Help me save the Edge of my Lawn from Cars!!

greenie_2006November 1, 2006

I live in a nice development and our home sits on a corner lot with a curving front yard that follows the road edge. The problem is that people tend to "cut" the edge and drive over the lawn. I've really had it, and need to come up with a nice solution to the problem. My lawn edge is right up to the road edge (no curb or sidewalk).

Any ideas?? I have thought of removing the outside 1-2 feet of grass and putting in an edge, then filling in with rock, but I think that will be a constant hassle with weeds etc...

I can't put up a fence along the edge (Community Covenants are strict)

I have thought of one of those extruded edging curbs, but I'm worried about how they might hold up.

I've even thought of just placing large landscaping type rocks/boulders in strategic places on the curve to "discourage" the drivers who disregard the edge of my lawn.

Any help would be greatly appreciated....Thanks!!

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A few questions:

Is the road "state maintained" or is it a private road maintained by your community?

Are you the owner of that 1-2 foot strip of grass, or is it part of the right-of-way?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 12:17PM
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Fori is not pleased

I think boulders would work, if you don't mind trimming the grass around them. That would probably look nice, too. Big ones, and people will learn pretty quickly. You may be able to start a muffler collection, too!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 1:31PM
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Can you put a low-growing "hedge" of plants there? I'm thinking about knee-high...enough that the drivers notice, but not to block their vision.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 5:27PM
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Hammer wooden spikes into the ground, the kind that are used for edging or to keep people from driving on the lawn, about 18" apart. They are permissable with most HOAs and aren't bad looking. You can put rock around them or just trim around them if you keep the grass. If you want to put rock down, lay landscape cloth under the rocks to keep the weeds down. But those spikes sticking up a foot or so will definitely keep the cars off your lawn!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 1:15PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Most front yards contain at least a few feet or more of land that belongs to the town or state, either outright, or in the form of a road easement. I live on a state road, and the state owns a strip in front of my house, including some lawn area and a public sidewalk.

I had a similar problem because of the way my house relates to the center of town and a resort inn and spa with marinas. People coming through town on their way to the inn/restaurant/marina find themselves in a decidedly residential area, and my front strip provides an open area to pull over, right about the time they decide they must certainly be lost.

It's not unusual to see cars or even 18-wheelers several times a week, pulled over onto the grassy shoulder of the road right in front of my house. I know what they're doing, because they're usually looking at maps.

I was going to put some rocks out there in an attempt to keep the grass from getting mashed and rutted, but was advised that if anyone damaged their car on the rocks, I could be liable for the damages. So I gave up on the grass in that area, and just don't look at it unless I'm mowing it.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 5:27PM
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jbcarr(7 VA)

Good sized rocks work the best.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 5:32PM
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What a lot of people do around here is to install a strip (1-2.5 ft wide) of decomposed granite alongside the road and up to the edge of the area that they will maintain as a lawn. These strips in part are to avoid all of the constant repairs from driving ruts and road salt.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 6:49PM
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Our first instict is to use physical barriers. Sometimes psychology is the answer. The following example may not fit your situation, but might inspire you to come up with a solution.

My best guess is that the corner in question involves people making right turns from one public road onto another. If that is the case, the problem is isolated to only vehicles making a right turn on a very open intersection with little to cue them on where they should be as they concentrate on looking for oncoming cars approaching from the left. Cars coming from the right are of little import to those who want to slow down to take a right rather than stop especially if they can clearly see no one is coming from the right long before they get there. One solution may be to plant three or more trees a few feet in from the edge of the road as one approaches the stop sign. They do not have to go all the way to the corner and block the sight line. Then you could pick up with a low hedge along the same offset distance from the pavement as you wrap the corner and then have another tree at the end of that hedge for something more substantial to pay attention to or see in the periphery. This could add enough to the periferal attention of drivers that gives them a better sense of where they are as they approach the intersection since their greater concentration would likely be to the left as they enter that lane of traffic.

