City codes on blocking sidewalks and drive-ways Around Town, posted by Street Walker, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm
More and more, there are many things in my neighborhood that are blocking people from walking on the sidewalks.
Within 3 blocks of the house, there are 6 basketball goals taking up nearly the entire street.
Especially in cul de sacs, there are people double-parked on their own driveways with half the vehicle still sticking out on the street. The sidewalk is completely taken over by the front of their autos.
What is the city code on these issues? If it's against code, why aren't officers notifying people as their do their neighborhood drive-bys?
I did comment to the home occupants about the 5 cars on/off their driveway. They said they can do whatever they want on their driveway, even if it blocks the sidewalk.
Off and on the sidewalk I go. I'm officially a street walker half the time!
Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2009 at 1:35 pm
This has always been a pet peeve of mine. I think excessive cars on the street "cheapen" an neighborhood. I'm all for basketball hoops however, anything to keep the kids outside and active. Though it sounds like this isn't the case in your area.
I especially hate it when a neighbor parks in front of my house on the street. Though I know it isn't "mine" I think street parking should be reserved for guests coming to my house (or for other neighbor's guests) - not for my neighbors vehicle(s).
I know blocking the sidewalk is a violation, however your neighbor is correct about being able to park multiple cars in their driveway without concern of violating any law.
Posted by Sandy, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm
Street Walker, I'm glad you received a considerate reply from Pleasanton Parent. The majority of people who reply to posts on this Forum are insecure and criticize in order to elevate their low self-esteem. I'm not talking about constructive criticism, I'm talking about pointless, mean-spirited criticism that pathetic people use to feel a little better about their insecure selves. This Forum features about ninety percent of that type.
Posted by hypocrite, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2009 at 3:16 pm
Nice constructive on topic helpful post Sandy. What does your response do but stir the pot with info that has nothing to do with what the author posted? So its OK for you to be the forum police, but no one else?
Posted by Pleasantonian, a resident of the Mission Park neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2009 at 3:43 pm Pleasantonian is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Pleasanton Parent, actually your statement about people parking in their driveway isn't totally correct. Some subdivision's CC&Rs say if you have 3 cars and a 3-car garage, you must park all 3 cars in it. Is it ever enforced? No.
Posted by Tango, a resident of the Vineyard Avenue neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm
I have issue with the farmers market. The trucks parked on the southside sidewalks make it impossible to use the sidewalk. If you park in any parking lot on the southside and you wish to go to main st and not walk through the market than you have to cross the market and go down the other side, which has the hazzards of the vendrs pileing there extra wares on the sidewalk. If I'm going to coldstone or any other shop on main in that area, it is hard to fight my why through. Sidewalks are for people not cars or trucks.
Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2009 at 11:09 pm PToWN94566 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I'm more than sure that it is a violation for any car to be parked halfway between their driveway and the sidewalk. Sidewalks are not owned by homeowners; it's public property. The street I live has numerous basketball hoops in the curb (on the street but tucked up to the curb) and on the sidewalk. In the early 2000's the police were notifying people and if they didn't move them, they were ticketed.
What I also don't understand are the neighbors who have children that are in upper elementary, middle, and high school that do carpools. The carpool vehicles then double park in the middle of the street and go inside their child's friends house for X amount of minutes. Sometimes it's a few minutes others it's almost an hour. This is in violation and one would think it's unsafe since the neighborhood I live in is within walking distance to two elementary schools, a middle school, and high school (Alameda, by Harvest Park). A ton of students walk down the street. And what about the cars that park on Greenwood by Harvest Park waiting for their children to get out? So many will make u-turns in the middle of the street when there's many, many cars around. It'd be a police officers field day!
I could probably go on and on, but I'll stop. I'm sure the police do as much as they can and we need be, notify them. They are there to help. Good luck!
Posted by resident, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 7:59 am
For Street Walker -- It is absolutely illegal to block any part of the sidewalk and the code enforcement officer will speak to and/or cite anyone in non-compliance with that. Call Officer Walter Wickboldt at 925-931-5620, he is very responsive and will handle it. He works M-F and is good about returning messages.
Pleasanton has a policy of enforcement only AFTER complaint rather than actively going out and searching for violations. Sometimes I agree with that, other times it would be nice to have more active enforcement. Guess the PD just does not have the manpower for that.
Sidewalk violations are also all over downtown. How many times have you tripped over a sandwich board sign (which is not even allowed at all per the code) that a merchant puts in the middle of the sidewalk? Or a rack of discounted clothing? I think those things cheapen the look of our downtown but many merchants do it anyway. The last place that I would ever spend money is a store that causes me to trip over an illegal sign on the sidewalk.
Regarding the parking of vehicles in front of your personal home -- boy is that one a hot button for me too. Not that I think I "own" that space, clearly no one does. However, when people will not even use their own driveways (or, heaven forbid their garages!) and they consistently have 4, 5 or 6 cars at their home, always in front of my house and often partly blocking my driveway . . . . well, in my next life I will live on 500 acres with no neighbors.
