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by Abigail Van Buren

Street Used as Parking Lot Drives Neighbor to Distraction

DEAR ABBY: I live in a quiet bedroom community that is mostly occupied by families with teen-agers who are starting to drive and have cars of their own. Many of these families are unable to park their cars in their garages because the garages are full of accumulated items they are storing (not cars), so the cars are now flowing onto the streets.

My problem: The space in front of my house has now become a temporary storage place for unused cars.

When I return from work at the end of the day, I often notice that there are no cars on the street except for two that are parked in front of my house. It's not unusual for the cars to be left two or three days. There is room in front of the neighbors' house to park, and I don't know why they don't park there. There have been times when a neighbor has left town for a holiday and left a car in front of my house for three weeks.

As a result, when my friends come over to visit, they end up having to park down the street.

I don't think I can wait another two or three years until these teen-agers fly the coop. What is the neighborhood etiquette for parking cars? -- FRUSTRATED HOMEOWNER

DEAR FRUSTRATED: Your young neighbors have no way of knowing that they are causing you a problem unless you tell them. Be diplomatic, but let them know that leaving their cars parked in front of your home prevents your guests from having easy access to your property. If that doesn't resolve the problem, a word to their parents would be the next step.