Another strategy that could help is to add enough vegetation back from the intersection that does not allow drivers to know what is approaching from the right until they are within the normal sight distance at an intersection. This would make them slow down closer to a stop and have to look right before commiting to the turn.

There are corners at the end of every road, yet yours has this problem where not every other one does. Many of them do not have rocks, trees, gravel strips, wooden pegs, gargoyles, or executionists to protect them, yet remain largely unscathed. Yours is different for some reason. Something allows for drivers to feel comfortable enough to be careless about going around the corner. You need to break down that comfort level. Obviously, rocks do that, but this puts you at risk as someone else mentioned. Try to break that comfort without making a hazard or a hazardous circumstance.

Maybe the community would allow the installation of a street sign very close to the corner and you could add some vegetation to visually strengthen it. An ugly chewed up corner should be a concern of a HOA which should support you in finding a solution for this.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 9:24PM
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deweyc(9a/9b FL)

This post is kinda old now, but hopefully there's still someone out there that still may have a good idea.. I have this same problem. I have a corner lot that is pretty well traveled from cars in the neighborhood, delivery trucks and a few times a day I get tractor trailers. They are usually
pretty good, but there is also a park at the end of my road that boat owners in the area can use to drop off their boats
and then bring back again. They're the worse... Most of them don't know how to swing out onto the road to avoid the lawn. Luckily, there is a telephone pole there or I would have an even worse problem. I have some old concrete pyramids with spikes in the bottom to hold them in place &
have thought of making new ones by making a form and filling with concrete and painting white. Does anyone know where I can purchase these pyramids or any other ideas besides large boulders?? I'd appreciate any ideas...
Thanks,, dewey Palm City, FL..

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 2:58PM
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mdvaden_of_oregon(NW Oregon)

Fori mentioned boulders.

If you try that method (works great), submerge them so tires don't skid them across mud and grass.

Even 4" under the surface if fine for the bottom. If you pick rock with an angled or flat end, you can plant a small shrub or flower, so the rock and plant become a single shape together.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 8:49PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I like the boulders idea. Or how about a trio of really big planters, maybe concrete or whiskey barrels? That would be a deterrent.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 11:08PM
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TwoMonths(So Calif)

If you use the pyramids, put a hollow pipe inside and then you can insert othe poles with flags on them. At the worst traffic time of the year, usually summer for boars, then put in the flags...low enough to see but not to obstruct traffic view.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 1:49PM
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We tried a variety of solutions, then opted for a large sandstone boulder. It weighs about 500 lb. It's more or less rectangular in shape and has some sharp edges to it, for a rock. We've been astounded at how often it gets run into, especially when something or someone moves it 6" or so. No one has ever stopped to 'fess up. I always wonder what the sides of their cars look like, or their bumpers.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 12:02PM
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Man, I have had it too ! We live at the end of two streets, which at one point were separate, but the connected the two by creating an L. We have trucks coming up these small roads all the time, 5 different trash truck companies plus delivery vehicles.

Someone is systematically flattening out the corner, and it is driving me crazy. The boulder idea is a good one, but the size and shape of the rock needed is going to be very expensive. As a stopgap I am going to go out tomorrow and pound in metal fencing, just to stop this for now, but I need a more permanent solution.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tarky7

    Bookmark   December 26, 2007 at 1:01AM
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I have this issue too, you guys, and it's kind of comforting to know i'm not alone. I will say that on one length, i've separated the grass from the road with a strip of "river rock" for drainage purposes. I'd say about once a month, i end up having to scrape rocks back into place because someone has peeled out in them, scattering the rocks everywhere. So i don't recommend that approach as a solution unless it's just for drainage purposes.

