Car Blocking Driveway Causes Sticky Situation

Rohit Khare (
Fri, 04 Dec 1998 13:58:17 -0800

[Alexa Champion and I edited our high-school newspaper together... This happened after she dropped me off after my talk at Georgetown earlier this week. I said, on the bright side, we both managed to make it into the Post within a week -- not bad for two old news hounds :-)]

Car Blocking Driveway Causes Sticky Situation
By Maria Elena Fernandez
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 4, 1998; Page B03

Alexa Champion Maanaoui says she did not notice that her car was blocking

somebody's driveway Tuesday night when she parked on Prospect Street NW and

walked to her class at Georgetown University.

But Ken Robinson, one of the residents of the home, got her attention. When

Maanaoui returned four hours later, signs with red letters warning her not to park

there again had been glued to the windshield and windows of her white Ford Escort.

Maanaoui said that there was duct tape all over the body of the car and glue in one

of the locks, and that two of the tires were flat.

"When I approached the car, I immediately thought I had screwed up and somebody

was sending me a message," said Maanaoui, 25, of Greenbelt. "There was a group of

people standing outside the house and a police officer. They started freaking out.

They were yelling at me. I was apologizing profusely and I burst into tears."

Robinson denied damaging the tires, but he said he became impatient after waiting

two hours for Maanaoui to return. He said he was forced to take a taxi to pick up his

girlfriend at work. When they returned, Maanaoui's car was still there.

"Granted, I was wrong," he said yesterday. "Obviously, this incident tells me that I

should not do this anymore. But this is very frustrating. We have students who are

constantly parking here. I wait for them, and I yell at them. But she took four hours."

D.C. police officer D.F. Brown arrived at the house in the 3600 block of Prospect

Street as Maanaoui was walking to her car. Maanaoui was cited for a parking

infraction, and Robinson was told there would be an investigation to determine

whether he should be charged with destruction of property.

"We live in the District. We are committed to the District," Robinson said. "I got

more upset with the way police were handling the situation. I honestly didn't think

that putting stickers on her windshield would be what I would call vandalism."

Maanaoui, who is enrolled in Georgetown's graduate communication, culture and

technology program, said she saw someone pull out of the spot, so she parked there,

assuming it was a legal space. It will cost $157 to repair her car, according to an

insurance estimate.

Tensions have simmered for years between Georgetown residents and university

students who park on neighborhood streets.

Neighbor Jim Marsh, who witnessed part of the incident Tuesday, said he

understands Robinson's frustrations. In the 18 months he has lived on Prospect

Street, a block from the university, his driveway has been blocked several times, he


"People who go to Georgetown don't pay any attention to where they park," Marsh

said. "It's terrible. We can't do anything about it when they park over here. It's out of


Rohit Khare -- UC Irvine -- 4K Associates -- +1-(626) 806-7574 --