During the holiday season, you have more chances than ever to bring your community together. When you live in an HOA, you...
6 Ways to Manage Parking for Visiting Holiday Relatives
Having family over for the holidays is an essential part of the holiday season. Of course, it's also one of the biggest challenges. For anyone going visiting, there's the necessity of travel. And for every holiday host, you've got more than a few logistics to juggle yourself. Preparing the guest room, shopping for groceries and, inevitably, figuring out where everyone will park.
Most of us have room for one, maybe two, visiting cars. But when many branches of the family come together, there's bound to be parking overflow which eventually packs the whole street with visiting relatives. This year, you can make extra room for family and keep your street safer to drive on by taking charge of your parking situation.
Clean the Garage
Garages have a tendency to slowly fill with things that are not a parked car. Especially if you have a two-car garage and only use half of it for the household vehicle. If you have a whole parking space blocked out by garage junk, it's time to make room. Allowing even one relative to park in the garage creates a whole extra car of space and one less person parking on the street. Not to mention, your in-garage relative will appreciate the weather-sheltered spot.
Decide Who Gets Blocked In
Next, consider how you can use your driveway for maximum parking. Most driveways are deep enough for at least one car beyond the garage door, and sometimes you can squeeze in two compact cars end-to-end. A two-car-wide driveway is even better for family parking. But someone is going to get blocked in.
Instead of trying to avoid the block-in (or fighting about it later), decide ahead of time who will block who based on transportation plans. Anyone who is staying in your house should get the garage or inner-driveway space while anyone just 'popping in' should take the outer spaces. Then you can plan on who leaves first based on where everyone is parked.
Practice Curb Parking
One of the biggest dangers of the holiday season in the suburbs is curb parking. Or more to the point, people who don't know how to park on the curb. Holiday curb parking is the leading reason why roads become dangerously narrow during this time of year, with vehicles parked on both sides of the road. And worse, parked more than a foot away from the curb itself.
If you must park your relatives at the curb, encourage them to practice curb parking before arrival. And do a little practicing yourself. The closer everyone parks to the curb, the more space there will be to safely use the rest of the street. If you're good at curb parking, consider offering to 'finish' the parking job for.
Limit Guests to Your Curb Only
And when your relatives are curb parking, it's important to respect the curbs of your neighbors. Chances are that neighbors will also have visiting relatives who will need to park at their curb. If your family parking overflows beyond your own curb, then you're likely cramping the holiday parking of others.
Remind your relatives to park carefully. If you have a large family, consider putting out something visible and easy to obey like traffic cones. Or lawn chairs, if you don't have traffic cones on-hand.
Pick Up Relative From the Airport
Of course, the best way to handle a cramped parking situation is to forgo extra cars entirely. For any relatives who are flying in, try picking them up from the airport instead of having them rent a car. Not only does this reduce the number of cars in your driveway, but it's also a friendly way to start the holiday.
Nearby family can use this solution too, by carpooling and sharing rides days you plan to spend together. Carpooling can also be used by visiting family to leave cars at hotels and come to your home in a single shared vehicle. And if someone needs an individual ride, consider calling an Uber.
Organize Community Parking
Finally, don't forget that if you live in an HOA, there may actually be community parking available. Pretty much no one uses the pool or the tennis courts in the dead of winter, but these areas do have nearby parking lots. Talk to your HOA about organizing community guest parking for family overflow.
They may offer to let guests reserve a space or simply agree to let guests park in community lots. Work with your HOA to make sure that guest parking is cleared and how you will decide lot assignment. If the community lots are more than a block from your house, you may want to come pick up your distantly parked guests once they arrive and ferry them home for the holiday festivities.
This holiday season, parking doesn't have to be a nightmare situation. If your house is usually overflowing with guest cars, or even if you just want to reduce curbside parking problems, use these tricks. Every family member and holiday guest will find a place for their cars and you won't have to encroach on a neighbor's curb to accomodate everyone. For more great neighborhood tips and tricks, contact us today!