What Is Considered ‘Blocking’ A Driveway Or Sidewalk?

Blocking a driveway is never a good idea. You may be wondering exactly what it means to block a driveway or sidewalk. Don't worry. We have thoroughly researched this and have the answers for you!

In order to block a driveway, one has to park in a space that causes the person who lives there to be unable to leave or return home and park in their driveway. If you are stopping a vehicle from being able to get in or out of a driveway without damaging their vehicle, then you are blocking their driveway. In some cases, you may end up with a ticket or a towed vehicle if you park somewhere that you block a driveway. 

There are a few more important facts about what it means to block a driveway and what can be done about it. Keep reading to learn more about whether or not it is legal to park on a sidewalk, the definition of nuisance parking, what you can do about it if someone is blocking your driveway, and more.

What Is Considered 'Blocking' A Driveway Or Sidewalk?

Is It Rude To Block Someone's Driveway?

Yes, it is considered rude and inconsiderate to block someone's driveway. In addition to being rude, it is also trespassing. Doing so is illegal in most places. You are welcome to put up a "No Parking" sign on your property where it would be most helpful as long as it is not obstructive.

Do not place a "No Parking" sign on a sidewalk where people need to walk or on pavement without permission. If you put a sign up, it needs to be somewhere that it does not disturb the area.

Do not block the driveway signage on a tree trunk at San Francisco, California

It is polite and ideal to park in front of your house or in your driveway whenever you can. This is a good reason to know your neighbors as well; you can ask if it is okay with them if you park in front of their house. Doing this will help you avoid any confrontation that may occur otherwise.

Look out for hidden driveways to ensure you do not block one unknowingly. 

If you or your family members or members of your household own multiple vehicles, try to park them out of the way. You might be able to park them behind your home or building rather than take up someone else's spot.

Regardless, it is not a good idea to block a driveway under any circumstance unless it is an absolute emergency.

What Is Nuisance Parking?

When someone parks on private property or private land without obtaining permission first, this is considered nuisance parking.

An obvious way to tell if somewhere is private property is if there is a sign that states that it is private property. Fenced-in areas are usually considered to be private property as well. Take caution when parking somewhere that appears to be private property.

In the United States, if a car breaks down on your property or in front of your driveway, they have 72 hours to do something about it. The same goes for car accidents. In the case that a vehicle is not totaled, the owner should move it or have it moved within three days of the accident.

Can You Legally Stop Someone Parking Outside Your House?

In most places, when someone parks outside of your house on a public street, there is really not much you can do to stop them. It is perfectly legal to park on a public street. On the other hand, different rules apply for private property. 

If someone is temporarily blocking your driveway for less than 72 hours, then they will probably leave sooner than later. It can quickly become inconvenient if someone stays longer than a few hours. The best way to resolve this problem is by calmly and kindly asking the owner of the vehicle to move it.

Although you cannot do a whole lot personally if someone is blocking your driveway other than ask them to move the vehicle, you do have the option of reporting it to the police. 

Can Police Move A Car Blocking My Driveway?

The laws vary throughout the United States, but the overall consensus is that it is illegal to block someone's driveway. It is illegal in Indiana, Florida, and California, for example. In the state of Washington, you aren't allowed to park within five feet of a driveway. The same law holds up in Colorado.

Police do have the ability to ticket a car that is blocking your driveway. This is not the best initial response though. Try to talk to your neighbor or your neighbor's guest before escalating the situation and getting the police involved. It is a civil matter and can be reported to the police.

No Parking Any Time Street Sign

Although it is an inconvenience for someone to block your driveway, police do not always respond to calls about this. It depends on how populated it is where you are and how high the crime rate is. The rate at which police officers can respond is based on priority.

If a vehicle that does not belong to someone that is a neighbor of yours is parked in front of your home for three days or 72 hours, it is liable to get a ticket. The person will either get a warning, a ticket, or a tow.

It is a towing company that will tow a car blocking your driveway rather than the police force. They will likely suggest for you to call a towing company if you do not know who to ask to move it.

Click here to see this sign on Amazon.

Why You Should Not Block A Sidewalk

Another important question is regarding blocking a sidewalk. What this means is to make it so people cannot walk or ride bikes freely on the sidewalk.

If there is a sidewalk by your home or business, you need to be sure to pull your vehicle all the way into the driveway. If multiple cars park in your driveway, they may end up blocking the sidewalks.

Outdoor parking rules and tips. Incorrect parked car

Sometimes children leave bicycles on the sidewalk, making it difficult for anyone walking with a stroller or pet to walk on the sidewalk. It is something to look out for when you go on walks.

Is It OK To Turn Around In Someone's Driveway? 

The short answer is not always. If you have to drive onto someone's property in order to turn around, then it might not be okay with the owner.

Some people are extremely particular when it comes to their yard and driveway. Consider the fact that if you were responsible for paying for the gravel in your driveway, you probably wouldn't want people to unnecessarily drive over it and disperse the gravel where you do not want it to be.

Peace is important for people, and turning around in their driveway has the potential to disturb one's peace. This is just something to keep in mind if you find yourself in a predicament where you have to turn around in someone's driveway. Do so with caution and respect.

Click here to see this No Parking sign on Amazon.

Some people live right off a highway and expect people to need to turn around in their driveway. When this is the case, you will most likely see a roundabout or half circle cut into the driveway to make turning around an easier process.

Is It Illegal To Block A Sidewalk?

Van illegally parked on a double yellow line and obstructing the pavement for pedestrians

You may have a sidewalk by your house that your driveway cuts through. This might bring you to wonder if it is illegal to block a sidewalk. Even if a sidewalk cuts through a driveway, the sidewalk is still considered a public domain.

It is technically illegal to block a sidewalk in terms of stopping pedestrians from being able to walk by or ride their bike. The consequence could be a ticket or the towing of your vehicle.

Blocking a sidewalk is usually done by a bicycle or if a vehicle does not pull all the way into the driveway. While it is illegal, there is a high probability that if it is beside someone's home, then the law will not be enforced.

If you only have enough space for two vehicles in your driveway but you have a guest or own more than two vehicles, then you are more than welcome to block your own driveway.

You can block your own vehicle without any problems. You don't know other people's schedules, so that is the main reason to avoid blocking anyone else's driveway.

In Closing

Renovated, old, brick block houses, cobblestone street, cars parked on the street, factory chimney and car on side

To block someone's driveway is to park in front of a driveway where vehicles need to be able to get to their garage or parking area. You should always double-check your surroundings when you park in an unfamiliar area.

Sometimes driveways are hidden under trees or off to the side of a house, so look all around to avoid blocking a driveway.

Before you go, check out the following links related to topics that might interest you:

Can You Paint Candles? [And How To?]

What Kind Of Flooring Can You Put Over Concrete?

Can You Put Shoes In The Washer And Dryer [Best Practices]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *