” and “He could have told me … my yard made the neighbourhood look bad.” These are Julia’s words. She is saying that she clearly knew her yard was a problem before the neighbour left the note.

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Julia March 22, 2017 at 9:24 am

Thank you, Amanda. I had no idea at the time anyone was being affected by my yard except someone who had to go out on their balcony and lean forward to see it.

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Ulla March 17, 2017 at 4:50 am

I understand your point of view, but the thing is, even if YOU might not come after with axe or egg their car there are plenty of those people who would. You are Schrödinger’s axe murderer, and every one of us has to realize that, because we all are.

Now it would be very nice if civil discussion would be solution for every problem. Currently, it is not. I’m not a fan of anonyme notes myself either. But I understand why people choose that over direct contact. Nobody wants their car to be egged or crazy axe murderer after them. And what we need to realize too, generally, when there is “reason” to approach us with note, we ourselves have already shown that we are “suspicious”.

I mean, looking from the point of view of the neighbour and using your case as example: By letting the yard go, you have already shown that you are not one of the people he would consider reasonable. Because reasonable people would not let their yard go. Or reasonable people would not make noise during night or park on the wrong spot, looking for other situations. Note, I definitely don’t want to say that you are not reasonable person, I fully understand that in the situation you explained your choices were obviously very reasonable. But when the neighbour does risk assesment, he does not have the reasons but he does have one “suspicious” mark on you. So it’s not surprise he won’t approach you directly, only way to get the reasons would be to out himself to suspicious person.

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Julia March 18, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Agreed! If you don’t want to talk to your neighbor, then, use proper channels. That’s all I’m saying. An anonymous note isn’t a proper channel.

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Devin March 17, 2017 at 10:51 am

I think you are being a bit harsh on leaving notes for neighbors. If the neighbor stopped by and you werent home would you rather them wait around watching for you to get home, or just leave a note with the needed information. This note could have provided more information, which may have lead you to feel compassion for their situation, or at least understand they wanted to give you a chance to rectify your unneighborly behavior. Letting your yard become overgrown in addition to making the neighborhood look unkempt, is also a breeding ground for vermins like rats, skunks, and opossum. In some places, like Boston, the city will stop by and ticket you for such a violation without warning. Heck its like 40 bucks just for taking out your garbage cans an hour early! By writing a note, the neighbor hoped you’d clean up your yard without having you ticketed.
Passive agressive notes like “stop parking in front of my house” when its a public street, or “the leaves from your tree blew in my backyard” are obnoxious and need to stop, but a genuine city code violation notice before having you reported is appropriate.

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Julia March 18, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Well, I know if this note had been more than DO THIS NOW, I would have responded very differently. He could have explained why he was so suddenly interested in my yard. (He didn’t have to, but then, he didn’t have to leave a note in the first place.) He could have said something about how I was violating a city ordinance. He could even have asked if I were having some sort of difficulty finding someone to do the yard and left a reference! (As it happened, I was having trouble finding someone.)
Please notice I didn’t just say it was a note. It was specifically “a bitchy neighbor note.” It was not friendly or helpful or concerned or informative. I much preferred official channels.

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Kate March 17, 2017 at 1:44 pm

“If you’re actually worried about your safety knocking on a neighbor’s door (because we’re all so paranoid these days), bring a friend with you.”

It isn’t just immediate harm we are worried about, it is long term consequences. I have heard stories of “mysterious” slashed tires and keyed cars after talking to a neighbor, from good sources. I have also heard and experienced some neighbors, who seemed reasonable before being spoken to, who deliberately upped the behavior you spoke to them about afterwards.

I have no way of knowing if you (general you) are nice or a nasty person who is going to make my life he**. Better to stay anonymous and leave a note or better still go straight to the authorities. Being “polite” and speaking to you is not worth risking my health and safety.

