Friday question of the day

zip car:flex car, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I know we have had the bus/metro debate before but I have recently noticed the prime spots zip car and flex car have on Upshur near Domku. So my question is does anyone use zip car or flex car? Which is better? I saw that zip car was represented by a nice Toyota corolla while flex had a slightly more stylish Toyota matrix. How did they get such a sweet permanent parking spot? I have to admit, as a driver, it upsets me when I’m looking for parking spots and these two prime spots are permanently taken.

Bonus question of the day: Is jaywalking a serious problem in Petworth? Now, I jaywalk like the best of them but the difference between me and other jaywalkers I see in Petworth is that I don’t cross when I see cars, or if I see a car I run to get to the other side. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people jaywalking, as though they were perfectly in the right, and nonchalantly cross New Hampshire or Georgia Ave, cars be damned. First of all it seems quite dangerous. Second of all it is quite annoying for drivers. Is this behavior related to our notorious double parking problem?

12 Comment

  • jaywalking is pretty bad all over the city. jaywalkers make me a paranoid driver…argh.

  • You have to remember that with a car-sharing service you have several people/households using one shared car. For those two “prime” parking spaces (do you really need to drive to Domku anyway??) you have several car-less people in the area who don’t have their own cars and aren’t taking up any other street parking.
    As for jaywalking, I don’t get it either, but like alot of other activities I see in the area it shows a complete lack of care for your safety and the safety of others. Where’s a cop when you need one?

  • Ed, that is a good point on the car sharing service. And come to think of it: why the hell am I driving to Domku? My neighbor just fixed up my bicycle so now I have a new mode of transport. It is pretty sweet, I got to Wonderland in all of five minutes last night. Of course the ride back uphill was a little less pleasant…

  • Notorious double parking problem? Since when was it notorious!!! Comes with the territory kids.

  • I’ve used Zipcar for the past 3 years since we are a one-car family here. I recently also signed up for flexcar because sometimes the zipcar was taken when I needed it. I don’t really think there’s much of a difference between either service — for me it’s just a matter of having some sort of car available when i need one.

    As for the prime parking spots they have, there was a bunch of talk about this a whole ago on the Petworth News site at

  • Meant to also add to my previous post that my biggest problem so far with the zipcar/flexcar is that almost every time I go to return the car to its spot, someone has illegally taken the spot and they get angry with me when I go into the nearby stores trying to figure out whose car it is to ask them to move. Personally I think it’s much nicer of me to ask them to move their illegally parked car than to have it towed…

  • Carsharing and bikes are great. I accidentally drove through a stop sign on 11th St the other night, and a cyclist yelled at me “STOP SIGN”. Usually I’m the one yelling at the cyclists when they ignore red lights and make it difficult to be a pedestrian.

    As for Zip and Flex, I guess they have negotiated an agreement with the District for exclusive use of certain spaces. They must have made a strong case for their cars… but the absolutely prime parking spaces are shady as well (under non-shedding trees which don’t drop fluffly yellow pollen on the cars below).

    Zip and Flex make people selfish. Even when I got in a fender-bender, my car-sharing cousin wouldn’t give me a ride to his mom’s art exhibit. The ratio of rides I have given other people to rides they have given me in Flex or Zip must be around 65:1.

  • Jaywalkers give me major road rage, especially the ones that aren’t even looking to see if they’re about to stop in front of a car. The other day while I was driving on Upshur a woman stepped into the road to cross while reading a book. She kept reading the book and did not look up until after she had crossed the street!

  • Thanks! Will do.

  • I don’t know about flex car, but zippy pays a few hundred clams to private people to use their parking spots, so I imagine they do something similar with DDoT.

  • ive been a flexcar member since 1999. i have no quibbles with it, but it seems that zipcar has a wider array of automobiles

  • I’ve used zip and flex for 3 years. Love both. Sold my car and now it’s the only way I get stuff done. Zip does have the flashier cars. You can’t argue with a ragtop mini coop on a sunny Sunday afternoon. My only complaint is that both services should say when cars are located in out of the way or dark places and I can decide if I want take my life in my hands returning said auto after dark.

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