When You Become the Most Hated Person in Your Neighborhood

A while back, I discussed my disdain for the local politics. I live on a horseshoe-ish based street, right on the bend of it. When I bought this house, about 4 or 5 years ago, I loved the lawn. I loved the fact it stayed in my oldest son’s school district. I liked the fact that the elementary school was right behind my house, an elementary school that was known for its special needs program. A school my son, who I’ve been very open about his struggles, could really thrive at. (He has done very well, because of the amazing teachers at this school.)

The downside was the parking on the street. The street, a narrow, curved street, that had cars parked on both sides. This didn’t really become annoying until the first 2 tractor trailers ended up on my lawn, tearing up my grass. Then my son’s bus struggled to make it up the street several times, especially during the winter when this already narrow street was made even narrower by plowed snow. Then I started noticing that firetrucks and ambulances, which frequent my neighborhood on a near daily basis, were struggling to make it around my street.

I became concerned about this for a few reasons. One, on the other side of me are two senior neighbors who have been exceptionally kind to my family. In recent times, ambulances have been very common on that side of the street, and an ambulance struggling to make it up the street could take costly time to get to them. Then, I thought of my own family. What if my son’s appendix burst and we needed to rush him to the hospital? Those are precious minutes that you can’t dwindle away.

After writing the letter, it did finally reach someone who cared enough to check this issue out. They came out with a city engineer, and very very quickly determined that my concerns were valid enough to act on. I didn’t care that they were parked on the street; I cared that this blocked up the street and posed a safety hazard. It wasn’t safe. So I did what a responsible citizen should do: fix it. With the help of my brother, of course, who was very helpful in getting my concerned letter noticed.

The downside? The people who parked on the street now hate me. They feel this is racism and unfair. They are outraged that they didn’t get a chance to fight for their right to not park in their parking, opting for the street instead. How inconsiderate of them to make this type of law without asking the citizens first? There should have been a public hearing so that they could find this harmful law.

My conscience is clear. The fact that ambulances and firetrucks can make it down my street easier is worth being the most hated person in my neighborhood. The fact that kids can have an easier time using the sidewalk to get to the school or their bus stops that are at the school, makes it worth it. The fact that the neighbors who want to walk to the church behind my house can do so now, is worth it. It was for the greater good. My goal is not to be liked. I don’t really care who likes me. My goal is to have a positive impact on the community.

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