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Julia March 18, 2017 at 12:28 pm

If you’re worried that someone is going to be nasty in their behavior after you talk to them about (barking dog / using leaf blower too early in the morning / parties too loud / horrible smells / possible meth lab), how will an anonymous note not engender the same reaction?
If you have a real problem with a neighbor and can’t “risk” actually speaking to them, skip the note and contact the authorities.
Personally, I’ve had lovely luck with my neighbors (minus one). I enjoy getting to know the people around me and have often taken in mail and petsat for them, and they have for me in return. I also introduce myself when I move in or others move in near me. That way, if we do have a conflict, we have at least the beginning of a relationship before we have to address it. (Obviously, this doesn’t always work, but it has many times!)
Actually, though, I’d be very interested in hearing from anyone out there who found a bitchy neighbor note that you either gave or received that actually had a positive effect on the offender’s behavior. Anyone?

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Dee March 19, 2017 at 11:54 am

Whether my neighbour has spoken politely to me or whether someone has left an anonymous (bitchy) message makes no difference, because I take responsibility for my behaviour regardless. As soon as I’m alerted to the problem I/we take action, at least as soon as reasonably possible. Most times I do not need to be told because I am aware of the problem and tackle it before my neighbours get distressed but, occasionally, there is something I haven’t been aware of and then I/we take quick action when alerted to it.

We believe in treating our neighbours as we ourselves would like to be treated. With neighbours who blithely go about disturbing others with their behaviour, though, we don’t bother speaking to them directly. There’s no point reasoning with the unreasonable, so we either write a note or contact the authorities.

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Amanda H. March 19, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Challenge accepted?

Well, maybe. The closest I’ve come to a less-than-friendly note was when my husband and I were first married. We were living in an apartment complex in the city where we attended university, which had a small number of units (about 14 at the most, I think) and exactly one parking space per unit with one leftover space marked as visitor parking. The parking spaces were numbered to match the units, and our rental agreement actually specified that we were to only park in either our numbered space or out on the street. We weren’t to take up anyone else’s space or the visitor space.

A few months in, my husband and I started noticing that when we would get home from late-night gaming sessions with friends, someone’s car would be in our spot. It was always the same car, but we didn’t know whose it was, as we didn’t memorize which cars regularly parked where (and who’s to say it didn’t move around when our space was available?). We had to start parking on the street despite having a parking space right outside our apartment door because of this. Whoever owned the car always moved it while we were asleep, too, as it was always gone come morning.

Finally, after several instances of this and no other recourse (we weren’t allowed to call a towing company and management didn’t do anything about it), we wrote a note to the affect of, “The parking spaces are assigned by apartment number. Please don’t park in our spot again.” It might have been friendlier the first time. Yes, the first time. Because we had to leave a note twice more, each time getting shorter until it was basically, “Stop parking in our spot.”

It seemed to work, as that car was never in our space again, though we never did figure out who owned it.

And then we moved to a different complex, also with parking assigned by unit number, and had to deal again with someone else parking in our spot periodically. That complex was much, much larger, so it was even less likely we’d figure out who was doing it, so again with the note. I think this time it only took one politely-worded note to get it to stop.

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NostalgicGal March 20, 2017 at 10:23 am

At least you also didn’t have to deal with lazyass neighbors. At one apartment block our slot was at the end of the row, near the dumpster. We had a pickup. You don’t know how many people would dump trash in our pickup when 15 feet away was a large dumpster (that didn’t fill up to the top by collection day). It would be go through the trash, find some mail, go to their door, knock, present them with the evidence and tell them to go get their trash cleaned out of our pickup. We finally bought a locking topper for the pickup to stop the problem, and we had some evidence some people still tried to put trash in our truck. Why?