Posted by Driving Instructor, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 8:48 am
According to the California Driver handbook (available at the DMV), it is illegal to park a vehicle on the sidewalk, in front of ANY driveway (including one's own), or on the wrong side of the street, etc.
So, while a city might also have municipal codes in this regard, it is the California Vehicle Code that is called into play here.
These infractions are no doubt low-priority for the police, but I would certainly still call to complain. I have found it difficult at times to maneuver my mother in her wheelchair around offending vehicles when we go out for walks. I might begin myself to call the police on such inconsiderate law breakers!!
Posted by Really?????, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 8:56 am
OK so it may be a slight inconvenience but is it really worth all of this? So some kids have a hoop on the sidewalk and a few people park in the drive/sidewalk. With everything facing this nation this is what we worry about? Did you ever think that your neighbor is now having to park in front of your house because the kids had to move back in? Or maybe a sibling or someone had to move in due to the economy? Maybe if you are worried about the looks of it you should get together and do something about those end caps on streets and courts. The ones that are on the corners between the sidewalk and the street. Almost everyone's of those I see is ugly. I do agree that some homes take advantage and park cars that they do not use or are eye sores and we should deal with those people but leave the kids and their basketball alone.
Posted by SteveP, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 8:57 am SteveP is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Tango--are you really going to ColdStone at 9 to 12 in the morning on Saturday's? No wonder you can't get past the traffic at the Farmer's Market. Really, find something important to fret over...get some exercise and walk around or avoid the area during those 3 hours.
Regarding the subject of cheapening the neighborhoods, other than the proliferation of cars around each house, the garage sales and rummage sales ghetto-ize every neighborhood they are conducted in. You'd think people could donate their unwanted items to folks in need instead of trying to make a quick (tax free) buck turning their block into a flea market.
Posted by The Law in its Majesty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 9:46 am
The Law in its Majesty forbids the rich, as well as the poor from sleeping under bridges.
SteveP, maybe you have not thought that for some people the money they get having a garage sale is important?
They get rid of things without adding to the landfills, find a use for it, and make a little- usually not worth their time, but that's their decision isn't it?
I like to visit some sales, meet nice people, and sometimes get a real bargain.
But Pleasanton has officious people who go around and take down sales signs- even ones that are not in anyone's way, and while the sale is in effect- not those that should be removed by the person who posted, after the sale is done.
So people have to put the signs on cars, and/or run an ad, which attracts people from farther away.
WHy do people feel the have to interfere with others?
Posted by resident, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 10:19 am
For TLIIM: I think the issue of garage sales and signs is a little off track for the post about illegal sidewalk blocking. This is why sometimes I would like more code enforcement and sometimes less would be fine with me.
Cars/hoops/garbage cans/ANTHING blocking a sidewalk is against the law and it should be. The City is spending thousands? hundreds of thousands? of dollars to put those yellow bumps into sidewalks to assist impaired people. Why should they look the other way about something as egregious as voluntarily blocked sidewalks?
Signs in the middle of downtown sidewalks are also illegal, and they should be. It is a safey hazard not just unsightly.
Garage sale signs are illegal and the importance of that one is up for grabs depending on your personal preference. Again, it is off topic about the actually illegal safety items. Garage sales? Not illegal but maybe not so great, particularly if they happen often in your own neighborhood. I do think a bit of tolerance and cooperation on all sides would help. My neighbor has several each year and is extremely vigilant about not allowing anyone to park so as to impede my access and allowing nothing but whispers -- literally! -- before 8 AM.
If you really want to live where there are no "lifestyle" codes on the books try Stockton or Tracy or Arkansas. You can judge the prosperity of your neighbor by the number of rusted refrigerators and washing machines left standing in their front yards.
Posted by Really???, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 10:43 am
If they can't walk then I am guessing they are not bothered by the cars that may be half in the driveway and half on the sidewalk. This post was talking about people walking and not being able to use the sidewalk. Even if you are talking about pushing someone in a wheelchair you should be able to see the cars blocking the sidewalk and be able to go around them by going down the driveway before the cars. Right? Let's think about this for a minute Stacey, I think the people that can't walk or have something else wrong are complaining about things far more important than this. I push my dad in his wheelchair every time I go to see him and often we go around cars and never have I thought about complaining about that. I am just happy to push him wherever he wants to go.
Posted by Claudette McDermott, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 10:47 am Claudette McDermott is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Wow....If everyone commenting is from Pleasanton, that shows you the diversity in not only how we think but how we react to things going on around us. Sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes, not so much. Not when it comes to taking down a sign when someone is within their rights to put it up, not breaking the law and not harming someone else. Equal rights for All. If you don't like what someone is doing find a way to resolve the issue without stepping on their rights or getting physical.
