RANT: Lookie-Loos on my quiet dead-end street[''

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    I live on a dead end street off a dead end street and maybe it’s just me, but I enjoy the privacy, the lack of traffic, the quiet, and lack of distraction. Is it unreasonable to not want people to treat my street as a thorough-fare: driving down to the end, turning around in my driveway, walking their dogs “just looking around”, dumping yard waste down the hill? Is there any common courtesy anymore? Aren’t homes like mine actually assessed at higher value because of the “privacy” – C’mon people have some respect!!




    Honestly? The short answer is yes, I think it’s unreasonable. Sometimes dead end streets aren’t labeled as clearly as they should be. Also, are there homes for sale on your block? Do other people on your block have people over… ever? Do you only walk up and down your own street when you go for a walk?

    I don’t think that your property assessment entitles you to more privacy (aside from that being a sort of silly expectation), it means you are just less likely to have people walk by your place than other people are. But you ARE less likely to have someone case your house if there’s only one way in and one way out… so there’s your property value disparity.

    Honestly, my husband and I were driving around tonight looking at properties for sale in a neighborhood with seemingly nothing but dead end streets… probably could have been us. This post kind of makes me think I might not want to live on a dead end street.

    My question, I guess, is what is objectionable about people walking past your house if they probably mean you no harm? Dumping waste is obviously a much different thing than being a “lookie loo” but that wasn’t what was mentioned in the title, so that’s why I’m curious.


    Hi Holly,

    The main thing to figure out here is if you’re on a public street or not. Some smaller dead end streets are not public, but if they aren’t then you and your neighbors are obliged to maintain it, etc. If you’re not sure, go to the King County Parcel Viewer page and click on the street itself. If it says ‘private’, then its private. If it says anything else, usually a six or so digit number and then the letters TRCT, or is blank or labeled with the street name, then its public.

    If it’s private then you can put up a “Private Street” sign and go from there :)

    If it’s public its no different from any other public street. People are free to use it as they would any ‘through’ street for walks, drives, wrong turns, etc. They aren’t allowed in your driveway, but most turnarounds happen so quickly there’s not much you can do. People are not allowed to dump anywhere except, well, at the dump.

    The assessment thing is interesting. I doubt you’re paying higher taxes because you live in a cul-de-sac but if you think you are and don’t agree with it then you should challenge it.

    But a public street is public no matter what ‘shape’ it is or destination it has. Taxpayers paid to create it in the first place and continue to pay to maintain it, and therefore it is open to all.



    I love exploring dead-end streets when I’m out walking, for the adventure or the view. But I’ll make you a deal, HollyW: I won’t walk down your street if you promise never, ever to park in front of my house in the Junction. :)

    Seriously, I understand your pain. By virtue of its nature, a dead-end street means less traffic, and once you get used to something it’s hard to give it up. In terms of “reasonableness,” though, it may help you to distinguish between legal and illegal activities: Totally reasonable to expect that people don’t dump or litter or block your driveway, not reasonable to expect that they don’t drive down the street or walk their dogs or look at your house. (Just like on any other street …)

    Turning around in a driveway falls somewhere in the middle for me. It is trespassing and may be dangerous if lots of children about, but we’ve all made wrong turns while driving and I’d rather have someone turn around in my driveway than try to back their car up the block.



    I guess I have a different moral code than most people – the question isn’t about legal/illegal or whether people have the “right” to walk or drive down my dead end street (not a cul-de-sac) – it’s about courtesy and privacy. I don’t go walking or driving in areas that seem secluded or private (even though I could, legally) out of respect for people’s peace and quiet. I wonder if it weren’t called trespassing if people would be tramping all over other people’s lawns and peering in their windows??



    the properties to the side of me and in back of me have a vacant air about them and as a result i have looky loos trolling my alleyway and parking in my alley parking to get a closer look just in case they can figure out who owns them and convince them to sell…

    am i tickled about having my alleyway regularly blocked by people who have no business on that alley? No.

    you would think a dirt alley full of potholes i pay to have filled every other year would be private space…. but no… they’re not.

    i am not tickled by the folks who use the space in front of my house to park their car while they ride the bus to and from work either.

    but there you go.



