The holidays are upon us, and if you're hosting extended family this year, street parking may be the only way to accommodate all the extra vehicles.

Knowing where you can and cannot park may save you a headache or two. Countless residents have returned to their vehicles to find an angry note from a neighbour telling them not to park their car there.

While some homeowners may take ownership of the space in front of their houses, street parking is public parking, and can be used by anyone.

Peace Officer Sam Burnett says when parking disputes occur, notes are not the best course of action.

"The problem with notes is, there's provincial legislation that talks about tampering with a motor vehicle, not interfering with any other person's accessories of their vehicles or generally coming into contact with that vehicle without a lawful reason. What happens to that person if they go to leave a note on your vehicle, they go to pull your wiper blade up and you rip your wiper blade apart. I've seen it. I understand that you want to be neighbourly; you might be better off if there is a vehicle parked too close to your driveway, knock on a couple doors instead of leaving a note and then you can have that conversations. It's like a text message versus a phone call; you can't understand people's tone or intention with a note left on a vehicle."

Residents using street parking should bare in mind that vehicles parked for more than 72 hours are considered abandoned, and can be towed (though officers will often try to contact the owner to educate them on this rule rather than immediately towing the vehicle).

Though street parking is public, it's always best to take a thoughtful and respectful approaching when choosing where to park.


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