I've kind of given up on the corner. As someone mentioned, it's not really noticeable unless i'm mowing.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2007 at 12:56PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Where your cobbles meet the pavement they are sitting above the pavement, making it easy for them to travel (get kicked out). If the cobbles met the pavement below the level of the pavement it would function as a curb to contain them. You may have to install an edging of some sort to corral the rocks. This might also make it more apparent to some stopping motorists that they are leaving the road.

Too late for you now but another way to keep stones used as surface in place is to select crushed rock with rock flour mixed in, this tends to harden into a more pavement-like surface than washed stones with roundish shapes.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2007 at 5:09PM
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I know this is an old post, but I have a solution not found among the responses.

There are many different levels that need to be addressed in solving this problem. My particular problem is that I am on the inboard knee of sharp curve of the curbless road in front of my home, and both sloppy and definitely mischiveous/malicious drivers end up on my lawn far past the edge of the road.

The first issue is to avoid making your home look like a bunker along the curb; my home has great curb appeal, and it would be a major drag when selling my home in the near future.

The second issue is you want to avoid liabilities if the construct you install has the potential to cause severe suspension/chassis damage to vehicles, or cause a driver to lose control.

The third issue is that you want something that is permanent and low or zero maintenance, and is not an inhibitor to lawn maintenance.

As ex-proving grounds vehicle engineer, I think the best solution is a series of embedded square-top speed bumps.

They need to be about 1.5 to 2.0 inches above the point where the soil and grass roots are relatively firm. I'd estimate the width of the strip to be about 4 - 6 inches but could be less also, and the distance between the strips would be between 2.5 to 3 feet for vehicles traveling 20 mph and 25 mph, respectively.

At these speeds, the frequency of the bump input to the suspension would be about 12 hz, which is close to the natural frequency of many car suspensions, thus, it would really light up the suspension into resonance getting the drivers attention that they are doing something wrong.

I've spoke with several officers here in Oakland County, and they have suggested the same thing, without all the fine tuning details I've added above. And as these officers pointed out to me, as well as another person in this forum, you've virtually eliminated risk of damage to a driver's vehicle, albeit there's the small risk of a driver over-reacting/correcting which shouldn't be an issue if they are observing residential speed limits. For this particular case, I'm installing an innocuous camera to record all passes, from which vehicle occurences and speed can be documented.

A few other points to add, the cement can be colored for aesthetics, and reflectors can be hard mounted to the edges to warn drivers of the obstacles lying in the grass, the pattern of a row of these reflectors should grab the attention of responsible drivers who would be aware that a warning is being presented. If they don't recognize it, it's time for a lesson!




    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 7:42PM
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I like the idea about the rumble strips - I have some green polywood (plastic woods used in deck chair) - never rots and the 2x4 size laying flat might be just the trick since I can easily drill a hole in them and spike them down at each end so they stay put - foot on edge of road should be enough, maybe 18 inches apart. Good thing is I can cut the grass right them without having to get off the tractor, remove, cut, put them back.

I use the same material now but about 8 inches vertical - I striped them white and epoxied in a spike at the bottom - they look great but people just plaster them into the dirt by driving over them!

Our street is private and narrow even though I am on straightaway - people get run off the road by larger delivery trucks. I don't want to damage their cars. One guy in the neighborhood as anal as me just pounds in snow spikes year round.

I am afraid if I plant a small hedge (yew or boxwood) it will get run over, snow plowed away or killed with road salt.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2014 at 6:31PM
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I made some posts from 2x2 pressure treated. I made a tee on the bottom and screwed a short piece of 2x2 perpendicular to the up right post; Buried them about 2 feet deep and the piece across at the bottom keeps them from being pulled out. Bought some screwed on reflectors (used for small utility trailers) at Loews painted the posts white, set them 2 feet in the ground about 2 feet from the road edge.

They look nice and work very well. My problem was a narrow road and cars riding up all along my front yard. I utilize some boulders as well. Having them white and about 4 feet high makes them visible and the reflectors help at night and they are very nice looking. IMHO

    Bookmark   October 23, 2014 at 7:50AM
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