Julia March 22, 2017 at 9:31 am

Ah, notes for one’s house and notes for a stranger’s car are quite different, IMO, because in the latter case there’s no other way to contact the owner of the car unless you want to stake it out, which is creepy.
Indeed, I applaud you for only using notes. I went to college at a campus where parking spaces were in extremely high demand. We’d joke that if you saw a space open anywhere you’d park in it and then just walk to wherever you were going.
As a consequence, people with private residences and driveways got a little crazy over protecting their spaces, which I understood, but one couple down the street from my apartment really went over the line, IMO. If someone parked in their driveway even for just a few minutes (as when, for example, someone had a piece of used furniture they wanted to offload, then would return to the car and actually park somewhere else, which happened quite often, actually, this being a student area), these two would rush out with candles and scrape the white wax over all the windows and even the rearview mirrors with DON’T PARK HERE. Of course, the irony would then be that the driver would have to spend a very long time in the driveway scraping the wax off before they could drive away safely. I realize the couple was tired of people parking in their driveway, but I really thought that was just being a jerk.

Tara March 16, 2017 at 12:46 pm

I agree with the admin. I’m a traffic engineer and the way you handle this is to contact your state or city DOT about the limited sight distance. Don’t expect it to get done within a month though lol

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Nicolek March 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Ask your town to set up one of those mirror things

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Andi March 16, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Agree with Admin – contact your city/town or county management office.

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Gabriele March 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm

I would contact the local authorities. Given budget restrictions I think they would choose to notify the property owners to do the remedial work themselves OR have them come out and do it. If the local authority has it done it will:
Take time to have it authorized, prioritized, scheduled and done.
But before all that, someone will have to come out and inspect the location, so if you can get some photos showing the situation at that intersection, so much the better.
You might also try looking for the location on google maps (where you can ‘drive’ down a street and see the location as if you were in your car (if it’s a recent map).
Here’s more factual guidelines:
https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/local_rural/training/fhwasa07018/
Scroll down, there’s one area about Side Road Visability, even has a phot0!
Hope this helps.

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NostalgicGal March 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm

It depends on your area, who owns the offending greenery and what relationship you have with the owner.

Usually you should go straight to the authorities with it, but. Here it’s rural, small, and a lot of people know everyone else. A few gentle words and offering to help has kept a lot of our stop signs cleared out (some need replacing bad, they’re pretty much white, but). Most of the time though and in the OP’s case definitely, go to the authorities.

One place I lived, a large cul-de-sac type neighborhood, was near the bottom of a crick with high hills on both sides and the feeder road was 3 lanes each way plus a central turn lane. So especially as you turned right going downhill or made the mad left swing coming up, the first property on the ‘right’ was a tall house perched on a tall hill corner lot. They would park a tan car (almost the color of the pavement, sidewalks, and tan (dry) grass about three car lengths in from the main road. I don’t know how many near coronaries that car caused. Finally we started a recipe card campaign and started putting cards with ‘would you please move this car before someone hits it head on and totals it’ (we’re talking 30-40 cards a day with different handwriting). About three weeks of it and having someone almost hit THEM making that hella turn during rush hour (no light it really needed a light) as they went to get into the car, made them move it around the corner. (It was the only way in and out of there for over 400 houses, so a lot of traffic)

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doodlemor March 16, 2017 at 7:10 pm

I have a close relative who works for the DOT. He often has to deal with homeowners who are crazily furious about having their vegetation trimmed.

Don’t contact these people yourself, OP, in case they are unbalanced or vindictive. Contact the governmental agency in charge of that section of road.

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EyesToTheSkies March 16, 2017 at 9:50 pm

A phone call or letter to the local authority is definitely the way to go here.

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SweetPea March 16, 2017 at 10:27 pm

I understand that you don’t want to be one of those annoying people who reports without giving the option to fix first, and that’s admirable, but in this case, since they aren’t friends, or even neighbors, you should contact the proper government group. If they live on that corner, chances are good they have driven that way and know it’s a problem anyway – they just need to know it isn’t only them who struggles.

Best of luck!