    I think asking people not to dump anything down the hill is appropriate as it’s illegal. People enjoying a view or walking their dog means foot traffic which also means less crime I would think. It’s a public street with public sidewalks. You are not entitled to privacy by nature of living on a dead end. That’s what gated communities a for.


    This original post won’t help our “Seattle Freeze” or specifically, West Seattle’s NIMBY reputations.

    These two parts:

    “…driving down to the end, turning around in my driveway, walking their dogs “just looking around”…”

    “Aren’t homes like mine actually assessed at higher value because of the “privacy” – C’mon people have some respect!!”




    Consider signage that have been used by people living in rural, isolated locations for years:

    No Trespassing

    No Dumping

    Private Driveway-No Entry

    Or, try this one: Change Your Mind



    I’m really not clear at all on what’s discourteous about walking down a public street, even a dead-end one.

    The discourtesy of dumping trash on someone else’s land, in contrast, is obvious.



    We live on the one-way dead-end stub of what, to the north, is a busy street. The only discourteous occurrence (not to mention illegal) is when people drive the wrong way into the clearly labeled DO NOT ENTER one-lane one-way section. And historically, it’s been people who live nearby, not lost lookie-loos, who have done that (endangering the lives of people driving the correct way toward that exit, among others).

    Well, except for the few non-neighbors over the years who have crashed through the sign and come to an enforced stop against concrete steps, a steel garage door, etc.., leading the city to beef up the DO NOT ENTER signage installation to the point where it looks like someplace you’d also expect gun turrets and armed guards. But I digress.

    Streets and sidewalks really do belong to all of us, which is at the root of a lot of discussions (such as who can park in front of whose house). And that brings responsibilities as well as privileges. I do hope the illegal dumping stops – that would be maddening. We only get small amounts of it (bottles and cans thrown in shrubbery)…




    I lived on a sort of dead-end street in NYC for 7 years. People used the quietness of the street to take the opportunity to park across from us and have sex in their car on a regular basis. Which wasn’t nearly as bad as the two times that somebody thought it would be nice to abandon a car there and set it on fire for the hell of it. I’d take lookie-loos and illegal dumping over burning cars and a lovers lane any day. :)


    I’m thinking about changing my jogging route.

    Anyone know where I can find the highest concentration of dead-end streets?



    Militant Moderate, there are lots of great dead ends in Arbor heights, near the pool!



    The south and west sides of Genesee Hill are also good, MM. :) But really, there are so many great dead-end streets in West Seattle with bluff overlooks. The east-facing one around the corner from my house is perfect for watching the rising moon, and I love meeting people there for a chance encounter with nature.



    Picture me sitting here wondering if this thread is dangling precipitously on the edge of the now infamous “dogs barking” thread of summer 2014? ;-)



    Are you sitting on the mythical street-end bench, wake?



    Was hoping nobody saw me there, seaop. ;-)



    who needs a bench

    i have a camp stool ;->



    Exploring unfamiliar dead end streets, thru streets and alleys, can be quite interesting, and a lot of fun! You just never know what you may find.


    Years ago, I used to know a Seattle Police officer who loved to “patrol” alleys. While the residents probably loved seeing the police presence, his hidden agenda was looking for garage sales and old classic cars that might be for sale :)


    Just goes to show, that you can never judge a person’s intentions just because they happen to drive, walk, or ride a bicycle down a public street or alley.


    I would also add that a street sign reading “DEAD END” is often an added reason to pique some folks curiosity.




    I’m sure there are many people who don’t live on dead end streets that also would like people to stop walking their dogs down their street, stop being looky loos, and certainly want people to stop littering their streets. I live between WS High School, and Safeway and Met Mkt. They buy food, walk back to school, and dump their trash wherever they want. It’s not a dead end street , of course, I don’t think where one lives makes one any more special than anyone else. Don’t want people around? There are private islands for sale. Other than that, I’m afraid the public is just that ….public :-



    Ummm… It’s a street. Publically paid for. I’m walking my dog and driving on roads that everyone pays for…


    2 Much Whine

    That’s just great, Wakeflood. I’m disgusted with West Seattle people like you. I’m moving to Antartica. I knew I never should have moved here 23 years ago.

    (that’s close to the dog barking thread, isn’t it?)




    psst.. Antarctica is cold too :(

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