How to Block a Private Driveway

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People who own or rent homes in congested cities, like San Francisco or New York, often have to contend with people parking in their driveway, and when they get home after a busy day, there's no room for their own car. This can also be a problem for people whose home is in a smaller city but is located near a popular public attraction.

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If the car belongs to a neighbor who does this consistently, the best course of action is probably to contact them either in person or indirectly by phone or letter and politely ask them to stop. If the perpetrators are random people, some method of blocking the driveway is needed. The best method is one that is easy to set up and take down.

Purchase a Temporary Barrier Online

If you're looking for a temporary barrier, there are a number of options available online. You can choose safety netting that you stretch across the driveway; cloth traffic barriers with lightweight, collapsible legs; or a pair of posts with a plastic chain. The advantage of buying these barriers over making them yourself is that they look more official, which is an extra deterrent.

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A tried-and-true method of controlling traffic is to place traffic cones. You can purchase collapsible ones that are easy to take down and store in the house when you're home. To most drivers, nothing says "keep out" better than a traffic cone, but they are also easy for a determined intruder to move out of the way. In fact, all temporary barriers are easy to remove, so it's a good idea to reinforce them with a warning sign.

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Post an Effective Warning Sign

A warning sign will discourage people from moving temporary barriers and parking in your driveway anyway, but to be effective, it should be worded in a way to guarantee compliance. A simple "no parking" sign might work in some places, but in others, it's about as intimidating as a speed limit sign.

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One way to encourage compliance is to post a sign that says "parking: $100 per hour." Be sure to include a warning that "violators will be towed" to give you legal recourse to call a towing company if needed. Most drivers will be deterred by the prospect of paying several hundred dollars for the benefit of parking, and if anyone does ignore the sign, you may be able to collect a hefty parking fee from them.

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Erect a More Permanent Barrier

Depending on where you live, you may need a barrier that no one can remove. You may be able to find what you need online. For example, you can purchase a barrier arm or a chain, but to use either, you need to erect posts on the side of the driveway. This is a simple job similar to erecting posts for a fence.

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Sink 4x4 wood posts into concrete-filled holes at least 2 feet deep to make them sturdy. Install an eye hook on the top of each post large enough to fit a chain or barrier through. If you use a barrier, drive a bolt through one and drill a hole in the other for a lock, and if you use a chain, use a pair of locks to secure it. This means you have to unlock the barrier every time you come home, but that may be the price you have to pay for security.

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