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Ajay March 19, 2017 at 10:46 pm

I once got a rude note telling me to “trim my f—ing weeds, or the council will be called and you will be f—ing fined” (f—ing was spelled wrong as well, which made me actually laugh out loud)

I was amused as our 6 foot fence is directly beside the concrete of the footpath, and I’m a bit savage with the weedkiller (bee friendly stuff) on that side of the fence, so there were no weeds to even trim, I showed my husband and he was as bemused as I was (and noted the incorrect spelling too)

About a month- six weeks later, I happened to be out weed killing (we do have a problem with bamboo in this country, which is why I’m a bit ‘rabid’ about the fence line where it keeps trying to re-enter the property, after growing UNDER the footpath) when a lovely young man from the Council approaches me, identifies himself and then asks “what weeds?” we had a good giggle, and I showed him the note (it’s our first ever, so far only, and we’re very proud of it) he was actually more concerned than I am and took a photo of it to put against our ‘file’ and took a photo of our nice tidy fence line, noting that we are keeping the bamboo under control and that the council should do something about that for us as we shouldn’t be having too.

Another month goes by, we are now firmly into autumn with lots of fruit on our trees and having to do daily collections, I am in the yard beside the fence when I hear my normally lovely neighbour screaming (not just yelling or raised voices, but that painful sounding screeching) at the other sides neighbours children who were chatting to me as they were collecting the fruit on the footpath from the one tree branch that hangs over the street fence, about 2.2metres high, in no way touching people walking under it, she was telling young under 12 year old children to “f— off away from HER fruit…”

I was dumbfounded – utterly speechless for at least 5 seconds, until it turns out I can still climb a 6 foot fence, before I even realised it I’m leaning over the top telling her in no uncertain terms that I WILL be calling the police and she is to NEVER receive ANY of MY fruit again (a shopping bag a week of various fruits)

The children tell me I was very polite and utterly scary at the same time, when I turned to them and told them to take THEIR fruit home to their Mother, I would be over shortly to make sure they are okay.

So we finally found out who the letter writer was, and that she’s not such a nice person afer all and three years later she is about to be left out of the overflow fruit yet again, as I am still yet to talk to her. (I maaaay be sulking, just a little)

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NostalgicGal March 20, 2017 at 10:43 am

The neighbor who went out of her way to make my life h***. We got on the wrong side of her just because we were not her faith. I planned and prepaid a two week vacation to Canada, and as I was about to buy the plane tickets, she calls for ‘weeds by our back fence’. Code enforcement shows. They ticket everyone in the neighborhood just about for covenants that were more than 40 years old and nobody knew about. About half the area got ticketed (these were fix the violation or else, mostly but some were instant fines). They show up and they have several issues with our place that we didn’t know about so we had a week to fix it. I manage to cash in (get refunded) with exchange rate gouge the trip, and spent the money that was for the plane tickets as well. The morning we would have left we went through inspection.

And. They had a downs son with autism, and had been told by therapist to get him a dog. They had no clue on how to keep a dog or how to make it part of the family. Most of the time (golden setter) it was tied up outside and ignored (it did have shelter and it did have food and water, I checked). It was something they sort of visited once in awhile. It caused a lot of damage, chewing on the deck from boredom and any shoe it got ahold of was history. So she started calling on us for a barking dog. We didn’t have a dog. We’d been called on twice. These two things, overlapped.

Code came by for a spot check and was behind in the alley behind the solid fence, about four days after inspection. We were having a discussion on my trash cans I kept inside fence near the curb, when the animal control officer showed up. He said he was doing a spot check because dogs could disappear totally for an inspection then be back. There is no sign we have a dog. Her dog is barking it’s head off, and animal control gets a call for barking dog ON US. She comes ripping out to get the dog, one of the few times he got to go in, by the by, going ‘get in here I just called’. Animal control answers his radio and says I’m sitting behind the property right now. It’s not this address, but I will take care of it. Two officers, so witness, and they went and let her know that she was in trouble for nuisance calls and they took her downtown. I did decide not to press charges, but she got that humiliation plus booked. We didn’t exist for another year until she decided they had to move to a brand new house (theirs was almost paid for, he did NOT want to move)… new neighbors were a LOT nicer.

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