I had a gallery on the Farmer's Market street. The "Farmers" blocked both sides of the sidewalk, forcing everyone to walk their market, taking away shoppers rights to walk directly into my gallery from the sidewalk. It created other issues, but I won't get into that. I thought I could ask nicely the very ones that blocked the front of the sidewalk on both sides of the building I operated my business in, explain the situation and then they would find elsewhere to park. I was met with anger, for thinking that they would move the vehicles straddling the walkway "This is the way we have done it for years, and we only have 1 day a week to make our money while you are here every day!" Even the grounds person in charge, didn't respond with getting anything done. It went on for a couple of weeks. I then tried a little thought provoking tactic by going to each vehicle blocking the side walk asking if it belonged to the vendor then writing the license plate down in front of them, letting them know I am making a list and will be turning it into the police station. That didn't work. Only until I sent an e-mail to everyone I had on my e-mail list as well as city officials :) did I get a response. On that side of the Farmer's Market vehicles no longer block sidewalks. Logic and pleasantries don't always work but persistence does pay off eventually :)
Posted by OK, a resident of the Foothill Knolls neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 10:54 am
Maybe you should worry about your spelling and less about offending people in other areas. Spouting off about how much better you are than them and stereotyping entire communities and then use spelling like that. Fortunately for you we can't judge the prosperity of our peers by their spelling.
Posted by T.H., a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 11:22 am
Do we want to police taking the time to ticket these sidewalk blockers? Is it worth the extra revenue to anger people and have them upset with the police and complaining about the ticket, likely here? Maybe, it is against the law. These Pleasanton style complaints should remind us that we have it good, maybe too good.
Posted by old guy, a resident of the Willow West neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 1:05 pm
Parking issues can be not only individually concerning but potentially dangerous to us all. I've lived on a court for many years and some residents at the end of the court seem to think it is OK to park straight in to the curb. This is illegal however our PD will only enforce following a complaint. Emergency and city service vehicles can only complete a turn at the end of our court by stopping a backing up. If you happen to be in the back of that emergency vehicle the delay can be more then a minor inconvience. Parking at the end of a court is no different then parking on any other public street and why Pleasanton PD tolerates this practice is concerning. Respect and neigherbood harmony are very important but a law is a law. If you are not going to enforce it then take it off the books.
Posted by Take a deep breath!, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 2:37 pm
Who knew this would be a hot topic?
1st: I agree it is a little annoying when you are walking on the sidewalk & it is blocked by a car or hoop or god knows what. Especially when you are walking with small children or a stoller, which obviously you don't want your small children in the street.
2nd: A couple of you commented about neighbors parking their cars in front of your house. Your comments are a little contradicting. You say you understand you don't own that space yet, you act as though you do! If I don't need to park my car in front of my house why do I care if someone else does.
3rd: Does anyone speak to their neighbors? I know if I had any of these issues with my neighbors (on my street) I would discuss it with them & come up with a solution instead of being passive aggressive and posting on here. BTW, I'm not referring to the blocking of driveways on this one since if you are going for a walk it probably isn't just on your street.
Happy Holidays to you all! I hope you find a solution!
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 3:07 pm
Parking laws relate to public safety and commerce by assuring that access is maintained.
Please think about this proactively by considering the inconvenience and annoyance your parking habits may cause others rather than waiting for the parking habits of others to inconvenience and annoy you.
Posted by Dave, a resident of San Ramon, on Nov 3, 2009 at 3:44 pm
Dangerous and annoying: What if you are blind? What if you are in a manually operated wheelchair, by yourself? What if you are a short person or a child? Most laws were made because someone was severley injured or died. I agree, keep cars, basketball hoops and garbage cans off of the sidewalk (and have bushes neatly trimmed away from the right of way). Lastly, I feel sorry for anyone in a wheel chair that needs to venture down the restaraunt area of downtown Pleasanton, not only does it not look easy, the wide sidewalks that are covered with tables and fences look like a fire code violation to me. Oh well, just have to wait for someone to be injured or die.
Posted by res, a resident of another community, on Nov 3, 2009 at 11:10 pm
I get tired of those basketball hoops too. There are a couple in the area I like to walk with my son and one is so large at the base it blocks the entire sidewalk width, who wants to walk their kid in the street? I had a neighbor who is elderly and takes walks I imagine that must be very hard for her to get around.
Its just excess, I rarely if ever saw kids playing with those hoops, they probably lost interest like every other oversized over priced toy lately.
Posted by farmer's market shopper, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Nov 4, 2009 at 9:41 am
Claudette, you tried to force people not to block the sidewalk in front of your gallery, which went out of business anyway. Now you take up space on the sidewalk in another area of the market. Why is that OK but it was a crime for people to block "your" sidewalk? I don't think allowing the farmers to use that space for a few hours one day per week is that inconvenient. Did you not know about the market when you signed your lease? I am pretty sure that you did but you signed anyway then wanted them to make the change.
Posted by Claudette McDermott, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 8, 2009 at 9:21 pm
Hmmmmm are you a part of the Farmer's Market? I think so otherwise you wouldn't make those statements. Many Community members, I live here too, dog walkers... other merchants, elderly and the list goes on want the sidewalks clear to walk. Yes I do paint on the side of the Berry Patch making sure that people can walk past me :) I do not block them. A few hours of inconvenience.... Ask those inconvenienced if it matters. It's also Illegal, damages the sidewalks and forces those that pay leases to be inconvenienced. Why would anyone side with Illegal parking?