I am living, breathing, talking proof that rear-entry driveways have helped damage neighborly relations among folks.
How do I know this? We sold our house in Amarillo more than a year ago after living in it for more than two decades. We had it built from the ground up. It had a rear-entry garage that allowed us to drive our vehicle from an alley that ran along the rear of our homes.
We had infrequent exchanges with our neighbors. Why? We hardly ever saw them.
It’s different these days. Our retirement journey has taken us to Princeton. Our new home has a driveway that faces onto the street.
Here’s the benefit we have accrued from this new arrangement: We have gotten acquainted early with several our neighbors on our side of the street and also across the street.
My wife and I know the names of folks living in two residences across the street; we know the names of both our next-door neighbors, as well as the neighbors two and three doors to our east.
I have concluded that with front-entry driveways we have returned to a more neighborly environment than what we experienced for 22 years living in our Amarillo home.
It’s not that our neighbors in Princeton are friendlier than they were in Amarillo. Indeed, we became good friends with several of the families living on our street in Amarillo. It took some time, given the rear-entry garages that prevented a lot of regular face-to-face interaction with them.
Make no mistake that Panhandle residents pride themselves on their friendliness, their sense of community. We would hear about it regularly as we went through our day over many years.
Now, though, our daily routine as we go about our day in the home with our front-entry driveway includes a lot more frequent interaction with our neighbors along our street.
It’s nice to know the folks with whom we share this neighborhood.