Parking Strip Etiquette

IMG_1937Electric scooters have arrived in our city and are raising all sorts of questions. Where should they be parked when not in use? Are they allowed on the sidewalk? On the street? Who has the right of way?

In a recent column in the Washington Post, John Kelly tackled the older problem of crowded sidewalks. (His column’s funny. I encourage you to check it out plus the follow up piece two days later!)

As a dog walker, I have been pondering my own set of etiquette rules.

The other day, I was standing on the parking strip (also known as parkway strip, hellstrip, tree lawn, and planting strip), bag at the ready to swoop in and clean up after Pettigrew. I thought I was being responsible, so I was a bit miffed when the owner of the house poked her head out the door to inform me that Pettigrew and I were standing on an area planted with native plants.

I assured her that no plants were being squashed under my shoes.

Native plants. Wouldn’t those be the plants that thrive in this part of the country? Plants that might be expected to be especially hardy?

And where, exactly, are dogs allowed to do their business if not on the parking strip?

It is true that I suspect some of my neighbors are anti-dog. There is a myriad of signs telling me that my dog is unwelcome on their property. If there’s a sign, I respect it and we steer clear.

I also try to avoid front lawns. But parking strips? That seems fair game to me.

I used to think it was OK to put a sealed bag in a neighbor’s trashcan if said can was at the curb on garbage day and the truck had not yet been by. I read in the newspaper that using a neighbor’s can is not polite and, in an abundance of caution, I now avoid the cans even it I see the garbage truck heading down the street to do pick up.

Others are not so kind. We sometimes find unsealed bags (gross) left in our empty trashcans. Clearly someone dumped it after the truck had been by. I now make a point of checking before I leave for work and if the cans have been emptied, I bring them back up.

My favorite: the milk-carton-animal-plastic-bag dispenser. For those times you are caught short one bag!

So where does this leave us? Who has the proverbial right of way? The dog owner or the property owner?

2 thoughts on “Parking Strip Etiquette

  1. Yes, some people are so supportive, like the family that made the animal milk carton plastic bag dispenser, but others seem sensitive. I try to think maybe they got burned once and that is coloring their perspective, but who knows!


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